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FMF: Mexico players out of NWSL until at least late July

Mexico players will not participate in the NWSL until at least late July. (Getty Images)

Mexico players will not participate in the NWSL until at least late July. (Getty Images)

Mexico players will not report to their NWSL teams until after the Pan-American Games, if at all in 2015.

Mexico coach Leo Cuellar revealed at a press conference in Mexico on Tuesday that players would not be reporting to their NWSL teams in 2015. Two weeks ago, the NWSL announced that four Mexico players — Bianca Sierra (Boston Breakers), Monica Ocampo (Sky Blue FC), Veronica Perez (Washington Spirit) and Arianna Romero (Washington Spirit) — were allocated to their teams, meaning the Mexican federation would pay their club salaries.

Mexico assistant coach Chris Cuellar confirmed to The Equalizer on Wednesday that the four players would not participate in the league until after the Pan-American Games, which end on July 26. They begin right after the Women’s World Cup ends on July 5. Whethe or not those players join their NWSL teams after the Pan-American Games is up to the players. The NWSL season ends on the weekend of the Sept. 26.

“All decisions have been left up to the players,” Chris Cuellar told The Equalizer.

On Wednesday an NWSL spokesman said the league was awaiting official response from Mexico regarding the availability of their players prior to the World Cup.

[MORE: Perez sisters dream of playing together for Mexico]

Mexico is one of three founding federations of the National Women’s Soccer League, along with the U.S. and Canada. But over the last two years, Mexico has waffled on its willingness to participate in the NWSL, citing a lack of team and league interest in Mexican players. That chatter started toward the end of the inaugural NWSL season in 2013 (see here and here), and kicked up again late in 2014. Mexico officials told The Equalizer in the fall that the federation would pay for players only if NWSL teams wanted them. The four aforementioned players have been the expected allocated players since September.

Mexico is currently preparing for two friendly matches on Feb. 5 and 7 against Ecuador, a first-time Women’s World Cup qualifier. In the coming months, Mexico will play tune-up games against Canada, Costa Rica, Nigeria and the United States, in addition to the Cyprus Cup against Belgium, Czech Republic and New Zealand. El Tri will play France, England and Colombia in Group F at the World Cup in June.

The Mexican federation is still awaiting official confirmation that it will host CONCACAF’s 2016 Olympic women’s soccer qualifying event in January 2016.

Mexico’s current ongoing training camp roster is as follows:

GOALKEEPERS:  Anjuli Ladron, Cecilia Santiago, Pamela Tajonar

DEFENDERS:  Monica Alvarado, Marcela Valera Ceballos, Christina Murillo, Kenti Robles, Valeria Miranda Rodriguez, Arianna Romero, Jennifer Ruiz Brown, Bianca Sierra, Paulina Solis

MIDFIELDERS:  Nancy Antonio, Greta Espinoza, Yamile Franco, Carolina Jaramillo, Sandra Stephany Mayor, Teresa Noyola, Amanda Perez, Lydia Nayeli Rangel

FORWARDS:  Ariana Calderon, Veronica Charlyn Corral, Monica Ocampo, Veronica Perez


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