Earlier this month, the U.S. women’s national team took on Nigeria in two friendlies. The U.S. roster was one of familiarity, with a majority of the players named from this past summer’s Concacaf W Championship. A few new names were sprinkled in the mix, like Racing Louisville midfielder Savannah DeMelo.
There was one glaring omission from U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski, though: Tigres Femenil striker Mia Fishel.
Fishel has been on fire for Tigres this season. A young striker in her second season with the Mexican side, Fishel passed C.F. Monterrey striker Christina Burkenroad for the first time this season in the Liga MX Femenil Golden Boot race. She has 10 goals to her name this year after scoring Tigres’ 5-1 victory over Club Atlético de San Luis.
In his press conference after the U.S. roster dropped on Aug. 22, Andonovski said that Fishel needs to show consistency in more than “2-3 games.”
“We have not been in contact [with Mia],” Andonovski said. “She does need to continue playing well, be consistent, show consistency, for more than two or three games, consistent in like 15 games to prove that she belongs in the senior team or the best team in the world. Other than that, any player that is playing a high level for their club, whether NWSL or outside of the NWSL, is in the picture of selection for clubs or matches.”
Liga MX just wrapped up Week 11 and Fishel has 10 goals. Meanwhile, in the last 11 matches for club, players like Margaret Purce has scored only three goals and provided two assists, while Ashley Hatch, the NWSL’s reigning Golden Boot winner, has better numbers with seven goals and one assist (in the last 11 games; Hatch has eight goals and two assists for the whole season).
It is one thing for a coach to say that a player isn’t in the mix right now due to the fact that Fishel isn’t well known. The United States has a history of calling up players due to their prior experience with the national team and not performance related — see, most recently, Megan Rapinoe in the current camp and, in previous years, Alex Morgan during her lackluster Pride days around 2019.
However, during the next international window, which will see the United States head to the iconic Wembley Stadium to take on England in a sold-out match and then play in Spain, should Andonovski not call up the current Liga MX Femenil Golden Boot leader, then his reasoning should have nothing to do with consistency. Fishel is showing off her consistency with a flair in Mexico.
Highlight: Pumas 2, Cruz Azul 2
For the last few Liga MX Femenil seasons, Cruz Azul has sat on the cusp. Here’s a rundown of how Cruz Azul has finished since 2020.
Apertura 2020: 14th Place
Clausura 2021: 9th Place
Apertura 2021: 8th Place
Clausura 2022: 9th Place
Twice have Cruz Azul been right under the playoff line in the last three years. Cruz Azul currently sit in ninth place, once again on the outside looking in. Their performances have reeked of inconsistency, too. The month of August saw two wins and three losses. Coming off of the international break, Cruz Azul drew with Pumas on the road.
All goals were scored in the second half. Pumas opened up the half with Venicia Juárez finding herself wide open inside the box. Meanwhile, in the box were five Cruz Azul players, with two just right outside the box. At least four of those five defenders were busy covering Pumas attacker Natalia Macías Valadez, who was credited with the assist.
Dalia Molina scored the equalizer in the 68th minute and then Cruz Azul took the lead in the 84th minute with free kick goal, outside of the box close to the right corner flag, goal from María Sánchez — no, not *that* María Sánchez.
However, a minute later, Paola Chavero found Pumas’ equalizer and the match ended up with the teams splitting the points. Pumas is sitting in a playoff spot currently, holding the sixth place spot with 18 points — not a comfortable lead by any means.
Can Cruz Azul find their way back to the playoffs again? The team has upcoming fixtures against Mazatlan, C.F. Monterrey, Club Tijuana and Querétaro to close out September.
Other Apertura Week 11 Scores
Make Up Games
- Puebla 1-0 Club América
- C.F. Monterrey 5-2 Atlas
- Pumas UNAM 2-2 Cruz Azul
- Puebla 2-3 Chivas de Guadalajara
- Atlético San Luis 1-5 UANL Tigres
- Club América 2-0 FC Juárez
- Necaxa 0-1 Pachuca
- Club León 0-1 Querétaro
- Santos Laguna 1-2 Club Tijuana
- Mazatlán 3-1 Toluca
- C.F. Monterrey 4-1 Atlas
Liga MX Femenil Apertura Table | Week 11
NOTE: The top eight teams in Liga MX Femenil will qualify for the Liguilla, which are the playoffs.
|Chivas de Guadalajara||10||0||1||6||21||30|
|Atlético San Luis||3||0||8||28||-15||9|
Looking Ahead: Week 12
*All Times in Eastern Time.
Friday, Sept. 16: Querétaro vs. Puebla at 6:05 PM
Saturday, Sept. 17: Atlas vs. Atlético San Luis at 1 PM
Saturday, Sept. 17: Cruz Azul vs. Mazatlán at 1 PM (ViX+ Streaming)
Monday, Sept. 19: Toluca vs. Necaxa at 6 PM (ViX+ Streaming)
Monday, Sept. 19: Pachuca vs. Pumas UNAM at 6:05 PM
Monday, Sept. 19: Club América vs. C.F. Monterrey at 8 PM (ViX+ Streaming)
Monday, Sept. 19: Club Tijuana vs. Club León at 8 PM
Monday, Sept. 19: Chivas de Guadalajara vs. Tigres at 10 PM
Monday, Sept. 19: FC Juárez vs. Santos Laguna at 10 PM