Club Tijuana players (pictured) gather for a team photo prior to facing Pachuca in the Liga MX Women’s Cup final on May 7, 2017, in Toluca, Mexico. (Photo courtesy of Liga MX Femenil)
TIJUANA, Mexico – There were plenty of positives to take from Club Tijuana’s campaign in the first ever Copa Liga MX Femenil (Liga MX Women’s Cup) earlier this month.
On the strength of three straight 2-0 wins in the group stage, the Xolas earned a place in the final, where it finally lost, dropping a 9-1 decision to Pachuca.
For head coach Andrea Rodebaugh, the overall experience was valuable for her team, especially with the inaugural women’s league slated to launch later this year.
“We met our objective of winning our games and making the final,” Rodebaugh told CONCACAF.com. “However, the outcome of the final was not what we hoped for. Still, it was a great experience for our team.
“The league will offer a change in the requirements of the players like training, commitment and mentality, so this was a very good taste of what is to come.”
Having only put together her team in the days before the competition, Rodebaugh knows that the Xolas are capable of more.
“The team was not at its full potential,” she commented. “The players were brought in a week before the tournament and some of the girls were not fit, so in that aspect I think it is a positive because it shows that there is a lot of room for improvement.
The former Mexico international, who spent much of her career in Japan and France, was full of praise for Pachuca and the way it approached the tournament.
“Pachuca set the standard as to what is needed to compete,” said Rodebaugh. “Their team has been training together since December and January and it showed.”
While playing professionally in Mexico was not an option for the now 50-year-old, she is excited for the playing opportunities that will be provided to the young women of Mexico.
“It’s a dream come true,” Rodebaugh finished. “It is a league that many of us have dreamed about, so to see players I know playing for these clubs and to see colleagues of mine coaching these teams is a wonderful thing.”