16-year-old Silvana Flores making her mark at Arsenal

Teenager Silvana Flores has featured for the Arsenal Ladies U-21’s and helped the Lady Gunners beat Chelsea.

Arsenal’s girls youth academy is garnering attention across Great Britain, holding promise that the Lady Gunners will continue to be one of the best teams in Europe. And Mexican Silvana Flores promises to be a part of it.

The Arsenal Under-21 girls team defeated Chelsea 2-0 in an FA Academy Cup quarterfinal, with 16-year-old Silvana getting the start in midfield, though she did not get on the scoresheet.

The young talented Arsenal girls squad (none of the players on the current roster is older than 19) moves on to a semifinal against Ipswich Town and the experience will be invaluable for the young Mexican.

Silvana is the daughter of Ruben Flores, a former Mexican pro soccer player who played very briefly in the Liga MX, before signing a contract to play in Canada. Silvana was born in Canada and grew up with soccer in her blood, playing in girls youth teams in Canada, the Cayman Islands and England.

Silvana received invitations to play with El Tri in the youth categories and was on Team Mexico’s roster at last year’s Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay. By then, Silvana had made a good impression in England with Ipswich Town, and had switched to Arsenal last summer before the World Cup.

Silvana’s elder sister, Tatiana, also represented Mexico at the U-17 World Cup. Silvana – and Tatiana – could have chosen to represent Canada or Mexico at the national team level, but they both opted for El Tri. They both contributed to Mexico’s run to the World Cup final in Uruguay, where they lost to Spain 2-1. In the photo at top, Silvana battles with Spain’s Jana Fernández in the World Cup final.

Now, Silvana will play in the FA Academy Cup semifinal against her old team, Ipswich Town. The game should be an exciting one for all and an important one for Silvana has she hopes to begin paving her way to the Arsenal senior team.

The future seems bright for Silvana as she has established herself in the Arsenal Ladies U-20 squad, a club that has been a national power in England and is one of the world’s most successful girls academies.

A genuine Flores family dynasty at Arsenal could be in the cards as Silvana’s little brother Marcelo just signed a deal with the Arsenal boys academy. Marcelo also joined from Ipswich and from all reports is an extremely exciting prospect, one that could feature for the first team sooner rather than later.

Having beaten both Liverpool and Chelsea to his signature, the Gunners academy has recovered its equilibrium after a rocky few months.

The team has transitioned into a new management team and brought in new backroom staff. Former Gunner captain Per Mertesaker has arrived to replace Andries Jonker, hoping to continue the proud Arsenal tradition of developing and promoting young exciting players.

As such, it seems Arsenal and the Flores family are a match that could bring success to both parties in the future. And that’s good news for all of us Arsenal fans who hold a special kinship with Mexico. You can bet I’ll be watching developments there in the upcoming years.