Recently I had a chance to speak to Jen Munoz about her experience in Liga MX Femenil and the transition from living in the United States to Mexico
For the second part of 2019, Liga MX Femenil went through some changes. One of the major was allowing clubs to sign Mexican-American players. This was a very important move for the league because here in the United States there is a lot of talent, especially at the college level. I was excited about the future of the league. I wanted to see what the big clubs would do, and what hidden gems would come to make our league better. One of those gems found due to the new rules was former New Mexico University midfielder and L.A native Jen Munoz.
In July Club America Femenil announced the signing of Jen Munoz. Munoz came in as one of the top name signings and has to this day not disappointed. She arrived and has instantly become crucial in the Club America’s midfield, she’s a player of a very high impact. In her first season she played over 1300 minutes, and so far this season she has played all 450 minutes of the Clausura 2020. Jen allowed me the opportunity to interview her about the Liga MX Femenil and her experiences so far.
Thank you again Jen Munoz, and here’s what she had to say:
Where did your love for the game come from?
“The love for the game came from my family. They were the ones who surrounded me with soccer and allowed me to find my passion. I tried all sports, I ended up loving dance like ballet and soccer. I eventually picked soccer and fell in love with it instantly. I never said no to extra training sessions, speed training’s even at a young age. I was committed from the start and never stopped.”
“The game needed loving, I gave it my heart.”
What has been the biggest challenge from moving to Mexico City
“The language barrier, no doubt. Coming to Mexico I understood Spanish, know how to write it but speaking it properly was very difficult for me. I think for me it was just feeling embarrassed. Back in the states, my future career is to be a sports reporter or host so obviously, this sense of discomfort was hard for me and it was difficult to express myself. But thankfully this club and country accepted me with open arms. Being here for 7 months, I also have improved a ton and hear myself speaking more fluidly and with more comfort.”
How has the transition been for you from playing at the college level to signing and being a crucial piece for the biggest club in Mexico?
“It was a huge change for me. The college game in the United States is all about athleticism and how strong you are. Playing here in Mexico, you must be very technical and have another level of vision for the game. Being here, every day, I am learning so much about the game. I feel there are 110% more things I need to improve on but being here for a few months I have matured as a player of the game and know there is another level I can push myself too. Professional soccer is not easy but this past season and in general playing for the biggest club in Mexico has pushed me like no other mentally and physically, which I am so thankful for.”
You are playing at a very high level right now; do you see yourself being called to the Woman’s National Team?
“I believe I can play at a way higher level I am playing right now. Technically I have lots to improve on. And especially the speed of the game. Everyone would like to see themselves being called up. As of right now, I feel I have a lot more to improve on as a player. But yes, representing Mexico with the full team is always a goal and a dream. “
What advice do you have for other young women that have the same dream you did as a kid?
“There is so much advice I have for younger women but three things I always kept in mind were, you are more than an athlete. You are a girl, a woman, a daughter, a person in our society. Do not get caught up in a bad pass or a missed shot. Do not dwell on those mistakes because in the end you can always get better and improve and just move on.”
“Secondly, enjoy the game. You won’t be playing soccer forever so what legacy do you want to leave. I want to leave a legacy not only on the field but off the field as well. Be a good soccer player and an even better person.”
“The third and last piece of advice is there is always an extra gear that you are capable of. Do that extra sprint for yourself, do that extra 5 min of the treadmill for your family who wants to see you succeed, and do one more rep so that on the field you feel confident and prepared to achieve your dreams little by little. “
As a Mexican-American how important do you think it is to have media outlets not only cover the league in Mexico but also in the US for the English speaking Liga MX Fans?
“I think it is so important. This is my first interview with a media outlet from the US. I think it is so crucial to involve the Liga MX with the US fans. For me, I have a whole family, a whole college and others who love Club America since I signed. I think it is so awesome to intertwine both cultures. I hope in the near future, more US media outlets cover Liga MX because there is so much history and stories in this league that are incredible. It makes me so happy to see so many America fans back at home in the US, it gives me and others on my team a sense of strong support. “
A big thank you to Jen again. Be sure to follow Liga MX Femenil as well as Jen Munoz on Twitter @jenmunozz, and stay tuned for other interviews from VivaLigaMx.com