On July 30th, 2017, the US Women’s Soccer team had a thrilling come-from-behind victory to defeat Brazil 4-3 in front of over fifteen-thousand fans at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. One of those fans was ten-year-old Melanie Barcenas. After the stunning victory, she ventured to the player tunnel to try and get the attention of her favorite player Alex Morgan. Barcenas didn’t just get her attention, she got a signed jersey from Morgan. Little did Morgan know that the girl she just gave her jersey to would become her teammate just five years later.   

Hometown Kid 

In March, Barcenas signed a three year contract with the San Diego Wave. Barcenas grew up in the area and had been playing on the Wave’s development team, the Sand Diego Surf since she made their under 7 team. The people closest to Barcenas, like her former coach Andres Deza, knew she had the tools to be successful at the next level.  

“Mel is one of the most creative players I have had the pleasure to coach. Within the context and structure of our game model, providing Mel with the freedom to express herself has been a priority since day one. Mel is a clear example of how an extremely creative and talented player can thrive within the structure and discipline required of the positional game”

In a press confrence in 2021 Barcenas  spoke about her dream of representing the Wave one day.


Making History 

Two  years later that dream was a reality. In early May, in a game against the Orlando Pride, Barcenas made her season debut making her the youngest player in league history to see playing time. Check out her history-making moment below. 

Melanie Barcenas shows us that no matter how old you are, you can turn your dreams into reality if you work hard and dedicate yourself to your craft. 

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