Veronica Perez, a former Huskies player who is no a volunteer assistant coach at UW, is playing for Mexico at the Women's World Cup.
Former University of Washington forward Veronica Perez is representing Mexico at the 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany. Perez, a volunteer assistant coach for the Huskies, recently answered questions from The Seattle Times via email. Mexico earned an impressive 1-1 tie against England in its first group-stage game Monday.
Q: What has being in the World Cup been like so far? Any moments stand out?
Perez: “It’s an experience I will never forget. I’m 23 years old and living my dream. Nothing beats that. I get to play football every day, I’m surrounded by some of my best friends, and I’m traveling the world meeting new people and experiencing their cultures.
“Beach training in Acapulco was awesome. Our team competed and trained harder than ever. I really felt that it was the camp that brought us together and showed how committed and hungry we are to compete in this huge event. Also scoring a goal on my birthday (against Costa Rica) was pretty sweet.”
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Q: What does your World Cup-qualifying goal against the U.S. mean to you?
Perez: “It’s a very special moment for me. We upset the No. 1 team in the world in our house in front of our fans. It’s crazy. Sometimes I’ll daydream about it and just think, “Wow. We actually did that.”
Q: Mexico hadn’t qualified for a Women’s World Cup in quite some time. What kind of support have you received?
Perez: “Yes, it’s been 12 years since the ’99 World Cup in USA. We have received so much positive support in Mexico. From our fans, federation, general public, etc. It’s an exciting time for our program. We’ve changed peoples’ perspective of women’s football in our country and us players are extremely proud of that.”
Q: Any support from UW or Seattle?
Perez: “Of course! I’m always getting support from my second home. I get calls, emails, texts, messages all the time giving me positive feedback. My friends and family from Seattle are awesome. My UW coaches are RVing throughout Germany during the World Cup and will be at my Japan game. One of my best friends from my UW team will also be there.”
Q: You were born in California, have played in the U.S., what’s it like representing Mexico? Any conflicting emotions?
Perez: “It’s not a factor for me anymore. My story is I’m Mexican-American. I was born in the U.S. and I’m proud of that. It’s my home. But I’m also Mexican and I’m proud of that. I have dual citizenship. It’s an honor to represent Mexico. I’m blessed to have been given the opportunity from the FMF to be a part of their program.”
Q: What is the attitude of the team now that the tournament is under way?
Perez: “Every game will present its challenges. We’re going to take it day by day, game by game. We proud of all the work, training and preparation we have put in. Now it’s just the matter of applying all that come game time.”
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org