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México left back Jimena López selected by OL Reign in NWSL Draft

OL Reign use their only pick in the 2021 NWSL Draft to select the Texas A&M and México left back in the second round.

Mexico v United States: Semifinals - 2020 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Photo by Michael Janosz/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Left back for the México National Team and Texas A&M senior Jimena López was selected with the 28th pick in last night’s NWSL Draft by the OL Reign. López was the only Mexican player drafted in the four round, forty pick draft by the ten teams in the league and the only player OL Reign drafted. OL Reign are based in Tacoma, Washington and are majority owned by OL Groupe which also owns Olympique Lyonnais, which operates a men’s club in France’s Ligue 1 and a women’s club in the Division 1 Fémenine.

López was born in Mexico City but attended high school at St. Stephens Episcopal in Austin, Texas. She then went to college at Texas A&M, winning multiple honors including being named to the All-SEC First Team in both 2019 and 2020 and winning SEC Midfielder of the Year in 2019 and SEC Defender of the Year in 2020. Texas A&M went 7-1 in SEC play in 2020 but lost 3-1 to eventual champions Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament Semifinals.

López has also represented México at the U15, U17, U20, and senior team levels. She was part of the 2017 U17 team that participated in the U17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan that lost in the semifinal round to an upstart Venezuela team lead by Deyna Castellanos. López scored a goal in the opening round against New Zealand, a game Mexico won 5-0. She also was part of the team that participated in the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in France, where Mexico was eliminated in the group stages as well as having been part of the squad in the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifiers that lost in the semifinal round to the United States. López scored a goal in the group stage against St. Kitts and Nevis, a game México won 6-0.

There are at least five other México-eligible seniors playing Division 1 soccer in the US: University of North Florida midfielder Andrea Sánchez, Oklahoma State University defender Kim Rodríguez, San Diego State forward Veronica Avalos, Southern Miss forward Ariel Díaz, and Texas Christian University goalkeeper Emily Alvarado.