From a debilitating injury five years ago that put her soccer future in doubt to leading FC Tucson in scoring en route to the Women’s Premier Soccer League Desert Conference title this season, Luz Duarte has come far.
She announced the next step Friday.
Duarte signed with Club Universidad Nacional, commonly known as Pumas, in the Liga MX.
“It’s been a long journey,” said Duarte. “FC Tucson was a big boost – to be able to be in the environment and practice, and taking soccer seriously again, helped me make the decision.”
The 25-year-old is a former member of the Mexican Under-17 National Team that played in the 2012 world championship in Azerbaijan, and was on the U-20 at the 2014 World Cup.
She played on the national team and scored twice in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
For FC Tucson this year, she set a single-season team record 12 goals and earned team MVP honors after leading the club to a 7-0-1 record.
“I am a stepping stone into a next generation that’s going to be greater than what we’re doing,” said Duarte. “I think there’s greater things that are coming for little girls that are dreaming of being professional soccer players.
“I’m just going to enjoy being part of this league now and be that role model for the next generation.”