Last week, Alabama soccer announced star sophomore defender Reyna Reyes has been called up to join the Mexican Women's National Team at their camp in Mexico City. Reyes has been with the club in Mexico's capital ever since being called up for their U17 team's World Cup run in 2016 as an undersized eighth-grader in Dallas, Texas.

Photo Courtesy of the Dallas Morning News

The 19-year-old made her first appearance for Mexico's premier women's team in the final week of January this year once she received word of the invitation via email. Her most previous outing prior to being named to the full team came in 2018 when Mexico lost in the U17 World Cup Finals, earning Reyes her first medal, a silver, at the age of seventeen.

After the loss, it looked as if Reyes' next step would be to make the U20 team for Mexico; however, 2020 would prove to divert her goals for at least one season as the U20 Women's World Cup would be postponed and eventually canceled due to the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Reyes wouldn't be deterred. She would graduate high school in 2019, the spring following the loss in the World Cup Final, and make her way to Tuscaloosa, AL to continue her playing career at The University of Alabama.

On her decision to choose Alabama, Reyes said, "When I came on a visit, I felt really welcomed here by the coaches the girls. I really liked Wes (Hart) as a person and a coach, because I got to watch him with the girls. Alabama also kind of reminds me of Texas, it's not too far, the soccer was good, and I felt like I could be happy here."

Reyna's wait for time on the field would subside almost instantly as the Crimson Tide relied on her as a freshman in 2019 to open their regular season against the No. 22 ranked BYU. Since her time began at the Capstone, she's developed into a reliable and trustworthy starter along with earning honors for SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll, SEC All-Freshman Team, and the SEC All-Conference Team.

Photo Courtesy of Alabama Athletics

Reyes is one of the only four American-born current players to participate with Mexico's Women's National Team and has been invited to similar camps for the US Women's National Soccer team as well. Her decision between the two programs came to a boiling point when she was invited to camps for the respective squads which were scheduled to occur at the same time. On the predicament, Reyes said, "I think I decided to go with Mexico instead just because I had been with them before."

While the opening game of 2021 for Alabama soccer hasn't been set, the current first opportunity to see Reyes in action for the Tide is coming on Friday, Feb. 26, as the Ragin' Cajuns travel to Tuscaloosa for a 5:00 p.m. matchup, according to The University of Louisiana.

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