María Sánchez (footballer)

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María Guadalupe Sánchez Morales (born 20 February 1996) is an American-born Mexican footballer who plays as a midfielder for the Mexico women's national team. She played soccer at Idaho State University, before leaving the University in April 2016.[4] She played for Santa Clara University in 2017. She was the sixth pick of the second round (fifteenth overall) in the 2019 NWSL College Draft.

María Sánchez
MariaSanchez (40675825511).jpg
Sánchez in 2016
Personal information
Full name María Guadalupe Sánchez Morales[1]
Date of birth (1996-02-20) 20 February 1996 (age 23)[1]
Place of birth Nampa, Idaho, United States[2]
Height 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)[1]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 7
Youth career
2010–2013 American Falls HS
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2014–2015 Idaho State 37 (22)
2017–2018 Santa Clara 42 (13)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2019 Chicago Red Stars 7 (0)
2020– Guadalajara 0 (0)
National team
2010 Mexico U17
2015–2016 Mexico U20 4 (1)
2015– Mexico 13[3] (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 8 October 2018

Sánchez was a member of the Mexico women's national football team for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup and the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup.

Early life and high schoolEdit

Sánchez is the daughter of Roberto Sánchez and Irene Morales, both born in Mexico, who in 2015 were employed at a potato processing plant in American Falls, Idaho. No club team was locally available, nor could her parents afford the costs of enrolling her on an elite club team, so Sánchez played only high school soccer.[5] Sánchez was a four year letter-winner at American Falls High School. She was the scoring leader in the state of Idaho in all four years, scoring 26, 34, 50, and 78 goals in her freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years. Her number was retired by the school.[6]

College careerEdit

Idaho State UniversityEdit

Despite her high school record, Sánchez lacked participation in elite competition, and Idaho State University was the only university that offered her a scholarship. She played for Idaho State in 2014 and 2015. As a freshman in 2014, she scored seven goals and led the team and conference with 8 assists. She was named to the Big Sky Conference All-Academic team. In her sophomore year, for a team that had a record of one win, one tie, and 15 losses, she scored 15 goals and had 4 assists in 17 games. She was named to the All-Conference team.[7]


In April 2016, Sánchez announced she was leaving Idaho State University to seek a more "competitive environment." Idaho State denied her permission to contact other universities because it alleged a third party was assisting her, contrary to NCAA rules. About 50 university teams had expressed interest in her, but Idaho State denied her request to communicate with five universities, all major women's soccer powers.[8] Idaho State alleged that those five schools had communicated with Sánchez without permission. Sánchez responded by saying that Idaho State was blocking her soccer career. Idaho State subsequently granted her request to contact Santa Clara University and South Florida University.[9] Nothing further was heard about the alleged NCAA violation.

Santa Clara UniversityEdit

Sánchez enrolled at Santa Clara in January 2017 and played soccer for the University in fall 2017. She appeared in all 23 games of the soccer season and scored five goals and tied for the West Coast Conference lead with six assists.[10] In the 2018 season Sánchez appeared in 19 games and scored eight goals.[11] She had 16 assists, first among players in all NCAA Division I colleges and universities.[12]

Club careerEdit

Chicago Red StarsEdit

On January 11, 2019, Sánchez was drafted by the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women's Soccer League.[13]

C.D. GuadalajaraEdit

On 13 December 2019, Sánchez was announced by Liga MX Femenil club CD Guadalajara as their next signing for the Clausura 2020.[14]

International careerEdit

In 2015, Sánchez's coach at Idaho State told her about a tryout for the Mexican U-20 women's team. She made the team and after good performances was invited to join the Mexican women's soccer team for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. She was the second youngest player on the World Cup team.[15] Sánchez played as a midfielder in one match, a loss to England, in the World Cup.[16]


  1. ^ a b c "List of Players – 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Las Mediocampistas de la Selección Femenil que Participarán en la Copa Mundial de Canadá 2015". Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación, A.C. (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 10 June 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  3. ^ "M. Sanchez",, accessed 17 January 2018.
  4. ^, Jeff Papworth. "Maria Sanchez accuses ISU of blocking her soccer career".
  5. ^ "Idaho State soccer star creates surprising path to Women's World Cup, (3 June 2015)" Idaho Statesmen,, accessed 17 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Maria Sanchez",, accessed 17 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Maria Sanchez - 2015 Women's Soccer", accessed 17 January 2018.
  8. ^ "ISU alleges NCAA violations in response to Sanchez situation," (June 12, 2016), Idaho State Journal,, accessed 17 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Maria Sanchez accuses ISU of blocking her soccer career" (June 9, 2016),, accessed 17 January 2018.
  10. ^ Santa Clara-Maria Sanchez", accessed 17 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Maria Sanchez," [1], accessed 24 Nov 2018
  12. ^ "NCAA Stats," [2], accessed 24 Nov 2018
  13. ^ "NWSL Welcomes New Players in Chicago," [3], accessed 11 Jan 2019
  14. ^ @ChivasFemenil (13 December 2019). "🔥 @Maria17_7 llegas al equipo más querido de 🇲🇽Con unión, trabajo y dedicación vamos por todo este Clausura 2020 👊 ¡Bienvenida! 🙌 #ReChivas" (Tweet) (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 December 2019 – via Twitter.
  15. ^ "Idaho State soccer star creates surprising path to Women's World Cup" (June 3, 2015),, accessed 17 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Maria Sanchez",, accessed 17 January 2018.

External linksEdit