LODI, N.J.– Former professional soccer player Monica Gonzalez brought her experience as a female in sports to girls participating in the Sound of Gol Foundation 's free U14 girls soccer tournament at Lodi's Memorial Park.
Gonzalez, now an ESPN analyst, coached the participating teams – Bloomfield Soccer Club, Union City Soccer Club and the Sound of Gol Futbol Club of Garfield –on Saturday.
She also spoke to them Saturday about topics such as gender equality in sports.
"The girls were inspired by her to play a sport whenever and wherever possible since most fields are given priority to male players," said Sandy Montelongo of Sound of Gol.
Gonzalez, who played forward and defender for Mexico's Women's National Team, also talked about how sports can improve self-esteem and leadership skills, and how sports improve overall health.
She is one of the foundation's Ambassadors of Goodwill and serves as a mentor and coach at Sound of Gol soccer clinics held across the country.
The tournament, which began Thursday, continues through Tuesday. Teams play one 40-minute game per day.