Ana Diaz slated to join the Puerto Rican Women’s National Team

The GSU midfielder, Ana Diaz, looks to join the national team for World Cup Qualifiers in fall 2021. Photo Submitted by Ana Diaz

One of the greatest honors for any athlete to achieve is getting to represent your home country, playing the sport you love. For Georgia State women’s soccer player Ana Diaz, this dream recently became a reality.

The call to join the Puerto Rican national team came shortly after Diaz’s freshman season came to an end, which meant the world.

“[Getting called up] meant a lot, especially because I love representing Puerto Rico. I’m happy they even considered me,” Diaz said. “I love the coaching staff. The players are really welcoming. I’m just really excited in general and really happy to have this opportunity.”

While this is the first time Diaz will step into the official national roster, the Georgia State midfielder had the chance to play for the under-20’s national team before becoming a Panther. Diaz competed in the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship, a first for the Puerto Rican National Team. 

During this tournament, Diaz had the opportunity to compete against some of the best women in her age bracket and even aided Puerto Rico to qualify for the knockout stages.

“It was a really cool experience, in general, to just play internationally because you get to meet people from all around,” Diaz said. “It was nice to see a different level of soccer from a different point of view.”

Diaz got ready to begin her collegiate career and freshman year from here. For the Georgia native, it was a no brainer to choose Georgia State.

“I wanted something that was very competitive, but I also like the city environment,” Diaz said. “[I visited] and loved the program; I loved the coach, and the style of play they have is the style I like to play.”

Diaz took full advantage of her first season on the squad, earning a starting role and helping the Panthers amass a 10-3-2 record. The midfielder ended the season with one goal and one assist in 13 starts for the Panthers, with her one goal being a memorable game-winner against rival Georgia Southern.

“[Scoring against Georgia Southern] was crazy, it was tied, it was overtime,” Diaz said. “[I scored] in the opposite corner, adrenaline came over my body, everyone was screaming, it was a great moment for me.”

After concluding the season, Diaz got the notification she would be invited to join the Puerto Rican national team for a pair of friendlies set in the Dominican Republic on Feb. 18 and 21. The friendlies will allow the coaches to determine who will join them in the World Cup qualifiers set for fall 2021. For Diaz, she attributes this opportunity to her time at Georgia State.

“I think [Georgia] State has helped me a lot; I think I’m a completely different player than I was before I came in freshman year,” Diaz said. “I see the game differently, so I definitely think that’s going to help me going into the national team.”