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Behind the Artist: Covering 75’s Melanie Barcenas

The NWSL and Wave FC's youngest player talks growing up in San Diego & being a part of our cover recreation

By SDM Staff

Each month in 2023, we’re recreating one of our iconic covers from the past 75 years. For August, we asked the National Women’s Soccer League and Wave FC’s youngest player, 15-year-old Melanie Barcenas, to help us re-shoot San Diego Mag‘s June 1959’s cover. Check out the recreation here and learn more about Melanie in the Q&A below:

What does being part of this cover recreation mean to you?

Being part of this cover recreation is an honor. The cover is iconic and I’m grateful that I’m a part of a historic recreation in my hometown of San Diego. Not everyone gets that opportunity, especially at my age.

What was it like growing up playing soccer in San Diego? What does it mean to you to play for your hometown team?

Growing up playing soccer in San Diego is special. There’s a special fútbol culture here in every part of San Diego and that culture brings out the best in everybody and unites everyone. I’m excited to continue to see soccer/futbol grow here in San Diego and feel lucky to be part of that.

Who are your soccer idols and why?

My soccer idols have always been Neymar and Alex Morgan. I’ve always loved the way Neymar has played, his creativeness on the ball is something I want my game to replicate, and his skill set is amazing. I’ve also always looked up to Alex as she is a female athlete and has accomplished some amazing things in her career. I also admire the off-the-field things she has done for communities and young girls. I hope I can inspire and be someone for young athletes to look up to, like how Alex was for me.

What’s next for you with the Wave?

Things have been going really well with Wave. I made my debut back in April and have been getting more playing time and even got my first start recently. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season with the team. I’m loving every second of it.

How was the shoot and wearing your wave jersey in the pool?

The shoot was very fun, I had a blast in the pool! It felt a little more relaxed and comfortable since I love being in the pool in the summer. It was super cool to wear the jersey in the pool, I mean anytime I wear the jersey it’s an amazing feeling. I’m proud to represent my home, San Diego.

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