BATON ROUGE - LSU's Class of 2013 recruit Natalia Gomez-Junco has an opportunity to make history as the first Tiger to earn an international cap as she competes for the senior Mexican Women's National Team over the next week at the 2013 Algarve Cup hosted by the Portuguese Football Federation.
The 20th edition of the Algarve Cup kicked off Wednesday and will run through March 13 at Nora Stadium in Algarve, Portugal, as teams from 12 nations compete in a round-robin tournament.
A veteran of the Mexican Women's National Team system at the youth level, Gomez-Junco is making her first appearance with Mexico's senior squad as one of her nation's rising stars. She was twice a participant with the Under-20 Mexican Women's National Team at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in 2010 and 2012 before her arrival at LSU.
She would become the first LSU Tiger to earn an international cap at the senior level with an appearance in any of Mexico's fixtures at this year's Algarve Cup.
The 12 teams invited to compete at the Algarve Cup are divided into three groups of four in a round-robin tournament format. Groups A and B are comprised of the top-seeded teams and will battle one another for the Algarve Cup with the two group winners facing off for the overall team title. The two group runners-up will play for second place, while the two third-place teams in group play will play for fifth place overall. Teams in Group C will play for places 7-12 during the event running through next week.
Mexico is playing as part of Group C with host country Portugal, Hungary and Wales, and kicked off the event with a 1-0 shutout of Hungary during Wednesday's action at Nora Stadium.
Group A is comprised of Denmark, Germany, Japan and Norway, while Group B is comprised of China, Iceland, Sweden and the United States.
Gomez-Junco has earned a reputation as one of the top young scorers emerging in the Mexican Women's National Team system. She scored two international goals with her experience at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in matches against South Korea in 2010 and New Zealand in 2012 while earning seven caps for Mexico in the event.
She was also Mexico's leading goal scorer with six goals in its World Cup qualifier at the Confederation of North, Central American & Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Qualification Tournament held in Panama last spring.