Eastern Kentucky University senior soccer player Monica Rios is about to live out her childhood dream.
Rios, a former Lexington Catholic High School standout, will represent the senior Puerto Rican National Team in a pair of international friendlies versus Bolivia this weekend.
“Playing for the Puerto Rican National Team is honestly surreal to me,” Rios said. “It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I’ve worked hard all my life for this. EKU has helped me immensely to attain the skills needed to compete at this high level. Hopefully, going forward, I can continue to represent not only my island, but EKU as well!”
Rios was called in last Friday for a full-team camp at the Olympic village in Salinas, Puerto Rico. On Monday, the team flew from Puerto Rico to Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The friendlies were to take place Thursday and Sunday.
These will be Rios’ first games with the Puerto Rican team. The midfielder received her first national team camp invitation in March.
Rios was born in Puerto Rico and lived in San Juan for four years before her family moved to Lexington. She graduate from Lexington Catholic in 2015.
Rios has been a major contributor for the Colonels over the past four years. She was voted Second Team All-Ohio Valley Conference as a redshirt junior in 2018. She controlled the midfield throughout the fall for EKU, playing in all 19 games, starting 17 of them and finishing the year with two goals and two assists.
The Puerto Rican team did not qualify for this summer’s Women’s World Cup in France.