Benefield: Santa Rosa high school grad Arteaga makes leap to professional soccer ranks

20 July 2023

Cindy Arteaga can’t count the number of times she has stepped onto the soccer field in her 22 years.

But never had it felt like it did on Saturday.

“I was super frantic. The crowd was crazy,” she said.

The crowd, some 5,000 people strong, were chanting and singing, urging their Pumas on.

Arteaga, a starter on almost every team she’s ever played for, had started this game on the bench.

But in the 80th minute of the league opener against crosstown rival, América, her number, 11, was called. She was going in. She was now a professional soccer player, making her debut with Pumas UNAM Femenil in Mexico City.

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