There were high expectations as FC Málaga City Femenino entered the Spanish league system in the 2020-21 season and forward Parker Lee believes the team have made a “great start” to their inaugural campaign.
Competing in Segunda Andaluza Femenina (Málaga), #FCMC Femenino have won six of their first seven games and remain unbeaten in the league having scored 55 goals and conceding only two – which was during the 2-2 draw against CD Puerto de la Torre in December.
Lee, who has been a spearhead of the FC Malaga City Femenino attack, was full of praise for her teammates and believes the Femenino side have shown what they are capable of as they go into the second half of the season.
The winger said: “We’ve definitely met the expectations and maybe even further with how the performances have been with each game, even including the last one, which was a draw (against Puerto De la Torre).
“I think we’ve done a really good job in the first half of the season, showing the talent we have and what this team are capable of.
"To say it is our first few months together, we did really well with coming into the league, winning games, focussing on what we did in training and putting everything into play.”
“Especially with having new girls coming into the team as the season went on, we adjusted really well and done a great job in the first half of the season.”
The 22-year-old played in all seven league games, scoring 10 goals and has also been influential and a leader on the pitch. One of the stand-out performances came in the victory away to UD Torre del Mar, where Lee netted her first hat-trick for #FCMC.
Lee’s pedigree speaks for itself, having played at an elite level soccer in the US, both at high school and then at collegiate level with Embry-Riddle. Having won the Cal-Pac Conference in three consecutive seasons with the Eagles – between 2017 and 2020 – the winger also picked up key individual honours.
In her senior year with Embry-Riddle, Lee started in all 21 matches for the Eagles, scoring six goals and assisting four. A fantastic season was capped off when she was named in the All-Cal Pac first team and United Soccer Coaches All-West region team.
Being a key figure in the final third is nothing new to Lee, who played attacking midfield in college and she believes the transition out wide with the #FCMC Femenino side has been a smooth one.
“When I was in college, I played attacking midfield and I just love being in the play, assisting other players, getting the goals, of course, and having that impact in the final third,” Lee said.
“With this new position that I’m playing, it’s an awesome feeling to keep that same mentality of assisting and helping with finishing the goals.”
She continued: “It was an adjustment at first. I haven’t played on the outside in a very long time, but I think I’ve done really well and I’ve enjoyed it.
“It’s a new position, it’s a different kind of running and soccer mentality, but I think I’ve adjusted pretty well.”
Through their first six games in the league, the femenino side were relentless in their pursuit of rising to the top.
Strikers Danie Murray (14) and Sara D'appolonia (12) have reached double figures for goals, as well as Lee (10) through the first seven games – as the side notched 53 goals and kept a clean-sheet in each game.
The final game before the break saw Adrián Domínguez’s side come from two goals down to pick up a hard-fought point against Puerto de la Torre, a side that had also started the season strongly.
Lee knows the team have to keep working hard to reap the rewards, but also has her sights set on advancing through to the next stage of the league and reach the play-offs in their first season.
“We can achieve a lot," Lee said: “Of course, we want to keep going and win every game, hopefully get more friendly games against some higher teams and get some good showcasing for everybody.”
“That’s a great goal that we’ve all wanted and wanted to keep having, but definitely to win our part in the league and make it as far as we can, all the way until the end of July when the play-offs are.”
She continued: “It’s super important (to get back winning). I think, especially for those girls who’ve had college experience, we already know that you have to have that mindset to keep coming after a long break for the next season or next part of the league.
“It’s a strong mentality that you have to have to be able to have your break, but still stay in shape and be able to come back and focus on our goals here for this program.”
The unique experience that the #FCMC program offers is one-of-a-kind, which is something Lee “can’t recommend enough” to players that are in college or have graduated and looking to continue their playing careers.
Not only will players get to enjoy living and integrating in the Spanish culture on the south coast, but they have a 10-month competitive program competing in the league system, while also going up against teams higher up in the pyramid.
“I’d recommend it so much,” the former Embry-Riddle attacking midfielder said. “I would say that it’s an incredible experience, especially coming out of college or even if you’re in college and have a gap year.
“It’s a great opportunity because we have touches on the ball every day, training every day with amazing coaches and girls from all over the world, so you get to learn a different style of soccer altogether.
“It’s an opportunity to keep playing and it’s beautiful here in Almuñécar, Spain, so I would tell anyone that’s interested in coming that it’s definitely something to look into and reach out to any of us on the team because it’s an incredible experience and not many people can say they were able to continue playing, especially in Spain.”
You can catch Parker Lee in action tomorrow evening (19:45), as #FCMC Femenino take on Atletico Portada Alta - LIVE via Cheers Mate Productions.
To view the match, please visit www.fcmalagacity.com/live