Star bio: Mexico's Maribel Dominguez
Forward is a threat to score every time she's in the penalty area
Born: Nov. 18, 1978, in Mexico City, Mexico
Clubs played for: Kansas City Mystics (U.S.A), Atlanta Beat (U.S.A.), FC Barcelona (Spain), Unio Esportiva L'Estartit (Spain)
International career: Dominguez debuted for Mexico in 1998 and a year later competed in the FIFA Women's World Cup held in the United States. Her lone goal of the tournament came in a 7-1 loss to Brazil. The talented goal-scorer soon became the star of the Mexican national team, helping her country reach the quarter-finals of the 2004 Athens Olympics. Mexico failed to qualify for the last two World Cups, but managed to punch its ticket for Germany this summer when it reached the final of the 2010 CONCACAF championship, thanks in large part to Dominguez's six goals in the tournament — including a four-goal outburst in a 7-2 win over Guyana.
Why is she so special? Dominguez combines classic goal-poaching instincts, power and strength, and great technical skill. A threat to score every time she's in the penalty area, the experienced Mexican is also capable of dropping back and creating her own scoring chances by using her speed to take defenders on one-on-one.
Her most famous moment: Dominguez scored the opening goal in Mexico's stunning 2-1 upset victory over the United States in the semifinals of last year's CONCACAF championship. With the win, the Mexicans clinched a World Cup berth at the expense of the top-ranked Americans.
She said it: "To play in [the World Cup] feels just incredible. To play all together, to all play at your very best, to score a goal when everybody, the whole world, is watching. There is nothing like it. It is beyond words. It is the best thing that can ever happen to a footballer. The very best."
What they're saying about her: "She has an incredible nose for a goal, she can smell it, and she's fast and courageous, a good header and surprisingly strong too." — Nora Herrera, Mexican journalist
Here's an interesting fact: In 2004, Dominguez signed a two-year contract with Atletico Celaya, a men's team in Mexico's second division, but she was barred by FIFA from joining the club.