Name: Melissa Ortiz
Pronouns: She/her 
Position: Broadcaster with Fox Sports 
Social Media: @MelissaMOrtiz, melissaortiz5

What’s your favorite thing about working in soccer?
My favorite part about working in soccer is being able to enjoy the game from different angles. I grew up on the pitch enjoying the sport. Now, I’m sometimes on the pitch (of course, outside the lines) but also in the studio. Watching the game from this perspective offers me a very similar type of adrenaline to what I got when I was actually playing in a game. I get to watch soccer and get paid for it, which is fricken unreal! Lastly, I love working with other talent in the game, from the crew to producers to other former athletes, current athletes, and hosts. As long as there’s a great team around you, it’s so much fun and gives me the same sensation of teamwork I felt being on an actual team.

What are you most excited about for the 2023 Women’s World Cup?
I’m most excited for the continued story of the underdog. With me being a former Columbia player, it has been such a joy to see my team make it out of the group stage and beat Germany 2-1 in one of the craziest games of the World Cup. We’ve also seen incredible underdog stories in teams like Morocco and other African nations (South Africa, Nigeria) succeeding. We’re seeing the growth of the game and what can really happen when federations and leagues invest in women’s soccer.

You’re a broadcaster; what were your top priorities for World Cup preparations?
Packing haha! I had to pack for over a month, and it was insanely challenging because I had to pack my outfits for broadcasting. My other priority was preparing and studying. I don’t think that it’s a secret that there’s still not enough coverage of the women’s game, so we’re not as familiar with all of these different players across different leagues as we are with players in the men’s game. There were definitely a lot of preparation research packets sent and games to watch. It was challenging to be able to prepare because I was still in MLS season mode, Messi mode, and then, of course, the start of the Women’s World Cup. To prepare, I would always allot part of my day to studying.

What are your priorities now the tournament has begun?
Now that the tournament has begun, my priorities are still research and preparing. But also, I prioritize working out and still trying to have at least some type of routine in the morning. This helps me with my energy and confidence and sets up the day for success. I’m lucky that I get to work with amazing talent who also love to work out; I’ve been working out in the mornings with Leslie Osborne, Stu Holden, and Jimmy Conrad. It’s just been so fun! We’ve also been able to play morning soccer with Carli Lloyd and Heather O’Reilly, which has been so awesome. My third priority has been my deadlines: In addition to being a broadcaster, I also work with brands as an influencer. A lot of brands like to activate around this time, so even while I’m prepping for my day and working and figuring out my schedules, I also have deadlines due with brands. I have to send in creative briefs or content ideas, and then I have to film them and edit them. It’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that not everyone sees, but I’m incredibly blessed and grateful!

What advice would you give someone who wants to become a broadcaster in the soccer industry? 
Start creating content. I didn’t get to be a broadcaster right after retiring from playing. Not many people knew who I was in the States, and I didn’t have any communication or broadcasting experience or degrees. I started creating content on social media that showed my personality and knowledge and started committing to it and being consistent with it all while having a full-time job. It was tough, but when you really want something, and you’re passionate about it, and you can clearly show what you want to do–when you manifest it–it can happen. I encourage people who want to get into broadcasting to start creating content with the platforms that are so readily available to us. Study hard and be confident that you’re prepared for when the opportunities do come.

What impact do you think more women and unrepresented folks working in soccer will have on equity in the industry?  
It will pave the way for more diversity in this industry, which has always been so white male-dominated. For me as a Latina, there are not many women like me in this space. It’s an honor and a privilege to have made my way into this role and this position in my career. I hope that the work that I’m doing not only inspires others like me but also opens the door to getting more diverse people involved. What’s awesome is that I receive a lot of messages from other Latinas–messages of encouragement and messages of inspiration. Sometimes, when you’re in the mix of everything, in the hustle and bustle, you don’t realize it. You need these moments to cherish the path laid before us and to continue moving forward so we can continue to impact the industry and provide a more equitable ground in both the men’s and women’s game.

Melissa, you’re a true industry trailblazer! Thanks for sharing your insights with the WIS squad and for taking us behind the scenes of your World Cup experience!


As well as being a former pro player, broadcaster, soccer analyst, and social media influencer, Melissa is a co-founder of Kickoff Coffee Co. This incredible coffee brand is made by soccer people for soccer people, and proceeds give back to initiatives that promote equity in the game. Be prepared for those wonky World Cup time zones and grab yourself a bag of gamechanging coffee!

This WWC23 Starting XI Behind The Teams spotlight is brought to you by Women in Soccer in partnership with Talisman & Co.