Top Filipinas' players to watch at Fifa Women’s World Cup 2023 | Inquirer Sports
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Top Filipinas’ players to watch at Fifa Women’s World Cup 2023

Filipinas Fifa Women's World Cup players to watch

Key figures in the Filipinas’ Fifa Women’s World Cup campaign. —MARLO CUETO

For the Philippine women’s football team to put up at least a commendable effort against favored opponents, it will need some of the familiar names to deliver the biggest performance of their football lives in the Fifa Women’s World Cup.

Most of the names that will be mentioned in this piece are the prominent ones who were key before and after the Filipinas sealed a historic qualification to women’s football’s biggest showcase, their form to determine if they can get a satisfying result against Switzerland, co-host New Zealand and Norway in Group A.

A last-minute effort scrambled by The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) and Cignal TV spared local sports fans from missing out on the historic appearance.

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Now that the Filipinas will play in front of a bigger, free-TV audience, the Inquirer drew up national team players to watch out for when the World Cup kicks off.

OLIVIA MCDANIEL (GOALKEEPER)

Filipinas' OLIVIA MCDANIEL Fifa Women's World Cup

Filipinas’ Olivia McDaniel.

Olivia McDaniel, the 25-year-old was the star of the Filipinas’ quarterfinal win over Chinese-Taipei in the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India when she came through in the dramatic penalty shootout to clinch the World Cup slot.

McDaniel, the California-born custodian whose mother traces her roots to Pampanga and Davao City, had held the No. 1 spot between the sticks in the lead up to the World Cup, and will be facing a daunting task of having to produce the necessary stops as the team’s last line of defense.

ANGELA BEARD (DEFENDER)

Filipinas' Angela Beard fifa women's world cup

Filipinas’ Angela Beard.

The World Cup will be the maiden appearance in a Philippine shirt for the 25-year-old Angela Beard, who switched federations after stints with Australia’s youth and senior teams. Beard’s mother hails from Cebu.

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Pundits, particularly those who saw her playing for Australia’s A-League side Western United, see Beard as an integral figure for the Filipinas.  Veteran Quinley Quezada has even described Beard as someone who has already made an impact with how the team’s play at the back is organized.

SARA EGGESVIK (MIDFIELDER)

Filipinas' Sara Eggesvik Fifa Women's World Cup

Filipinas’ Sara Eggesvik.

Sara Eggesvik, the Norwegian-born daughter of a mother hailing from Davao made a good early impression during the Filipinas’ title run in the 2022 AFF Women’s Championship with her industrious work on the pitch.

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Eggesvik, the 26-year-old former youth player for Norway, not only can score—she already has three in her young Filipinas career—but can also set up assists with long passes or through corners or free kicks.

QUINLEY QUEZADA (MIDFIELDER)

Filipinas' Quinley Quezada Fifa Women's World Cup

Filipinas’ Quinley Quezada.

Quinley Quezada will be one of the longest-tenured players when she dons the Filipinas uniform for the World Cup, accounting for a record-sharing 22 goals in 45 caps since debuting in the Asian Cup held five years ago in Jordan.

The 26-year-old from California, whose parents are a Filipino mother and a Mexican father, can also help create scoring opportunities and has formed a strong linkup with another talented scorer Sarina Bolden.

CHANDLER MCDANIEL (FORWARD)

Filipinas' Chandler McDaniel Fifa Women's World Cup

Filipinas’ Chandler McDaniel.

The World Cup will be the resumption of Chandler McDaniel’s comeback after tearing her ACL against South Korea in the semis of the 2022 Asian Cup. Prior to the injury, McDaniel had provided key moments in the early stages of the Filipinas’ World Cup stage, namely the Asian Cup Qualifiers in 2021 and in the opener of the continental tournament with a second-half winner to stun Thailand.

She has scored five times, including twice in her comeback tournament last April in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. McDaniel could play a key role as another important offensive player for the Filipinas.

HALI LONG (DEFENDER)

Filipinas' Hali Long Fifa Women's World Cup

Filipinas’ Hali Long.

Hali Long’s 72 appearances is the most by any player behind her strong play as center back while being one of the voices, both within the squad and in the public eye. Her 17 goals is also one of the most all-time, most of which were produced with her trademark header in set pieces.

She is among the players who’ll have the heavy role of trying to prevent fancied players like Switzerland’s Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic and Ramona Bachmann, New Zealand’s Hannah Wilkinson and Ria Percival and Norway’s Ada Hegerberg and Caroline Graham Hansen.

SARINA BOLDEN (FORWARD)

Filipinas' Sarina Bolden Fifa World Cup

Filipinas’ Sarina Bolden.

The list would not be complete without Sarina Bolden, the talismanic footballer who is also considered as the team’s emotional leader. The Western Sydney Wanderers striker has also produced 22 goals since beginning her Philippine account in the 2018 Asian Cup, including eight in last year’s AFF Women’s Championship.

Bolden will obviously be the player opponents will be wary of, thus the importance of her getting into spaces that would help her find the back of the net at the biggest tournament of them all.

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Katrina Guillou will be among the players who hope to find the back of the net during the competition while Tahnai Annis, who shares the captaincy with Long, is hoping to be a vital part of the midfield.

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The Filipinas also have steady defensive players with a pair of backs in Dom Randle and Jessika Cowart and holding midfielder Jaclyn Sawicki.

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TAGS: Fifa Women’s World Cup, Fifa World Cup, Philippine women’s football team

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