The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 is a historic event for the Philippines women’s football team, as it marks the first time that a team from the country, whether male or female, will participate in the prestigious football tournament.
The Philippines women’s football team, also known as the Filipinas, qualified for the World Cup after a thrilling shootout win over Chinese Taipei in the quarter-finals of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022. Since then, the team has been preparing rigorously for their debut on the world stage, playing 39 matches against various opponents and climbing to their highest-ever FIFA ranking of 46.
The Filipinas are led by coach Alen Stajcic, who took over the team in October 2021 and transformed them into a formidable force in Asian football. Under his guidance, the team won their first-ever AFF Women’s Championship in 2022 and secured a bronze medal in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in 2021. Stajcic also helped the team gain valuable exposure and experience by arranging international matches in Europe and other continents.
The team’s captain is Tahnai Annis, an attacking midfielder who plays for Iceland women’s club Þór/KA. Annis, who has Filipino roots from her mother’s side, joined the national team in 2018 and became a key player and leader for the Filipinas. She is known for her tenacity, passion, and precise set-piece deliveries. She scored 19 goals in 62 matches for her club in the 2012 season and helped them win the Besta deild kvenna, Iceland’s top-tier women’s football league.
The Filipinas are placed in Group A of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, along with Switzerland, New Zealand, and Norway. They will face Switzerland in their opening match on July 21 in Dunedin, followed by New Zealand on July 25 in Wellington and Norway on July 30 in Auckland. The team is aware of the challenges ahead, as they will face some of the best teams in the world, but they are also confident in their abilities and determined to make their country proud.
The Filipinas are not only playing for themselves but also for future generations of Filipino footballers. They are role models for many young girls and boys back home who aspire to follow in their footsteps and represent their nation on the global stage. They are also ambassadors of Filipino culture and heritage, showcasing their talent, spirit, and resilience to the world. The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 is a dream come true for the Philippines women’s football team, and they are ready to make it count.
The Squad of the Philippines Women’s Football Team for the FIFA World Cup 2023
Goalkeepers: Kiara Fontanilla (Central Coast Mariners), Kaiya Jota (Stanford University), Olivia Davies-McDaniel (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Defenders: Alicia Barker (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), Angela Beard (Western United), Reina Bonta (Santos), Malea Cesar (Blacktown City), Jessika Cowart (IFK Kalmar), Sofia Harrison (Werder Bremen), Hali Long (Kaya FC), Dominique Randle (Thor/KA)
Midfielders: Tahnai Annis (Thor/KA), Ryley Bugay (Saarbrucken), Anicka Castaneda (Mt Druitt Rangers), Sara Eggesvik (KIL/Hemne), Quinley Quezada (Red Star Belgrade), Jaclyn Sawicki (Western United)
Forwards: Sarina Bolden (Western Sydney Wanderers), Isabella Flanigan (West Virginia University), Carleigh Frilles (Blacktown Spartans), Katrina Guillou (Pitea), Chandler McDaniel (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Meryll Serrano (Stabaek)