LOS ANGELES, California -- The Philippines is battling for soccer pride, this time, it's the women trying to strike it big.
The Philippine national women's team, the Malditas, arrived in the US this week to participate in next week's Vikings cup tournament.
“It's what we lack in the Philippines. We need more exposure. We need more games. So we're really grateful for them inviting us over here,” Malditas coach Sam
The Malditas arrived a week prior to the tournament to hold clinics and recruit local players.
Around 30 local talents have been training with the team, all of them with Filipino heritage and many of them excelling at the high school and college levels.
“I feel like really honored and it's a really good privilege to actually try out and represent our country,” says Kaleya Romua, a high school soccer player.
The Malditas are not only hoping to use international players to fill the rosters for the national team but also for Philippine-based professional soccer leagues.
“It's more getting the girls to play together right away after camp so that's more of what we expect to do. The results are going to be a bonus. Whatever happens, that's a bonus already. The main thing is for this camp to happen. For us to be able to get these girls together, identify them as potential players for the national team and put together a team against the LA Vikings,” says Nierras.
Four teams will take part in the tournament including two professional California-based teams and the national team of Trinidad and Tobago.
No matter the outcome of the Vikings Cup tournament, the Malditas hope this trip can help build up Philippine women’s soccer thru training and recruitment and make them winners in the long run.