Karl Decena, InterAKTV
The Philippine national women’s football team on Tuesday released its lineup for the upcoming Asian Football Confederation Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers set in May.
The Malditas will be composed of a number of the team’s recruits from their camps in the United States, as well as some of its mainstays from the past competitions. The squad will be led by team captain Marielle Benitez, a many-time UAAP Most Valuable Player from La Salle.
The squad will also be joined by Inna Palacios, Natasha Alquiros and Samantha Nierras from La Salle, Cristina Delos Reyes from University of the Philippines, Isabella Fernando from Ateneo and Aisa Mondero from University of Santo Tomas.
The Malditas will also be bannered by several Filipino-foreigners led by striker Heather Cooke. Joining her are Patrice Impelido, Catherine Barnekow, Sarah Cook, JoeEllen Deleon, Joana Houplin, Monika Lee, Katherine Lim, Rachel Nichols, Marisa Park, Shelby Salvacion, Jesse Shugg, Camille Wilson, Maria dela Cruz, Megan Jurado, Raylene Larot, Morgan Brown, Chalise Baysa and Maria Shipe.
Headed by Stallion Sta.Lucia coach Ernie Nierras, the Malditas last saw action in the inaugural LA Viking Cup last year, where they bagged the crown against some of the clubs from the United States.
The Malditas will face Bangladesh, Thailand and Iran in Group B of the Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers slated from May 21 to May 25 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The winner of the group will advance to the 2014 Women’s Asian Cup, where Australia, South Korea, China and Japan have already qualified in the competition.