Meet Hali Long, the Fil-Am Filipinas defender for the FIFA Women’s World Cup
 
 
 
 
 
 

Fil-Am defender Hali Long is ready to take on FIFA Women’s World Cup

Coming home showed Filipinas’ Fil-Am defender Hali Long that she’s here for more than just football
/ 08:59 PM July 20, 2023

Meet Hali Long, the Filipinas’ Fil-Am defender for the FIFA Women’s World Cup

Photo by JP Talapian for Preen.ph

It’s game day for the Philippine Women’s National Football Team (or commonly called the Filipinas) as they go head-to-head with Switzerland in their first FIFA Women’s World Cup match, a first for the country through their 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup semifinal run and first gold at the 2022 AFF Women’s Championship.

The Filipinas’ 23-member World Cup roster is stepping onto the field with a Filipino-American flair. This manifests a bit differently in Missouri-born defender Hali Long, the most-capped player of the team, who has since spent the majority of her adulthood in the Philippines, thanks to the sport.

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The Filipinas is anticipating playing against Switzerland, New Zealand, and Norway. “I’m very excited to seek revenge against New Zealand, especially having to play them at home. We know how it feels to have the home crowd advantage, but it won’t deter us from giving it our absolute all each and every game,” says Long in an exclusive interview with Inquirer brand Preen. “We have absolutely nothing at all to lose heading into the World Cup, and that can make us nearly invincible.”

Hali Long embodies the Filipinas spirit

The Filipinas is among 8 underdogs competing at the Women’s World Cup for the first time. If Long’s not letting the task daunt her, what does she think sets the Filipinas apart from opposing teams? “The fighting spirit of any Filipino, especially a Filipino athlete, is hard to match. We are always deemed the underdog, so we always have to go against the odds to come out on top,” says Long.

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Long’s football journey started with the sport being a family affair. Competitive by nature, the center-back defender got her start at the Lou Fusz-Wipk under-18 team before becoming a superstar starter for the Little Rock Trojans of the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. S

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he would then become Philippine Football Federation Women’s League affiliate Kaya Futbol Club’s captain. “And now I get the opportunity to do it for my country—a country whose love and culture has completely absorbed me and has shown me I’m here for more than just football,” says Long.

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Her long-time friend and teammate Inna Palacios also shared in the Preen interview how embedded Filipino culture is in Long. “Sometimes I think she’s more Pinoy than me. Fun fact, Hali loves dinuguan and watching Tagalog teleseryes,” says the keeper.

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Today, Long is bringing her love for the country to the biggest world football stage. And the Filipinas’ wouldn’t have been able to do it without their fans.

“The support and love for the team and the sport doesn’t go unnoticed. We see and feel it online, in person, and at games. Thank you for joining us on this journey, and please continue to do so; please help us give what this sport deserves not just now but for more years to come. Maraming maraming salamat,” Hali Long says gratefully.

Learn more about Long in Preen’s July cover story.

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TAGS: Fifa World Cup, Filipino women, Trending
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