Team Captain Hali Long has been representing the Filipinas for years now and has seen the team through its ups and downs.
Although she did not grow up in the Philippines, Hali Long has been a part of the Philippine National Women’s Team for seven years now, and during that time, she has become one of the squad’s most reliable and prolific players.
Ever since she started her career with the Filipinas long ago, Hali Long has grown as an athlete alongside the growth of the team that saw them go all the way to the Women’s World Cup. Not only was she a huge part of their success at the top-level tournament, but she has been a huge part of the team’s development through the years.
Thus, the captain’s armband fits her perfectly. Here are three things you should know about the Filipinas’ co-captain, Hali Long.
She began her Filipinas journey in 2016
Hali Long was born and raised in the United States and grew up playing football. As a college student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, she competed for the Little Rock Trojans — an NCAA Division I squad — in 71 games from 2013 to 2016.
But in 2016, things were about to change for Hali.
After joining a training camp with the Philippine Women’s National Football Team in 2016, she was chosen to join the squad. Since then, Hali Long has become an integral part of the Filipinas. She has been a mainstay in the starting XI and earned the title of team co-captain.
She is a scoring defender
Hali Long is one of the unique players in the Filipinas squad. Not only is she a feisty center-back who will defend like her life depends on it, but she is also the kind of defender who can score goals for the team.
In the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers, Hali scored not one (and not two) goals for the Filipinas, she scored three — a hattrick that sent the team to the final tournament. On top of this, she has also scored in several other major matches against some of the best teams in Asia, such as Thailand and Vietnam.
In total, Hali Long has scored 18 goals for the Filipinas in her career thus far, the third-most for the squad as of writing.
She has the most caps
If experience is one of the markers of a great captain, then Hali definitely qualifies.
Among the national team members, Hali Long has recorded the most international appearances for the Filipinas, and she extended her record to 76 after the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
In 76 matches donning the Philippine flag, Hali has seen the Filipinas throughout a significant portion of the team’s growth. Having been a part of the team that won bronze in the Southeast Asian Games, that won the 2022 AFF Women’s Championship, and that won a game in the Women’s World Cup, she has been along for the ride through the ups and downs.
And the skipper’s journey isn’t done yet. The Filipinas’ historic run at the 2023 Women’s World Cup marks just the beginning of a new dawn for Philippine football, one that Hali Long is surely proud to be a part of.
Banner image from Hali Long on Instagram.