They are just two of the country’s top defenders.
The spotlight is typically not directed at them, but defenders Sofia Harrison and Reina Bonta are just as valuable as anyone else on the Philippine women’s national football team.
After all, a team is only as good as its supporting cast.
Harrison and Bonta will prove their mettle once again when the Filipinas finally make their debut in the FIFA Women’s World Cup this month.
But before they plunge into action, let’s get to know more about these two supporting cast.
Name: Sofia Harrison
Birthplace: Maryland, USA
Club: SV Werder Bremen Frauen
Last year, Harrison inked a deal with the German club SV Werder Bremen Frauen. Not a lot of players can say they signed and played in the women’s Bundesliga. That’s why the 24-year-old left back is expected to play a pivotal role in Filipinas’ World Cup stint.
We can count on Harrison to do just that. She’s been with the national team since 2018 anyway, being part of the 2022 AFF Women’s Championship team and the one that brought home the bronze medal in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam.
Let ‘em know
“It was always a dream of mine (to play in the World Cup) but I honestly didn’t think it was possible. With that dream I had never really imagined playing for the Philippines. It was always kind of playing for the United States because I was born here in America. However, with my mom being born in the Philippines I’m fortunate that I can have dual citizenship so that definitely helped,” she told Madeleine Metz of Only Women’s Soccer.
To cut the long story short, she’s representing her mother’s home country in the World Cup.
Pass the sass
A winner, on and off the court.
Here’s further proof of how great of a defender Harrison has been for the Philippines.
Name: Reina Bonta
Birthplace: Connecticut, USA
Club: Santos FC
The defensive forward from Yale University first joined the national team in 2022 when the Philippines tackled New Zealand in a friendly. But she would see action only in the 1-1 draw against Costa Rica in another tune-up game.
Since then she’s become one of the anchors defensively of the team that is only getting better by the day. But you already know that. What most people probably don’t know is that the Filipino-American is also a filmmaker. The Film and Media Studies graduate made her directorial debut in the award-winning short film, Lahi.
Expect her to show out when the Philippines finally sees action in the conclave among the best football countries.
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In an interview with Kampai Sugai, Bonta shared the film was “rooted in something that’s real, in our family stories.” Stories from her lola, in particular.
“We grew up in a multi-generational home like the most Filipino thing ever and she (grandmother) taught me so much about her experience living in the Philippines and the traditions that come along with being a Filipina-American,” she said.
Pass the sass
Did we tell you she’s also a photographer? Really, what can’t she do?
Check out her highlights from college to the national team in this video below.
This article is part of a series that puts the spotlight on each member of the Filipinas' FIFA Women's World Cup squad. The previous editions featured the country's top goal scorers, goalies, forwards, and defenders. Stay tuned for the next one.