Chandler McDaniel rises from injury with World Cup stint

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Chandler McDaniel rises from injury with World Cup stint
The Philippines' forward Chandler McDaniel (center, No. 10) consoles her sister and teammate Olivia McDaniel (left) after the end of the the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women's World Cup Group A football match between Norway and the Philippines at Eden Park in Auckland on July 30, 2023.
Saeed Khan / AFP

MANILA, Philippines – Life has gone full circle for Filipinas forward Chandler McDaniel after her debut performance in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in New Zealand.

This as she was able to crack the Filipinas’ 23-woman roster for the elite tournament, despite suffering an injury that sidelined her for more than 400 days in the build-up leading to the World Cup.

Against Switzerland, McDaniel came on as a substitute late in the second half where she joined her sister Olivia on the pitch as part of the history-making Filipinas team.

Being able to look back on the journey, McDaniel said there was much to be thankful for after what she had gone through.

“Individually, I definitely think my journey has been a little different than everyone else just because I’ve been away from the team for so long,” McDaniel said after the Fiipinas’ arrival in Manila on Wednesday.

“So being able to come back strong and fight, and win a spot in the 23(-member) roster was definitely my goal from the beginning.”

McDaniel had missed out on many of the Filipinas’ campaigns heading into the World Cup, like their drought-ending bronze medal finish in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam and their AFF Women’s Championship win in 2022.

But when it mattered the most, the Filipinas forward was finally able to get back on her feet.

“Just to be able to do that alone was incredible and stepping onto the field for that first time was truly a dream come true,” she gushed. 

“Like, it’s something you dream about when you’re little so being able to fulfill it is unreal and words don’t really describe it.”

Now, McDaniel, along with her sister and the other Filipinas have an opportunity for a quick rest here in Manila before they get up and along with their preparations for the Asian Games slated in China next month.

There, they will be looking to make another deep run after a momentum building debut in the World Cup.

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