FOLLOWING the success of the first ever Battambang Futsal Tournament last week, which was organised by local NGO SALT Academy and sponsored by Hello Communications, a group of American soccer-playing girls have stayed on in Battambang to help lead clinics and skills-training for both outfield players and goalies of the Cambodian national girls team and SALT Academy league clubs.
Morning and afternoon sessions have been organised by US Women's Premier League football coaches Michelle Marklund and Shannon Otteson. "I count it a privilege to assist these girls and hope one day to see them perform on the world stage," stated Marklund.
The US girls team, which comprises U13 and U16 players from Washington state clubs Snohomish United, FC Mulkilteo Lightening and Evergreen, competed against the U13 Battambang province boys team Thursday, winning the 30-minute friendly game 5-0. The skill set, especially the passing and shooting of the girls, proved too much for the Cambodian youngsters, who failed to create clear chances to score. "I didn't think the American girls could beat the boys," said Cambodian National Girls Team member Ty Nait after watching the game. "They did a great job of spreading out on the field and passing the ball".
This Saturday at 2pm, the US girls will play another friendly against the U16 Cambodian national girls team, who have been eager to get back on the field and show what they have learned since losing their first international match against Laos 2-1 on May 22.