Karina Portillo (pictured) was one of 30 players to participate in an El Salvador women's national team training camp earlier this month. (Photo courtesy of Federación Salvadoreña de Fútbol)
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – Women’s football is on the move in El Salvador and Karina Portillo is delighted to be on the journey.
From September 8-10, the Federación Salvadoreña de Fútbol held a training camp -- under the guidance of Jose Ricardo Herrera, technical director of the women’s national team program – for 30 of the country’s top players. Eight competitors from the national team, seven from the under-20s and 15 from the under-17s were in attendance.
For many, it was their first opportunity to take part in such a gathering. Among them was Portillo, a forward with ADFA Cabañas.
In an exclusive interview with CONCACAF.com, she described the thrill of being able to work with the national team.
“It means a lot to me,” Portillo said of the opportunity. “It’s a really nice experience. This is my first time with the national team and I’m happy to be here.”
Although qualifying for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup is approximately two years away, forward-thinking El Salvador wants to be prepared for the process, hoping that its current efforts will pay off later.
“We are training very hard,” remarked Portillo. “The coaching staff has been able to form a good team and we are working on many things.”
Portillo was impressed by her teammates’ ability to focus, stay on the same page and work towards the same objectives at all times.
“There is good communication among the players,” she added. “We are still getting to know each other and the group is new, but it is going well.”
After two rounds of play, the talented Portillo is tied for third on the National Women’s League scoring chart with four goals. She is optimistic that women’s football in El Salvador will continue to advance.
“Women’s football is growing a lot in El Salvador,” Portillo concluded. “We are getting a chance to play at a high level and it is exciting for all of us.”
And great for the future of women’s football in CONCACAF as well.