Afghan women's soccer team practice in Bay Area ahead of tournament

DUBLIN, Calif. (KGO) -- The Afghanistan women's national soccer team is in the Bay Area for a labor tournament and for some of these young players it's been quite a journey to get here.

The Afghanistan women's national soccer team is headed in the right direction and practicing for a competition in the Bay Area and overseas.

Their intent is on breaking through barriers, not just in sports. "Everyone has the fire in their heart," Shabnam Mobarez said.

Mobarez lives in Denmark and her family left war-torn Afghanistan when she was 10 years old. "We want to inspire people, small children, small girls in Afghanistan, if they look at us to say 'I want to be like her, she did it, I can do it,"' Mobarez said.

A team founder, Khalida Popal, 29, lived under constant threat in her home country simply because she played football. "When we started playing football, it was not a safe place for us, we faced a lot of threats, a lot of warnings," she said.

This year, Khalida reached out to Haley Carter, a naval academy grad who served two tours in Iraq and now plays for the Houston Dash. "It's nice to see that not only these girls are getting the opportunity to play, but girls in Afghanistan are getting more opportunity's to play because of the coverage that we are getting together as a team," Carter said.

Former Cal Coach Kelly Lindsey is the head coach.

The players clearly have the drive to be successful on the field, but more importantly they want to be an inspiration to girls and women everywhere, but especially, at home. "This is a dream, not only my dream, but the rest of the group's dream, that's it's coming true," Khalida said.

Click here for more information on the Afghanistan women's national soccer team.

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