The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has released the 23-man roster of the Azkals ahead of the national team’s upcoming twin friendlies first week of October.
Team skipper Phil Younghusband is on top of the list followed by veteran internationals James Younghusband, Simon Greatwich and Misagh Bahadoran.
Joining them are Global FC’s Patrick Deyto, Nick O’donnell, Amani Aguinaldo, Dennis Villanueva and Paolo Bugas, Kaya FC’s Junior Munoz, Kenshiro Daniels, and Dominic Del Rosario, Loyola Meralco Sparks FC’s Daniel Gadia and Stallion FC’s Fitch Arboleda.
Former Kaya FC striker OJ Porteria and ex-Tractor Sazi FC booter Iain Ramsay are also in the roster together with Filipino-German standout Stephan Schrock with Ceres La Salle FC teammates Roland Muller, Kevin Ingreso, Manny Ott and Martin Steuble.
Luke Woodland and Mike Ott are the only two that were based abroad. Woodland plays for Oldham Athletic FC in the English second tier while Mike Ott is from the second team of 1. FC Nurnberg in the fourth tier Regionalliga Bayern in Germany.
The younger Ott was last seen in an Azkals jersey in June 2013, when the Philippines battled Hong Kong at the latter’s Mong Kok Stadium.
Daisuke Sato of Romanian Liga 1 side CSM Politechnica Iasi was originally part of the line-up but decided to skip the games because of injury.
The two scheduled friendlies will be held at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila as part of the Azkals’ preparation for the Suzuki Cup later this year. The Azkals will play against Bahrain on October 7, and North Korea on October 10.
The Philippines, currently No. 125 in the world, will play in Group A of the Suzuki Cup together with Singapore, Indonesia and champion Thailand in November.
JAELLE NEVIN REYES