MANILA, Philippines—Don’t expect international icon David Beckham and the LA Galaxy to take the Philippine Azkals lightly when they cross paths Saturday in the Dream Cup 2011 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
Same goes with the Azkals, who will be without their key cogs Neil Etheridge and skipper Aly Borromeo to name a few, who vowed not to be pushed around.
“I think yesterday (against Indonesia) was a very difficult game. We had a lot of travel, our legs haven’t come back. We expect our game to be exactly the same, a very difficult game,” said Beckham, who along with team captain Landon Donovan led the Galaxy to a championship recently in the Major League Soccer, during a press conference Thursday night at the Makati Shangrila Hotel.
“We expect a difficult match, probably more difficult than the other night,” said LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena.
Sans Etheridge, Borromeo and others, the Azkals will have to bank more on their star strikers Phil Younghusband and co-captain Chieffy Caligdong.
“We’ll play more defensively when you’re playing against attacking player. We have to be aware of the ability of the opposition,” said Younghusband.
“We’ll show them a good game on Saturday,” said Caligdong in Filipino.
Even the Azkals’ German coach Hans Michael Weiss shared the same sentiments.
“I think we always try to do our best. For the past year, it works most of the time. We’re going to do the same thing the day after tomorrow,” Weiss said. “Hopefully they don’t have too much respect.”
But both Younghusband and Caligdong couldn’t help but also get excited about the thought of playing against their football icons.
“If I get to score on Saturday, I will probably won’t get to sleep,” joked Caligdong.
Jokes aside though, Younghusband insisted that they will take the game seriously.
“During the game we will not be awed, we are professionals,” Younghusband said.