Quantcast
Latest Stories

Azkals’ dream match with Galaxy: Filipinos face their idols

By

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines Azkals, a team that hardly merited a second look even from its Southeast Asian rivals a year ago, face the newly crowned Major League Soccer champion Los Angeles Galaxy in an exhibition match that underlines the rapid rise of the sport in this basketball-crazy nation.

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. at the Rizal Memorial Stadium with the Azkals, who will wear their blue kits, finding themselves pitted against their idols led by the hugely popular David Beckham—a thought most of them hardly even imagined last year.

“Last year, we were at a hotel in Hanoi during the Suzuki Cup and this match was something we just couldn’t imagine happening,” said skipper Aly Borromeo. “It speaks a lot of the growth of football in the Philippines.”

The Azkals hope to rise to the challenge against the Galaxy as they gear up for tougher matches ahead, particularly in the AFC Challenge Cup in March.

“We will give them a good fight,” declared Chieffy Caligdong at the prematch press conference Thursday night. “We will show them that Filipinos can play football.”

Much as they will be overwhelmed playing against their idols, Azkals striker Phil Younghusband said they are taking the game seriously.

“We would want to be as professional as possible during the game,” said Younghusband. “We can be fans after the game.”

The Azkals can’t expect any favors from the Galaxy themselves as coach Bruce Arena has promised to field his strongest 11 for the match.

Beckham contractually obliged

The 36-year-old Beckham, a former captain of England who has won titles with Manchester United and Real Madrid, is contractually obliged to play at least 45 minutes in the match, said promoter Jinx Macabenta.

“We know we represent the MLS and the LA Galaxy and we promise it’s going to be competitive,” said Arena, who handled the United States national team for eight years until after the 2006 World Cup.

Arena remains concerned of the fatigue factor for the Galaxy, after getting just a 10-day rest following their conquest in the MLS Cup.

While the Galaxy are coming off a 1-0 victory over an Indonesian selection team Wednesday night in Jakarta, the Azkals have not played a game together since Oct. 11, when they beat Nepal, 4-0, in an international friendly at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

“We had a difficult game against Indonesia and it’s not going to be any different here,” Arena said.

Before they play the Azkals, the Galaxy will still visit Casa Herbalife, the charitable institution run by their sponsor Herbalife in Alabang.

Key players missing

The Azkals will be without some of the key players who have sustained the inroads they made over the past year in Stephan Schrock, Jerry Lucena, Dennis Cagara, Paul Mulders and goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, who are all tied up with their clubs in Europe.

Armyman Eduard Sacapaño will get the rare opportunity of facing the Galaxy on goal for the Azkals, who welcomed back Chris Greatwich in the lineup.

The 28-year-old Greatwich scored two goals in the historic run to the semifinals of the Suzuki Cup—the tournament that thrust the Azkals into stardom.

Manny Ott and Jason de Jong are also in the squad, although Azkals coach Michael Weiss has again expressed concern over the condition of his players who are coming from long trips from different parts of Europe.

Whatever the outcome, Borromeo believes the Azkals have already achieved something with the Galaxy coming over.

“These are the players we look up to,” said Borromeo. “Just to watch these guys (Galaxy) play is already a big moment for us.”


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.


Tags: Chieffy Caligdong , David Beckham , Landon Donovan , Los Angeles Galaxy , Major League Soccer , MLS , Phil Younghusband , Philippine Azkals , Sports

  • Anonymous

    Titiko 13

    Alam ko na problema mo…gusto mo din sana ma recognize sa football eh kaso wala kang kwentang pinoy. Alam mo pare inggit lng yan at kaya di ka napili dahil sa attitude mong ugaling talangka galit pag pag nakikita na umuusad ang kapwa. Sa tunay sa sports kasi indi lng laro ang tinitingnan kundi pati ugali na din kaya kelan man di ka makakasama sa Philippine team kasi isa ka sa bulok ang ugali na pinoy…pwe!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AGLTJCWRCJUAA3ZVZBST47OCGY Juancho ren

    Bigyan sana ng playing time ang mga locals natin.

  • Anonymous

    so what happen to you TITIKO13, kamusta naman ang football career mo,  baka naman sa Visayas ka lang magaling…o baka naman sa bench ka naglalaro…..hambog..

    • Anonymous

      Hahahaha! bukas, iiyak yang mga idol mo na philhusband na yan! Paano, puro pa pogi at pa presyo lang kasi. Kung tutuusin nga, mas gwapo pa ako kaysa sa mga yun…As for my football career, Im with AFC Ajax right now here in the netherlands

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZWTTKJTI57YO7TZBJC66GA2OLU dennis

    We really need a huge football stadium with a capacity of around 50,000.Now they will realize that to earn a business in a football stadium with 50,000 spectators will achieve a more than a double earning in compare to Basketball in a Coloseum with only between 10-20,000 capacity.WE NEED A NEW FOOTBALL STADIUM!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VYVO5BIPX6WO4IGFRGIQE3P6HY Ruben

    The problem is it might be a scripted game.

  • Anonymous

    Gagawing azucena ang azkals ng Galaxy… puro lang kasi pa-gwapo tong azkals na to…

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XL26RCBRSVEUDXEYZML7EYQH7Q JM

      Real Filipino football fans know that this game is not about the result, dapat lang naman na manalo ang Galaxy. Exposure sa high-level football at playing time together ang habol ng azkals dito. Matalo man tayo 10-0, siguradong malaking tulong to sa football sa Pinas. Ang mga kagaya mong bandwagoners na walang alam sa football ay puro papogi lang dito sa inquirer na parang hindi mga Pilipino.

      • Anonymous

        hahahaha! buti na lang alam mo na 10-0 ang score bukas…hahahaha! And about football, I happen to be a varsity player before here in the visayas kung saan kinakatay namin mga teams form Metro manila. Paano, puro lang kasi pa pogi mga taga manila. Akala kasi nila sila na ang pinaka magaling porke manila daw…. hahahaha!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XL26RCBRSVEUDXEYZML7EYQH7Q JM

        wow… hindi ka lang ignorante, mayabang at regionalist ka pa…..tsk tsk. Living up to your name, TITIKO!

    • Anonymous

      shut up…….



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement

News

  • Obama, family cause a small stir at Easter service
  • Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  • Ancient enigmatic carvings in danger of disappearing
  • Tagle: Hope comes with warning on Easter
  • New plant to boost supply of clean energy
  • Sports

  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Rain or Shine drops Ginebra in big hole
  • Ateneo whips CSB; Davao debuts with win over FEU
  • PH pug Hipolito Banal decisions Colombian in Aiba
  • Former Pacquiao sparmate Porter keeps IBF title
  • Lifestyle

  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Korean animation comes of age
  • Entertainment

  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Persistence pays off for The 1975
  • Special section in LA fest for Filipino films
  • Business

  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Bourse to woo Cebu stock mart investors
  • Supper power
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Marketplace