20 high-level matches up for Azkals
Philippine Daily Inquirer
THE PHILIPPINE Azkals could play a maximum of 20 high-level matches in the next five months before they plunge into action in their next major tournament late this year.
The Azkals are in for a tough grind in their build-up as they try to at least match their semifinal finish in the Suzuki Cup Asean Football Championships in Thailand and Malaysia.
Already calendared for the Azkals are three matches in the United States on Aug. 10 to 15.
Azkals manager Dan Palami said they are trying to squeeze in one more match, possibly against a country belonging to the Confederation of North, Central America and the Caribbean Football Federation.
Friendly matches in September are also being lined up, before the Azkals host a four-nation tournament involving Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong and Macau in Bacolod in October.
Camps in Bahrain and Japan as well as two friendly matches in November are also being planned for the Azkals, who won against Guam, 3-0, last week after draws against Malaysia and Indonesia.
“We want as many matches as possible to develop a strong team,” said Azkals coach Michael Weiss.
The Azkals renewed their partnership with carmaker Kia on Thursday. Palami welcomed the deal, saying the squad is “happy” to be affiliated with a prestigious brand.
“We feel that the team brings us the prestige that backs up our brand,” said Kia marketing services manager Boying Soriano. Cedelf P. Tupas