Azkals come to ChicagoBy Esther Misa Chavez
CHICAGO- The Chicago Inferno Soccer Club, which plays its home games at Wheaton College, has announced that it will cap off a successful first season in the Premier Development League (PDL) with prestigious exhibition matches against the Philippine National Team and the US Virgin Islands National Team.
The Philippines soccer team, known as the “Azkals,” come to Wheaton’s Joe Bean stadium on August 11, while the US Virgin Islands, nicknamed “The Dashing Eagle,” visit on August 14. Both games kick-off at 7:30 p.m.
The “international friendlies” will be played while both national teams are holding training camps in the Chicagoland area. The Philippines and US Virgin Islands then will face one another in an August 17 international exhibition match in Indianapolis (7:30 p.m.).
The Inferno’s matches against the Philippines and US Virgin Islands will mark just the second and third time in history a team from the PDL, a national summer league comprised of top collegiate players, has faced full national teams.
“It’s such an honor for our first-year club to host these friendlies against two up-and-coming soccer nations,” said Chicago Inferno President Todd Short, whose company Soccer Specific Development, LLC owns the Inferno franchise and is the exclusive US promoter of the two national teams.” The matches give the Inferno a chance to play two competitive games, while increasing the visibility of the Inferno brand well beyond the Chicagoland area.
Eliseo (Jojo) Prisno, Managing Director and Senior Investment Advisor of P/E Capital Investment, whose organization is sponsoring the Azkal’s visit said “there is a soccer renaissance going on back home and the Azkals’ achievements is the catalyst to all these. I’m so excited to bring the team to the US and play in front of the Filipino-Americans and the local soccer aficionados…most Filipinos here may not be soccer literates but they will surely come to wave our flag and cheer for our “new heroes.” This reason alone is already worth the trouble of organizing an international sporting event like this.”
Tim Holt, president of the PDL’s parent organization United Soccer Leagues (USL) called the friendlies “a fitting conclusion to a successful inaugural season for the Inferno.”
“In less than a calendar year, the Inferno has made a significant contribution to the Chicago soccer community, not only through its PDL performances, but by using its profile to bring unique soccer events such as these prestigious international exhibitions to the market,” Holt said.
The Philippines, which plays in the Asian Football Confederation, is using the US training camp and friendly matches as preparation for November’s ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup, which will be co-hosted by Malaysia and Thailand. The Azkals reached the semifinals of the last Suzuki Cup in 2010.
Among the regular standouts for manager Dan Palami’s team are brothers James and Phil Younghusband, two of the Philippine’s most popular sportsmen, and goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, who plays professionally for Fulham of the English Premier League.
The US Virgin Islands, which competes in CONCACAF, the same confederation as the United States and Mexico, is co-managed by Carlton Freeman and Terrence Jones.
The Azkals will attend training camp from August 4 to 16 at Wheaton College at 501 College Avenue in Wheaton, Illinois. Tickets for Chicago Inferno vs. Philippines and Philippines vs. U.S. Virgin Islands matches are $25, while tickets Chicago Inferno vs. U.S. Virgin Islands cost $20. Tickets are available on the Chicago Inferno web site at www.infernosc.com.
About P/E Capital Investments, a Wealth Management Group of FilipinoFundsTM Investment Management, LLC will provide investors in the United States and other parts of the world access to comprehensive wealth management solutions that will ensure consistent returns and reduce most exposure to unnecessary risks developed. The FilipinoFundsTM Portfolio an investment vehicle for the Filipino-Americans and US based Filipino expatriates to access Philippine securities. Designed to promote financial literary to the community it also simplified the access to comprehensive financial solutions for Filipino families, small businesses and individuals. The Philippine Security Investment program is one of the key initiatives P/E Capital Investments developed to ensure accessibility of Philippine Securities to the general US based investing public. P/E Capital Investments also promotes direct investing in the Philippines via its strategic partnership with major financial institutions in Manila.