Greatwich to spearhead Azkals against US teams
CHRIS Greatwich, one of the heroes of the Philippines’ historic run to the 2010 Suzuki Cup semifinals, has been recalled to the national side that will undergo a two-week camp in the United States.
Greatwich is part of the 24-man squad comprised of veterans and young players representing the Azkals, who will face Chicago Inferno on Aug. 11 and the US Virgin Islands in a Fifa-sanctioned international friendly on Aug. 17 in Indianapolis.
The Azkals, under the tutelage of German coach Michael Weiss, are using the camp to prepare for the 2012 Suzuki Cup Asean Football Championships in Bangkok, Thailand.
Some of the more notable players in the side, like Phil and James Younghusband, will skip the camp, but veterans Emelio Caligdong, Aly Borromeo and Ian Araneta will be around to spearhead the team.
“I’m really looking forward to joining the squad,” said Greatwich, a Fil-British midfielder who is now based in New Jersey, where he coaches youth soccer.
“It is a good way to prepare for Thailand and hopefully we will improve on the performance from 2010,” added Greatwich, who has played in the 2004, 2007 and 2009 editions of the Suzuki Cup.
Veteran Rob Gier, Carli de Murga and Jason Sabio, who also played critical roles in the third place finish in the AFC Challenge Cup in March, are also part of the lineup, but Fil-Spanish midfielder Angel Guirado remains doubtful because of personal commitments in Spain.
Other veterans from the Suzuki Cup side from 2010 that are flying to Chicago are Ed Sacapano, Roel Gener, Jason de Jong and Nestorio Margarse.
Under-23 standouts Marwin and Marvin Angeles, Paolo Pascual, OJ Porteria, Patrick Reichelt and Jeff Christiaens are also listed in the lineup together with Misagh Bahadoran, goalkeeper Ref Cuaresma and Anto Gonzales, who is coming off an impressive season in the United Football League.
Denis Wolf, who scored in his international debut against Malaysia last February, is the lead striker. Two uncapped players in Demit Omphroy and Matthew Uy are also in the list released yesterday.