A SCHEDULING conflict is set to force Phil and James Younghusband to miss part or the entire training camp of the Philippine Azkals in the United States this August.
The Younghusband brothers are set to headline on August 25 the Clear Dream Match, a charity football game featuring celebrities at the University of Makati pitch that will benefit the Tuloy sa Don Bosco Foundation. The popular sibilings are endorsers of the shampoo brand.
The match, however, will run in conflict with the Azkals' 15-day training camp in the US where they will play three matches including a game against Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire.
The camp, which runs from August 10 to 25, will form part of the Azkals' preparation for the Long Teng Cup which the country is bidding to host in October and the AFF Suzuki Cup in November.
The news had triggered grumblings from avid Azkals followers on Twitter, but Phil Younghusband -- the country's top international goal-scorer -- was quick to reaffirm his commitment to the team's cause.
The strike star also pointed out that he and his brother made the Dream Match commitment long before plans for the Azkals' US trip were put to bed.
“We are very committed to the Azkals but unfortunately we already had these schedules even before (we knew about) the schedule for the Azkals,” he said during the launch of the event on Monday at the Rockwell Tent.
Not all were happy with the news, though.
“Unfortunately, three months’ notice still doesn’t cut it,” Azkals manager Dan Palami tweeted in response to a post about booking national players in advance.
This will be one of the few times the Youghusband brothers will miss an Azkals’ training camp.
Under the format of the Clear Dream Match, organizers will form a pool of players that includes UFL stars Anton del Rosario, Nate Burkey, Freddy Gonzales, Eric Dagroh, La Salle’s Patrick Deyto, Ateneo’s Miko Mabanag and UST’s Shirmar Felongco.
Also in the pool are Andrew Wolff and Eric Tai of the Philippine Volcanoes, Brazilian models Daniel Matsunaga and Fabio Ide and television host Paolo Bediones.
Organizers will hold an online poll to pick the top 40, from where Phil and James Younghusband will draft the players for their respective teams.
The Tuloy sa Don Bosco Foundation is the same organization that supports the Philippine team's participation in the Homeless World Cup.