PHILIPPINE men’s Under-23 football team standouts get an opportunity to gain further international exposure and cohesion when they join the senior team in a friendly against Indonesia on Wednesday at the Manahan Stadium at Solo, Central Java.
OJ Porteria, Jeff Christiaens, Marwin Angeles, Mark Hartmann, Patrick Deyto, Raymark Fernandez, Paolo Bugas, and Amani Aguinaldo — who comprise the potential core of the roster to the Southeast Asian Games — have all been called up for the Fifa International friendly.
Jinggoy Valmayor was also selected the last minute, replacing fellow Under-23 standout Joshua Beloya, who was left out due to an injury.
Deyto, Fernandez , Bugas, Aguinaldo, and Valmayor are in their first senior team call-up.
“I hope the experience I get from here will allow me to learn,” said the fleet-footed Bugas, who plays at midfield for Loyola Meralco and Far Eastern University.
Chieffy Caligdong continues to skipper the Azkals, who will also have local-based booters Ed Sacapaño, Carli de Murga, Chris Greatwich, James and Phil Younghusband, Misagh Bahadoran, and Jerry Barbaso, who returns to national duty for the first time since 2010.
Overseas-based Azkals in the fold are Rob Gier, Angel Guirado, Paul Mulders, and Patrick Reichelt, who is now plying his trade in Thailand.
The Azkals, who are now in their best-ever Fifa ranking at 141st, will be meeting the Indonesians for the first time since June 2012 when the Filipinos rallied from a two-goal deficit to force a 2-2 draw in a friendly at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.