THE 23 players who will represent the Philippines in its most important international football tournament yet this year have finally been chosen.
The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) on Friday night announced -- earlier than expected --the Azkals’ roster for the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup kicking off May 19 in Maldives where a lone ticket to the 2015 Asian Cup is at stake.
An abundance and mixture of talent and experience comprise the national team, with Europe-based standouts and United Football League stalwarts leading the way.
Dennis Cagara, Rob Gier, Juani Guirado, and Roland Muller have been added to the Bahrain camp roster, leaving teenagers Amani Aguinaldo, Kenshiro Daniels, and Curt Dizon, and veteran Simon Greatwich out.
Cagara and Muller are expected to meet new coach Thomas Dooley for the first time in the ongoing Bahrain camp.
One notable booter missing, however, is Filipino-Spanish striker Javier Patiño, who last played for the national side two months ago in a 0-1 loss to Azerbaijan in their friendly in Dubai.
The Azkals, who rose three spots to 140th in the latest Fifa rankings, begin their campaign against Afghanistan on May 21.
The full squad is listed below:
Etheridge, Neil Leonard
De Jong, Jason Nicolas Maria
Del Rosario, Anton Edward
Deyto, Patrick Phillip
Gier, Robert James
Greatwich, Christopher Robert
Guirado, Juan Luis
Lucena, Jerry Ruben
Martinez de Murga, Carlos Alberto
Muller, Roland Richard
Porteria, Jose Elmer
Schrock, Stephan Markus
Steuble, Martin Markus
Younghusband, James Joseph
Younghusband, Philip James