PHILIPPINE men’s football team coach Thomas Dooley continues to give players opportunities to prove their worth as three new faces will join the roster for the return friendly against Malaysia on Sunday at the Cebu City Sports Center.
Carli de Murga, the talented utility man who has recovered from an ACL injury, and Roxy Dorlas, the resurgent Loyola Meralco left-back, return to the national side, while Kaya FC winger Joven Bedic received his first call up.
OJ Porteria and Patrick Deyto as well as Danish league standout Jerry Lucena have also been called up anew after missing the Qatar training camp.
They now link up with holdovers Amani Aguinaldo, Nate Burkey, Anton del Rosario, Chris and Simon Greatwich, Kenshiro Daniels, Curt Dizon, Ruben Doctora Jr., Jason de Jong, Charles Pettys, Patrick Reichelt, Simone Rota, Ed Sacapaño, Martin Steuble, Daisuke Sato, and James Younghusband.
The 22-man roster was released on Wednesday, four days before the Azkals’ last home game before they embark on their Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup campaign next month. The Filipino booters will have another training camp before the Asian Cup qualifier, but it will be in the Middle East.
The Azkals, however, will be without injured star Phil Younghusband, along with backline anchors Rob Gier and Juani Guirado.
“Hopefully Phil will be ready by the time the Challenge Cup comes,” Azkals manager Dan Palami said. “But even without our so-called strongest players, the coach has been able to implement a system that allows other players to understand fully their role and that has given us the results we wanted.”