THE defensive boost the Philippine men’s football team is expecting in the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup could be arriving earlier.
Originally available only starting in the semifinal away match against Thailand on December 10, goalkeeper Roland Muller could make it in time for the Azkals’ home game on Saturday.
Coach Thomas Dooley said the Filipino-German goalkeeper incurred a red card in his club Servette FC’s penultimate match of the Swiss league season, sidelining him for the team’s last match.
The sudden development could make him available for national duty for an Azkals side that’s seeking to bounce back from a 3-1 loss to Vietnam in the final day of Group A hostilities in Hanoi and eager to clinch a breakthrough Finals appearance in Southeast Asia’s showpiece tournament.
“We’re still awaiting confirmation from the club (if he could come earlier),” Dooley said on Tuesday in the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.
If Muller is released, Dooley said the 26-year-old goalkeeper could arrive in Manila as early as Thursday.
Muller, the Azkals' last line of defense in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup, could challenge Patrick Deyto for the starting spot.