THERE are a handful of overseas-raised Filipinos who have recently moved to the Philippines to showcase their talent starting in the United Football League.
And one booter who has quickly made his presence felt is Charles Pettys, a Filipino-American defender who is among Global’s prized acquisitions this year.
An Ohio native who traces his Filipino roots to Cebu, Pettys first tried out for defending champion Stallion a few months ago, but ended up signing with Global.
In just his second game for the former UFL champions, the 23-year-old right-back scored for the squad in its 2-1 victory over Kaya for its maiden victory in the league this season.
With a shortage of legitimate right-backs, the Philippine men’s football team can sure use the services of the 5-foot-11 Pettys, who didn’t hide his intention to be an Azkal someday.
“Of course, I want to play for the country. That’s why I’m here.”
Right-back has been a problematic position for the national team, with the versatile Carli de Murga and veteran Ray Jonsson unavailable for crucial Azkals matches last year.
Homegrown Jerry Barbaso got the start several times, while even natural midfielders James Younghusband and Manny Ott were tapped to man the position but looked out of place.
Now the Azkals could have a new option in Pettys, who scored a header off a Misagh Bahadoran cross in the Kaya game.
“I play defense, but I also like to attack,” said the right-back, who played for University of Kentucky in college.
For now, he’s enjoying his stay in the country.
“It’s been a dream come true to play here.”