PHILIPPINE men’s football team captain Aly Borromeo believes the absence of key Azkals in their two-week US training camp this month won’t impede their buildup for the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup in November.
The Azkals, who left for Chicago on August 3, will be without Phil and James Younghusband when they face the Chicago Inferno on August 11 and the US Virgin Islands in a friendly in Indiana on August 17.
The brothers will miss the camp because of their participation in the charity event Clear Dream Match later this month.
But Borromeo believes their absence could benefit the Azkals’ other players who are part of the training camp, which kicks off their preparations for the Suzuki Cup.
“I think it will be a good chance to test out other strikers in place of Phil and other midfielders in place of James because come game day, you never know who’s gonna play or not,” said the veteran defender, who will finally make his return to national team duty after being sidelined with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Forwards who are expected to get the chance to start are Denis Wolf and Ian Araneta, while midfielders Marwin Angeles and Jeff Christiaens are vying for the slot vacated by James Younghusband.
Wolf and Angeles started for the Azkals during their three-friendly series with Malaysia, Indonesia, and Guam last June.
Borromeo, Chieffy Caligdong, Chris Greatwich, Rob Gier, Jason de Jong, Ed Sacapaño, Roel Gener, and Nestorio Margarse are the 2010 Suzuki Cup veterans who banner the squad in the camp. Misagh Bahadoran, Anto Gonzales, Ref Cuaresma, Demit Omphroy, and Matthew Uy, along with Under-23 booters Marvin Angeles, Paolo Pascual, OJ Porteria, Patrick Reichelt are also part of the selection.
Filipino-Spanish Angel Guiardo is also listed in the 24-man lineup but is doubtful due to personal commitments in his country.