THE Philippine men’s football team takes advantage of the Fifa-set friendly match day when it takes on Hong Kong at the Mong Kok Stadium on Tuesday night.
Seeing action as a team for the first time since the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup Qualifiers in Manila in March, the Azkals take the field at 8 p.m. parading a mixture of veterans and young guns in their lineup.
Manny and Mike Ott are the most notable additions to the team, now in joint 144th place in the latest world rankings.
The Filipino-German brothers will be joined by fellow standouts based in abroad such as Neil Etheridge, Stephan Schrock, Juani Guirado, Rob Gier, Paul Mulders, and Javier Patiño, the Filipino-Spanish striker who has been having a superb stint in Thailand’s premier league, where he helped Buriram to the top of the table.
They will join local-based players in Marwin Angeles, Chieffy Caligdong, Jason de Jong, Carli de Murga, Chris Greatwich, OJ Porteria, Ed Sacapaño, and brothers James and Phil Younghusband.
Caligdong, the Azkals skipper, welcomed the inclusion of the Ott brothers.
“They’re willing to play para sa bansa natin. Happy ako na pag kailangan natin sila, nag-re-respond sila.”
The 21-year-old Manny last played for the Philippine side in February during the friendly against Myanmar. He was supposed to be part of the Challenge Cup lineup before he was sidelined by an injury.
Mike Ott, 18, will be making his seniors team debut.
The Ott brothers, Etheridge, Angeles, De Jong, and Porteria, who are expected to make up the core of the 23-under Azkals squad, are also using the friendly as part of their preparations for the Southeast Asian Games later this year.