PHIL Younghusband is undeniably the country’s top striker who has always thrived off the ball and up front for Loyola Meralco in the United Football League.
Now switched to the midfield as a secondary striker with Freddy Gonzalez back from a long injury layoff, the 26-year-old Filipino-British star has shown he can also deliver as a playmaker for a Sparks side that has gone unbeaten in two games so far.
“It’s easy when you’re playing with good players and they’re setting you up or they’re making runs for you,” Younghusband said after the Sparks’ 5-1 thrashing of Philippine Army last Saturday.
One of his targets is Gonzalez, who repaid Younghusband’s faith with a goal against the Troopers.
“He just always makes himself available no matter what. I always know he’s gonna make a run,” Younghusband said.
Not only is he showing he’s comfortable as a facilitator as evidenced by his two assists against the Troopers, but Younghusband is also still a deadly scorer, as indicated by his two goals in the same game.
“I feel in the zone at the moment. When you’ve got confidence, you feel you can do anything,” said the Azkals striker, who registered a league-leading 21 goals in the last Cup and finished one goal behind eventual Golden Boot winner Rufo Sanchez in the top flight last season.
Younghusband, who usually scores on the attack, even added a new weapon to his arsenal: he's now a reliable set-piece option as one of his goals against Army was a free-kick conversion seven minutes before second-half stoppage time.
“Before the Cup, I’d only scored one free kick in my entire life,” he said with a smile.