PHIL and James Younghusband started to rekindle their sibling rivalry on Saturday when they formed their respective teams in the Clear Dream Match Draft at the SM Megamall Events Center.
The celebrated brothers chose from a pool of 34 players, composed of national team mainstays, United Football League stars, and a sprinkling of celebrities, to form their squads for the charity match slated August 24 at the University of Makati Stadium.
Getting the first pick for winning the online voting, Phil filled his roster with four current Azkals in first-overall pick Carli de Murga, Jeff Christians, OJ Porteria, and Chris Greatwich and two Under-23 standouts in goalkeeper Patrick Deyto and striker Jinggoy Valmayor.
Phil also selected his Meralco Sparks teammates in Park Min Ho, Chad Gould, Byeong Yeol Jeong, and Armand del Rosario, as well as UFL opponents Anton del Rosario, Boyet Cañedo, Nick O’Donnell, Mikko Mabanag, and Ronald Batisla-Ong.
Azkals skipper Chieffy Caligdong, on the other hand, leads the cast of James’ otherwise defensive-oriented lineup that includes defenders Yves Ashime, Roxy Dorlas, Nico Bolzico, and Andrew Santiago, defensive midfielders Jason de Jong, Jonah Romero, and Simon Greatwich, and goalkeepers Saba Garmaroudi and Ref Cuaresma.
Forwards Misagh Bahadoran, Ousseynou Diop, and Ian Araneta are expected to aid Caligdong in the scoring chores for James’ team, which lost 1-5 last year.
James, who got an offensive boost with Izzo El-Habbib, whom he chose as his wildcard pick, actually chose a handful of players from Phil’s winning team last year.
“I don’t know how he works as a coach, but obviously he had the edge over me last year, so I’ve been looking to get inside info from his players,” James said.
Underscoring his competitive nature, Phil had sort of a cheat sheet in the duration of the draft to monitor his picks.
Phil, wanting to gain a second successive victory, chose reigning UFL MVP Rufo Sanchez, the only man ahead of him in the scoring ladder in the last UFL league, as his wildcard pick.
“The competitive level of this match is very, very serious,” Phil insisted. “We’re not fighting, but we’re holding our secret meetings, making sure each other doesn’t find out about things and little advantages we can have.”
Sam YG was the only celebrity in Phil’s lineup, while fellow DJs Slick Rick and Tony Toni went to James’ squad, which also features Daniel Matsunaga and Fabio Ide.
Now on its second year, the event will be spiced up by the addition of two football legends in Fabio Cannavaro and Dennis Wise.
Cannavaro, a former Fifa World Cup Player of the Year and champion, chose James’ team.
“Last year’s match was one sided. This year I want to help James even the score,” Cannavaro said in a video message.
For his part, Wise, a former Chelsea skipper and champion, selected Phil.
“Like Phil, I love to win and I always love to score goals, and that’s the type of team I want to be associated with.”
Tickets for the charity event are sold in all SM Tickets outlets.