Manila, Philippines – Philippine football team coach Michael Weiss gave a hint on which players will suit up for the U-23 team in the forthcoming Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia slated next month.
Weiss mentioned the names of Jason de Jong, Manny Ott, Neckson Leonora, Roland Mueller, brothers Mark and Matthew Hartmann and Bacolod-based Joshua Beloya as among those that will likely suit up for the team in the biennial meet.
The football tournament begins a week before the actual opening of the games in Palembang and Jakarta. The SEA Games kicks off on Nov. 11 and ends on the 22nd.
De Jong was part of the Azkals lineup in last night’s friendly against Nepal and played in the AFF Suzuki Cup last year while Ott suited up in various matches this year, particularly the World Cup qualifi ers against Sri Lanka.
Leonora, a native of Iloilo, played in the Azkals’ second place finish in the Long Teng Cup and made Weiss impressed with his effort. He played alongside Mueller, who was likewise solid as goalkeeper in the Taiwan tilt, and the Hartmanns.
Of the brothers, Mark made a key pass to Chieffy Caligdong for the second goal of the Azkals’ 2-0 win over Macau on the last day of the Long Teng tourney.
Beloya, on the other hand, is a member of the Negros Ceres squad that won the Suzuki U-23 tournament held last May. A Fil-American, he was named as Best Striker in that tournament as Negros defeated fierce rival Iloilo in the two-leg finale.
After last night’s friendly, being played at presstime, and the SEA Games will be the last assignment for the PH booters with Weiss expected to resume practice in January next year. (Jonas Terrado)