By Cheska D. Geli
Thursday, August 2, 2012
THE Philippine Men’s National Football Team will fly to United States today for a two-week training camp and a series of friendly games as part of their preparation for the highly anticipated Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup in November.
Aside from training sessions, the Azkals are set to play two tune-up matches against Chicago Inferno and the US Virgin Islands.
“Magandang preparasyon to para sa Suzuki Cup lalo na magkakaroon kami ng exhibition games,” said Azkals Forward Ian Araneta.
The Philippines will face Thailand, Vietnam and the top qualifier in the Suzuki Cup group stage.
This will be Cebuano Paolo Pascual’s first time to join the team in the US camp which will see the absence of the Younghusband brothers, Phil and James.
“Super excited because it’s going to be another dream come true for me. Football has brought me to the States,” Pascual said.
After the US camp, they will also have a busy September as the Philippines will face Cambodia on Sept. 5 in Phnom Penh and Singapore on Sept. 7 in Bacolod City. They will face Laos on Sept. 10 and Indonesia on Sept. 11.
The national team will be back in Bacolod to host the four-nation Paulino Alcantra Cup, formerly Long Teng Cup, in the last week of September.
There is also a possibility that they will hold a camp in Bahrain by October before returning to Cebu to play a friendly game against either Singapore or the second-best team in the Suzuki Cup qualifiers.
Azkals manager Dan Palami said that there are plans to face English premier league teams but the series of friendly games scheduled will do for them for now.
“We prepare to bring greater honor not only for the team but for the country as well,” said Palami.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 03, 2012.