CHICAGO—The Philippine football team wrapped up its 14-day training camp here on Saturday with Azkals coach Michael Weiss declaring that his wards are right on track in their buildup for the AFF Suzuki Cup.
The Azkals yielded to Premier Development League side Chicago Inferno, 1-3, last weekend, but their international friendly against the US Virgin Island in Indianapolis was cancelled by the United States Soccer Federation.
With the Azkals thriving in the intense scrimmages during the past two days, the German mentor is leaving the Windy City with a measure of satisfaction.
“We could already see how the hard training pays off in such a short period of time,” said Weiss, who put the Azkals in gruelling sessions that focused on enhancing fitness and improving cohesion.
The Azkals missed Phil and James Younghusband for the camp, as well as several Europe-based aces, but Weiss pointed to the emergence of Demitrius Omphroy and Matthew Uy as among the positives that came out of the camp.
Jason de Jong also impressed Weiss in the scrimmages as the Fil-Dutch standout deputized well at centerback, while Jeff Christiaens, the Fil-Belgian winger, was also making a strong case to challenging Chieffy Caligdong for the left winger starting spot in the team.
“There will be a lot of sacrifices to be made in the next three months,” said Weiss.
The Azkals fly home Sunday, before resuming training just a few days before they leave for Cambodia for their Sept. 5 friendly. The Azkals will also face Singapore on Sept. 7 and Laos on Sept. 10.