PHILIPPINE Azkals coach Thomas Dooley knows he has tough decisions to make with his lineup for the World Cup Qualifying match against Bahrain on Thursday at Philippine Sports Stadium.
Dooley has been tasked to handle what is considered the strongest team that the country has assembled in a tournament where the odds will be stacked against the Azkals.
But with quality players competing for positions in the starting eleven, Dooley could leave out some players who have figured prominently in past tournaments.
Dooley is far from worried, saying that he trusts his players to respect his decisions.
“Our players are professionals and they know their roles in the team,” said the former United States captain.
With Dooley expected to play a three-man backline, veterans Rob Gier and Juani Guirado will be competing for playing time against youngsters like Daisuke Sato and Luke Woodland, who has impressed in training camp.
Austrian League Stephan Palla is also bidding for a starting spot just like rightback Simone Rota.
“At least, depth won’t be a problem with the team that we have now,” said Azkals manager Dan Palami.