KUALA LUMPUR (25 Feb 2016) – The men’s football event at the SEA Games 2017 in Kuala Lumpur will be restricted to players under the age of 22-years-old, as approved by the SEA Games Federation (SEAGF) which met this week in Kuala Lumpur.
The tournament is currently slated for players under the age of 23-years-old.
At the meeting in the Malaysian capital, where it was announced that 34 sports will be competed – although this number is not yet finalized till July this year – men’s football has been announced as one of the events which will be competed alongside women’s Futsal.
Men’s football at the first SEA Games in 1959 was competed as a full senior side until 2001 where it was changed to U23 following the change in the Olympic ruling in 1996.
Incidentally, Malaysia were also the hosts in 2001.
We wish to advise all football enthusiasts that the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia (TM) – Asian Qualifiers / AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 (TM) Qualifiers (Round 2) match between the Philippines and DPR Korea will be held on Tuesday, 29 March 2016, at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila. Kick-off is at 8:00pm.
> Tickets are sold via TicketWorld starting tomorrow, 26 February 2016 thru its online booking and major ticket outlets.
Malaysia are among three nations in the running to assume control of the AFF Suzuki Cup hosting duties, after the Philippines Football Federation (PFF) withdrew as one of the hosts.
Malaysia co-hosted the AFF Suzuki Cup in 2012 and might potentially do it once more, after it was announced that PFF pulled out as a co-host of this year’s edition.
“The Philippines Football Federation had to withdraw as one the hosts for the AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 due to contractual problems,” the AFF said on their official website.
“The AFF would like to clarify that despite the PFF’s best efforts, the PFF were unable to deliver the contract with the stadium which was to host the prestigious tournament. The PFF were given two extensions to try to negotiate with the stadium to secure the contract.”
The 2016 Suzuki Cup is scheduled to be held from November 19 to December 17.
Myanmar will stage all Group A matches at the Thuwunnna Stadium and the Bogyoke Aung San Stadium, whereas Philippines were supposed to host all Group B matches at the Rizal Memorial Stadium and the Philippine Sports Stadium.
According to AFF general secretary Azzuddin Ahmad, the three countries in the running to join Myanmar as hosts are Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia.
“At the moment, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam stated their interest to host the AFF Suzuki Cup and more will be revealed when we have our meeting on March 12,” he said.
Singapore co-hosted the 2014 Suzuki Cup with Vietnam while Malaysia and Thailand co-hosted the 2012 edition.
The Philippine Football Federation said that lack of suitable venues cost the country’s hosting of the ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup this year.
But the PFF didn’t categorically say that it is already giving up hosting rights, saying that it will raise the issue to the organizers in a meeting next month.
In a statement, the PFF said the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila didn’t pass the standards of the AFF which required hosting venues to have a seating capacity of at least 30,000. Rizal Stadium can only accommodate at least 12,000.
Meanwhile, the newly built Philippine Sports Stadium in Bulacan, which can house at least 20,000 people, was also ruled out as the PFF and the Iglesia Ni Cristo-owned venue repeatedly failed to come to terms with an agreement.
“After inspection by its rights holder Lagardere Sports (formerly World Sports Group), the Asean Football Federation (AFF) has disapproved the 15-thousand seat Rizal Memorial Football Stadium as primary venue of the Group Stage matches to be hosted by the Philippines,” the PFF said in a statement.
“The 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup competition regulations require among others a minimum 30-thousand seat capacity for primary venues of group stage matches.
“While the 20-thousand seat privately-owned Philippine Sports Stadium has also been nominated, AFF however requires submission of a written stadium hire contract. Deadline of 31 January 2016 and further deadline of 9 February 2016 have lapsed without PFF receiving a signed contract from PSS.”
With the venue issues, the PFF said that it “is compelled to bring the matter to AFF and will take up the stadia qualification” in an AFF Council meeting on March 12 in Vietnam.
Should the Philippines totally lose the right to host the Suzuki Cup, this would mark the second time that the country would be denied to stage the tournament.
During the Azkals’ Cinderella run to the semifinals in 2010, the Filipinos were forced to play their home game abroad as football stadiums in the country didn’t suit Suzuki Cup’s requirements.
After suffering a heavy blow of injuries right before the start of the UFL Cup campaign, the Loyola Meralco Sparks’ health is steadily improving. Arnel Amita had a successful surgery to his knee, while Joaco Cañas is back in full training. Two other key figures are also nearing returns to action.
“It went well naman. Yung ni-repair lang is yung ACL. The meniscus, just a very small portion,” said Anna Demegillio, the Sparks’ Physical therapist. “Early weight bearing was approved after a week, which is a better prognosis when it comes to his rehabilitation. But of course, yung rehabilitation will only be successful kung compliant yung patient.”
Given the positive response to knee surgery, the talented young midfielder will be expected to return anywhere between August and October.
“Normally it’s 6-8 months, but it depends on gaano kasipag si Arnel sa rehab niya.”
The Sparks’ roster, which was whittled down to just 14 available players against Pasargad two weeks ago, may have a trio players back heading into the weekend’s massive encounter with Global.
“Joaco Cañas has been cleared for full training,” Anna said. “While Phil and Simon will still need to undergo a fitness test before being involved.”
Last Saturday’s win over Green Archers resulted in a few worries, however, with strikers Alvaro Castiella and Tahj Minniecon needing to stay under a close eye.
“Alvaro suffered a mild ankle sprain and will be under observation. Tahj sustained a concussion and will be under constant observation as well.”
MANILA (24 Feb 2016) – The Philippines Football Federation have notified the ASEAN Football Federation that they have withdrawn as hosts for the upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup 2016. The AFF Competitions Committee will meet at the earliest opportunity to discuss this matter. A decision on a replacement host country will be made by the AFF Council at its next meeting on 12 March 2016 in Da Nang, Vietnam. Myanmar are still the hosts of one group of the biennial championship.
Ceres – La Salle FC started their campaign for the 2016 AFC Cup trophy with a 2-2 draw against the visiting Selangor FA from Malaysia last night before an estimated crowd of 8,000 at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
Coming out strong and aggressive in the first 10 minutes of the match, home team Ceres – La Salle dictated the tempo with Filipino-German Stephan Schrock establishing his presence in the middle while attempting shots on goal.
Schrock's 18 th minute strike that defied Selangor's defense had the crowd roaring.
But with its decades of football history, Selangor could not be easily thwarted. Focused and committed, Mauro Olivi booted in the equalizer in the 34 th minute as he blocked Ceres' goalkeeper Mike Casas clearance and sent the ball rolling into the net.
“It was an individual error. But this is football and everybody commit mistakes,” Ceres head coach Franklin Muescan said during the post-match press conference.
More important he said was the way the home team bounced back to salvage a draw.
The blunder distracted and slowed down Ceres' offense as the score was tied 1-all at halftime.
Finding their rhythm in the second half, Selangor found themselves ahead in the 60 th minute as Hafiz Kamal converted a penalty by sending it over the wall and sailing past Casas' outstretched hands.
With the time running out, Ceres remained on the hunt for its second goal. A pass from Schrock to Manny Ott in the 77 th minute had the crowd on their feet but the shot was wide, while a cross from Patrick Reichelt to Bienvi Marañon in the 79 th was saved by Selangor keeper Norazlan Bin Razali.
With three minutes left in regulation, Schrock's cross from the left found Adrian Gallardo who completed the play with a header for a 2-2 draw.
With both teams getting a point each for the draw, Selangor head coach Zainal Abidin Bin Hassan said it was good enough for them.
“We missed our target of getting 3 points but it was a tough match. Ceres is a very good team and they keep on playing good football. It was a good game for both teams,” Hassan said.
For Ceres, coach Muescan said addjustments will have to be made in time for their away games on March 8 in Bangladesh and March 15 in Singapore.
The Negros-based team will have its second home game in the Group E Qualifier on April 12 against Singapore on April 12 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium and back to Panaad on May 10 against Bangladesh.*NAB
Football followers in this part of the country will be treated to an exciting and tough game when home team Ceres – La Salle FC tangle with the visiting Selangor FA Red Giants from Malaysia in the 2016 AFC Cup Group E Qualifier, at the Panaad Stadium 7 tonight.
Both teams are coming into the match fully prepared and ready to give their best.
In a press conference yesterday, Ceres – La Salle FC coach Franklin Muescan said the Malaysian team is on a higher level compared to them in terms of exposure but they have a game plan which they have been working on for the past months.
“We have scouted them (Selangor FA) and we are ready. We need to develop and maximize our strength against them,” Muescan said.
Just as determined to snatch an away win against Ceres FC tonight. Selangor head coach Zainal Abidin Hassan said discipline and playing like a champion will be the key to victory.
Although injuries had become a problem to the team, he said players on the injured list were already replaced and everybody is adjusting well on the changes in their system.
And while they are not very familiar with the strength of Ceres FC, Selangor team captain Mohd Shahrom Kalam said they are aware that the team has very good Fil-foreign players in its lineup.
“We will do our best and we hope to come back to Malaysia with the win form her,” Kalam said.
Also gearing up for his first game for Ceres FC is Filipino-German player Stephan Markus Schrock who said that getting into the score card tonight is not important to him.
“What is most important is team… team success. That is why I am here… to help this team succeed,” Schrock said.* NAB
The Selangor FA team from Malaysia arrived in Bacolod City last night ready to face home team Ceres – La Salle FC in the 2016 AFC Cup Group E Qualifiers at the Panaad Stadium tomorrow.
Fresh from a 2-0 win back home against AirAsia, their third victory in the Malaysian Super League, the Selangor Red Giants are ready for the 7 p.m. battle tomorrow against the Ceres – La Salle FC.
Equally prepared to defend their home turf are the members of the Ceres team, who are coming off a morale-boosting three straight wins in the UFL that produced 26 goals.
In an interview over the RMN radio station Saturday, Ceres head coach Ali Go said they have been preparing continuously for the AFC Cup Qualifiers for almost a month now.
While the 15-0 drubbing of the Nomads and the 9-0 rout of Pasagard seemingly give Ceres FC some mantle of formidability, coach Go said the parameter of the team's readiness were their 2-1 win against Loyola in the UFL and the tune up games in Singapore early this month.
“The cohesion that was missing before when we played in Singapore is now there in the way our players pass the ball. The combination is getting better and better,” Go said.
Despite the home advantage, he said they are not taking things for granted against Selangor.
With their new coach Zainal Abidin Hassan, Go said the team has changed from a counter attack squad and long ball system to a possession-based team.
“I heard a lot about their coach and he is very good one…also a legend in Malaysia,” he said of the new coach for the Red Giants.
In the remaining days prior to tomorrow's match, Go said their focus is on how to defend as a group and move as a team together.
“We are known as an attacking team and we are working on our transition from attack to defending,” coach Go said. *NAB
NANNING, China, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- China's U19 national team defeated the Philippines4-0 in the opener of the 2016 China-ASEAN International Youth Football Tournament Sunday afternoon.
Kicked off at 14:00 (Beijing time) in Dongxing, South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the tournament features young talents from China, Croatia, the Philippines and Uzbekistan and will run from February 21-25.
The tournament is a great chance for the China U19 to gear up for the 2014 AFC U19 Men's Championship final, and the first victory in the Chinese New Year for the China U19 is crucial for the youngsters.
Gao Huaze scored the first for China at the 10th minute, with Shan Huanhuan, Li Yang and Cong Zhen adding three more in the second half to seal the victory for the hosts.
Li Ming, head coach of China U19 national team, said the tournament serves a good chance for the boys to fit in and play as a team, and a good platform for the coaching staff to evaluate whether they are ready for the AFC Championship final.
MANILA--Green Archers United was given the best news before the club clashes with Loyola on Saturday in the UFL Cup.
The UFL upheld a protest filed by the team and gave the outfit a win by forfeiture after Global violated the league's foreign player rule. The league posted the updated standings late Thursday night.
The Archers filed a protest right after they lost, 1-2, against Global in which the teamsheet suggests that the 2011 Cup champion had one more foreign player in its matchday squad, a violation of league's five player-limit.
Global had Sudanese forward Izo Elhabib and Japanese midfielder Hikaru Minegishi as starters and had Trinidadian defender Sean Bateau, Serge Kaole, Koffi Kouassi, and Milan Nikolic on the bench in the Feb. 13 match with Archers, with the Ivorian netting the winner in the last minute.
With the forfeiture, GAU leapfrogs to second in Group B with six points above Loyola. GAU joins Ceres and Group A leader Stallion as the only unbeaten teams in the tournament.
- See more at: http://www.dugout.ph/2016/02/ufl-upholds-archers-protest.html#more
Reigning league champion Ceres-La Salle sustained its relentless charge with a 9-0 demolition of Pasargad Thursday night for its third straight win in Group B of the United Football League Cup at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Bracing for a tough AFC Cup opener against Malaysian powerhouse Selangor on Tuesday, Ceres poured six goals in the second half to hike its tally to nine points in three matches.
Spanish striker Adrian Gallardo and Stephan Schrock combined for seven goals, while Kevin Ingreso and Martin Steuble were also on target for Ceres, which has scored a whopping 24 goals in its last two games.
Defending UFL Cup champion Kaya also warmed up for its AFC Cup campaign with a convincing 5-1 win over Agila earlier.
A brace from OJ Porteria and goals from Aly Borromeo, Kenshiro Daniels and Joven Bedic ensured maximum points for a Kaya side that will be the heavy underdogs when it faces Kitchee on Tuesday at Mong Kok Stadium in Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, the disciplinary committee has upheld the protest filed by Green Archers, contesting Global’s 2-1 win last Saturday.
The league said Global exceeded in the foreigner limit for its match day lineup, awarding Archers a 3-0 victory.
SKIPPER Paolo Salenga struck with his third goal in as many matches as 10-man National University salvaged a 2-2 draw with Far Eastern U yesterday to stay in top spot in the UAAP Season 78 men’s football tournament at Moro Lorenzo Field.
The Southeast Asian Games veteran scored past FEU keeper Ray Joyel in the 56th minute before the Bulldogs kept their resolute defensive stand to pick up a crucial point against the defending champions.
The result gave NU its seventh point of the season, just ahead of La Salle on goal difference.
The Green Booters leaned on a Jose Montelibano close-range strike just before halftime to forge a 1-1 draw with University of Santo Tomas.
John de Castro scored on a header off a Dionisio Busmion’s corner kick to give UST the lead in the 17th minute, but Montelibano was quickest to react on Greggy Yang’s headed pass inside the area for the equalizer in the 44th minute.
It was UST’s second straight draw, which meant tying FEU at third spot with five points.
NU opened the scoring with a Chima Uzoka goal after Joyel spilled Salenga’s free kick in the fifth minute. The Bulldogs were reduced to 10 men when Uzoka was shown a red card for hitting FEU star Paolo Bugas.
Philippine Azkal Simone Rota proudly introduced his special visitor from Italy, the 90-year-old nun Mother Flora Zippo.
Mother Flora is a missionary from Franciscan Sister of the Sacred Heart.
She first visited the Philippines in 1977 and set up a convent in Better Living, Paranaque City.
It was because of Mother Flora that the baby Simone was able to move to Italy where he was adopted by an Italian couple.
"She is one of the most important woman in my life... it's because of her that I got my family and I was adopted," said Simone.
Mother Flora said a woman named Sonia Tulay left Simone in the convent when the player was still two months old in November 1984.
In 1985, Simone and another baby girl were adopted by Italian couple Maurizio and Marilena Rota. They lived in Milan, Italy.
When Simore turned 29, he returned to the Philippines to join the United Football League and play for the Philippine Azkals.
Simone said he lived a happy life in Italy, but always wanted to return to the Philippines.
"I want to come back here and live in my country," said Simone. "Because I always feel I'm not complete with myself."
When he first arrived in the Philippines, he said he wasn't ready to meet his biological parents.
But now, he wants to hear the whole story of his life.
"I spoke to my dad and mom and they agreed about my decision to find them (biological parents) because they are part of my life," he said.
They tried to locate his biological parents based on his adoption papers but they didn't succeed.
Other leads brought them to places like Cavite, Cebu, and Camarines Sur.
He prays he would be able to meet his biological parents.
"[So I'll understand] why you gave me away. What is the situation of our family that you decided to give me to adoption. I also want to say thank you for giving me the best opportunity in my life to find another family and a good life," said Simone.
To anyone who has information or who can help locate the biological family of Simone Rota, please contact Sister May through cellphone number 0917843 0288. You can also get in touch with ABS-CBN News through our trunkline number 4116397.
12 mins 1-0 Borromeo (Kaya Fc)
20 mins 1-1 Dong Hee Jang (Agila)
39 mins 2-1 OJ Porteria - PK (Kaya Fc)
47 mins 3-1 Bedic (Kaya Fc)
68 mins 4-1 OJ Porteria (Kaya Fc)
72 mins 5-1 Daniels (Kaya Fc)
Ceres 9-0 Pasargad
Goals: #9 Adrian Gallardo Valdes 20' Ceres #11 Stephan Schröck 26' Ceres #6 Kevin Ingreso 35' Ceres #23 Martin Steuble 47' Ceres #9 Adrian Gallardo Valdes 50' Ceres #11 Stephan Schröck 61' Ceres #9 Adrian Gallardo Valdes 65' Ceres #9 Adrian Gallardo Valdes 71' Ceres #11 Stephan Schröck 87' Ceres
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Former Philippine Azkals captain Rob Gier has decided to finally hang up his boots.
The 35-year-old Filipino defender took to social media on Wednesday (February 17) to announce his retirement and to voice his appreciation for those who contributed to his career.
Gier made his debut for the Philippines in an AFC Challenge Cup qualification fixture against Bhutan on April 14, 2009. The Azkals won 1-0 through Chad Gould.
In 2010, Gier was part of the Philippine side that scored a shock 2-0 victory over Vietnam in the Suzuki Cup to help propel the popularity of the sport in the country.
The robust defender was named captain of the national side after his predecessor Chieffy Caligdong retired in November 2014.
But as Gier’s role in the team diminished with the emergence of younger defenders, the captain’s armband was eventually passed on to Phil Younghusband.
After seven years with the Azkals, Gier retired boasting over 60 appearances and two goals for the national team.
At the domestic level, Gier suited up for Wimbledon, Rushden & Diamonds, Cambridge United, Woking, Aldershot Town, Grays Athletic, and Ascot United in career that has spanned 16 years.
Following the successful staging of the inaugural Negros Island Region Athletic Association Meet last week, the Panaad Park and Stadium is set to make another history as it plays host to the 2016 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup Group Stage (Group E) on February 23 and May 10. Panaad Stadium will host the matches of Negros Occidental pride and Bacolod City-based Ceres-La Salle FC, which will take visiting Selangor FA of Malaysia on February 23 and Bangladesh’s Lt. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club Ltd. on May 10. To meet the requirements set by the AFC, Panaad makes some improvements in its facility. Among the visible enhancements at the stadium is the installation of fiber glass seats on the main grandstand for VIPs and the media tribune, as well as refurbishment of press box and VIP rooms wherein a VIP lounge and new air-conditioning units were installed. The press conference room and the media working room also got some facelift. Free internet connections will also be installed. Host-Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) is also working on the improvement of the stadium’s floodlights illuminations. And as the event comes closer, more structures will be put in place to ensure safety of players, officials, and spectators. NOFA President Ricky Yanson, Jr., who also heads the Philippine Football Federation’s Grassroots Committee, reiterated that the staging of this tournament will give opportunity for local football enthusiasts to witness high quality games at home and help boost the game among the grassroots./WDJ
Matches Thursday: (Moro Lorenzo Field) 1 p.m. – DLSU vs UST (men’s) 3 p.m. – FEU vs NU (men’s)
MANILA, Philippines – National University and De La Salle blanked their separate opponents over the weekend to stay on top of the table in the UAAP Season 78 men's football tournament at the McKinley Hill Stadium in Taguig.
Nico Macapal netted his third goal of the season as the Bulldogs bested a pesky Adamson University side, 2-0, while the Green Archers nosed out University of the Philippines, 1-0.
Both NU and La Salle have a maximum six points, but the Bustillos-based booters are ahead via goal difference.
In other matches, defending champion Far Eastern University upended Ateneo, 5-2, while University of Santo Tomas and University of the East battled to a goalless draw.
Macapal slotted on the 87th minute, moments after Paolo Salenga converted the spot kick which opened the scoring for the Bulldogs, who followed up last Thursday's smashing 4-0 conquest of the Red Warriors.
Jed Diamante's 62nd minute strike was enough for the Archers to book their second straight victory.
Braces by rookie Rico Andes (6th, 72nd) and Val Jurao (30th, 48th) and a Paolo Bugas goal in the 83rd minute was enough for the Tamaraws to move up to four points in a tie with the Growling Tigers in third place.
Former high school star Jarvey Gayoso also scored two goals for the Blue Eagles in the 64th and 73th minute.
UP and UE have one point in joint fifth, while Ateneo and Adamson remained without a point to stay at the bottom of the league table.
Ravaged by injuries, the absence of UAAP-committed players, and a suspension to Adam Mitter, the Loyola Meralco Sparks had only 14 players available to face Pasargad on Saturday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Despite the handicap, however, a goal from the captain, and hat-tricks from both Alvaro Castiella and Tahj Minniecon carried the team to its first win in the 2016 UFL Cup.
From the onset, the intention was clear from Simon McMenemy’s side, with the midfield and forward lines pressing extremely high. After defeat against Ceres-La Salle in the opener, the Sparks were determined to get the campaign back on track in style. New signing Alvaro Castiella got the ball rolling in the 15th minute, displaying his clinical nature with a confident finish after being released into a one-on-one with the opposition keeper.
Minniecon then doubled the advantage in fine fashion, smashing in from the edge of the area after Jorrel Aristorenas had cleverly cushioned the ball into his path. The third came soon after, with the Spaniard picking up his second. Kouichi Belgira, who was again outstanding on the left flank, dribbled his way to the end line, before carefully picking out Castiella for the tap in.
Five minutes from half-time, it was Jason de Jong who executed a similar play, with Minniecon at the end of the move to tap in. Four goals ahead and cruising, the Sparks perhaps got a bit too comfortable, as Pasargad pulled one back right before the break.
It would be the only blemish to what was a game of complete control from the Loyola Meralco Sparks, who picked up the intensity again in the second half. Only six minutes had elapsed before Minniecon completed his hat-trick with a delightful curling effort. Aristorenas and Curt Dizon had linked well at the edge of the area, and the Australian made no mistake when presented with space to shoot.
James Younghusband, who was deployed as a makeshift center back on the evening, then joined the scoring, capitalizing on some lax defending from a free-kick to push the lead to five. Castiella completed the scoring rampage a minute later, adding a third to his tally and the seventh for the Sparks.
With more than 30 minutes still to play, Loyola carved out multiple opportunities to push the lead even further, but the efforts were either ruled out for offside, saved by the keeper, or just off target.
Despite the disappointment of not being able to maximize goal scoring chances, the Sparks still walked away with a comfortable three points, on an evening when the roster was almost down to its bare bones.
Agila XI : Alcoresa , Frias, Fransisco , Galicia , Jang , Orcullo , Reche Donha , Reyes , Rosalia , Safarian , Shozu
32 mins 1-0 Christian Nana (Stallion)
85 mins 2-0 Park (Stallion)
89 mins 3-0 Soberano (Stallion)
90 + 2 mins 4-0 Mintah (Stallion)
Nomads FC 0-15 Ceres-La Salle FC
Goals: #9 Gallardo Valdes '3 '40 Ceres-La Salle Fc #7 Bienvenido Marañon '22 '43 Ceres-La Salle FC #11 Stephan Shröck '27 '49 Ceres-La Salle FC #29 Patrick Reichelt '34 Ceres-La Salle FC #23 Martin Steuble '36 '42 '84 Ceres-La Salle FC #14 Carli de Murga '39 Ceres-La Salle FC #21 Nate Burkey '59 Ceres-La Salle FC #10 Jeong Woo Lee '71 '74 '88 Ceres-La Salle FC
Men of the Match:
Martin Steuble and Stephan Schröck
Kaya 6-1 Laos FC
#17 Lopez Mendy 16' 40' Kaya #17 Aaron Altiche 21' Laos #19 Joven Bedic 77' 90+2' #11 Aly Borromeo 79' Kaya #14 Dom Del Rosario 84' Kaya
NATIONAL coach Thomas Dooley believes Stephan Schrock’s move to play club football in the country with Ceres La Salle will benefit the Azkals in future tournaments.
Just two seasons removed from playing in the German Bundesliga, the 29-year-old midfielder made his debut in Ceres-La Salle’s 2-1 win over Loyola Meralco last Sunday in the UFL Cup at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Although he failed to score, Schrock made an impact with his pace and creativity.
Watching from the VIP box, Dooley welcomed Schrock’s decision to play his club football in the Philippines, saying the Azkals can now maximize the midfielder’s presence.
“For us as a team, its better,” Dooley told the Inquirer. “He doesn’t have those 18 hours (of travel) on his legs before (Azkals) games. Now he gets used to the climate. He gets used to his teammates a little bit more.”
Schrock is on-loan from his German second division club, Greuther Furth, until August as he tries to help Ceres’ campaigns in the AFC Cup and in the UFL.
“I think it’s better to play over here than fighting over there (in Germany) just to get minutes,” said Dooley.
STEPHAN Schrock found out it wasn’t going to be easy as everyone expected it would be for him in the United Football League Cup.
The Azkals star, on loan from his German second-tier club Greuther Furth, wound up with a scoreless debut for Ceres-La Salle in its 2-1 victory over Loyola Meralco on Sunday night.
While he conjured some chances that left the crowd in awe, Schrock failed to find the back of the net in 90 minutes on the field, although the Filipino-German standout still flashed his impressive dribbling and pinpoint passing that almost led to goals.
“It's a different game for him from Germany to here, positioning-wise, everything's different for him but hopefully day by day, game by game, he'll be accustomed to Philippine football,” Ceres coach Ali Go said.
The 5-foot-7 Schrock, usually playing at midfield or defense in Germany, was thrust up front as well as in the wings in his first outing for Ceres.
“We're still looking at the best position where we can play him best,” Go said.
“In a few more games, if we qualify for the quarterfinals, I think he's going to be accustomed already to Philippine football and Asian football,” he added.
OMID Nazari wasted little time in showing his quality in Global FC’s 7-0 demolition of Pasargad in its United Football League Cup opener on Saturday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
And the Filipino-Iranian Sweden-born standout is also quick to embrace the Azkals responsibility if ever he gets a call-up from national coach Thomas Dooley.
One thing that’s preventing Nazari is that he has already represented Iran in the senior level.
Even so, the 24-year-old Swedish League veteran is still eligible to switch allegiance since the matches he played in were not Fifa sanctioned.
“I’m willing to think about (making the switch),” Nazari said after the match against Pasargad. “Everyone wants to play big international games, so we’ll see.”
The 6-foot attacking midfielder immediately made an impact, assisting on Hikaru Minegish’s goal 15 minutes in before getting on the score sheet himself with a mid-range conversion off Misagh Bahadoran in the 39th minute.
He ended up with a hat-trick in his debut.
“Omid gives us a little extra dimension in that role we’ve asked him to play, so now it’s a case of making sure he can do that for ninety minutes,” Global coach Leigh Manson said.
“There’s no question his understanding and knowledge of the game is very high and his attitude in training and what we can show some of the younger boys,” he added.
The national team has seen an influx of new talent last year, but it definitely won’t hurt to have Nazari on board as well.
But for now, his focus is on Global.
“It’s a challenge for me. I have to adapt,” Nazari said. “But it’s a good start for me, so I feel confident now. I’ll keep training hard and do my best.” Read more at http://www.spin.ph/football/azkals/news/fil-iranian-omid-nazari-willing-to-play-for-azkals-if-given-chance#A5XxRxjwde2r4jCd.99