Azkals name stars for Challenge Cup

Philippines have named a strong 22-man squad in a bid to successfully defend their title at the 2013 Philippine Peace Cup from November 11-15.

The Azkals, who hosted the tournament for the first time in 2012, emerged as champions after seeing off the likes of Chinese Taipei, Guam and Macau.

This year, they will take on Chinese Taipei and Pakistan in a three-team round-robin tournament at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod and look determined to come out on top once more, after coach Michael Weiss included a host of stars in his roster.

Leading the way is playmaker Stephan Schrock, who is currently plying his trade for Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt, while Fulham goalkeeper Neil Etheridge and Ascot United defender Rob Gier are two players who have made the trip from England.

United Football League (UFL) giants Global lead the way in terms of the Philippines-based contingent with nine players called up, including Paul Mulders, Angel Guirado and Jeffrey Christiaens, as well as the on-loan duo of defensive midfielder Jason de Jong and goalkeeper Eduard Sacapano.

Winger Patrick Reichelt, who is currently playing for Thai Division 1 League side Singhtarua will also be available, although Buriram United hitman Javier Patino, who has scored 13 times in the Thai Premier League this year, misses out through injury.

Loyola Meralco Sparks stars Phil Younghusband and James Younghusband, Green Archers United’s Emelio Caligdong and Burgos centre-back Juan Luis Guirado round off the list of big names looking to play their part for Philippines over the next week.

Nonetheless, Weiss has also opted to give a number of up-and-coming players a chance to shine by including under-23 starlets like Mark Hartmann, OJ Porteria, Marwin Angeles, Raymark Fernandez and Patrick Deyto.

Global right-back Jerry Barbaso, who ended a two-year international exile in the Azkals’ last outing – a 1-0 friendly win away to Hong Kong – will also be hoping for a chance to stake his claim for a regular place in the side.

Goalkeepers: Patrick Deyto (Green Archers United), Neil Etheridge (Fulham), Eduard Sacapano (Global)

Defenders: Jerry Barbaso, Jeffrey Christiaens (both Global), Raymark Fernandez (Green Archers United), Rob Gier (Ascot United), Juan Luis Guirado (Burgos)

Midfielders: Marwin Angeles, Misagh Bahadoran, Jason de Jong, Mark Hartmann, Paul Mulders (all Global), Emelio Caligdong (Green Archers United), Chris Greatwich, OJ Porteria (both Kaya), Jerry Lucena (Esbjerg), Patrick Reichelt (Singhtarua), Stephan Schrock (Eintracht Frankfurt), James Younghusband (Loyola Meralco Sparks)

Forwards: Angel Guirado (Global), Phil Younghusband (Loyola Meralco Sparks)

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