After releasing Azkals roster, Weiss asks for crowd support
Coach Michael Weiss expressed confidence that the Philippine Azkals can put up a competitive showing against two Southeast Asian powerhouses to begin their campaign in the second round of the World Cup/Asian Cup Qualifiers.
“It’s a good mixture of experienced mainstays for a long time and young, well-developing talents brought on by the recent performances of Philippine clubs in AFC (Asian Football Confederation) competitions,” Weiss said after the 26-man lineup for the home matches against Vietnam and Indonesia at Rizal Memorial Stadium were released on Wednesday.
Neil Etheridge, Patrick Reichelt and brothers Mike and Manny Ott are among the veterans who’ll lead the Azkals’ bid to start off the joint qualifiers on a bright note.
Overseas-based players like Jefferson Tabinas and Santiago Rublico plus Philippines Football League mainstays Justin Baas, Audie Menzi, Marwin Angeles and Jess Melliza have been getting international exposure with their stints for Kaya-Iloilo in the AFC Champions League.
The list also includes goalkeepers Kevin Ray Mendoza and Patrick Deyto, defenders Carli de Murga, Christian Rontini, Jesse Currana and Daisuke Sato, midfielders Dennis Villanueva, Simen Lyngbo, Simone Rota, Oskari Kekkonen, Cholo Bugas and Kevin Ingreso.
Naturalized player Bienvenido Marañon, Kenshiro Daniels and OJ Porteria are also on the team, as is veteran Stephan Schrock, albeit in a more off-the-pitch leadership role.