More than being keyed up to play against his idol, David Beckham, the Philippine Azkals' Phil Younghusband believes the upcoming game will boost his team's exposure.
"It's good exposure for the Azkals, not only locally but internationally and it'll be a good experience for the team," explained the Fil-Brit striker on PEP’s Nov. 28 report.
He added, "I think last year we would never have been able to get this type of game in the Philippines.”
Phil unabashedly admits that he is a hardcore fan of the L.A. Galaxy superstar.
"He was one of my, my biggest idols, football idols, ever since I was seven or eight years old. To get the chance to play with him, knowing that he's coming to the end of his career, it's a dream come true for me," he blurted relentlessly in the report.
While Phil was all about the upcoming exhibition game on Dec. 3 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, three of his teammates would unfortunately miss the rare opportunity. According to a previous Manila Bulletin report, goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, as well as midfielders Stephen Schrock and Jerry Lucena won't be playing that day because of their earlier commitments with their professional clubs in Europe.
Azkals coach Michael Weiss said there’s no way the Azkals could beat Beckham’s Galaxy. Nevertheless, he rues about the wasted opportunity of fielding an incomplete Philippine team against the foreigners.
"That's very unfortunate," said Weiss. "As much as I support and want this game coming, it would have been better if I have the professional players with me so that we could show that we can play on a higher level."
Among those sure to play are Phil and James Younghusband, Chieffy Caligdong, Ian Araneta, Chris Greatwich, Rob Gier and Anton del Rosario. Team captain Aly Borromeo will not suit up because of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury he suffered in the United Football League recently.
By MAUREEN MARIE BELMONTE