Philippines have announced their 23-man squad for the joint qualifiers of 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup against Bahrain and Yemen, with few surprises from Thomas Dooley’s selection.
Four new overseas-based players have been called up for the first time as the Fil-Australian midfielder, Iain Ramsay and German-born Kevin Ingreso along with former Bolton Wanderers’ Luke Woodland will boost the Azkals midfield. While Fil-Austrian Stephan Palla will be providing reinforcement for the back-line.
Major names such as Phil Younghusband, Martin Steuble, Misagh Bahadoran, Rob Gier and Amani Aguinaldo star in the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup, will still lead the line ahead the continental campaign.
Javier Patino, who had an impressive debut with Henan Jianye in Chinese Super League, will be back to the team after being away in the past few campaigns of the team as well as two other names, Stephan Schrock and Neil Etheridge.
The biggest names absent from the squad are goalkeeper Roland Muller and winger James Younghusband, who never missed playing for the national team since his international debut in 2006.
The Azkals will host Bahrain on June 11 at Philippine Sports Stadium in Bulacan before departing to Qatar to face Yemen on June 16.
Squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Neil Etheridge (Free Agent), Partick Deyto (Global), Tomas Trigo (Loyola).
Defenders: Rob Gier (Ascot), Juan Guirado (Ceres), Daisuke Sato (Global), Amani Aguinaldo (Global), Simone Rota (Stallion), Kenshiro Daniels (Kaya), Stephan Palla (Wolfsberger).
Midfielders: Manuel Ott (Ceres), Misagh Bahadoran (Global), Stephan Schrock (Greuther Furth), Jerry Lucena (Esbjerg), Martin Steuble (Ceres), Patrick Reichelt (Ceres), Dennis Villanueva (Global), Luke Woodland (Oldham), Kevin Ingreso (VfR Neumunster), Iain Ramsay (Free Agent).
Forwards: Phil Younghusband (Loyola), Mark Hartmann (Global), Javier Patino (Henan Jianye).