CHICAGO—The Philippine national football team fields a mix of veteran players and young Turks when it tangles with the Chicago Inferno Saturday at the Joe Bean Stadium inside the Wheaton College campus west of downtown Chicago.
With Aly Borromeo still sidelined by an injury, Chieffy Caligdong will skipper the national side against the United States Premier Development League team that yielded only a 0-1 loss to Major League Soccer team Chicago Fire last month.
It will mark the first game for the Azkals since their 3-0 thrashing of Guam in an international friendly at the Panaad Stadium last June 12.
The Azkals have been training in the Windy City since last week and German coach Michael Weiss expects a “highly motivated team ready to put up a good show.”
“We’ve trained wonderfully in a fantastic environment,” said Weiss. “I’m very satisfied with the setup. Now, the players have to deliver something.”
Azkals manager Dan Palami said the two matches in the camp, including the one against the US Virgin Islands on Aug. 17 in Indianapolis will go a long way in their preparations for the Suzuki Cup late this year.
Ed Sacapano, who saw action in the third place game against Palestine in the AFC Challenge Cup, will get the start at goalkeeper, while a makeshift defensive line will be composed of Under-23 standouts Jason de Jong, Carli de Murga, Jeff Christiaens and Jason Sabio.