by Daryl Lagos
The victory could not have been so much sweeter when the nation of basketball crazy population have waited 99 years to be declared winners of an international footballing event.
It was in the Far Eastern Games (ASIAN GAMES) 1913 when the Philippines had last won gold.
There was no loss on record for the Azkals in the Philippines Peace Cup 2012.
The likes of Macau, Guam and Chinese Taipei were a fair test for team that is preparing for the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012. The most prestigious ASEAN Cup ever! It is also the same event back in 2010 that saw the Philippines rise from the ashes.
The championship night was sealed off by goals from Dennis Santos Wolf, Skipper Chieffy Caligdong and OJ Porteria. This is also the 1st win over final's rival Chinese Taipei in 7 Clashes.
The Azkals played class in all 3 matches that in turned sealed them to sweep the entire tournament.
This also reflected in the awarding ceremony that saw Dennis Wolf, as the Golden Boot Awardee & Most Valuable Player, Mathew Uy was declared the best Mid-Fielder while Jeff Christiaens taking home best defender award.
Eduard Sacapano hailed as the best Goalkeeper taking command in the absence of GK Neil Etheridge & Roland Muller. All these players came from the Philippine National Football team.
Shining through the night was the trophy for the Champions that was also won by the Philippines.
Though a minor tournament, Azkals Coach Weiss was confident that this win will boost the national side's confidence in competing to what he would call as the "Climax" of these entire preparation..The AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 in November.
FIFA has also released the World Rankings that now sees the Philippines at 147, 21st in Asia, and 3rd in South East Asia.
This has been the nation's highest rank in history...yet.
By Daryl Lagos
Filipino-German Roland Muller has officially trained with the Azkals. He will be the last line of defense as the Philippines battle in the Long Teng Cup this coming September in Taiwan.
Teams from The Philippines, Macau, Hong Kong, and (Host) Chinese Taipei will play against one another in The Cup that will be held from 30 September to 4 October 2011. Unfortunately, Jerry Lucena, Paul mulders & Neil Etheridge will not be attending the matches due to club commitments while Stephan Schrock too will be absent. Rob Gier shall miss the games as well for his wife expects to deliver their 1st baby soon.
Football Clubs only permit their players to join the National Squad on FIFA coordinated International matches and apparently the Long Teng Cup is not one of them.
The Azkals invited Roland Muller, who is MSV Duisburg 2nd Choice keeper in the German Bundesliga as back-up for Etheridge who now plays 2nd Choice GK for Fulham in the English Premier League.
Ideas coming from Fan Camps suggest that Muller will replace Etheridge. While comparative comments and personal opinions differ from one fan to another, let me just share to you that He will not be the "Replacement" for Neil, but they are rather comrades ready to support each other for the much tougher task of defending the net for the country.
The 5'11 Muller will be boosting the Azkals defensive stance as they will also enter the competition for the International experience of the team which will be composed of Senior Squad members and U-23 stand outs.
Watch the Training Report Video
More about Roland Muller http://azkalsunited.weebly.com/4/post/2011/08/roland-muller-new-azkal-on-the-horizon.html
by Daryl Lagos, Azkals United
In search for a National Goalkeeper that led to many speculation surrounding the Philippines No.1 Jersey, A name came up to the short capable list and eligible to sing the National Anthem when the next Azkals game kick off.
Roland Muller, a 5'11 Fil-German who currently is listed NO.1 Keeper for MSV Duisburg in the 2. Bundesliga is reportedly the next line for Neil Etheridge. This is the same 2nd Division of Top German Football to which our very own Stephan Schrock plays for Greuther Fürth.
The 23 year old GK from his last club FC KOLN U23 already had manifested shot stopping skills and aerial reflexes that will certainly have him chosen as 1st Keeper in his current club MSV Duisburg in no time.
The search for GK reinforcement came about when our No.1 Keeper of faith, Neil Etheridge was elevated to 2nd Choice Keeper for Fulham FC in the English Premier League behind Australian Mark Schwarzer.
Englishman David Stockdale has joined Ipswich on a season-long loan after Fulham secured his long-term future with a new deal making Neil Etheridge stand next in line. Etheridge is vital to club's success in his new position, the Philippine International will find himself busy on schedule and with the Azkals missing an important star player we might be on a very unstable road to winning more games and progressing through the FIFA World Rankings although he will be there for the Azkals whenever club permits.
This is not the first time that Muller could be listed to defend Philippine goal line, In fact he was listed GK of the youth squad that saw battle in Nagold Cup - U19 tournament in Germany last April, but did not saw action due to club commitments. The Fil-International selection that represented the Philippines won 2nd place but only due to a goal difference.
We really need a reliable back-up for Neil Etheridge and the GK Position, someone who can keep a good guard of the post, from Muller and Etheridge, our locals will learn a lot as well.
His arrival to the Azkals camp will surely boost the team's depth for talent, more over secure that no alien goal may reach the Philippines net when he guards it.
We might soon see a lot of Roland Muller than expected.