Fil-Spanish Juan Luis Guirado and Fil-Canadian brothers Jonathan and Julian de Guzman to miss Azkals’ Sri Lanka match
By Olmin Leyba
Three potential Fil-foreign recruits, Fil-Spanish Juan Luis Guirado and Fil-Canadian brothers Jonathan and Julian de Guzman, will not be able to join the Phl Azkals when they play Sri Lanka in the 2014 Fifa World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
As this developed, the Azkals saw a four-place drop in their FIFA world ranking, plummeting to 155th in the list released yesterday.
The Azkals’ position was affected by their performances in March, specifically their 1-2 loss to Mongolia in the AFC Challenge Cup playoffs last March 15, their draws with Myanmar (1-1) and Palestine (0-0)and their 3-0 triumph over Bangladesh in the AFC Challenge Cup group stages.
The Phl booters are 29th among Asians, standing 18 places higher than their next opponent, Sri Lanka, who retained their 173rd spot.
According to team manager Dan Palami, the 31-year-old midfielder Guirado, brother of striker Angel, is tied up with his commitment to Spanish Division III club Lermeno of Burgos for the June 29 and July 3 matches with Sri Lanka.
The Toronto-born De Guzman siblings, on the other hand, have eligibility issues. Julian of Toronto FC in Major League Soccer has already played for the Canadian men’s squad while Jonathan of RCD Mallorca, who previously played for The Netherlands’ U21 and U23 sides, is reportedly being recruited by the Dutch seniors team.
“Angel’s brother wants to represent the Philippines but has prior commitment to his club,” Palami said. “As to the De Guzmans, one of them (Julian) already played for another nation while the other (Jonathan) is being eyed by another nation that has a stronger chance to make it to the World Cup (final stage),” Palami said.
“So for this particular tie (Sri Lanka), they will not be joining the Azkals,” he added.
The PFF intends to form its “Dream Team” for the World Cup Asian Qualifiers, with co-captain Aly Borromeo and Anton del Rosario even doing scouting and recruiting efforts in the US. Some 37 Fil-Ams and Fil-Canadians have showed up for their tryouts.
Palami said the PFF will form a pool of 30-35 players, which by May 9 will start training for the Sri Lanka showdown. Source