Azkals hope to test LA Galaxy
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Azkals are hoping to give the MLS Cup champions Los Angeles Galaxy a tough test when they face in a friendly on December 3 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Azkals team manager Dan Palami says it is a dream come true for the Philippine XI to go up against the LA Galaxy, especially David Beckham, Robbie Keane, and Landon Donovan.
"One year ago, this was just a dream, to play against the likes of Beckham... Then barely a year after, medyo nandito na tayo where a high-profile team like LA Galaxy has come to play against our team Azkals," Palami said.
He adds that he is hoping the Azkals will give the LA Galaxy a challenge.
"Hopefully for the Team Azkals, we give them a good fight, para yung ibang teams, they will want to play against us kasi they will get a good session," Palami said.
He added that if the match against the Galaxy is successful, it will "open the floodgates for other clubs to come in."
Azkals striker Phil Younghusband, for his part, admitted that Beckham is one of his football idols.
"Idol ko talaga, so to get the chance to play with him at the end of his career is a dream come true," Younghusband said.
But Younghusband says he will not be "star-struck" once he is on the field with the LA Galaxy players.
"I think ang importante is we stay professional," he said. "Pagkatapos ng game, pwedeng magpa-autograph, magpa-picture. During the game, kailangan professional."
James Younghusband and Chieffy Caligdong, meanwhile, said the game will be a learning experience for the national team.
"Malaking challenge para sa amin," Caligdong said. "Maraming matututunan mula sa team ng Galaxy, especially David Beckham."
"They're champions of the United States at the moment, so I'm sure they'll be very good. It will be a tough game for us," James said. "It will be a good experience for us, we're still a young team and we're still developing." -- Report by Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News