Weiss names 26-man Azkals lineup for RMS defense vs. Vietnam, Indo

Photo from Philippine Football Federation

by Drew Malihan

MANILA - Head coach Michael Weiss reveals the 26 men that will compose the Philippine National Football Team to kickstart their FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers.

Goalkeeper and current Azkals captain Neil Etheridge led the call-ups, along with Kuala Lunmpur City's Kevin Ray Mendoza, and Chomburi's Patrick Deyto.

Persik Kediri's Simen Alexander Lyngbo will alo make his return with the national team alomgside Barito Putera's Carli de Murga, Mito HollyHock mainstay Jefferson Tabinas, Persita Tangerang's Christian Rontini, Ratchaburi's Jesse Curran, Persib's Daisuke Sato, Police Tero's Dennis Villanueva, Kaya-Iloilo's Audie Menzi, and Atletico Madrid Juvenil's Santiago Rublico.

Three more Kaya players will join the midfield as Justin Baas, Marwin Angeles, and Jesus Melliza received their call-ups, alongside former teammate and Lamphun Warriors' Oskari Kekkonen, Angkor Tiger's Pocholo Bugas, Kedah's Manny Ott, Barito Putera's Mike Ott, and Sri Pahang's Keving Ingreso.

The frontline will boast the most experience as long-serving Azkals Patrick Reichelt of Kuala Lumpur will join Kelantan's OJ Porteria, RANS Nusantara's Kenshiro Daniels, Chanthaburi's Bienvenido Maranon, and CF Manila's Stephan Schrock.

Notable absentees include Arema's Julian Schwarzer, Khon Kaen United's Joshua Grommen, Greuther Furth II's Sandro Reyes, Vukovar's Paul Tabinas, Hansa Rostock's Jan-Patrick Strauss, Johor Darul Tazim's Oscar Arribas, Hobro's Sebastian Rasmussen, and Antalyaspor's Gerrit Holtmann.

“It’s a good mixture of experienced mainstays for a long time and young well-developing talents brought on by the recent performances of Philippine clubs in AFC competitions,” said Weiss in a press statement. “It gives us reason to be optimistic for our first World Cup qualifier matches against Vietnam and Indonesia.”

Azkals will meet the Vietnamese team on November 16, while they will have a meeting with Indonesia on November 21, both inside Rizal Memorial Stadium.

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