This appears in the Thursday, June 28, 2012 edition of the Business Mirror.
The country’s best footballers take sides in a showdown for charity
by rick olivares
The sport of football is said to break down borders, languages, and cultures. On August 25, 2012, it will provide hope and inspiration for the abandoned as well as the orphaned when the Clear Dream Match kicks off with a celebrity all-star football match at the University of Makati.
The Clear Dream Match was launched yesterday at the Rockwell Tent with brothers James and Phil Younghusband headlining the event.
The two teams will be captained by brothers who will for the first time in their lives, will find themselves on opposing sides. Their respective squads will feature fellow national, UFL, and collegiate players as well as football-playing and loving celebrities.
The Clear Dream Match was inspired by Steve Nash’s Showdown In Chinatown; the annual soccer all-star benefit game in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. And the beneficiary of the Clear Dream Match will be the Tuloy sa Don Bosco Foundation which has provided players for the Philippines’ Homeless World Cup Teams through the years.
There’s a slight twist to the composition of the teams as fans can vote for who plays on the respective teams of the Younghusband brothers. Beginning June 25, 2012, fans will have a pool of 50 players to choose from that includes local football stars like brothers Anton and Armand del Rosario, Eric Dagroh, and Nate Burkey who play for Kaya; Anto Gonzales, Jake Morallo, and Pat Ozaeta of Loyola; Wilson Muñoz, Ojay Clarino, and Jovanie Simpron from Stallion; Patrick Bocobo and Tating Pasilan from Green Archers United; Freddy Gonzalez, Yves Ashime, William Guerridon of Pachanga, and Daniel Matsunaga and Fabio Ide of Team Socceroo among many others.
The country’s universities will also be represented with the addition of footballers like UST’s Shirmar Felongco, Ateneo’s Mikko Mabanag, De La Salle’s Patrick Deyto, and UP’s Michael Simms to name a few.
A couple of Philippine Volcanoes, Andrew Wolff and Eric Tai, who both love and play football when they are not playing rugby, will be playing as well.
Celebrities who have thrown their names in the hat include popular radio talk shows hosts Slick Rick and Tony Toni of Boys Night Out; television and radio host Paolo Bediones, actor Jake Cuenca; ABS-CBN artist Rafael Rosell; and a few more. Rock star Rico Blanco was one of those who wanted to participate but begged off due to a nagging knee injury.
Aside from the free admission to the match, fans will also be able to choose their seats at UMak by logging on to Clear Facebook page and selecting the “Reserve the Seat” tab. The feature also allows them to print their tickets to the match.
Fr. Rocky Evangelista, SDB, Project Director and President of the Tuloy Foundation said that he was extremely happy that Clear and its parent company Unilever have chosen their foundation as the beneficiary of the celebrity match. “It’s the beautiful game for a beautiful cause where they get to help many children achieve a brighter future.”
Slick Rick joked that he began his preparations for the match by loading up his Playstation console with FIFA games. “Hopefully, I will learn from the likes of England’s Wayne Rooney by studying his moves.”
National player Anton del Rosario who admitted to being a fan of Boys Night Out said that he “looked forward to either setting them up for a goal or tackling them if they try to score on me.”
“The Clear Dream Match is the first of its kind. Some of the best football players in the country playing in one game – it’s going to be an amazing show,” boomed John Imperial, Clear Brand Manager.
“We hope that this will be an annual match much like what Steve Nash is doing in the States,” pointed out Phil Younghusband. “We haven’t really kicked off yet but being a part of this is already a dream come true for me.”