Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Friday, February 22, 2013

My version of the call-ups to the Philippine Men’s Football National Team

This appears in the Monday February 25, 2013 edition of the Business Mirror.

My version of the call-ups to the Philippine Men’s Football National Team
by rick olivares

Thirty-one players have been called up by the Philippine Football Federation for the national team training on February 22-24, 2013 in preparation for the AFC Challenge Cup 2014 Qualifiers. And this is the list they came up with:

1. AGUINALDO, Amani Manuel – Far Eastern University

2. ANGELES, Marvin Janwer – Global FC

3. ANGELES, Marwin Janver – Global FC

4. ARANETA, Ian – Philippine Air Force FC

5. BAHADORAN, Misagh – Global FC

6. CALIGDONG, Emelio – Green Archers United-Globe FC

7. CHRISTIAENS, Jeffrey – Global FC

8. CLARIÑO, Mario Javier – Pachanga-Diliman FC

9. CUARESMA, Ref Delany – Loyola Meralco Sparks FC

10. DE JONG, Jason Nicolas Maria – Stallion Sta. Lucia FC

11. DEYTO, Patrick Phillip – Green Archers United-Globe FC
12. FERNANDEZ, Raymark Kenneth – University of the Philippines

13. GENER, Roel – Philippine Army FC

14. GONZALES, Andres Crisanto - Pachanga-Diliman FC
15. GREATWICH, Christopher Robert – Kaya FC

16. HUGO, Jake – Green Archers United-Globe FC

17. LEUNG, Jerome Stefan – Pachanga-Diliman FC

18. MARGARSE, Nestorio Jr. – Philippine Army FC

19. MARTINEZ DE MURGA, Carlos Alberto – Global FC

20. MELLIZA, Jesus Joaquin – Far Eastern University

21. PASILAN, Floriano Jr. – Green Archers United-Globe FC

22. PASINABO, Arnie Jr. – Green Archers United-Globe FC

23. PORTERIA, Jose Elmer – Kaya FC

24. REICHELT, Patrick – Global FC

25. SACAPAÑO, Eduard – Philippine Army FC

26. SANTOS, Bruno Gabriel – Stallion Sta. Lucia FC

27. SEGUNIAL, Deo – University of the Philippines

28. UY, Matthew Christopher – Global FC

29. WOLF, Denis – Global FC

30. YOUNGHUSBAND, James Joseph – Loyola Meralco Sparks FC

31. YOUNGHUSBAND, Philip James – Loyola Meralco Sparks FC

When I saw the list, I had to shake my head. From what I know of national teams, players are chosen based on their most recent performance and not on reputation and who they are. There are even players on that list who hardly get off the bench so why are they in the pool? If they can’t even get any regular playing time with their clubs then what more with the national team?

I need to know what football is being watched here?

There are sinful omissions and suspicious additions that makes me wonder, what football is being watched? The new year and the new tournament is a perfect time to add new and fresh blood.

If I were to nominate my 32 to the pool then I will choose a mix of veterans plus some newbies (youth if you will) who are all based on home soil with incredible potential. The youngsters will benefit from a proper training camp (where there’s real training and not just monkey monkey in the middle or target practice) and being around the regulars. Think about what they can learn from these guys. Remember we are also building for the future and not simply NOW. This will give the local players a huge boost in their knowledge, experience, and confidence.  

So here they are in democratic alphabetical order.

Ref Cuaresma (Loyola)
Patrick Deyto (Green Archers United)
Wilson Muñoz (Stallion)
Eduard Sacapaño (Army)

Defenders: Emphasis on tracking ability, speed, some size and ability to move up and down
Jerry Barbaso (Global)
Jeffrey Christiaens (Global)
Jason Cordova (Ceres)

Roxy Dorlas (Loyola)
Raymark Fernandez (UP)
Chad Gould (Loyola)
Andrew Santiago (Pachanga-Diliman)
Deo Segunial (UP)
Reynald Villareal (Green Archers United)

Midfielders: Emphasis on creativity, defensive-mindedness, passing, speed, and leadership
Marwin Angeles (Global)
Misagh Bahadoran (Global)
Paolo Bugas (FEU)
Chieffy Caligdong (Green Archers United)
Jason De Jong (Stallion)
Carli De Murga (Global)
Anto Gonzales (Pachanga-Diliman)
Chris Greatwich (Kaya)
Mark Hartmann (Loyola)
Mikko Mabanag (Ateneo)
OJ Porteria (Kaya)
Jayson Panhay (Ceres)
Patrick Reichelt (Global)
James Younghusband (Loyola)

Forwards: Emphasis on finishing and skill
Ruben Doctora Jr. (Stallion)
Jesus Melliza (FEU)
Tating Pasilan (Green Archers United)
Jinggoy Valmayor (UP)
Phil Younghusband (Loyola)

If we are to call up any players, it would be on defense: Rob Gier or Dennis Cagara. But that’s it. And I'd keep my eye out on former Dipolog U-23/DMMC and current Global player Niño Ochoterena, Ateneo's Carlo Liay, Val Calvo, and Nick O'Donnell, UP's Michael Simms and Daniel Gadia, La Salle's Greggy Yang and Nathan Alquiros, FEU's Arnel Amita and Eric Giganto.

Why are there a lot of midfielders? Well, many of them can play multiple positions but the composition of the team should look not just into retaining possession but also moving the ball up and all over the place. These guys will be the workhorses as they play box-to-box. They’re smart, can pass the ball, and more tellingly, can finish.

I actually find it hard to believe that Mark Hartmann has not been called up for national duty? Is he still being held liable for his ill-timed and irresponsible Tweets during the last SEA Games?

I am a firm believer in second and third chances. The kid is only 21. He is entitled to make mistakes as long as they are not of the kind that merits heavy jail time. Hartmann has been the best player on Loyola and the UFL since late in the last league, the recent UFL Cup, the Singapore Cup, and is now continuing to bring it in the league race.

It has been three years since football exploded into the national consciousness and I still do not see a coherent program not only for the national team but the grassroots and the referee’s development.

Whether this is still the result of the previous do-not-touch-my-kingdom mentality is debatable. One thing is for sure, for all the inroads of football, we at times, are not doing the right thing.


  1. Really don't understand how our national pool is being select . This is a disgrace to all fans who supports the UFL and PFF Cup also to those players working their butts on and off the field.

    1. Because the people in charge of selection are from the same Barotac Nuevo town that Gener, Margarse are from. The assistant coach of the National Team is also from Barotac Nuevo and I am pretty sure he had a hand in the selection process as well. I think they worked it out this way, a compromise, Weiss to select his half, and the rest are selected by Bracamonte and Barotac Nuevo demons in the PFF.

      Or a much worse scenario, Margarse, Gener, Araneta are locked in, then 75% of players selected by Barotac Boys in the PFF and Bracamonte and the rest are selected by Weiss.

      If we want football to move forward then lets get rid of the likes of Caslib in the PFF. Get rid also of Bracamonte who is the coach of Airforce team in the UFL and is currently languishing at 3rd last in the local league. He shouldnt be anywhere near the national team!

      Migo System

    2. I really don't get it why they still get called up . maybe they are locker room guys , that keeps the team motivated . i think if the case is bringing local talents to pool , they should consider tating , balut and other in form players in UFL . not the same old same old . another thing I still don't get why mark hartmann hasn't been called up . maybe because of that sea games thing .

  2. Now this list makes more sense than the comedy monkey monkey call up. Experience, Potential, Promise and Youth. Thumbs up Rick. I'd still recall Joshua Beloya of Ceres F.C. tho.

    1. Thanks! Josh is not in the form we like. Yet. Maybe in the future. But the pool should be expanded.

    2. I have no idea . The third string( if I'm right) Goal keeper of stallions gets called up , the remaining notable locals didn't (balut , italia or even wilson munoz . )

  3. Gotta have beloya, marasigan and leonora in there.

    1. I'd love to but not right now and not based on recent performances.

  4. Part of the problem is that Weiss doesn't really watch a lot of Philippine Football games, and relies only on people to give him inputs. He may be getting some bad advice out there, based on bias from the people giving him the advice.

    But it is his responsibility to not rely on advice from his people and go out to make the judgement calls himself. Instead of relying on people to scout for him, he should do the scouting himself. Its not like he is holding multiple jobs like most Coaches, so he has time to go out and watch the games himself.

    1. In fairness to the coach, he watches the UFL now. BGC na kasi hindi na yung smelly Rizal. And he went once to the UAAP where he stayed inside the car. Maraming biasness yung line up. Like the supposed tryouts of several years ago that was actually for show more than anything else when the team was already done.

    2. i can still remember when the azkals were in cebu for a friendly against singapore. since Weiss can't watch the semis (was it ufl?) bet meralco and global, he requested the hotel which he was staying that time to record the game. so i think he is interested to watch our local games.

  5. i think barbaso and dorlas should be in the 32 pool and even marasigan..

  6. would love to see balut doctor partnering with pyh... that would be a sight in our forward line...

    1. I think this happened before the azkals became the famous azkals . balut and pyh together on top , , I think it was during the challenge cup qualifiers in iloilo , it was 4 years or 6 years back , it was also featured the young neil etheridge .

  7. Maraming magaling pero baka hindi committed sa training at iba ang priority kaya hindi mabigyan ng chance maglaro sa NT. OK din para sakin sina Pasinabo, Uy at Clariño.

    Bakit biased? Dahil puro global?

  8. Marasigan is in the Pool! and so is Arroyo (Nomads)


  9. Hmmm...wait wait wait...for goalkeepers, no Wilson Munoz,Nick O'Donnel, Tyrone Caballes, that new airforce keeper, and all the other UAAP/NCAA standouts but they invited Bruno Santos of Sta.Lucia FC? No offense to Santos, he's one great chap, and he's relatively new and very eager to learn, but a call up for the National Team???? now while still learning the sport? Seriously??? Lol. someones trying to satisfy a sponsor of a team composed of barotac nuevo!Lol. PFF Ikaw na!!!

    1. baka dahil brazillian kaya na call up

    2. funny thing BRUNO plays behind Wilson Muñoz of stallions yet he gets the training call up.

    3. BRUNO SANTOS???? sino yan??????

    4. baguhan nga lang yan sa football eh...former Ateneo High tennis player, last year lang nag-umpisa mag-football...So, I guess corporate sponsorship played a part here. After all, family niya may-ari ng Sta. Lucia Realty

    5. Rick has a point, reserves who barely/never get to play get call ups, but starters dont? Ano basis nila of inviting if sarili nilang team di sila nakakalaro? nauto nanaman sila ng nag recommend? Wilson Munoz (Stallions 1st keeper) and Kim Versales (Pachanga 1st Keeper) no invite, pero yung subs nila meron? If im not mistaken Leung was a former UAAP standout from UP(MVP), Santos a former high school tennis player who was absorbed by Stallions(obviously for sponsorship reasons),still learning the basics of the sport, wala naman lokohan. Let the guy learn first, dont give him false hopes for your selfish interests(Sponsorship). Let him earn his laurels. Kawawa yung tao. Ang irarason nila, "invite lang naman eh di naman final lineup", who are they fooling? all over the world, when you get an invite for the National Team, it means you have been identified to be one of the best, not because they would want to give you a free football clinic and milk sponsorship out of you. Honestly speaking I'd ratehr invite Melo Sabacan or Dang Cecilio, definitely 10X better than the others invited,even at their ages. Haaay football.

  10. Tating and Balut . atleast give this two a full cap on friendlies , Azkals badly needed a striker . ( good thing there's patino) but there should be someone who would play alongside with phil .

  11. Fredie Gonzales of Loyola should also be included in the lineup

  12. Not to take away from locals Ian ARANETA, MARGARSE and gener , but seriously ? you choose Araneta over the in-form balut doctora or Margarse over his team mate (becite) ? I don't know maybe it's not the talent or form , but maybe because they are good locker room guys , but how could the coaching staff missed Mark Hartmann ? I think he's the most in-form player in the UFL right now .