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.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Azkals mainstay Chieffy Caligdong is rooting for Germany in the 2014 World Cup

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Azkals mainstay Chieffy Caligdong is rooting for Germany
by rick olivares

Like a lot of other people today, Emelio “Chieffy” Caligdong is following the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with a lot of interest. Caligdong, who plays his club football with Green Archers United and is ready to return to national team training following a leg injury that kept him on the shelf for a while. With the United Football League season done, Caligdong has a little more time to spend with his family and follow the World Cup.

The 10-year national team veteran is rooting for Germany to win the World Cup. “I like the way they play,” explained Caligdong in the vernacular. “They are very organized in their build-up. They play simple but fundamental football. They pass the ball around and are very patient with their offense. And when they score they are very respectful of the game. I think that this is how we should play the game.”

“They finished third in the last two World Cups so anything less is like a failure for them,” added Chieffy about the German team. “If they make it to the finals, I think they will win it.”

Watching the Germans struggle against Ghana, Chieffy believes that Joachim Low’s squad underestimate the Black Stars. “I don’t think they will make that mistake against the Americans though.”

Chieffy also admits to following the campaign of the Blue Samurai, Japan. “For the same reasons as Germany, when it comes to Asian countries, I like Japan. I like watching them and the Germans and try to pick up some techniques from them. When I get to the pitch, I try to work on them and see how I can incorporate them into my style of play.”

Green Archers United’s very own national player also finds time to watch other countries and has been impressed with the United States of America. “There are similarities with their national team and ours. Right now there’s some controversy with the addition of their German-Americans and others born of foreign mothers,” said Chieffy. “It’s the same thing with us in the Philippines except that we assimilated earlier than they did. And to think they are a more developed nation.”

“Their Major League Soccer, though ahead of us, is growing,” pointed out Chieffy. “Their major sports are American Football, basketball, baseball, and hockey while football is growing there. It’s also the same here in our country where basketball is the most popular sport. But look where MLS is now? They have some star players from the European leagues playing there now. Hopefully, with the UFL, we can continue our growth especially for the homegrown players.”

Caligdong also noted that the warmer climate in Brazil is affecting the Europeans teams’ performances. “It’s an advantage for the South American teams because they are used to that weather.”

“When we played Kuwait in the second round of the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers, the heat affected us. When Kuwait came over for our home game, they were concerned about the rain. It’s really like that. The weather plays a big factor.”

Right now, Caligdong is enjoying watching the World Cup. “This is a very unpredictable World Cup. The former powers are struggling and new teams are doing well. That means the game is evolving and teams are getting better. Hopefully, one day, the Philippines will be participating in the World Cup.”

Next year, the Philippines will once more embark on that dream as it plays in the Qualifiers for the World Cup in Russia in 2018. “With better preparation,” summed up the veteran midfielder. “Hopefully we can go farther.”

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