AFF Suzuki Cup 2018: Phil Younghusband a major doubt for Azkals’ opener

2018 AFF Suzuki Cup: BEST XI

With the Philippine Azkals still yet to release their final 23-man squad for the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 tournament as of this writing, one can only speculate that those that are currently in Bacolod are the ones that will make the team BUT ONE BIG name is missing.

Ever since the training camp started, Phil Younghusband’s absence is noticeable from all the available social media posts.

The scrimmage against Mongolia has even been captained by Ceres-Negros’ Stephan Schrock, when it is mainly Davao Aguilas’ Phil Younghusband who is the designated national team captain in normal circumstances.

As of last night, most of the Philippine Azkals have already arrived in Bacolod for the final preparations for the AFF Suzuki Cup, but the Younghusbands’ presence were yet to be confirmed.

But this Thursday morning (November 8, 2018), midfielder and Phil’s brother James posted on his social media account that he is on his way to Bacolod… alone.

According to a very reliable source, Phil has just recovered recently from flu, so this might mean that the Azkals star and Philippines’ highest goalscorer might not be able to feature in their Suzuki Cup opener against Singapore.

Currently Phil’s competitive appearances (caps) for the Azkals stand at 99. It could mean that his 100th cap milestone has to wait a bit more.

But taking into consideration the missed time he had in the preparations leading up to the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018, whether he’ll be able to participate for the rest of the competition remains hanging and will only lie on the final squad that Head Coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, the Azkals management and PFF will provide.

Photo credit: Philippine Football Federation