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The Huddle PH Year-End Review Part 2: Azkals Abroad

2019’s been a good year overall in Philippine football, but what about our countrymen plying their trade overseas?Let’s take a look at some of their performances!

1. Neil Etheridge, Cardiff GK

Stats in calendar year 2019:

18 Premier League appearances, 5 clean sheets
1 FA Cup appearance
14 EFL Championship appearances, 3 clean sheets
1 EFL Cup appearance

– The incumbent Azkals #1 netminder has had a great 2019 overall, keeping his spot for the tail-end of the Bluebirds’ ultimately ill-fated Premier League campaign yet signing off with a bang as they blanked Manchester United on the way back down to the Championship. A hamstring injury in the Championship opener against Wigan Athletic delayed his campaign by 2 months but he has retaken the starting netminder job for the Welsh side, currently 5 points off the play-off places in the second tier of English football.

2. Daisuke Sato, OSK Sepsi/Muangthong United LB

Stats in CY 2019:

8 Liga I appearances, 0 goals/0 assists
1 Cupa Romanei appearance, 0 goals/0 assists
5 Thai League 1 appearances, 1 goal

– While Neil Etheridge stayed with his club this year, Daisuke Sato took a gamble on moving clubs, swapping Romanian club OSK Sepsi for Thai powerhouses Muangthong United during the midseason break. In limited action during the tail-end of the Thai season he showed flashes of his ability, and the move is definitely one to watch for as the Kirins look to bounce back in the 2020 Thai League 1 season.

3. Amani Aguinaldo, PKNP CB(on loan from Ceres)

Stats in CY 2019:

16 Malaysian Super League appearances, 1 goal

– For all the potential Amani Aguinaldo always promised, a move outside the Philippines always looked like an opportunity he would take to flourish, and it worked for him this season. A loan move away from burgeoning dynasts Ceres-Negros to MSL side PKNP worked wonders, with him being a colossus at the back for the Malaysian side almost from the moment he arrived 4 matchdays in, only missing 3 of the 19 matches he was eligible for. His annus mirabilis continued with a blazing performance in the SEA Games, that hat-trick against Timor Leste in the last group stage match, and now he has earned a trial at K-League side Incheon United.

4. Patrick Reichelt, RW(recently of Melaka Utd)

Stats in CY 2019:

22 appearances, 10 goals/3 assists

– Well, what a year. Patrick Reichelt absolutely tore it up for Melaka United, notching double-digit goals and firing himself to 5th in the MSL scoring charts. Surprisingly, he was let go at the end of the MSL season; however, that form should lead to a good offer in the coming weeks.

5. Jefferson Tabinas, FC Gifu LB(on loan from Kawasaki Frontale)

Stats in CY 2019:

8 J2 appearances, 0 goals/0 assists
1 Emperor’s Cup appearance

– From a high, we go to a relative low with Jefferson Tabinas. The Japan-based prospect had a year to forget, playing only 9 times for a club rooted to the foot of the J2 table, and with his contract at Kawasaki Frontale close to ending, that isn’t a good prospect.

6. Kadin Chung, Pacific FC RB

Stats in CY 2019:

24 Canadian Premier League appearances, 1 goal/2 assists
1 Canadian Championship appearance

– We end this little travelogue with a trip to Canada, and a look at an intruiging prospect in Kadin Chung. The Fil-Canadian alumnus of the Vancouver Whitecaps Academy returned to British Columbia after a stint in Germany with Kaiserslautern’s B-side and quickly anchored the right-back slot at Canadian Premiership side Pacific FC, weighing in with well-timed attacking runs and being a testy yet slick defender.

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