PFF to tap ex-US captain as coach

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Saturday, February 1, 2014


THE search for the next coach is over and the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has found its man.

National team manager Dan Palami has chosen Thomas Dooley as the next head coach of the Philippine national team, which will see action in the AFC Challenge Cup in the Maldives in May.

Dooley, a US national who traces his roots in Germany, played for the US in the 1994 World Cup and was named captain in the 1998 World Cup. He will replace German coach Hans Michael Weiss, whose contract expired this month.

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Weiss took over from Simon Mcmenemy in January 2011, and led the team to the Peace Cup title in 2012 and a third place finish in the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup.

The former US national team member has a vast experience as a player, having suited up for Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga. He also won the Uefa Cup with Schalke 04 in 1997 before joining the Major League Soccer.

Palami said that the way Dooley was recruited for the US team is also an advantage.

Azkal

“He is an ‘Azkal’ for the US after being scouted in Germany to play for the US in the World Cup,” said Palami, who cited Dooley’s playing and coaching experience.

Majority of the members of the Philippine national team are based in Europe but have Filipino mothers.

The defensive midfielder who also saw action for the Columbus Crew and the Metrostars in the MLS also was named the assistant coach to Jurgen Klinsmann in the friendly game between the US and Mexico Aug. 10, 2011.

“He also presented a good plan and system of playing during the interview, an offshoot of games he viewed of the team,” Palami said.

Palami flew to the US last week to interview Dooley and the plan and system presented by Dooley, “showed me that he came in prepared and ready.”

Palami, who has bankrolled the Azkals since 2010, also said Dooley is bent on creating a strong team and not just a collection of good players.

Dooley’s debut with the national team could come on March 1, when the Philippines takes on Malaysia in an international friendly.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 01, 2014.

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