Some of the ‘Street Dogs’ are barking at former USMNT captain Thomas Dooley despite his relatively strong record at the helm of the Philippines national team.
As head coach of the Azkals — or ‘street dogs’ — Dooley is under fire from some older players who contend he is favoring the younger players too much.
Two veterans, Stephan Schrock and Dennis Cagara, have declared that they will not play for the country again as long as Dooley is in charge of the squad. Dooley’s previous managing experience is a minor stint with the USMNT and with a lower division German club.
Foreigner comes in and angers vets by favoring youth? Where have we heard this before?
Schrock, a 27-year-old West German-born player, has played 22 games in the Bundesliga and has 17 caps for the Philippines, while Cagara, 29, has had a nomadic club career across Germany and Denmark, making 14 appearances for his country at the back.
Here are Schrock’s comments on Facebook:
“Dooley is also the reason why I won’t play for the Azkals for the moment,” added the 29-year-old Lyngby BK defender, who has 13 national caps.
The Philippine Football Federation said management was still to fully address the issue, as the players had only made their statements on social media.
“This is best resolved by the team management. It is looking into this,” federation general secretary Edwin Gastanes told AFP from Hanoi.
Dooley and Gastanes had attended Tuesday’s draw in Vietnam for Southeast Asia’s Suzuki Cup, which kicks off on November 22.
Dooley took over the Philippines team in February, and the team is ranked No. 128 in the latest FIFA rankings (Their all-time high was 127th, achieved in 2013). He has coached the Azkals to a 4W-3D-2L mark, including a 1-0 loss to Palestine in the finals of the AFC Challenge Cup. A win would’ve given the side its first berth in the AFC Asian Cup, to be played in 2015.
The Philippines went 5W-1D-3L in 2013, but won just one of their last five matches under boss Michael Weiss. Schrock scored two goals in 2013.
There is an MLS connection to the Azkals, as Swiss born midfielder Martin Steuble signed for Sporting KC in mid-July and has made one appearance for the club.