By Dennis 'D Source' Guillermo | Watchmen Daily Journal
Photo courtesy of Josh Boone
When the Azkals Philippine national football team heads stateside to play a couple of international friendlies against the Chicago Inferno UFL (United Football Leagues) club and the US Virgin Islands national team in August as part of their tune-up for November’s ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup — which will be co-hosted by Malaysia and Thailand — head coach Hans Michael Weiz and team manager Dan Palami will also get a chance to audition 19-year-old Filipino-American striker Josh Boone who is hoping to land a spot in the squad.
Boone, who currently resides in Dayton, Ohio, plays for the city’s Dayton Dutch Lions UFL club, and is one of the youngest professional players in the league.
The attacking mid-fielder has had plenty of experience internationally, having been invited to camps such as the Empoli FC Academy in Monteboro, Italy, and the Real Madrid Academy in Real Madrid, Spain, as well as the West Ham United Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, and lived in Holland for half a year to train and try out for Cambur Leeuwarden.
“I improved my game a whole lot from living in Holland and training with Cambur,” Boone told this scribe in a phone interview. Boone hopes his next stop will be the Philippines as a member of the Azkals.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Philippine national team and how the country rallies behind them,” he said, and added, “This is a big opportunity. I would love to go there and help them in any way I can. It would be a big hope of mine to make the team.”
Boone also played four years of varsity soccer for the Alpharetta Ambush in Atlanta, Georgia coached by David Eristavi, where they won the Nationals in 2010, and then went to finals the following year. Boone also helped Eastside High School in South Carolina reach the 2011 3A State title during his senior year.
In college, Boone played for the University of North Carolina Wilmington during his freshman year, but opted to drop out after the year to pursue his dream of becoming a professional soccer player and headed back to Holland to train for a couple of months.
Listed at 5’8′, Boone traces his Filipino lineage from his grandmother who is a full-blooded Filipino, and hopes to represent the country by virtue of the Philippines’ dual citizenship law. Boone grew up in Greer, South Carolina.
“I started playing soccer at a young age, and I just loved it,” Boone said. “It was just a big sport in my family, and my goal since I was little was to be able to play professional soccer internationally,” he added.
Boone with be suiting up for the Chicago Inferno when they play against the Azkals on August 11th, and against the US Virgin Islands on August 14th at the JOE BEAN STADIUM in Wheaton, Illinois, and may get an opportunity to play with the Azkals as the 28th man on their roster for the August 17th match against the US Virgin Islands in Indianapolis./WDJ