Duo walk away from Philippines team
Two senior Philippines players have said they have played their last matches for the national team under coach Thomas Dooley.
Defender Dennis Cagara and midfielder Stephan Schrock used social media to announce that they would not play again while former USMNT captain Dooley remained in charge, Yahoo! Sports reported.
"As long as coach Dooley leads the team I won't wear the jersey of Azkals again," German-born Schrock, 27, wrote on his Twitter feed, adding that he hoped to return to the national team picture "one day."
He stressed that playing for the Philippines "has always been a pleasure for me, and I still feel honoured to have the possibility of playing for my country -- the country where my heart belongs."
Cagara, born in Denmark, also used Twitter to announce his decision to step away from Dooley's squad.
The 29-year-old, who plays for Danish club Lyngby, said: "Dooley is also the reason why I won't play for the Azkals for the moment."
Dooley is also the reason why I won't play for the Azkals for the moment.- Dennis Mengoy Cagara (@dmengoy) August 4, 2014
He added: "I will miss the team and the fans for a while, but I will be back again to honour the flag."
Reports in the Philippine media suggested the two are unhappy about their reduced opportunities in the side amid Dooley's policy of looking to use younger players.
Dooley became Azkals head coach in February, guiding them to the runners-up spot in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup with a squad including numerous younger players.
Speaking after the tournament, he said: "That doesn't mean we want to kick the old players out, but maybe the pace of the game will be better and it is good to have young players who can develop."