MANILA, Philippines – After splitting the first two editions of the Clear Dream Match, football stars and brothers Phil and James Younghusband will settle the score in the third installment of the all-star game on June 7.
Phil had drawn first blood in 2012 when his team routed James’s, 5-1, but James struck back in 2013 when his squad – backed up by World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro – came away with a 4-1 victory.
“This is the big one,” said James. “This is the decider.”
“The first year was amazing and the second year was even bigger and more amazing, so I expect this one to be even bigger and even more amazing,” said Phil. “The standard of play has gone higher and higher.”
“It’s amazing how both games have been sort of one-sided, and maybe it will be a little bit tighter this year,” he added.
Manchester United legends
After Cannavaro and Chelsea FC legend Dennis Wise played in last year’s showdown, this year’s game will be further intensified with the participation of two legends of Manchester United.
Paul Scholes and Andy Cole, who are experienced in settling highly contested rivalries in English football, will team up with the Younghusband brothers.
Cole is the second highest goal scorer in Premier League history, while Scholes is cited as one of the best midfielders of his generation and has featured over 700 times for Manchester United.
“We watched these guys when we were kids,” said James. “We were in grade school, and we watched these two play in the treble-winning year.”
Cole and Scholes played key roles in the 1998-99 season, which saw United win the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League.
Though James is the defending champion, Phil believes he still holds bragging rights over his older brother as his team is technically one goal ahead.
“James and I are quite humble. I didn’t rub it in (when I won), and he didn’t rub it in. Secretly though, we know that when we talk about the match, I would have gone through if we played using Champions League rules,” said Phil.
The third Dream Match will serve to finally break the 1-1 tie between the brothers as well as showcase the best of local football, with Filipino fans getting to choose who among the top 50 players in the United Football League (UFL) they want to see in the game.
Fans can go to www.cleardreammatch.com.ph to vote. The top 32 players from the poll will be drafted by the Younghusband brothers to their respective teams on May 10.
Moreover, up to six amateur football players can also get the chance to play in the Clear Dream Match by joining the nationwide tryouts handled by the UFL in Cebu, Iloilo, Davao and Metro Manila.
Proceeds from the match will go to the Tuloy Sa Don Bosco Foundation.