June 22, 2024
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York United Matthew Baldisimo

Patience Paying Off: Matthew Baldisimo Called Up By Philippines

By on May 26, 2024 0 752 Views

York United’s Matthew Baldisimo has accepted a call up from The Philippines, potentially setting up a national team debut that has been long in the making.

Baldisimo has accepted multiple call ups over the last several years, including one alongside his brother two months ago. Injuries have curtailed each one, though today’s call-up comes with Baldisimo having featured in four straight matches for Canadian Premier League side York United.

The Azkals are hoping the midfielder can aid the country’s World Cup qualification matches against Vietnam and Indonesia on June 6 and 11, with his older brother Michael also getting the nod.

York United Matthew Baldisimo
Photo Credit: John Jacques

The two games are looking like the end of this cycle’s World Cup journey for Tom Saintfiet’s Philippines squad, who sit bottom of the group with one point after four matches played. There are four teams in Group F, where only the top two will advance. With Vietnam occupying the second spot on seven points already, The Azkals need to win both games while hoping Iraq – who play both Vietnam and Indonesia as well – not only continues its 100% win rate, but hammers home several goals in the process.

Matthew Baldisimo had featured for Canada at the youth level but never got a senior team nod from Les Rouges, with his Filipino heritage keeping the door open for national team action at the age of 26. The country has been looking to bring him in since 2020, likely marking one of the longest waits for a debut from a country and player both keen on making it work.

Pacifc FC Matthew Baldisimo
Photo Credit: Pacific FC

The Vancouver-born midfielder has made 82 appearances split between Pacific FC and York United, where he’s proven to be a strong midfielder with good passing vision amidst some continual injury struggles. In fact, one would have to look back to 2020’s Island Games season to see the last time he featured in more than seven league matches consecutively.

Baldisimo has played in York United’s last four matches on the bounce, including their home wins against Valour FC and Halifax along with a full ninety away against Cavalry in between. The call-up will see York United march into matches against Forge FC and Vancouver FC without him, though he would be back in time for a clash against table-toppers Atletico Ottawa on June 15.

It’s unclear if Liberia’s Brem Soumaoro or Liechtenstein’s Dennis Salanovic have gotten nods from their respective national teams for the same window.

Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques

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