ASEAN Scouting Report: Goalkeepers

 

This is the first of a new series of articles in which I’ve identified 25 players who could in theory be brought in to fill Port’s two spare ASEAN quota slots. All of these players are dual nationality, with most sharing European and South East Asian ancestry. We’ve seen a host of players of a similar ilk come to Thailand and find great success, and it has been bewildering to me that since the 3+1+3 quota has been introduced more clubs haven’t jumped to take full advantage. With just a little scouting – the sort that  a bloke with no scouting background only using free online resources could do – clubs could potentially identify ASEAN players who could be as influential as any foreign player in the league.

I haven’t just tried to identify the best 25 players in these articles, though. I’ve looked for a mix of players who play in different positions, from different leagues, backgrounds, and ability levels, so there’s a broad picture of the kind of players who are out there. There are a great deal of interesting and worthy players not on the list, so don’t think the options are limited to what I’m publishing here.

 


 

First up are the goalkeepers.

I don’t want to denigrate any of Port’s three senior goalkeepers, who are all among the best stoppers in Thailand on their day, but there’s no denying we could do better in this department by bringing in an undisputed No. 1 from abroad. Think of the likes of Michael Falkesgaard and Dang Van Lam, who Bangkok United and Muangthong have signed in recent seasons. Are there still ASEAN players of that caliber still available? You be the judge…

 

Filip Nguyen

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: ฿31m

Current Club: FC Slovan Liberec (Czech first tier)

Nationality: Czech/Vietnamese

Age: 27

Height: 1.91m

 

The priciest option on the list, but probably the best. Picked as the best goalkeeper in the Czech top tier last season, Nguyen is a seriously good stopper. Bring in a goalkeeper of this caliber and you’re guaranteeing yourself a good few extra points every season, more than worth the estimated outlay when you think of it as three and a bit Chenrops! Get a load of this performance from August 2019 against Czech league leaders SK Slavia Praha.

He’s been wooed by Vietnamese teams before and was considering a move to South East Asia, but decided to stay put in Europe. Nguyen hasn’t, however, closed the door on playing for Vietnam’s national team in the future. This is far from an easy signing to pull off, but if you’re a club with money then you shouldn’t rule out ambitious moves likes this. Players like Nguyen can win you league titles.

 

Patrik Le Giang

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: ฿8m

Current Club: Bohemians Praha 1905 (Czech first tier)

Nationality: Slovakian/Vietnamese

Age: 27

Height: 1.85m

 

A much more affordable option who looks very much like a budget Filip Nguyen. Whereas Nguyen plays for a top Czech team, Le Giang plays for a bottom half side. Nguyen stands at 1.91 and Le Giang at 1.85. He would still be one of very best stoppers in T1 though, and something that distinguishes him from Nguyen is that he was first choice for his country at youth level for a good few years, although he hasn’t broken in to the full team. This guy represents a good balance between quality and a realistic price tag, although the fact that he hasn’t already been wooed by a Vietnamese team raises the question if he would be at all interested in a move to South East Asia. He’s also just 6 months in to a 3 year contract, so there’s that. He’s got his own Youtube channel with this 11 minute highlight reel.

 

Kevin Ray Mendoza

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: ฿6.5m

Current Club: HB Køge (Danish second tier)

Nationality: Danish/Filipino

Age: 25

Height: 1.88m

 

Third choice goalkeeper for the Philippines national team, which sounds a bit rubbish until you point out that first choice is Neil Etheridge and second is Michael Falkesgaard. Mendoza is first choice for his club side, who play in Denmark’s second tier, but has also combined this by linking up with the Philippines national team squad this season. This indicates that he would probably be open to offers from South East Asia, and with the Philippines Football League being the mess it is, a top Thai team should be top of his wish list. This is a really realistic signing of a player who would massively improve our first team. My pick of the bunch, and this excellent highlight reel shows just why.

 

Roland Müller

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: ฿6.5m

Current Club: Ceres Negros (Philippines first tier)

Nationality: German/Filipino

Age: 31

Height: 1.80m

 

Probably the least exciting name on the list, but also the only one with experience playing club football in Asia. We could most likely pick him up on a free transfer, and I’m sure he’d love to experience T1 football. He’s a Philippines international with 22 caps, although he’s now retired from international football, and he’s played in the German second tier and the Swiss first tier. 31 is still young for a goalkeeper, so the fact that he’s the oldest on the list shouldn’t be an issue. His highlights video features some hilariously bad defending, but don’t let that take away from some excellent saves.

 

Novem Baumann

 

(Marc Schumacher/freshfocus)

 

Transfermarkt Value: ฿3m

Current Club: FC Zürich U21 (Swiss third tier)

Nationality: Swiss/Filipino

Age: 23

Height: 1.85m

 

The youngest and least experienced player on the list, Baumann has played a handful of games on loan in the Swiss second tier but over 70 in the third tier, which is comprised mostly of youth teams. He has also represented Switzerland at multiple youth levels though, showing that he’s highly thought of in the country of his birth. Baumann will most likely go on to be a top tier goalkeeper. He hasn’t yet been called up by the Philippines, but looking at the depth or their goalkeeping options that’s hardly a surprise. He’s a stylish stopper with a flair for some Hollywood saves, as his highlight reel shows.

 


 

For inquiries about other players I’ve looked at in the research for this article, send me an email at earlsy@outlook.com

 

Tom Earls

Tom Earls

Having moved to Thailand aged 10, Tom has been playing or watching football in Thailand for more than 18 years. A keen follower of the Thai National Team and an avid fan of Port FC, he is a regular contributor to The Sandpit.

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Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] my penultimate ASEAN scouting article I’m looking at wingers. We’ve covered goalkeepers, defenders and midfielders, so next we have our creative geniuses, our speed demons and some really […]

  2. […] about scouting ASEAN players we are looking at midfielders. Here are the previous two, which cover goalkeepers and defenders. I’ve separated wingers in to a separate category, so today we’re just […]

  3. […] In the second of my series of articles on ASEAN scouting we look at defenders. To see the first article about goalkeepers, click here. […]

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