Focus: Phil Younghusband – Jack of All Trades, Master of One

Versatility is one of the most admired qualities in modern sports. Being able to be useful in multiple positions will mean that a versatile player can contribute in different ways. However, being a jack-of-all-trades can also mean that a player can get stuck with the tag of failing to reach the extraordinary.

With that, going from good to great for a versatile player, means being excellent at least at one particular skill – and this is what Phil Younghusband exemplifies in the Philippine football scene.

Phil has played as a striker for most of his career. During the last season, though, he would oftentimes play in the midfield position, which adds to his responsibilities, both defensively and offensively.

As a midfielder, Phil was an essential part in the Sparks’ strategy of clogging the passing angle on defense; thereby creating more possessions for the team. On offense, distributing and handling the ball became a major part of his tasks.

Going through the stats, though, these added responsibilities have not hindered him from hitting those breathtaking goals. In fact, Phil finished as the team’s top scorer at the end of the season with a total of 19 goals from 18 starts.

What’s more remarkable is that, as the season progressed, he was able to increase the number of goals scored from four in the 1st Round of the UFL League, to seven goals in the UFL Cup, and eight in the 2nd Round. Top it off with the fact that Phil missed the first few games of the 1st round due to injury, it goes to show that Younghusband’s scoring prowess is still very much his bread and butter.

As important, Phil has also adjusted to his role of distributing the ball quite well. His outstanding field vision showed as Phil gathered 4 assists during the 1st Round of the UFL, second only to his brother, James, who had 6.

“Jack-of-all-trades, Master-of-one”- this expression perfectly describes Phil Younghusband as he combines versatility with expertise in scoring. This just affirms why he is one of the top football players in the country today, and one of the reasons why next season’s outlook for Loyola Meralco Sparks looks bright.

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