Philippines football to keep Thomas Dooley at the helm another two years

American Thomas Dooley will lead the Philippines' football team for another two years after maintaining their top ranking in Southeast Asia, the national federation said.

Thomas Dooley speaking in Manila on May 4, 2026. AFP/Ted Alijibe
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American Thomas Dooley will lead the Philippines’ football team for another two years after maintaining their top ranking in Southeast Asia, the national federation said.

The deal means Dooley, a former captain of the US national team, will lead the Philippines as they target success in the AFF Suzuki Cup, which they are co-hosting with Myanmar in November and December.

Dooley, 54, who took charge in 2014, will now stay at the helm until at least March 18, 2018, the national federation said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

“I’ve always said that I wanted to stay so that’s why it was easy to come together and talk,” Dooley was quoted as saying to Philippines media by the AFC website.

Under Dooley, the Azkals – local slang for feral dogs – climbed 11 places in the FIFA world rankings to 116, and held on to their status as the best team in Southeast Asia.

The contract extension also means Dooley will lead the Azkals in the next stage of qualifying for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

In his two years, Dooley led the Azkals to the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup semi-finals and the finals of the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup in the Maldives, where they eventually lost to Palestine.

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