|Goalkeeper Bùi Tấn Trường is competing for a starting spot in the national team. — Photo thethao247.vn
HÀ NỘI — Bùi Tấn Trường and Đặng Văn Lâm are competing to start in goal for the national team during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Group G qualifiers in the UAE, according to a former top football administrator.
Lâm recently moved to Cerezo Osaka in the J1 League this season and is not at the team's training camp in Ha Noi due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but has received permission to fly directly from Japan to the UAE to join the national team later this month.
Before the first qualifier against Indonesia on June 7, the Vietnamese squad will play a friendly match against Jordan on May 31. They will then take on Malaysia on June 11, and then wrap up the qualifying round with a game against hosts UAE four days later.
Lâm will have several days to train with the national team before the competitive fixtures begin.
But returning to the national team from abroad could put his starting position up for grabs.
Lâm moved to Osaka from Thailand’s Muangthong United in January 2021 but has yet to make his debut, while Trường is the starting goalkeeper for 2020 V.League 1 runners-up Hà Nội FC.
"Lâm has always been the No 1 choice of coach Park, but his form is now in question. Meanwhile, Trường has never played in Park's squad, but his form is good. Park will consider both Lâm and Trường for the starting spot," said former acting general secretary of the Việt Nam Football Federation, Phan Anh Tú.
According to Tú, this is a worthy reward for the 35-year-old goal keeper Trường after many years of absence from the national team.
In recent years, South Korean coach Park has used goalkeepers Lâm, Nguyễn Tuấn Mạnh, Trần Nguyên Mạnh and Phạm Văn Cường, as well as U23 goalkeepers like Nguyễn Văn Toàn and Bùi Tiến Dũng. The competition for the spot in between the sticks is always fierce at each training camp.
“Over the past year, Trường’s performances surprised fans. He retired then re-appeared in the jersey of the capital team. From a secondary goalie, Trường took the starting spot and has maintained his impressive performance to the present,” said Tú.
“Coach Park selected Trường, proving that he has great faith in him. At this time, perhaps only Trường could make Park reconsider starting Lâm”.
For the past three years, Lâm has been the No 1 goalie of the national team and has been a big part of the success of the Vietnamese team. Lâm's advantage is his familiarity with the national team and Park's trust in him.
However, Lâm hasn't played since a match against Prachuap in Thai League 1 last November. He still trains hard and professionally but the lack of competition is a concern, while Trường has been in good form in the V.League 1 this year.
All members of the national team have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and will leave for the UAE on May 26 for further training and to become acclimatised to the warmer weather conditions.
All the national team's matches will be broadcast live in Việt Nam. Domestic fans will be able to watch live broadcasts of the games at 11:45pm on June 7, June 11, and June 15, respectively, on VTV5 and VTV6. VNS