Saturday, September 28, 2013

Global, Loyola, Nomads & GAU Advance to Semis. Global win vs LMS forfeited. Kaya out.

From UFL Media Officer Jing Jamlang:

UFL Preseason Update: 
Global, Loyola, Nomads and Green Archers Advance to Semis


Global, Loyola Meralco Sparks, Nomads and Green Archers United all booked their place in the semi-finals of the UFL Preseason, as the second group stage wrapped up on Friday night.

The Archers moved on after a 4-0 win over Nomads, who go through at the expense of Stallion. Having won 5-1 against the double-champs in their first match in the second round, Nomads will be looking to rediscover their form when the semi-finals start on October 6.

Despite losing against Kaya, 2-1, in their final group stage match, Loyola will still move on to the next round, advancing on goal difference, after their recent 3-1 loss to Global was overturned, 3-0, in their favor.

On September 24, the UFL Disciplinary Committee made the decision to forfeit and award in favor of Global’s opponents, matches where disputed player Rufinho Sanchez was involved. Having failed to secure a Player Transfer Certificate from Stallion, last year’s top scorer was deemed ineligible to play for Global, and will remain so until the dispute is either settled by the two involved clubs, or until the UFL passes judgment on whether Sanchez will be considered a free agent or a Stallion player.

Until then, any involvement of Sanchez in any Global matches will be met with further sanctions from the UFL.

The UFL Preseason semi-finals are set to be played next Sunday, October 6 at the Emperador Stadium, a week later than originally scheduled. The move was made in order to accommodate Global’s participation in the semi-finals of the RHB Singapore Cup, where they will play Tanjong Pagar United in a two-legged tie.

Having already defeated Warriors FC, the Cup’s defending champions, and a valiant Brunei DPMM side en route to the semis, Global are in prime position to make history for Philippine club football by bettering Loyola’s semi-final exit in the same competition last year.

The UFL is extremely proud to have clubs representing the league at a regional level and wishes Global the best of luck in their endeavors in the Singapore Cup.

Friday, September 27, 2013

2013 UFL Cup 2013 Groupings and Quick Thoughts

With Nomads will not take part in the 2013 UFL Cup, twenty-seven teams were divided into five groups.

Group A, C, and E will have five (5) teams in their group. Thus, top three (3) teams will advance to the next round.

Group B, D, and F will have four (4) teams in their group. Thus top two (2) teams will advance to the next round.

The best third place finisher in this four team group will also advance to the next round to complete the round of 16.

2013 UFL Cup Groupings:

Group A
Green Archers United
Manila Jeepney
Cebu Queen City

GAU will be heavy favourites to top the group; anything less will be a disappointment.

This is the most open group of them all. On paper, Forza and Cimarron will have the advantage in that they have played more games together in Division 2.

The question is -- what can we expect from Manila Jeepney and Cebu Queen City?

Group B
Air Force
General Trias

Old rivals meet again. Loyola, with a newly beefed up defence will expect first place and rightly so.

Can PAF arrest its decline and restore old glory, at least by making it to the knockout stages? Agila can take advantage of any PAF slip up.

Can Gen. Trias, bereft of its original Korean core, make waves once again in the competition that catapulted them to national prominence?

Group C
Manila Tala

The proverbial "Group of Death" is watered down by the fact that three teams will go through from this group.

First Division teams Global and PSG look strong. Can Ceres recapture the form it showed in winning the PFF Smart Club Championships early this year?

What to make of Navy and the relatively unknown Manila Tala?

Group D
Blue Guards

Stallion and Army meet yet again in the group stages of the UFL Cup.

Army memorably beat Stallion last year. Will lightning strike twice against a Stallion team missing key components from its title winning run?

Group E
Pachanga Diliman
Team Socceroo
Bright Star

Team Socceroo will get a chance to prove its credentials before it embarks on Division 1 football next year.

Pachanga Diliman will be favoured to top the group, but who to take the third spot?

Another open group with three slots up for grabs, this should be a very interesting group to say the least.

Group F
Manila All Japan
Manila Hurricanes

Kaya, looking to end its title drought, is given a very easy group on paper.
They should have no trouble going through to the next round.

Second division sides Union and Manila All Japan should contest second place in the group. Can Manhur spring a surprise?

·        Loyola is paired with sister team Agila. Ditto for Green Archers United with sister team Forza. Perhaps the UFL could look into the possibility of sister teams avoiding each other in the draw next time?
·        IMHO, this “three teams progressing from a five team group + the best third placer in four team group” may cause confusion among newbie football fans. Granted it will be a good talking point and a point for discussion, but new fans may look at it and be confused – and may dampen their interest.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

UFL Cup 2013 Pre-Draw Pot Groupings

The UFL Cup is almost upon us!

There will be 28 participating teams, composed of: 

Ten (10) UFL League 1st Division clubs

·   Stallion FC
·   Global FC
·   Loyola FC
·   Kaya FC
·   Pachanga Diliman FC
·   Green Archers United FC
·   PSG FC
·   Nomads FC
·   Phil. Army FC
·   Phil. Air Force FC

Nine (9) UFL League 2nd  Division clubs

·   Team Socceroo FC
·   Union Internacional Manila FC
·   Forza FC
·   Agila FC
·   Laos FC
·   Phil. Navy FC
·   Cimarron FC
·   Manila All-Japan FC
·   Dolphins United FC

Nine (9) new / guest clubs 

·   Blue Guards FC
·   Bright Star FC
·   Cebu Queen City United FC
·   Ceres – La Salle FC
·   General Trias International FC
·   Manila Hurricanes FC
·   Manila Jeepney FC
·   Manila Tala FC
·   Mendiola FC 1991

Twenty-eight teams will be drawn if four groups of seven teams.
Top two teams (14 in total) advance to the next round together with two best third finishers to make 16 teams.

From there it will be a knockout format to determine the champion. What is interesting to see are how the different teams are separated into four pots.

Pot 1:
Stallion FC (1st), Global FC (2nd), Loyola FC (3rd), Kaya FC (4th), Pachanga Diliman (5th), Green Archers United FC (6th), PSG FC (7th)

Pot 2:     
Nomads FC (8th), Phil. Army FC (9th), Phil. Air Force FC (10th), Team Socceroo FC (1st), Union Internacional Manila FC (2nd), Forza FC (3rd), Agila FC (4th)

Pot 3:     
Laos FC (5th), Phil. Navy FC (6th), Cimarron FC (7th), Manila All-Japan FC (8th), Dolphins United FC (9th), Cebu Queen City United FC (only new / guest club to have participated in the UFL League (2011/12)), Ceres – La Salle FC (PFF Smart Club National Champions)

Pot 4:     
Blue Guards FC, Bright Star FC, General Trias International FC, Manila Hurricanes FC, Manila Jeepney FC, Manila Tala FC, Mendiola FC 1991

A potential challenging group would be for example:

Global, Air Force, Ceres and General Trias.
Loyola, Socceroo, Ceres and Mendiola would be interesting as well!
Kaya, Army, Laos, Jeepney?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Press Release: UFL Preseason Tournament Starts September 7 @ Emperador Stadium


UFL Launches Inaugural Preseason Tournament Featuring U-23 Azkals

In a bid to have clubs firing on all cylinders when the UFL Cup rolls around in early October, the United Football League has announced its first ever preseason competition. Set to kickoff on Saturday, September 7, the tournament will feature 15 teams, including the Under-23 Azkals.

The month-long competition will begin with a single round-robin group stage, where the sides have been separated into three equal groups. The top two teams from each group after the first round will then be redrawn into two groups of three, where another single round-robin will be played.  The top two sides that emerge from each group will move on to the semi-finals, with the winners of the knockout matches facing each other in the finals.

Aside from Team Socceroo, Pachanga-Diliman, and PSG, all First Division clubs are participating. Union Internacional Manila, Forza, Cimarron, Philippine Navy, Laos, Dolphins United, and Manila All-Japan will be representing the Second Division.

Teams have been allowed to field 30-man squads for the preseason competition, a number that will have to be whittled down to 25 before the UFL Cup begins.

Group C has proven to be the most challenging of the three clusters, with double winners Stallion being grouped with Kaya and the U-23 Azkals. Given the format of the tournament, at least one of the three highly rated sides will be eliminated before the second round.

All matches will be played at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig City.

The groupings are as follows:

Group A
Manila All-Japan
Union Internacional Manila
Green Archers United

Group B
Dolphins United
Philippine Army

Group C
U-23 Azkals
Philippine Navy

September 7 Schedule

0800 – Green Archers v UIM
1000 – Global v Laos
1400 – Cimarron v Nomads
1600 – Army v Loyola
1800 – Forza v U-23 Azkals

2000 – Navy v Stallion