Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Teams load up to shoot down Air Force when UFL kicks off this Jan. 14

Teams load up to shoot down Air Force when UFL kicks off this Jan. 14
by rick olivares with photos from ufl and jp manahan

When the United Football League kicks off this Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, there are three favorites to unseat two-time league champions Air Force – Global, Kaya, and Loyola.

While every team has upgraded its lineup – Global snagged former RC Portuense midfielder Carli de Murga; Kaya has brought in Pachanga striker Alu Kigbu and University of Saint La Salle’s Joshua Beloya; and Loyola has added Anto Gonzales (on loan from Diliman) and returning Japanese footballer Yoshioka Taku to shore up its midfield – Air Force which has kept its lineup that won the UFL Cup in thrilling fashion over Loyola remains a heavy favorite to defend their title. “Chemistry yung pinaka-asset namin,” offered Air Force striker Ian Araneta who finished with 19 goals in the cup competition that was second to the 25 of Loyola’s Phil Younghusband. “At yung bilis namin.”

Not to mention one Chieffy Caligdong who was affectionately called “a pest” by his national teammates Aly Borromeo and Nate Burkey who are with Kaya now with LBC as their main club sponsor.

However, the UFL’s Division One clubs are wary of Loyola, a strong favorite due to the presence of James and Phil Younghusband. The Fil-British brothers towed Smart San Beda and Loyola to the finals of the Smart Club Championships and the UFL Cup only to lose to Global and Air Force respectively. “I’m still smarting from those two loses. I am happy that we made the finals but obviously, I hate losing. Hopefully, we will get to win our first title in the Philippines. But it won’t be easy,” said James who served notice of their team’s motivation for the league.

Kaya on the other hand cannot wait to get back at Loyola for that heartbreaking 5-4 loss in the cup semis after they went up 3-nil at the half. “Our goal is to win the league,” said Kaya defender Anton del Rosario. “But we want to even things up with Loyola.”

“We don’t want to talk about it,” added midfielder Lexton Moy over that galling loss. “But it’s on our minds.”

When the third league competition kicks off (under the Football Alliance), 10 clubs including Green Archers United, Army, Navy, and newly promoted Nomads, Stallion, and Pasargad will do battle in the double round robin format after which the team with the worst record will be relegated to Division Two in place of that group’s champion. “Every game, every win, every loss, every card, and every goal will count,” emphasized UFL Chairman Santi Araneta. “There are no playoffs. The best team at the end of it all is the champion.”

Stallion FC beefed up its squad by recruiting UST head coach and Pachanga assistant coach (as well as former national player) Marjo Allado to shore up its midfield as they are losing their Korean contingent from Central Philippines University for a few months). UST striker Ojay Clarino will also suit up after the UAAP season that also kicks off on January 14 but ends in early March. The UFL will run from January to June 2012.

“Every team is capable of beating one another so looks for some surprises and upsets,” warned Phil Younghusband.

This Saturday, Air Force takes on Kaya at 4pm while Loyola and Green Archers tangle in the main game at 6pm at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. Both matches will be aired live on AKTV.

The six remaining squads will all see action on Sunday at the University of Makati with Global facing Army at 430pm, Nomads mixing up with Pasargad at 630pm, and Stallion taking on Navy at 830pm.

Navy has added Jay-R de Jesus who played for head coach Marlon Maro in the very first Philippine Homeless World Cup team in 2007.

Twelve teams will be competing in the UFL Division Two with the Norman Fegidero-coached Pachanga the favorite to be promoted to Division One. Joining Pachanga is the all-around Janrick Soriano. Soriano will provide midfield help for the Red Phoenix which will be without Shirmar Felongco and Ronnel Lagrimas as they will be suiting up for UST in the UAAP. The UAAP forbids players from playing in the commercial league at the same time as the college games.


Second Division: Sunken Garden United, Manila All-Japan, Dolphins, Lions, Union Internacionale Manila, Pachanga, Team Socceroo, Forza, Agila, Laos, Diliman, and Cebu Queen City United.

UFL Division One Changes: 
Global out: Ayi Nii Aryee, Franco Borromeo, Ernani Regis, Remy Sery, and Janrick Soriano.
Global in: Carli de Murga, Rob Gier, Juan Luis Guirado, Lexter Maravilla, Mohamed Nejib, Alex Obiang, Joseph San Martin, Etounai Sylvain, and Kennedy Venida.

Kaya out: Alex Camara, Ruffy Llorente, and Jeffrey Liman.
Kaya in: Michael Alvarez, Joshua Beloya, and Alu Kigbu 

Loyola out: Jerwin Belina, Matt Jaucian, Darren Hartmann, Paul Madrona, JP Merida, Peter Mortillero, Ruffy Narvaez, Nicholas O'Donnell, Mark Valeroso, and Carlo Liay
Loyola in: Rolando Cabaniero, Alex Camara, Anto Gonzales, Simon Greatwich, Lawrence Ikegwuruka, Byeong Jeong, Byung Park, and Taku Yoshioka.

Air Force out: Michael Carolino, Leo Doctora, Mark Ferrer, and Tim Rabena.
Air Force in: Juven Benitez, Glenn Bulaquiña, Archie Caluba, and Avery del Rosario.

Stallion out: Nathan Alquiros, Jae Woo Kim, Nam Yong Kim, Romeo Martinez Jr., and Matt Nierras.
Stallion in: Richard Bedia, Kyung Cha, Bo Bae Park, and Enzo Pinga.


  1. paganda ng paganda ang UFL,mabuhay ang football sa Pinas.

  2. Is Chris Greatwich going to suit of for Kaya? Rumors have been aplenty

  3. Is that Juan Luis Guirado the brother of Angel, joining Global? The back four of Global is now very solid. I hope Jason De Jong will join the UFL in the near future. He will surely help the league with his defense, and offense as well.

  4. All of these are free transfers, i assume?

  5. ^^ I hope Chris Greatwich will suit up for Nomads or any other team than KAYA, GLOBAL & LOYOLA. I hope the league could convince the teams to balance the talents between each teams so that each game will be exciting not just see 4 good teams.