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.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Who is the best goalkeeper in the UFL?

Who do I think is the best goalkeeper in the UFL’s Division I?

The current starting keepers include Kaya’s Saba Garmaroudi, Pasargad’s Abdollah Golkhah, Stallion’s Wilson Muñoz, Loyola’s Ref Cuaresma, Global’s Paolo Pascual, Green Archers’ Martin Villaflor, Nomads’ Jeff Blake, Air Force’s Tats Mercado, Army’s Ed Sacapaño, and Navy’s Tomas Talipan.

I conducted a survey among 50 coaches, players, sports analysts, and fans (coaches and players cannot vote for their own player/teammate). Some respondents we spoke to include Global head coach Graeme MacKinnon, UFL analyst Rely San Agustin, Azkals television anchor Bob Guerrero, Loyola defender Pat Ozaeta, Kaya defender Jason Sabio, Green Archers midfielder Enrique Romero-Salas, Stallion coach Ernie Nierras, Pachanga assistant coach Alvin Ocampo, Team Socceroo captain Mike Reyes,'s Fritz Dalida, UFL Assistant Technical Director Ritchie Gannaban,'s Rachel Montero, football fan Teddy Dario, and Up Dharma Down bassist Paul Yap among others.

We talked about the strength of their teams, their defensive backs, his personal defense, the goals conceded, skill, and leadership and here is the result:

Saba Garmaroudi – 28
Wilson Muñoz – 9
Tats Mercado – 8
Jeff Blake - 3
Ref Cuaresma – 2

When it comes to second choices that’s where it was interesting:
Wilson Muñoz - 13
Tats Mercado - 10
Abdollah Golkhah - 9
Saba Garmaroudi – 10
Ref Cuaresma – 5
Jeff Blake – 2
Paolo Pascual - 1

Personally, I think the best one is Saba followed by Mercado. Golkhah is third on my list. The first two have had so many quality saves. What makes Saba’s netminding all the more remarkable is that he has been battling injuries all season long and he’s still playing. Incredible. Sure he has some good defenders in front of him but some very good strikers have tested him. And he’s done well.

Mercado was awesome in the cup but has somewhat come back to earth. Maybe that can be attributed to spotty defending or even a bad pitch.

Golkhah is probably just as active as Mercado for the sheer volume of shots he has to save. That’s due to a horrible defensive line that Pasargad has. I’d even venture to say that he is that team’s MVP.

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