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, November 13, 2012

Preview of the Green Archers United-Stallion 2012 UFL Cup semifinals match

A close fight
A preview of the Green Archers United-Stallion semifinals match
by rick olivares

When last season ended, Stallion arrested its late and costly skid to finish fourth in the league. Not bad for its maiden Division One campaign. Green Archers United on the other hand looked like a bad team that was waiting to get relegated. And they stayed at the bottom half for the entire season.

Several months later, Stallion is at it again, making noise about winning it all while GAU is in the semifinals of the UFL Cup.

Stallion benefited from having a top striker in Rufo Sanchez and Joaco Canas who has plugged that porous hole in the back while the archers made smart additions with Sean Lee and Ayi Aryee at midfield and Dominic Mensah on defense. Plus late additions from last season Jon Melliza and Ronnie Aguisanda have become important fixtures for the Rodolfo Alicante side.

Let’s break them down:

Goalkeeper: Patrick Deyto (GAU) vs. Wilson Munoz (Stallion)
Both solid goalkeepers who make few mistakes. Deyto despite his age is going to be a solid keeper for a long time (and should be given a chance to play for the national team) while Munoz is one of the underrated ones. The problem is Munoz is heading into the semis nursing an injury. It will be up to his defense to protect him.

Advantage: GAU

Dominic Mensah, Reynald Villareal, Lawrence Ikegwuruka, and Elle Cagayanan (GAU)
Joaco Canas, Bervic Italia, Yeul Woo Nam, and Yong Jae Pi (Stallion)

I like the emotion and desire on the Archers’ side but they still have not totally meshed. If Ikegwuruka and Mensah stop the middle they’ll be okay. They have to make the proper reads though. But Stallion has some of the best and toughest defenders. Canas is a huge addition as he can help join the counter or stay behind while Italia and Pi link up with the mids.

Advantage: Stallion

Dads Pasinabo, Ayi Nii Aryee, Ronnie Aguisanda and Gabe Oloweyeye (GAU)
Antonio Albor, Bo Bae Park, Jason de Jong, and Kim Hyo Il (Stallion)

This is a pretty even match. Both play with a lot of speed although the build-up and passing game of Stallion is much better. The Archers like to those diagonal passes unless Ayi attacks and makes those on target chips and lifts to his forwards. Control of the midfield will win this game.

Advantage: equal

Jon Melliza and Tating Pasilan (GAU)
Rufo Sanchez and Ruben Doctora Jr. (Stallion)

Both sets of forwards have speed and power. And both can pass. As we saw in Stallions’ match with General Trias, is Sanchez is closely marked he has a difficult time unloading. It will be up to Doctora who is way off his goal scoring pace from last season to make the difference. If Sanchez can keep Villareal from going up then Archers will miss a crucial piece to their attack.

Pasilan has shown that he still has that lethal touch from the outside. Ditto for Melliza who Stallion should not overlook because of his size. The kid has a nose for the ball.

Advantage: Stallion

Stallion has an advantage over the hard-charging Archers but there is no telling how good Munoz will be at goal. With back up Louie Sobrevega also unavailable, Stallion can go to Chester Braga but can play goalkeeper. The problem is he hasn’t played that position since the finals of the Suzuki U23 championships of two years ago as he filled in for Munoz then.

While the game will be won in the midfield as they will help the defense and the offense, the goalkeeper situation and the substitutes will also have an effect on the outcome. Stallion is a slight favourite but Green Archers could steal this.

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