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, January 8, 2013

Freddy Gonzalez joins the Loyola Meralco Sparks

This appears in the Wednesday January 9, 2013 edition of the Business Mirror.

Gonzalez for Gonzales. Freddy G joins Loyola.
by rick olivares pic by mark dimalanta/interaktv

The UFL league competition is always seen as a fresh start. Teams reload taking note of what they need to plug in and improve on after the UFL Cup. And more so now with the ascension of Stallion as a proper power in Philippine club football.

And if there's anyone player in need of that fresh start, it is Freddy Gonzalez.

The former Pachanga striker who went through a trying last few months of 2012 where he sold his club to the owners of Diliman struggled during the cup. With new teammates (as his Division II champions were scattered across the UFL landscape from Loyola to Pasargad to Sta. Lucia) and a new system, Gonzalez failed to find the back of the net in all games. From his incredible spree of 34 when Pachanga ruled Division II during the 2012 season, Gonzalez netted zero in the 2012 UFL Cup.

"The move wasn't about the coaching staff, players, or the management," said Gonzalez. "I wanted a new challenge and I feel I've done all could for Pachanga. It was time to move on. It was hard leaving but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to play with James and Phil Younghusband, Mark Hartmann, Chad Gould, Jake Morallo, and the others."

The addition of Gonzalez to the Sparks' lineup somewhat buffers the loss of another Gonzales -- midfielder Anto Gonzales who returned to Pachanga-Diliman after being loaned out for a year to Loyola. Gonzales provided solid leadership and play for Loyola and was inspirational during the Sparks' campaign where he also doubled as an alternative team captain.

The Sparks hope to use either Korean Jang Jowon, Italian David Cortina who will be returning to action after a lengthy injury kept him on the shelf in the last cup edition, or Simon Greatwich in Gonzales' old role.

As for the Gonzalez with a "z" at the end of his surname, he will provide much needed presence up front alongside Phil Younghusband who had difficulty navigating the double or triple teams thrown at him after his record scoring year in 2012 where he tallied 23 goals. 

During the 2012 season, Loyola led for much of the tournament but a late slide saw them tumble to a disappointing third place. The Sparks were runners-up to Air Force in the 2011 Cup and finished fourth place in the 2012 Singapore Cup. The club also finished third in the recently concluded 2012 UFL Cup.

In other developments, former national player and Loyola assistant coach Vincent Santos takes over the head coaching duties from Korean Kim Chul So.


  1. How come we don't hear any news of a high profile signing for any defensive player for Loyola. Isn't that their weakest area?

  2. they have chad gould, he will be enough. now that he has gelled with the team, they will now be safe at back.

    problem is with anto, they will have a hard time without his influence

  3. Why Master Kim been replaced? Is the rumor about a Singaporean player transferring to LMS is true? if so who is he? He might be a defender like Daniel Bennett.. :)

  4. Chad Gould is also a striker

    1. Yes he is but that is not his role with this team.

  5. i saw clarino training with pachanga

  6. So what is it exactly that was sold to the owners of Diliman? Players were spread out to other teams. Were there any assets to speaks of (certainly not a stadium)? By all accounts the business deal doesn't make any sense.