UFL Power Rankings as of Wednesday February 27, 2013
We asked four regular UFL watchers – Rick Olivares, Cedelf Tupas, Ryan Fenix, and Bob Guerrero -- to rank the Division One teams and here’s how the poll went.
7. Green Archers United
9. Air Force
The top three teams – Global, Loyola, and Stallion remain undefeated and have to face each other.
Global has been very impressive with its possession-based and passing game. This club has seen players who have contributed mightily to their championships in the past but incredibly, this club look even better now. Moving up Carli de Murga to an attacking position to go with spectacular new find Ben Starosta gives this team more flexibility in their attack. Now opponents cannot simply key on Izzo El Habbib. And there’s the matter of their top-notch defense.
A lot of teams reloaded in the off-season. Loyola stood pat on its lineup opting to work with the players they have. The only significant addition is striker Freddy Gonzalez who has added a frightening dimension to this squad. In the past year, they were predictable – you know the ball was going to Phil Younghusband. This year, PYH has been playing in a midfield position where his passing ability and defense have been a boon in the wake of the departure of Anto Gonzales. With brothers Matthew and Mark Hartmann playing an incredible stretch of football, Loyola looks good. Of course the true test for their title aspirations is when they match up with Global and Stallion, owners of the last two trophies in the UFL.
Stallion falls to three because their penchant for surrendering late goals. They’ve got a terrific starting eleven but there’s not much on the bench. Fortunately for this club, they do not give up cards in the manner they did in the previous season. This club has a potent attack owing to the high intelligence of its players. They have looked terrific for about 75 minutes but of late have surrendered goals to opponents giving them a glimmer of hope. This despite the addition of tough central back Jeremy Hohn who looks like to have a wicked boot of his own.
Pachanga are a game back behind the leaders. They’re tough on defense but still lack offensive bite. Maybe their sudden discovery that they have Joven Bedic will help.
Many didn’t expect much from Nomads this year. Some even picked them to be a candidate for relegation. Thus far, they’ve been bullish on defense. The problem is they need to score as well. James Woldring is a nice addition up front for this team that mainly used to count on Steven Borrill. When Phil Connolly rounds out into form this club should hum better in the midfield. But Nomads is playing good. They just need to score.
Why are people surprised that Kaya is struggling? You do not lose a firebrand in the midfield (Lexton Moy), a pest in the flanks (Prince Boley), and studs in the back (Jason Sabio, Nico Bolzico, and Adrien Semblat) and expect to rock. At least not right away. Now they have gone through their fourth head coach in three years. There’s no sign on who is the replacement for Maor Rozen who tenure with the club is the shortest at five matches (including the Smart Club Championships). At 1-1-2, it is an understatement that this club is struggling. Their next few matches are crucial. Obviously, it’s time for them to make a stand.
Perhaps no team has been more disappointing than Green Archers United. The good vibes of the Smart Club Championship have clearly worn off. The team has been wracked with personnel and personal problems and it has shown on the pitch. The on-field fight with Kaya has clearly not help and has hurt the team’s image. This club is too talented to be mired in the bottom. The only place for them to go is up. But they can ill afford another loss.
PSG is another club that looked impressive in the Smart Club Championship. But they’ve been exposed as a team lacking a system more so a cohesive attack. Clearly, midfield maestro Hamed Hajimehdi needs help but then again, they need a lot of help. Look for them to address part of their concerns in the March transfer window.
How the mighty have fallen. Their UFL Cup win of 2011 is looking more and more like their last hurrah. Air Force is retooling for the future and head coach Sgt. Edzel Bracamonte knows that this is just a bad stretch for the club. Even with an almost entirely different roster, Air Force has shown glimpses of attacking potential. But for that to be realized they have to finally put one in the back of the net. They are the only club yet to score after three games. The reason why they aren’t at the bottom of the power rankings has been their defense and heads up play by keeper Kenneth Dolloso.
Army is another team that is taking it on the chin, on the nose, and in the kisser. They have conceded 12 goals in three matches for an astounding four per match. Army has shown toughness and an ability to score early in the match or in the late stages. The problem is the long middle of the match – something like for about the 60 minutes in between. When they concede a goal they begin to lose shape. The question is for this proud military club is – what can they do to stave off relegation?