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.

Friday, April 12, 2013

How Kaya’s nifty game plan pulled the rug from under Global

Suddenly… Kaya
How Kaya’s nifty game plan pulled the rug from under Global
by rick olivares pic by mark dimalanta/interaksyon

The shoe feels good on the other foot. Kaya knows what it is like to cough up leads. Most notably to Loyola two years ago and most recently to Pasargad when Emmanuel Mbata scored in the 78th minute for a 2-2 draw.

In this most trying season where they got off on the wrong foot, Kaya is slowly making up for lost ground. This time, it’s them who have made a habit of coming from behind.

There was that Janrick Soriano strike deep in stoppage time for a 2-1 win against Green Archers United. And there was Sean Illif's late equalizer against Loyola. And now, there’s that epic come-from-behind 3-2 win over erstwhile-unbeaten Global.

How did Kaya defeat Global?

Kaya outworked Global in the last 80 minutes.
You can see that they wanted this more. Maybe Global was a little overconfident more so after they went up 2-0 with barely 10 minutes played. Maybe they felt it was going to be a goal fest and it was. Only not in the manner they figured.

Kaya never stopped working to get the ball.

If you want to beat Global you have to outwork them. Of course, it is easier said than done. Their conditioning is superb. You hardly see anyone go down from cramps and they can run all night. Kaya ran at them. Tackled them. Knocked them down a bit albeit not intentionally as this is not their game. But it did knock Global off their rhythm.

Kaya picked up a page from where Loyola left off and disconnected Global’s midfield. For the second consecutive match, Yu Hoshide, Ben Starosta, and Carli De Murga were rendered mostly ineffective. Masa Omura took out good friend and compatriot Hoshide, Jonah Romero and Chris Greatwich hounded Starosta not giving him much to work with.

Essentially, Kaya took away the ground game of Global that was greatly improved under new head coach Brian Reid. They never relented on the pressure and got themselves a huge win.

David Perkovic had an excellent game plan and he stuck to it.
First, the Australian started Nick O’Donnell in the biggest game of the season and that takes balls. Regular starting keeper Saba Garmaroudi has long been one of the best goalkeepers in the league. The thing about Kaya under Perkovic is they have a pool of over 20 players and no one on that pool can take a day off in practice. You have to be at your best because someone else will start.

I’m not really a fan of their current back four save for Steady Eddie Mallari who has become marvelous at the right back spot (I used to not like that) and at first, it looked like Kaya would pay for not starting Dario Dakic, Junior Muñoz (out with food poisoning), and Omura on defense.

But you have to credit Fabien Lewis and McDaniel. Once they got over the slow start played better.

Normally, some might press the panic button and make substitutes early in the game after going down 2-nil. I felt that if by the 20th minute, Kaya had still not stabilized their offense, Perkovic should have made a change. But Kaya got things under control and denied a third goal to Global.

Second, his midfielders cancelled out their Global counterparts. I mentioned that previously. But with Angge Guisso out with an injury, playing in the back was Jason De Jong.

In my opinion, not a good idea. He works better as a defensive midfielder and not a defender. He got pressed a lot by Kaya. No midfield. Not much ball movement.

Third, they were aggressive inside the box. Kaya kept attacking in waves and in numbers that it stretched the defense and forced them to spend more time fending off attacks that launching counters. The midfielders and forwards even had to go down and help out. Kaya had 12 shots on goal to the eight of Global (the majority taken during the first 10-15 minutes).

Fourth, he saved OJ Porteria for last.
Porteria has been one of the best footballers since he returned from an injury during the UFL Cup.

His speed and creativity are blinding. Perkovic unleashed him just when Jerry Barbaso got tired from dealing with all the incursions from his side as well as the middle of the box where he had to help out.

It didn’t help Global as the next three Perkovic substitutions are all high-energy players in Dario Dakic, Sean Illif, and Janrick Soriano who almost scored again.

The injuries to Roland Sadia and Ed Sacapaño hurt Global’s chances to win the game
Yes, they sure did; unfortunate as it was.

When Logan McDaniel fired a wicked free kick towards the Global goal, Sadia blocked it. As he fell, he thrust out his arm to cushion the fall but in the process hurting himself. Normally, he is quick to the ball or even to recover. With Masa Omura quickly breaking away from the wall and Sadia unable to move, Kaya pulled back one.

This reminded me of that Kim Hyo Il free kick against Loyola a few days earlier that clanged off the first post with Rufo Sanchez quickly moving in to hammer home the shot. Each time, the defense was caught flat flooted.

Even when the defense takes an off night (and that is unusual when it comes to Global), Sadia is there to clean up the mess. No Sadia. Enter Ed Sacapaño in his debut for Global.

Only he also got his scalped scraped by Alu Kigbu’s studs putting a bathing cap on that can be cumbersome and distracting for a goalkeeper. Ed was a trooper for Global.

Nate Burkey reminded everyone that he can play
The much-maligned Burkey came out with a great performance to cancel out the great showing by Reichelt. He picked off a bad pass and scored on a rebound. That’s two goals where he had the presence of mind to move and score.

We’ll see in the second round how this springs Kaya and how this spurs Global.

For sure the second round will be even more intense as teams try to work their way to the top.

The upset win allowed Stallion to finish atop the league table at the end of the first round with a 8-0-1 record while Global feel to 7-1-1. Loyola is at third with a 6-2-1 slate. Kaya stayed at fourth with a 4-3-2 record (unless Pachanga can win their final assignment of the round by at least eight goals).


  1. It’s good to read opinions, but I do not agree on this one

    Kaya got the “W”, but Misah should have gotten a penalty in the 2nd half for sure!
    They fought, but in Europe we call it a German victory. Be happy with the points, not with the play.

    If you want to beat anyone, you have to work at least as hard as they do and then talent/tactics can make the difference. I think you’re forgetting that the 3 goals Kaya got were 3 LUCKY opportunities. 2 terrible keeper safes and an horrendous back-pass (sure kaya did pressing for that, but we are talking about Global, the Champions of the UFL, unacceptable blunder)

    Let me start by saying, that I believe Kaya have the players to dominate and play modern football (and not the KICK-AND-RUSH or LONG-BALL football we see a lot of Filipino teams play).

    But with a look at the line-up last night. Kaya had a back 4 and on the midfield they had Omura (played many games as center DF), Greatwich (in defence he actually is the most central DF, not even an anchor man, but a plain defender) and Romero (I consider him a defensive midfielder, becoz he can’t play-make and is there to win challenges, he minimizes risk with a lot of back-passes and wide-passes)

    So that means Kaya had 7 defensive oriented players AND STILL they got 2 goals down in the 1st 10 mins!!! EXCELLENT GAME PLAN!!! Not …

    In the 1st half I felt sorry for Burkey, AK and the other winger. 3 islands without any support. That’s why I do not understand why there is no creative/attacking midfielder, who can support Burkey. There was such a big gap, between midfield and attack.

    I am not even talking about the starting back 4. It was like Swiss cheese, they missed the solid Munoz on left-back. The 2 goals from Global came from the Kaya's left side. Zeleny looked nervous. Lewis normally solid, started to brittle as well.

    The players fought and got the 3 points. That’s all.

    - Mallari is a BOSS! Before I would prefer Del Rosario as right-back, but Mallari convinced me. What a warrior.
    - Burkey led the attack and was all over the place. Warrior #2
    He’s not fast and has a hard time playing with his back to the goal, but he is an efficient finisher and he fights for the team.
    - Omura just like the Duracell bunny, just keeps on going and seldom makes mistakes, one of my favorite defenders in the UFL.
    - Porteria is a player, that should always play. He can support Burkey by occupying more defenders (sharing the threat) and he can decide a match with assists or goals.

    1. Ariel C. Kaya supporterApril 12, 2013 at 2:25 PM

      Are you on drugs? Misagh also had a handball inside their box. So what if they were lucky goals. You can say that Reichelt was also lucky because the defense made a mistake. Bakit ngayon lang ba maganda laro ni Mallari?

    2. Mykel AFC AJAX supporterApril 12, 2013 at 9:36 PM

      Wow after an analysis like that, you're just gonna counter with "are you on drugs?" ... Duuuuuude give me at least content, so that I can see that I am talking to someone with some tactical knowledge.

      Misagh didnt make a handball, but the ball came to his hand. There is a difference in the two.
      Misagh got a ball against his hand after a deflection from his thigh. There was no intention, in playing the ball with his hand, he did not have direct advantage to the ball getting to his hand. So in international football, sorry bro, that's not a penalty. Go do some homework and watch the Premier League or the Liga 1. If you look at this handball (forward to 1min 35) that's a stronger case for a handball, becoz the defender had a definite ADVANTAGE by the ACCDIDENTAL handball.

      So what if they were lucky goals? this means that the goals were not becoz of the skill of kaya, but they were given away. The fact that you are a fan, does not mean that you can't be critical. It is because you are a fan, that you want the team to dominate. They have a good squad, but the tuning is soooo off.

      Please mennn ... do you really want me to comment on the luck. Compare the goal 3rd goal of kaya, where Nate gets the ball in front of him and the keeper is already lying to the goal Reichelt made. You answered your own comment, becoz the defense are not allowed to make mistakes. Every mistake for the defense is a goal scoring opportunity for the offense.

      The reason Mallari won me over, becoz normally he footballs in beast-mode. Too intense and sometimes can overdo it, the thing I liked in the last game is that he had to play on different positions, but he was not dropping his level. He was breaking attacks left and right. On the right-back he has more variation in the overlap and he's stronger in the combination (than Del Rosario).

      In no way am I here to insult you, I am trying to comment on the blog and I did not disagree with the content. I love quality discussions and I'm not addicted to being right. I just explain my opinion and my insights.


    3. Masa Omura is originally a central midfielder. He was switched to Central Defense due to lack of defenders at the time where Coach Rozen took over at the start of the league. The Kaya management at the time Coach David Perkovic took over, bought new defenders like Fabien Lewis, Zeleny, McDaniels etc to bring the switched players book to their original position like Masa Omura, Jonah Romero, Ed Mallari etc.

      Chris Greatwich is an attacking midfielder! He was the 2010 Suzuki Cup hero at the midfield after giving 2 great goals for the Philippines.

      Jonah Romero is a left winger but switched to midfield. He plays as a winger in the Guam National Football Team but and in Kaya, he is a midfielder because there are many good wingers in Kaya.