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.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Clear Dream Match the finale: A question of speed or control

This appears on

Clear Dream Match the finale: A question of speed or control
by rick olivares

The first two editions of the Clear Dream Match were all about defense. Phil Younghusband made that his strategy two years ago by selecting the top goalkeeper and defender in the UFL in Saba Sadeghi and Yves Ashime respectively. Older brother James adopted the same tactic the following year and received a boost when he landed one-time FIFA Player of the Year Awardee Fabio Canavarro who wasn’t known as the Berlin Wall as a  reminder to the Cold War. He is only the third defender in history to win the prestigious footballing award.

So it has come to the rubber match and this year, on the Clear Dream Match Draft Night last Wednesday evening at the Hyve at BGC, the brothers veered away from the formula that saw them each notch a win in this “sibling rivalry.” In what promises to be an explosive finale all the more made big with the participation of two Manchester United heroes, the choices have more of an attacking bent.

Let’s take a look at the respective teams then break them down.

Team James
Forwards: Lee Joo Young, Misagh Bahadoran, Emmanuel Mbata, Izzo El Habbib, and Nate Burkey
Midfielders: Simon Greatwich, OJ Porteria, Marvin Angeles, Chieffy Caligdong, Daisuke Sato,
Defenders: Joaco Cañas, Anton del Rosario, Andrew Liauw, Jeffrey Christiaens, and Dae Han Kang
Goalkeepers: Steve Yambou, Roland Sadia, and Ed Sacapaño

Amateur players: Daniel Gadia and Francisco Jose Primo Santos

First and foremost, Team James has a Kaya flavor to this team. Bahadoran, Mbata, El Habbib, Burkey, Porteria, Del Rosario, Liauw, and Yambou all have Kaya blood in them.

But more than that, this team has speed written all over it. They can press and attack. They have highly creative players who move well without the ball.

Plus, they’ve got studs up front.

James’ two wildcard picks in Izzo El Habbib and Daisuke Sato are marvelous additions.

Why am I glowing about this line-up?

James did pretty well in this draft. Much better than Phil’s if I may say (but of course this is all on paper).

Aside from the speed kills theory they’ve got impact players in Bahadoran, El Habbib, and Porteria. The fact that many of these players come from Kaya or all have Azkals backgrounds helps because there’s familiarity with each other’s game.

These were Phil Younghusband's options when choosing his first five players. The choices/options were also dependent on who James selected. Pic taken of Randy Roxas' phone. Thanks, Randy!
Team Phil
Forwards: Phil Younghusband, Ruben Doctora, Kenshiro Daniels, Tating Pasilan,
Midfielders: Chris Greatwich, Anto Gonzales, Mark Hartmann, Matthew Hartmann, and Simone Rota
Defenders: Sam Bonney, John Cain, PJ Fadrigalan, Roxy Dorlas, 

Goalkeepers: Baba Sampana, Nick O’Donnell, and Patrick Deyto

Amateur players: Mikko Mabanag, Yoshiharu Koizumi, Javier Gayoso, and Darius Diamante

Phil should have brought his lucky bathrobe…

Kidding aside, Phil’s first five picks have arguably some of the best in their respective positions: Chris Greatwich, Sam Bonney, and Baba Sampana (and Patrick Deyto as well).

I’ve always said that control of the midfield is key to any team winning and Phil picked out Anto Gonzales who will help out in that regard as well as tracking back on defense. They’ve got Mark Hartmann who if is on can pick out teammates with superb passing and can fire away from Beckham-distance. The wild card pick of Simone Rota is excellent!

Excellent additions in Balut Doctora, Kenshiro Daniels and Tating Pasilan who I am ecstatic has finally become a part of this “all-star game” that is the Clear Dream Match. If the midfielders can find these guys Team James’ defense will be kept busy all night long.

The onus on Phil’s team is for the defense to stop Izzo El Habbib, Misagh Bahadoran, Emmanuel Mbata, Nate Burkey, and Lee Joo Young. If Jonathan Cain can hold his own on his side that will be a load off Sam Bonney.

Team Phil is obviously midfield-driven. If they can control the pace and possession and match Team James’ speedier players stride for stride then they’ve got a huge chance to walking away with a win.

Now the only thing to be decided (via fan vote) is where does Andy Cole or Paul Scholes play? Team James or Team Phil? That's keeping everyone on the edge of their seat.

Conclusion: Team James’ side looks more solid but that is on paper. It has to be settled on the field.

Sibling rivalry aside, the ultimate winner here no matter how many times it has been said – is local football. An “all-star game” like this with Premier League winners taking part brings more attention to the game and that can only be good for the game. If the presence of the United heroes inspires others then what a great gift it is.

It is said that good things come in threes and the Clear Dream Match in its three years has not only been a much-awaited event as it brings the football community together but it is also a spectacle. June 7 is cannot come soon enough.

No comments:

Post a Comment