Stallion, Green Archers clash in 2014 UFL season opener
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - January 7, 2014 - 3:01pm

MANILA, Philippines – Reigning champion Stallion hopes to cushion the impact of losing a slew of its key players as it clashes with a dangerous Green Archers United (GAU)-Globe when the United Football League 2014 season unfurls on Jan. 11 at the Emperador Stadium.

The Ernie Nierras-coached Stallion side have lost prolific Spanish striker Rufino Familiar Sanchez, Jaoco Canas, Park Bo Bae, Diego Barrera, Hector Zaghi, Guillerme Hasegawa, Lee Joo Young and Lee Won Hyung to the other teams in the off-season and will have their hands full defending the title they impressively won a year ago.

In contrast, the Globe-backed GAU squad has only lost one player, centerback Jake Hugo, who has moved on to the Phl Air Force team. But the team should feel some loose ends on the defensive side with Hugo being a pillar of strength in defense.

"In spite of having a live contract until Dec. 20414, we decided that it was in his and his family's best interest," said GAU team manager Monchu Garcia on Hugo's release.

"As you know, PAF enlistment practically assures a lifetime career and will give Jake and his family some economic stability," he added.

Also plunging into action on opening day are recent Cup runner up Pachanga Diliman and Team Socceroo, which was promoted recently to the First Division after topping the Second Division League play last year.

The Second Division will also unfold the same day with Manila Jeepney, backed by LBC, and Ceres-La Salle Bacolod, which snared its second straight championship after topping the PFF-Smart National Club Championship in Bacolod City last month, battle each other in an earlier match.

Loyola Meralco Sparks, who are riding the crest of their first UFL title following their Cup triumph late last year, will start their run for another crown as it face off with fierce rival Global FC, a team managed by Dan Palami and composed mainly of members of the Phl Azkals team, three days later.

Also seeing action on Jan. 14 are LBC-backed Kaya FC and PSG FC.

On Jan. 16, Phl Army will tackle Team Socceroo while PSG FC collides with GAU-Globe.

All matches are scheduled to be played at the Emperador Stadium with games set every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday (Second Division matches) until June.

BACOLOD CITY CERES-LA SALLE BACOLOD DAN PALAMI DIEGO BARRERA EMPERADOR STADIUM ERNIE NIERRAS FIRST DIVISION GREEN ARCHERS UNITED GUILLERME HASEGAWA HECTOR ZAGHI SECOND DIVISION
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