UFL opener: Stallion starts title defense

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THE UNITED Football League season kicks off this Saturday with an explosive double-header featuring defending champion Stallion against Cup semifinalist Green Archers United at Emperador Stadium in Taguig.

Pachanga Diliman, coming off a runner-up finish to Loyola Meralco in the UFL Cup, tangles with newly promoted side Team Socceroo in the other first division clash.

The Sparks, seeking to match Stallion’s league and Cup double last season, won’t see action until Tuesday when they battle rival Global FC on the same day Kaya opens its campaign against Pachanga.

Stallion let go of key players Park Bo-bae and Diego Barrera during the offseason but the likes of Ruben Doctora and Bervic Italia will still be around to fuel their bid.

The Sparks remain formidable even after releasing Chad Gould with Phil and James Younghusband spearheading their campaign.

Global parted ways with coach Brian Reid and also released veteran Ivorian defender Carlos Tressor Guisso. Kaya also cut ties with longtime goalkeeper Saba Garmaroudi in its most notable offseason move.

The first division will only have nine teams this season following Nomads’ decision to slide to the second tier because of their difficulty to comply with the five-foreigner limit in their squad.

Joining Nomads in the second division are reigning national club champion Ceres, newcomer Manila Jeepney and Air Force which was relegated after a last place finish in the first division.

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