ANTO Gonzales and Freddy Gonzalez are bracing for a bittersweet reunion with their former teams when Loyola Meralco FC and Pachanga-Diliman FC collide on Tuesday in the United Football League at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig.
Former Sparks midfielder Anto Gonzales and ex-Pachanga owner and star striker Freddy Gonzalez meet their former clubs in the 5:15 p.m. battle for the solo lead in the league.
“It’s gonna be a bit emotional,” said Gonzales, a solid presence in the midfield in his one-season stint with Loyola before moving to Pachanga. “Of course, I’m also excited to play against them. I’m gonna see my former teammates who’ve become my friends as well.”
The national pool member and University of the Philippines varsity team coach made his debut for Pachanga last week in the team’s 1-0 victory against Kaya at the Rizal Memorial Stadium - a win best remembered for Allen Serna’s late save with a ball straight to his face.
The 35-year-old Gonzalez had a successful campaign with Pachanga last year after coming out of retirement, leading his team to an unbeaten record with only one draw in 22 games en route to the Division 2 title and promotion to the top flight.
But after Pachanga’s promotion, the Division 2 Golden Ball and Boot recipient sold his team to Diliman.
Now with Loyola, the former national team member is still adjusting to his new team.
“It’s been a little bit tough because the coaching staff has been killing us in training,” said Gonzalez, who scored one of the Sparks’ four goals in their win against Philippine Army on opening night last week.
The Sparks welcome the return of celebrated brothers James and Phil Younghusband.
Kaya FC and Green Archers United hope to bounce back from respective losses when they face off at 7:30 p.m.