PHILIPPINE national team stalwart Chieffy Caligdong tries to help Philippine Air Force (PAF) win a second straight United Football League Cup championship in his final tour of duty with the club.
Caligdong, one of the celebrated Azkal players, will banner the Airmen’s campaign in the tournament that blasts off on October 2 before he is finally discharged from the Air Force in the first week of December.
Past and present national team strikers Yanti Barsales and Ian Araneta are joining Caligdong in the Airmen’s roster, according to the list released by soccercentralph.com on Wednesday.
Reigning league champion Global FC is expected to be the biggest stumbling block to the Air Force’s title defense as the squad boasts of Sudanese scoring machine Izzo El-Habbib, along with the Philippine Azkals’ Carli de Murga, Jeff Christiaens, Marwin and Marvin Angeles, and Misagh Bahadoran, among others.
National team striker Denis Wolf will compensate for the loss of Angel Guirado, who has orphaned the team to play professionally in India.
Demitrius Omphroy and Matthew Uy complete the additions for Global in the knockout tournament.
Also expected to give Air Force a run for its money is Cup runner-up Loyola-Meralco, which still has star players Phil and James Younghusband, and ios bolstered by the acquisition of former national booter Chad Gould and the returning Simon Greatwich.
Kaya, a defensive-oriented squad backstopped by Aly Borromeo, Jason Sabio, and Anton del Rosario who man the backline, will be boosted by the arrival of national team member OJ Porteria.
Philippine Army, for its part, will be parading one of the oldest teams in the competition with national team veterans Roel Gener, Eduard Sacapaño, and Nestorio Margarse Jr. leading the way.
Pachanga, which earned promotion to the league next year after ruling Division 2, remains Freddy Gonzalez’s team, with Jason Cunliffe, the captain of Guam national team, and celebrity transferee Daniel Matsunaga among the notable additions.
Other Azkals strutting their wares in the UFL Cup are Jason de Jong for Stallion, and Josh Boone (who was part of the Azkals’ recent US training camp) for Pasargad.