A REINVIGORATED Global FC seeks to move on from a recent heartbreak as it opens its United Football League title defense against Green Archers United on Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
After playing five matches in 10 days in the recently concluded national club championship, capped by a 2-0 loss in the finale to Loyola Meralco, the defending UFL champion tries to start its league campaign on the right foot.
“We have the squad almost recovered from the (killer schedule),” Global coach Leigh Manson told Spin.ph on the eve of the 8:15 p.m. encounter. “Now we settle for one game a week.”
Global ruled last season in dominating fashion, finishing the six-month tournament with 62 points, 13 clear of runner-up Loyola Meralco.
“It’s always difficult to defend a league title, but we are confident we can repeat last year’s success,” said Manson, who still have the materials to duplicate their feat with an Azkals-loaded squad led by Misagh Bahadoran, Mark Hartmann, Daisuke Sato, Amani Aguinaldo, and Patrick Deyto, along with Sudanese standout Izo El-Habib.
Global, which is bolstered by a handful of offseason acquisitions including former Sparks defender Sam Bonney, takes on a Green Archers side led by former national skipper Chieffy Caligdong, Tating Pasilan, and Senegalese striker Robert Mendy.
“Green Archers are a tough opening game,” Manson said. “It’s a good test for some of the new players coming in.”
Reigning Division 2 champion Ceres-La Salle tries to make its mark in its maiden top-tier campaign as it faces fellow Division 1 rookie in Manila Jeepney in the opener at 2:15 p.m.
Kaya FC, with new coach Adam Reekie of England, battles Philippine Army at 5:15 p.m. sandwiches the other two skirmishes and completing the tripleheader.
The matches will be telecast on a delayed basis on Aksyon TV, with the opener airing at 7 p.m. followed by the nightcap at 9 o’clock.