Football musical chairs: an update on UFL offseason transfers.

Lee Jeong Woo. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.

Lee Jeong Woo. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.

Lots of player movement in between the UFL League and League Cup. Here is what I know thus far:

Lee Jeong Woo and Park Yi Young from Team Socceroo to Pachanga Diliman. Pachanga owner John Gutierrez has long admired these two Koreans from Seoul, who first saw UFL Cup action with General Trias International. Lee, only 21 and also known as Tony, scored 13 goals in the last league.  Many of those strikes were off assists from Park, who also goes by the name “Justin.” Park is a central mid who scored five goals in the league to go with five assists. Now they will don the maroon-and-white of PDFC for the League Cup.

Lee and Park were a big reason why Team Socceroo stayed up in the top tier last season. TS needs to fill that attacking void going forward. Meanwhile Pachanga, who also brought in Hamed Hajimedhi from Global, will need more ammo up top to make up for the loss of…

Nate Burkey to Ceres from Pachanga. Coach Ali Rojas Go gets a big, tall striker for the promotees, much like he was in his heyday. Ceres also picks up Azkal Manny Ott from FC Ingolstadt II in Germany. There’s another big signing for Ceres: keeper Eduard Sacapaño from Army. Ceres now has two former Azkals with Sacapaño and Michael Louie Casas, who will presumably battle for the right to be the number one between the sticks.

Burkey, Ott, and Sacapaño join a passel of other ex- and present Azkals in Bacolod, namely Carli De Murga, Marwin and Marvin Angeles, Jeff Christiaens, Juani Guirado, Patrick Reichelt, and Jason Sabio.   The club seriously means business.

There have been conflicting reports about  Paul Mulders joining  Ceres. One Bacolod paper reports that it has happened, another has not. If so,  that means twelve current or past Azkals in Ceres.

Eddie Mallari and Anton Del Rosario from Kaya to Loyola. The two veterans switch black and yellow for orange and white for the League Cup. Del Rosario has been with Kaya since 1999, so this is a big shift.

Loyola needs quality Pinoy help in defense after a bunch of their stalwarts fled for Jeepney.

Also suiting up for Loyola are hulking English striker Jamal Fenelon and Spanish keeper Pedro Marenco, late of Stallion.  The Sparks have also corralled Filipino-Englishman Charlie Beaton.

Meralco also has a new coach with Simon McMenemy, who coached the Azkals in 2010.

It seems that PJ Fadrigalan, Alexandro Elnar, and FEU’s Arnel “Nano” Amita, have exited from Loyola and are now with Manila Jeepney. They join other ex-Sparks Ref Cuaresma and Jake Morallo, who went on loan with the beep-beep crew and have made their loans permanent.

Amita will be there with other FEU team mates Eric Ben Giganto, Reimart Cubon, and Nicholas Ferrer.

Jeepney is now coached (driven?) by FEU coach Kim Chul-su, who also coached Loyola before Vince Santos, so the familiarity with the players is there.

Another ex-Spark has moved to Jeepney, and it’s Davide Cortina. The German-Italian veteran was with Pachanga last season.

Boyet Cañedo to Green Archers from Loyola. United maintains their reputation as a haven for homegrown players with the acquisition of Cañedo. The San Carlos native is a skilled central midfielder who has great passing touch and is a wicked free-kick taker as well. There is a report that GAU will also grab defender Angge Tresor Guisso from Laos. Green Archers already have striker Kennedy Venida Uzoka from Team Socceroo. The U21 NT striker is high on confidence after scoring in the Bolkiah Trophy.

Veteran keeper Kim Versales is now with GAU after leaving Pachanga. The Masbateño will compete with Paolo Pascual, who bid Global adieu. It will be good to see Pascual get badly-needed game time, which he hardly ever got with Global.

Kaya has a new coach, Adam Reekie, who replaces Australian David Perkovic. Jeremy Hohn, an American defender, and Diego Barrera from Colombia, are also on board. Barrera, a stylish striker who played for Kaya in the Charity Cup, has made his loan permanent from Socceroo. Both Hohn and Barrera also played in Stallion previously.

Team Socceroo is going with a youth movement in the League Cup. UP Maroons Rogie Maglinas, Feb Baya, and Ryan Fermin will play for Socceroo coach Kleng Cacacho in this competition.

Global is not going to be outdone in all this. Paolo Bugas has come on over from Loyola. The FEU midfieder almost left the Sparks for Global last year. This year it’s finally a done deal. Bugas is a massive talent who will likely get an Azkals cap sooner than later. And of course, goalie Patrick Deyto is now in gold and blue now after switching from Green Archers. Global also has another new goalkeeper, Nixon “Jun-jun” Badelic from Emilio Aguinaldo College.

Soccercentral.ph have reported that teams in the League Cup have until September 15 to finalize rosters. The League Cup kicks off on September 20.

Follow Bob on Twitter @PassionateFanPH.

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