UFL March 21 notes: Kaya’s Syracuse Superman and Loyola’s Crafty CB

Louis Clark of Kaya. Image copyright the author.

Louis Clark of Kaya. Image copyright the author.

On Saturday Kaya FC bludgeoned Pachanga 6-2 to stay on top of the league. Louis Clark was a big reason for the big win.

The Englishman played college soccer in Syracuse in upstate New York. He has even taken in a few Orangemen hoops games in person.

Clark was not just orange on Saturday, he was piping red-hot.

I should just call him Louis and Clark, as in Louis Lane and Clark Kent. Pachanga were unable to find a kryptonite for him as Clark scored twice and contribute more than that.

My favorite play was late in the second half, where, from his striker position, he went all the way back to his goal-line to make a key tackle.

“I think it was because I lost the ball, so I really wanted to get it back,” explained Clark, echoing one of football’s unspoken rules.

Clark has been a find for Adam Reekie’s side, and with him in form, Kaya is a certain title contender.

Meanwhile Pachanga are adrift after a bitter loss. The team used to have a great defense, with the experienced Kim Versales in goal and vets Yves Ashime and Andrew Santiago as centerbacks. Now it’s Steve Yambou with the mitts and converted striker Reuben Sillitonga at centre-half beside Mahmoud Ali. The partnership has yet to gel, as they were burnt to a crisp.

Where is Ashime now? Coming in for Loyola in relief of an injured Joaco Cañas, and starring in the Sparks’ massive derby win against Global via a 1-0 score.

Ashime. Image copyright Bob Guerrero

Ashime. Image copyright Bob Guerrero

Ashime has come back from a long injury layoff to replace Cañas, himself out with injury, with no discernable drop in quality.

All game long he tidied up well and insulated keeper Tommy Trigo for much of the match. He also won an aerial duel with Global’s Izzo Elhabbib. After the game Trigo went up to Ashime, who was lying on the turf with a bag of ice on one knee, and gave him a healthy two-handed high five.

The Cameroonian may look heavy, but in the second half he chased down Mark Hartmann and shut down one of the Azkal’s crosses. He always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.

“He reads the game very well,” marveled Loyola’s Vince Santos.

Much of the Global team only got home from AFC Cup duty on Friday night. They did put up a decent fight though, with Satoshi Otomo badly missing a sitter in the first half. Leigh Manson gave teenager Mark Winhoffer a late run-out.

Meanwhile in the first game of the day, Army raised eyebrows by gutting out a 2-2 draw with Manila Jeepney. Army scored first thanks to a blunder by Jeep’s reserve keeper Van Rey Diaz. Their second was a penalty. So they have yet to score a goal for themselves this season in open play.  PJ Fadrigalan got on the scoresheet for the beep-beep crew.

Army finished the game with nine Filipinos. After nearly nicking a 0-0 draw against Stallion, the military outfit actually has some  momentum. Can’t wait until a passel of new enlisted men will try to reinvigorate the squad next month.

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