Saturday, September 29, 2012

And the crystal ball says--Stallions will win UFL Cup

Group A (Global, Pasargad, Navy, General Trias, Team Socceroo)

This one is an easy group and with most of Global players seeing action for the Azkals, the Global vs. Pasargad match on opening day may determine who finishes first in the group, and it could be Pasargad, that is if the club has sustained its form during the final half of the season.  I really have no idea who or what General Trias is, so they could be the suprise of the group.

I see Pasargad finishing first, Global second.

Group B (Kaya, Green Archers, Diliman, Forza, Dolphins)

Here's an interesting group and it's because of Diliman--are they Diliman Diliman,  or the depleted Diliman whose best players all went to Pachanga?  Kaya, because of its off-season acquisitions, is expected to top the group and I'd have to go with Green Archers for second, though Diliman could probably spoil that.

Group C (Loyola, Nomads, Pachagna, Laos, Mendiola)

This one is a no-brainer, and Loyola is by far the favorite, with Pachanga and Nomads fighting for second and I'd have to go with Pachanga.

Group D (Stallion, Air Force, Army, Sta. Lucia, Agila)

Stallions have been very busy in the off-season and that could pay off with a first place finish in Group D, with Air Force second.  And, if I may add, I anticipate a few Army, Air Force players testing or taunting Jason de Jong for a yellow or even a red.

So here's my quarterfinalists

Group A1 Pasargad, A2 Global
Group B1 Kaya, B2 Green Archers
Group C1 Loyola, C2 Pachanga
Group D1 Stallion, D2 Airforce

Quarterfinal 1 Pasargad vs. Green Archers. If I remember it right, these two teams drew their last match in the league, and I think I'd go with Pasargad.

Quarterfinal 2: Kaya vs, Pachanga.  Now this would be a very intriguing match-up, considering the history of how some Kaya players bolted to form Pachanga, which is sort of facing an identity crisis now. And, I'd have to go with Una Kaya for this one.

Quarterfinal 3: Loyola vs. Air Force.  Hmmmm. A match-up loaded with sub-plots and unfortunately for Air Force fans, Loyola has all the advantage. The AFP teams had all the advantage pre 2010 because they all have most of the national team and former national team members as enlisted personnel, but after the UFL explosion, the AFP teams had been left in the dust in the recruitment wars.  Loyola by two goals and James will be a favorite target for those who want him carded.

Quarterfinal 4: Stallion vs. Global  Another intriguing match-up featuring team managers who also handle the national teams.  And I think because Global is loaded with Azkals, Stallions--which recruited two Spaniards and Jason de Jong in the off season--will have the advantage since I anticipate that by the time the game comes, Global's Azkals will either be too tired or will be with the national team.

Semifinal 1--Pasargad vs. Loyola.  Phil will probably get a few bruises in this match, but I see him scoring a couple for a close win.

Semifinal 2---Kaya vs. Stallion.  Now this would be a rematch of Kaya's final win last season that got them tantalizingly close to a title, only to be foiled by Global.  This a toss-coin match and Stallion or Kaya could emerge the winner. So, let's toss a coin, heads for Kaya, tail for Stallion.

Ding..ding..ding.. It's tails, so it's Stallion vs. Loyola in the finals.

Now what will happen in the finals? Hmmm, let's see.  James absence could be a crucial factor.  Yep, I see James missing this match due to cautions and that could tip the scales in favor of the stallions.

Or of course, I could be totally wrong from Day 1.

But that's the beauty of the UFL Cup, we all have our favorite teams and even if our teams are eliminated, we still want to know who will make it all the way to the finals.

So, who do you think will win it all?

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