Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fair Play: Crazy Sanogo teaches Global FC a bitter lesson

WHEN coach Brian Reid pointed to Ed Sacapano to start warming in the first half of Global FC's final match against Dordoi, a smattering of applause broke in the crowd, who witnessed how the bungling Mousa Sanogo, whose errors led to back-to-back goals for the Kyrgystani club.

He supposedly played for the third division in France but I've seen third-choice keepers in high school who could hold on to the ball better.

But what made Sanogo's stint memorable was that crazy stunt he pulled in the second half, when he dribbled up field, joined the attack in Dordoi's box.  Worse, he took all the time in the world getting back to his box, as if he was in for an afternoon stroll in the park, not a do-or-die game for the Filipino club champions.

That was when Ed got to play, and not a few say that he should have played from the first game, and that instead of a keeper, Global's other foreign player should have been a striker.  (Only two foreigners are allowed in the AFC President's Cup.)

When Ed got in, the crowd applauded and that shows a lot.  I think that was the first time I saw a substitution for a keeper who wasn’t injured.

Of course, there are two lessons for Global FC here. One, not to tinker with the lineup a day before the tournament, and two, never trust the guy/gal again who recommended Sanogo. Blind auditions work for The Voice, but not for football clubs.

The other foreign players in the club, those who missed the President's Cup because of the rule, are invested in the team, they'd give their all and not pull a crazy stunt.  For Sanogo, it was just a job. Nothing more. Perhaps, right now, he's enjoying a drink and telling his friends, "You know one time, I slept drunk and the next thing I know I'm in the plane headed to Cebu!"

Cedelf Tupas was talking about the possibility of Sanogo being an impostor and he could be right. Boxing is rife with players like that, those who come with impressive credentials but turn out to be a waiter who can’t take a punch (Gerry Penalosa’s foe) or one who’s only a namesake of the real one (Boom-Boom Bautista’s foe).  

I hope that’s the last time someone who’s good on paper gets the starting job over someone who’s been there with the team, doing the job.

It’s time, too, for the UFL to consider a cap on the foreign players in each club. Take the case of Global, because of the rule, they had to fly in Juani Guirado from Spain, sign Jason de Jong and Ed Sacapano on loan. 

Though it doesn’t have to be as harsh as the two-foreign player limit, a cap would be nice.  And oh, make sure they don’t sign up the Sanogos.

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