according to LMS vice chairman Randy Roxas they are looking to add two defenders. if today is the transfer window i would talk to Kaya FC and offer Sabio and Aly to loan these players to LMS (just a wishful thinking) ;D . i would also like to add Patrick Deyto as the LMS goalie over Quaresma. hehe
Transfer window for UFL has closed. We'll see what they have in mind. Agree though that Loyola's D is their weak point. And with reports that the Koreans are not feeling well as of the moment, this might be an interesting development.
Sparks bring act to Singapore Tuesday, 15 May 2012 20:01 Rick Olivares / Columnist E-mail Print PDF
IT sounds like a tall order but the Loyola Meralco Sparks will be attempting to match surpass the achievement of Thai club Chonburi Province when they reached the finals of the 2006 Singapore Cup where they ultimately lost to the Tampines Rovers.
The Sparks topped the first round of the 2012 United Football League and thereby received an invitation from the Football Association of Singapore to participate in this year’s tourney. Aside from Loyola, there are four other foreign clubs taking part in the tournament—Cambodian club Phnom Penh Crown, Brunei’s Duli Pengiran Muda Mahkota, Myanmar’s KBZ, Malaysia’s Harimau Muda B and Laos’s Yotha.
Since the massive buildup of Loyola since last year’s UFL Cup where they finished runners-up behind Air Force, the Sparks have been a league power. Following their 2-2 draw with Kaya, Loyola now totes a 10-2-2 record.
On the other hand, the Eagles, as Geylang United is nicknamed, seem far removed from the year when they won the Singapore Cup by beating Bangkok Glass, 1-nil, in the finals.
The team has struggled this season in the S League as they are dead last in the 13-team standings with a 2-2-8 record for a total of 8 points. Woodlands Wellington has the same number of points but has a better goal difference. Geylang has only notched 11 goals this season while conceding 29.
They lost a number of talented players who helped them to an eighth-place finish last season. That includes Korean midfielder Kim Jae Hong, fullback Syed Thaha and forward Hafiz Rahim, who scored the winning goal that won for Geylang the 2009 Singapore Cup.
The poor play saw the club move Mike Wong to coach Geylang’s Prime League team while Kanan Vedhamuthu has taken over the S.League squad. It is seen as a demotion for Wong as the Prime League is the reserve team competition in Singapore.
At goal for the Eagles is Yazid Yasin, who aside from being team captain who once suited up for the national team. Backstopping him is third-string national goalkeeper Ridhuan Barudin.
Vedhamuthu has his squad playing a little more defensive with a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Geylang recently called up the talented raw forward Andy Recha from the reserve team. And it was Recha’s late strike that completed Geylang’s come back from two goals down against Singapore Armed Forces that boasts of national players like Hassan Sunny, Daniel Bennett, and Erwan Gunawan.
The team’s scoring sock comes from midfielder Slovakian Josef Kaplan and Michael King who was a reserve player for English side Burnley. King has a mean free kick as evidenced in his stunning goal against Young Court Lions for their second win of the season. Geylang’s energy comes from Yasin, Kaplan and King.
King isn’t the only Englishman on Geylang. There’s former Arsenal youth player Rhema Obed who has had a difficult time marshalling the defense of Geylang after the celebrated Oliver Nicholas, another Arsenal youth player who also saw time with Blackburn and Newcastle left right after the start of the new season. Nicholas, was a promising addition who had strengthened the defensive line of the Eagles. His departure leaves a gaping hole in the back that Wong and Vedhamuthu have struggled to replace.
Despite working with a team in transition and rebuilding mode, Vedhamuthu nevertheless believes his side can compete. “We will respect the team we are drawn against in the first match, and we look to progress from there. I have only just come to know they have some key players of caliber and quality, so we will need to be prepared against this Philippine team. We should take nothing for granted.
While Loyola will be missing the services of Korean midfielder Jeong Byeong-Yeol who is recovering from a bout with dengue fever, head coach Kim Chul-Su will tap Matthew Hartmann and Simon Greatwich to fill the vacated midfield. Hartmann will be able to suit up for Loyola because of a technicality where the Philippine Football Federation’s one-year suspension from club play following disputes arising from his national team stint did not cover play outside the country. It will be Greatwich’s first taste of action with Loyola although he was lined up at the start of the UFL season. Greatwich last played during last year’s World Cup Qualifying match against Kuwait.
Loyola takes on Geylang this Friday, May 18, 2012 at 7:45pm at the Jalan Basar Stadium.
Azkals’ Younghusbands to play in Singapore Cup May 16, 2012 By IRENE CURTIS Leave a Comment
WILL history repeat itself at the RHB Singapore Cup 2012?
Filipinos in Singapore made the headlines in Oct 7, 2011 when they turned the Singapore Lions-Philippine Azkals international friendly at Jalan Besar Stadium into a “home game”. This Friday, May 18, there may be a possible “live” repeat of the newsmaking Filipino attendance to a Singaporean football match as the LOYOLA MERALCO SPARKS, one of Philippines’ current top football clubs, clash against Singapore’s Geylang United for the first leg of the prestigious 2012 RHB Singapore Cup.
The Sparks (or Loyola FC) currently play in the first Division of the United Football League (UFL), the Philippines’ semi-professional football league. The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) invited them to play in the prestigious Singapore Cup, which kicked off last May 14, after the Pinoy futbol club topped the first round of the UFL Cup last January.
So aside from Sparks being a top Philippine football club, what else coulld possibly draw ever-busy Pinoy football fans – and as last year’s friendly has proved, even those who know almost nil about the beautiful game – to this Friday’s match? Well, not what, but who: Fil-Britfootball brothers James and Phil Younghusband.
Yes, Philippine National Football Men’s Team’s two most popular Azkals are also certified Sparks.
Midfielder James Younghusband is the vice-captain of Sparks while younger brother Phil is a star striker. The brothers’ irresistible combination of dashing looks, charm and football skills have helped propel football back in Filipino consciousness back home. Fellow top Azkals Mark and Matthew Hartmann are also slated to play for Loyola FC at the Singapore Cup.
The Singapore Cup is a four-stage tournament with the preliminary round competition running from May 14 to 21. Sixteen teams will compete – 11 Singaporean clubs and four foreign clubs – Harimau Muda B (Malaysia), Kanbawza FC (Myanmar), Phnom Penh Crown FC (Cambodia) and Loyola Sparks. Per Cup rules, each team is allowed only four foreign players in their roster.
“This is a big step for not just Loyola, but also for the UFL and Philippine football in general because this is the first time a Philippine team is being invited to take part in this tournament,” said Sparks president Randy Roxas. “We hope to do well in this competition because it validates what the UFL has been trying to do – professionalise Philippine football.”
If Loyola FC successfully prove their mettle in the first leg of the tournament, they will return to Singapore on the second half of 2012 to play the two-legged quarterfinals, then onto the semis until they make it to the finals on October 28.
In the preliminary round match, Loyola FC will clash with Geylang United (Singapore), who currently ranks 12th out of 13 teams in the Singapore League. If the Sparks win, they will play Kanbawza or Woodlands Wellington (Singapore) in the next round.
A Filipino Sparks fan in Singapore advised the Pinoy FC: “LMS would have a chance if they step up on their defence. Their offence is superb but their defence, even in the UFL, is very, very suspect.”
The Singapore Cup champion will receive Singapore $80,000. First, second, and third runners-up will receive $40,000, $20,000, and $10,000, respectively. Losing quarterfinalists will each receive $4,000 while preliminary round losers, $2,000. See match details below:
Match: LOYOLA MERALCO SPARKS (Philippines) vs. GEYLANG UNITED (Singapore)
An interview with Geylang United’s Michael King by rick olivares
Rick Olivares: How did you find your way to Singapore? Have you been out of England before to play football? What is the difference between English and Asian/Singaporean football? How do you find Singapore (personally, I love the place and I go there as often as possible)?
Michael King: I had three years playing for Burnley FC, one as a professional. And after being released, I found it very hard to find a good club in England. A lot of clubs didn't have a lot of money and weren't willing to take a chance on a 19 year old. I was offered the chance to come for trials in October of last year, which I took, and then was signed by Mike Wong, Geylang's coach at the start of the season. And no, I haven't been outside of England to play before.
The main difference I've found so far is the heat and humidity. It makes it impossible to play fast flowing, exciting football for the full ninety minutes. Another big difference between the two cultures is that football is a way of life in England, where everyone is brought up playing and watching it, which I don't think is the same here. The more people that play and are interested the more chance you have of getting good players.
I love Singapore, it's a great place, and very easy to live here. It's my first time visiting Asia, and I was a bit apprehensive at first, but I settled in very quickly, and really enjoying my time here.
Rick: Geylang, I understand is having some financial problems, hence its inability to sign more top tier players. Is that true? Why is the team struggling right now?
King: To be honest, I have no idea about the financial situation of the club, it's not really my place to be aware of it either, I just have to concentrate on playing football.
We had a tough start, and we weren't playing good football, culminating in the sack of our coach Mike Wong, since then there's been a transition period as our new coach Kanan has tried to instill his football philosophies and we've started to play better football. But we just haven't had the luck in recent matches. I'm confident we will have a good second half of the season though and start to climb up the table.
Rick: Loyola has three Fil-Brits in Phil and James Younghusband and Mark Hartmann. Do you know anything of your opponent in the first round?
King: I'd never taken much interest in any football around Asia until I moved here. I'm still trying to get to grips with football in Singapore so I know very little about Loyola Meralco and of their players. It will be nice to see hear some British accents though, and I'm sure they're good players too.
Rick: How do you think the match with Loyola will turn out?
King: It's very hard to call knowing very little about the opposition, but the team has been playing well of late, so I would be confident going into any match at minute, but I'm sure it's not going to be an easy game.
Rick: The last match against SAF was played in the afternoon heat. Have you adjusted to playing in such a humid atmosphere?
King: That's the toughest thing about playing here is the heat, especially coming from a country where the temperature is generally cold, but I've got more used to it as the season has progressed.
Rick: That was a good result, 2-2 with SAF. Do you think you will carry this good result the rest of the way? I know it's not a win but it did arrest a losing skid.
King: The game last night was a good result as we'd had two consecutive defeats, yet, again we played well and I think we could have easily taken all three points, so from that view it's disappointing.
Loyola Meralco Sparks and Geylang United Singapore Cup tie to be broadcast live
The Philippines team will take on the Eagles at Jalan Besar Stadium on May 18 in the Singapore Cup Round of 16[/i]
May 10, 2012 7:00:00 PM By Bhas Kunju
he Singapore Cup will commence on Monday, May 14 with all eight matches being played in a span of one week with the exception of Albirex Niigata's home fixture against Yotha FC of Laos due to travel issues.
This year's edition of the Singapore Cup features teams from eight different nations, including Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Singapore Armed Forces FC will kick-off the competition against Balestier Khalsa at Choa Chu Kang stadium while Tampines Rovers will entertain the first invited team, Phnom Penh Crown at Clementi Stadium the following day.
Brunei DPMM who have been allowed to play their home fixtures in the S.League in Brunei will however have to host Home United at Yishun Stadium on Wednesday.
Two matches will take place at Jalan Besar Stadium, namely, Kanbawza's tie against Woodlands Wellington and Loyola Meralco Sparks clash against Geylang United, with the latter also earmarked as the only match to be broadcast live on television.
Loyola Meralco are the current team of Philippines internationals, James and Phil Younghusband, and play in the first division of the United Football League, a semi-professional league.
Goal.com Singapore will be broadcasting LIVE play by play for the match from Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday.
Harimau Muda B, who are playing in place of current S.League title-chasers Harimau Muda A, will take on Gombak United at Jurong West Stadium on Sunday May 20.
The final match will be held on May 26 at Jurong East Stadium and is the fixture between Albirex and Yotha.
Fans can look forward to exclusive coverage of the entire competition starting next week on Goal.com Singapore as we bring you all the latest action.
Mon 14 May - SAFFC vs Balestier, Choa Chu Kang Stadium Wed 16 May - Tampines vs Phnom Penh Crown, Clementi Stadium Thu 17 May - DPMM vs Home, Yishun Stadium Fri 18 May - Loyola Meralco Sparks vs Geylang, Jalan Besar Stadium, LIVE Sat 19 May - Kanbawza vs Woodlands, Jalan Besar Stadium Sun 20 May - Gombak vs Harimau Muda B, Jurong West Stadium Sun 20 May - Tanjong Pagar vs Hougang, Queenstown Stadium Sat 26 May - Albirex vs Yotha, Jurong East Stadium
United Football League side Loyola Meralco Sparks have set a semi-final target in their maiden appearance in the RHB Singapore Cup.
By Gabriel Tan
The Filipino outfit are one of five foreign sides that will take part in this season's edition of Singapore's premier cup competition, along with Malaysia's Harimau Muda B, Bruneian side DPMM FC, Cambodian giants Phnom Penh crown, Laotian champions Yotha FC and Kanbawza of Myanmar.
Loyola appear to have been handed a favourable draw after being pitted against Great Eastern-YEO's S.League strugglers Geylang United, and ahead of Friday's game at the Jalan Besar Stadium, Sparks coach Chul Su-kim has revealed he has set a semi-final berth as the target for his side.
"We have set reaching the semi-finals as the target for Loyola," Chul told ESPNSTAR.com at training on Wednesday.
"We are confident we have what it takes to match any side in the competition and we will give a good account of ourselves, starting on Friday."
While the South Korean tactician admits his side have not had much of a chance to assess the Eagles ahead of their clash, he does not believe that will hamper his side's chances.
"We head into every game hoping to win and believing we can do so, whether or not we've managed to have a good look at our opponents.
"The players I have are still developing as a team, and I would say we are currently only playing at 60% of what we are capable of."
Considering Geylang currently have the worst defence in the S.League, having conceded 29 goals in 12 matches, Loyola will be quietly confident of their chances, especially with Phil Younghusband and Matthew Hartmann leading the attack.