Blog Posts by Bob Guerrero

  • UFL: GAU held by new-look Pasargad, Army merges with GTI and wins

    Simpron. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.

    Reports on Thursday's UFL League Division One matches in Emperador Stadium.

    Green Archers United Globe 1, Pasargad 1.

    The Archers were held to a second draw in as many games by a revamped Pasargad side.

    Pasargad's Simon Bayameg opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with a ferocious long-range volley that GAU keeper Patrick Deyto couldn't contain. Deyto had earlier brilliantly snuffed out two attempts.

    Four minutes after the second half began Gabe Olowoyeye of United nodded home from close range but the goal was correctly waved off for offside.

    Then in the 70th Dodong Villareal got an equalizer, heading a Chieffy Caligdong free kick from the left flank past Pasargad keeper Russel Pierson.

    What followed was a barrage of GAU chances as their opponents seemed to wilt under the pressure. Jesse Martindale, Caligdong, Villareal, Arvin Soliman, Jovan Simpron, and Park Jun Soo all failed in their attempts at a go-ahead goal. Pierson was superb in the last twenty minutes, rushing out well

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  • Football: Gatorade-Chelsea Blue Pitch unveiled in The Circuit

    The Blue Pitch. Image Copyright Bob Guerrero.

    Yet another artificial-grass Football pitch has emerged in Metro Manila. Only this one is unlike any of the others.

    The Gatorade-Chelsea Blue Pitch, as its name suggests, features plastic grass in a shade of blue found on the kits of Chelsea FC, the storied English club. That's because Chelsea Soccer School Philippines will be co-managing the venue along with Ayala Malls.

    With the addition of this pitch, there are a total of at least nine artificial Football fields in Metro Manila that I am aware of, the others being International School Manila, Turf BGC, Emperador Stadium, De La Salle Zobel, FEU Diliman, The Camp, Kick-off Indoor Football Center, and King's School near MOA. The conversion of Rizal Memorial to plastic seems to be in limbo.

    The field has a view of the Makati skyline. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.

    The field is located in the Ayala development known as The Circuit, on the grounds of the former Santa Ana racetrack in Makati. Measuring 64.5 meters by 100 meters, it is right smack on FIFA's minimum dimensions for International play. That is

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  • UFL: Loyola wallops Global 4-0, Kaya wins opener

    Gonzalez (second from right.) Image copyright Bob Guerrero.

    Recaps of Tuesday's Division 1 UFL League matches in Emperador stadium.

    Loyola Meralco Sparks 4, Global 0.

    New year. New coach. New Iranian signings. New future Azkal. New blue-and-yellow kits.

    But unfortunately for Global, same old disappointing product on the pitch.

    On Tuesday the Sparks defeated arch-rival Global 4-0 in front of hundreds of fans in the League opener for both sides. Loyola picked up goals from Lee Joo Young, Phil Younghusband, Fred Gonzalez and Matthew Hartmann to pick up a surprising rout.

    Meanwhile Global's debutantes, Charles Pettys (being groomed for the national team), Mojtaba Miromohammadi, Hamed Kakavand, and coach Leigh Manson are left to rue a desultory start to their 2014 campaign.

    The Sparks got on the board with Lee's strike from outside the box seven minutes in. The ball seemed to catch Global keeper Roland Sadia off-guard. The Ivorian dove in the opposite direction of the ball and he changed course too late to stop the shot from going in.

    A

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  • “We have a soft spot for Coach Weiss” – Phil and James YH

    Phil and James. UNAUTHORIZED COMMERCIAL USE OF THIS IMAGE IS PUNISHABLE BY LAW. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.

    When asked about his fondest memory with the newly dismissed Michael Weiss, Azkal James Younghusband recalls a day in Cambodia last year.

    The team was playing a friendly in Phom Penh, and it was James' birthday. The Azkals winger woke up at 7:30 am to find the coach by the foot of his hotel bed.

    He came into my room and waited for me to wake up. He wanted to greet me first thing in the morning” remembers James with a smile.

    Weiss' three-year reign with the Azkals was characterized with ups and downs in dealing with the Younghusbands. The coach even dropped them for the 2012 Peace Cup because they allegedly didn't prioritize the team enough. But on the day the German mentor's term officially ended, the brothers had kind words for Weiss.

    He told us we were like sons to him” said Phil. The younger Younghusband also said that the coach often invited asked the brothers to bring their younger sister Keri to Weiss' home so she could play with his young children.

    We had a soft spot

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  • Football roundup: Weiss officially out, PD wins opener, Global gets new coach

    Weiss. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.

    Weiss departure now official.

    What was widely reported in social media over the weekend is now official. Ebong Joson, the PFF's marketing savant, released this statement to the media on Monday morning.

    The Philippine Football Federation discontinued the services of Michael Weiss as head coach of the Men’s National Team effective 15 January 2014. The coaching staff will be reformed in time for the AFC Challenge Cup 2014 Finals in May 2014.

    PFF made a year-end evaluation with team management and determined that a re-organization of the coaching staff is best for the team.

    PFF officials thanked Coach Weiss for his contributions to the national team.

    13 January 2014, PFF House of Football, Pasig City.”

    A shortlist of six candidates for the vacant coaching job has reportedly been put together but there is no word on when a new coach will be announced.

    Burkey. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.

    Pachanga Diliman 2, Team Socceroo 0.

    One team picked up where it left off. Another one got a rude welcome to the UFL's top flight.

    On

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  • Why Azkals coach Weiss had to go

    Weiss. UNAUTHORIZED COMMERCIAL USE OF THIS IMAGE IS PUNISHABLE BY LAW. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.

    Michael Weiss is out out of work.

    After nearly three years on the job as Azkals coach, the German has not had his contract renewed, according to the website Pinoyfootball.com. The website reportedly received the news from Azkals manager Dan Palami and released the info on Saturday. There appears to be no official word from the Philippine Football Federation, but that seems to be little more than a formality. The Weiss era is over.

    Some observers might feel this is long overdue. I would agree. And something very early on told me that Weiss might not be the man for the job.

    In March 2011, the Azkals trooped to frigid Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia, for the second leg of their 2012 AFC Challenge Cup qualifier against the Mongolians, carrying with them a 2-0 lead from the first game in Bacolod.

    Neil Etheridge was unavailable for that game after keeping a clean sheet in Panaad. Ed Sacapaño would wear the gloves instead. Surprisingly, backing up Sacapaño was Toffer Camcam.

    Then just sixteen or

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  • Marlon Stockinger believes in the Pinoy F1 dream

    Stockinger. UNAUTHORIZED COMMERCIAL USE OF THIS IMAGE IS PUNISHABLE BY LAW. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.

    Marlon Stockinger certainly has that winning attitude.

    It's safe to say I'm aiming to fight for the championship” says Filipino racecar driver of his World Series Renault (WSR) chances for this year.

    He's holding court in the Hard Rock Cafe in Glorietta on a Friday afternoon presscon courtesy of Petronas, one of his sponsors. The 21-year old is in a relaxed, expansive mood as he fields questions from the media.

    In a few months he will venture back out to Europe to compete for the Lotus F1 junior team in the WSR, a stepping stone for the Big Show that is Formula 1. It will be the second year with Lotus in this series.

    Many current or former F1 drivers cut their teeth in WSR before reaching the top flight. Some drivers even take two or three years to develop in WSR before getting an F1 call-up. Stockinger hopes a solid 2014 will give him a half-decent shot at snagging one of the 22 F1 seats going forward.

    I know most of the tracks by now” says Stockinger of the one year of

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  • Why can’t we have better Football refereeing? Part 3: Solutions

    Michael Barajas. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.

    This is the third of a three-part special report on The Passionate Fan about the state of Football refereeing in the Philippines. Part one can be found here, and part two here.

    So what can be done to bring officiating forward? Or maybe we, as Filipinos, are simply incapable of producing top-class referees? That obviously isn't the case.

    There are some excellent Filipino referees who are respected and experienced in their craft. And naturally, like many hard-working and talented Pinoys, they have gone abroad to earn more while plying their trade.

    Jovanie Villagracia is a Filipino referee from Dipolog who now makes his home in Macau, where he officiates in the Macanese first division. He is there with a handful of other Pinoy refs, like Randy Estremos from Cebu. Villagracia is a full-time referee on a two-year contract. He was the man in the middle when the Azkals met David Beckham's L.A. Galaxy in December of 2011.

    Villagracia outlines several areas of improvement, starting with a

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  • UFL: Some thoughts going into the 2014 League.

    O'Donnell. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.

    The UFL League kicks off on Saturday. Here are my musings as the league gets underway. The third part of my series on refereeing will run tomorrow, Friday January 10.

    Kaya could do Philippine Football a massive favor by handing Nick O'Donnell the starter's gloves. There are some changes in Kaya going into the league, none bigger than the surprising departure of goalkeeper Saba Sadeghi Garmaroudi. No longer will Kaya ultras cheer of “Saba pogi, Saba pogi, Saba pogi, ole ole ole” reverberate around Emperador. Apparently the longtime Kaya keeper and management did not see eye to eye and so the Iranian was shown the door.

    This presents a terrific opportunity for O'Donnell, who was Garmaroudi's backup last year. The Fil-Canadian, part of the stillborn U23 Sea Games squad, can now soak up the regular game experience he needs to develop.

    The Philippines badly needs Internationally-sized young goalkeepers based in the Philippines. Ed Sacapano is still spry at 33 but younger options will be

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  • Why can’t we have better Football refereeing? Part 2: It’s the system

    Jimm Liman yellowcards Anton Del Rosario. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.

    This is the second of a three-part special report on The Passionate Fan about the state of Football refereeing in the Philippines. Part one can be read here.

    When I started worked in advertising in 1995 we had a seminar on Total Quality Management as part of our training. One of the precepts of TQM is “when something goes wrong, blame the system, not the people.”

    There is a system to Philippine football refereeing, and it is broken.

    In Metro Manila two groups have traditionally supplied referees: the Rizal Football Association, and the National Capital Region Football Association. This being the Philippines, the two groups do not get along. Over the years their relationship has ranged from frosty to openly adversarial, and the squabbling has stunted the growth of refereeing.

    RIFA has traditionally catered mostly to schools while the NCRFA handles mostly senior Football. But talented referees can't grow and be tested in higher levels of play because they might belong to the wrong

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