Karl Decena, InterAKTV
The inaugural preseason tournament of the United Football League will kick off on Saturday at the Emperador Stadium in Mckinley Hill, with
15 squads strutting their wares in preparation for the new season in October.
Seven clubs each from the first and second divisions will be joined by a guest squad, the Philippine national Under-23 men’s football team, which will use the competition as a preparation for its possible stint in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games later this year. They have been divided into three groups and will be playing teams within the bracket once.
The top two teams from each group after the preliminary stage will advance to the second round where they will be divided again into two groups, with each team playing squads within the bracket once. The two best teams from each group will move on to the knockout semifinals and finals.
Group A features League runner-up Global FC, Green Archers United Globe and second division squads Union Internacional Manila, Laos FC and Manila All-Japan FC.
Group B includes Division One clubs Loyola Meralco Sparks, Philippine Army and Nomads FC and Division Two teams Dolphins United FC and Cimarron FC.
Defending Cup and League titlist Stalion Sta.Lucia headlines Group C, which is also comprised of fellow first division team Kaya FC, guest squad U-23 Azkals and second division clubs Philippine Navy and Forza FC.
Green Archers will open the tournament when it faces Division Two runner-up Union Internacional Manila at 8 a.m., while Global will face Laos FC at 10 a.m.
Cimarron FC will play Nomads at 2 p.m., while Loyola will meet Army at 4 p.m.
The U-23 Azkals will clash with Forza at 6 p.m. followed by the match between defending Cup and League champion Stallion Sta.Lucia and Philippine Navy at 8 p.m. to cap off the opening day.
Each teams will field 30-man rosters for the competition which will be trimmed down to 25 when the UFL Cup begins.
All matches will be played at the Emperador Stadium for the preseason tournament, which will run until early October.