WITH the abrupt withdrawal of some teams, the United Football League held a re-draw on Wednesday less than two weeks before the UFL Cup kicks off on October 12.
Division 1 club PSG, former Division 2 side Mendiola FC 1991, and guest teams Manila Tala and Manila Hurricanes have backed out at the last minute, reducing the field to just 23 teams.
The new format now features five groups, with Groups A, C, and E composed of five teams each, and Groups B and D with four teams each, respectively.
In what was considered the toughest group last time, former champion Global is now in relatively easier Group D along with reigning Division 2 League champion Socceroo, Forza, and General Trias International.
Defending Cup titlist Stallion leads the cast in Group C, which also has Air Force, Agila, Bright Star, and Cebu Queen City United.
Group A appears to be the strongest bracket this time, with two top-tier sides in the fold in Pachanga-Diliman and Army, together with this year’s National Club Championship holder Ceres, Laos, and Manila Jeepney.
Two Division 1 sides also comprise Group E in Loyola Meralco and Green Archers United, which will be joined by Navy, Dolphins United, and guest team Blue Guards.
Kaya is the lone top-flight club in Group C, which also features Union Internacionale, Cimarron, and Manila All-Japan.
The top three teams will progress to the knockout Round of 16, while the best fourth-placed squad from all the five groups also secures a berth to the next round.