Leaders Sparks' depth tested once again in UFL match against resurgent Army
By Karlo Sacamos
A SHORTHANDED Loyola Meralco side continues to flaunt its depth as it takes on Philippine Army on Tuesday in the United Football League at the Emperador Stadium in Mckinley Hill.
Still without several key players due to injuries, oddly varying from quadriceps and hamstring strains to measles and stomach flu, the Sparks seek to strengthen their grip of the top spot when they face the Korean-loaded Troopers at 5:15 p.m.
It will be the second game in four days for the Sparks, who shut out Socceroo, 3-0, last Saturday.
“We have to rotate our players. As many as I can use from the bench, I will,” said Sparks coach Vince Santos, whose team is just a point ahead of its closest pursuer in Global FC.
The absence of James Younghusband, Joaco Cañas, and Bo Bae Park has given extended minutes to some players including Freddy Gonzalez, who barely missed a hat-trick against Socceroo.
The in-form Gonzalez and the Sparks, though, welcome back Phil Younghusband to the fold after the star striker has served out his suspension in the weekend matchup.
The Sparks trounced the Troopers, 5-1, in the first round, but will be facing a fifth-running military side that has regained its chemistry following a 2-0 win over Pasargad last Thursday.
Defending champion Stallion FC tries to salvage whatever is left of its title-retention hopes as it battles Green Archers United in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m.
The fourth-running Stallions remain in the title hunt, but any loss or draw could further hurt their chances of retaining the title, and the seventh-running Archers are definitely another challenge.