By Karlo Sacamos
THE transfer window in United Football League just opened over the weekend, but one team has managed to move a few steps ahead with major acquisitions last month.
UFL newcomer Ceres-La Salle FC signed Azkals Patrick Reichelt and Carli De Murga, two huge moves over the past few weeks that are expected to be made official this week as the league entered the month-long window allowing teams to tweak their rosters.
“There’s gonna be a lot of movements from other clubs, but I think our move of getting Patrick and Carli was a big one,” Ceres coach Ali Go told Spin.ph on Monday.
Ceres, the Division 2 leader with 17 points after eight games, signed the Filipino-German Reichelt, the free-agent winger who last played in the Thai Premier League, to a two-year contract in the middle of February.
A week later, the Bacolod-based squad acquired De Murga from Global FC, where the versatile Filipino-Spanish booter was part of the roster but had no existing contract.
Reichelt is still with the national team in Dubai for its friendly against Azerbaijan, while De Murga is expected to be available on Tuesday when Ceres takes on Manila Jeepney.
Division 1 is currently on a one-week break and will resume on Saturday.
Go welcomed both standouts as well as fellow new acquisitions Arnie Pasinabo Jr. from Green Archers United and German-Italian midfielder Kevin Capolei, who also once played for Global FC.
With four teams just two points behind Ceres in the tight Division 2 standings, Go hopes the moves would help them solidify their hold of the top spot and eventually secure promotion in their maiden UFL stint.
“We’re trying to make sure that we enter the first division and we make our team strong for the President’s Cup,” he said.
For ruling the Smart-Philippine Football Federation National Club Championship for the second successive edition, Ceres will represent the country in the Asian Football Confederation President’s Cup in May.
The club competition equivalent of the Challenge Cup, the President’s Cup allows only two foreigners per squad and Ceres’ Filipino acquisitions come at an opportune time.
“If you’re talking about Filipinos in the (core), I think we have one of the best already,” said Go, hinting they will have a few more signings in the coming weeks.