United Football League (Philippines)
||It has been suggested that United Football League All Stars Football (Philippines) be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since August 2013.|
|Number of teams||10 (Division 1)
10 (Division 2)
|Relegation to||UFL Division 2|
|Domestic cup(s)||PFF National Men's Club Championship|
|League cup(s)||United Football League Cup|
|International cup(s)||AFC President's Cup|
|Current champions||Stallion F.C.
(2013, 1st title)
|Most championships||Philippine Air Force (2 titles)|
|Top goalscorer||Phil Younghusband (23 goals)|
|2014 United Football League|
The United Football League, commonly known as UFL, is an association football league based in the National Capital Region of the Philippines, governed by the Football Alliance (FA) in partnership with United Football Clubs Association (UFCA). The league is composed of two divisions, both with 10 clubs playing a double round-robin format. Like most football leagues around the world, it adopts the standard point system wherein match winners receive three points and losers get none. Each club receives a point, on the other hand, if the match ends in a draw. To avoid the country's rainy season, the tournament is usually played from January to June each year.
The league started as semi-professional tournament in 2009. Since then, it has been described as a thriving football league, organized by former football players and aficionados. At present, it is organized by the Football Alliance, whose long-term goal is the continued development of football in the Philippines through a premier league.
Since the UFL first started, three clubs have been crowned league champions. Philippine Air Force won the title in the 2010 and 2011 seasons. The current champions are Stallion FC, which won the title in the 2013 season.
- 1 History
- 2 Seasons
- 3 Sponsorship
- 4 Past league champions
- 5 Current clubs by division
- 6 Former clubs
- 7 United Football League Cup
- 8 Venues
- 9 Golden boot winners
- 10 Golden glove trophy
- 11 Golden ball award
- 12 Official match ball
- 13 Broadcast partners
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 External links
Origins and foundation
In September 2009, with the aim of reviving the interest of Filipinos in the sport, the Football Alliance, composed of Santi Araneta, Randy Roxas, Phil Hagedorn, Javier Mantecon, Dong Longa, Mike Camahort, Monchu Garcia, and Christopher Hagedorn, discussed the possibility of creating a football league in the Philippines. At the time, the Filipino Premier League, the country's top level football league governed by the Philippine Football Federation, has already been discontinued after its inaugural season. But instead of creating a whole system and competition, the United Football Clubs Association agreed to partner with the Football Alliance in operating the United Football League, which was then a semi-professional league.
The first season of the UFL was made possible with the aid of several local companies including LBC Express Inc., Magma Inflatables, 2GO, Mutual Fund Management Corp., ATR Kim Eng, and Orient Freight.
The inaugural year of the league was held in 2010, and was originally composed of 16 local clubs. The 16 founding teams of the league were Philippine Air Force, Kaya, Union Manila, Loyola Agila, Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, Green Archers United, Mendiola United, Global, Manila Nomads, Mama Africa FC, United South FC, Sunken Garden United, Manila Lions, Japan, and Diliman.
Seven new clubs entered the league after the successful third season of United Football Cup. Agila FC, Cebu Queen City, Diliman, Forza FC, Laos FC, Pachanga and Team Socceroo are distributed in the UFL Division 2, which started on 14 January 2012. Three clubs from the second division were also promoted to UFL Division 1, namely: Nomads, Pasargad, and Stallion FC.
In December 2011, UFL president Randy Roxas said that they have entered into discussions with the Philippine Football Federation regarding the possibility of sending the league champions to the AFC President's Cup, a third-tier club competition that is run by the Asian Football Confederation.
In April 2012, the United Football League struck a deal to use the artificial pitch that will be constructed by real estate giant Megaworld Corporation at McKinley Hill in Taguig City. The field will be known as the McKinley Hill Football Field. Work on the football field is targeted to be completed by September just in time for the start of the new season in October. This will be followed by the construction of a grandstand that can accommodate 2,000 people which they aim to finish by middle of 2013.
In 21 June 2012, United Football League officials announced that it will introduce a new tournament to its calendar around May of the 2013 United Football League season. The league's version of a Super Cup would feature 10 teams from the UFL Division 1 and the top six clubs from its second division. A maximum of five foreign players would be allowed for each club during the inaugural tournament, and this number would be reduced to four players the succeeding years.
UFL president Randy Roxas announced in December 2012 the completion of the McKinley Hill football field in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig. According to Roxas, the $1-million artificial pitch will be the new home of the league starting the 2013 UFL season. The field was built in partnership with Megaworld Corp., and is said to be up to FIFA standards. The first two weeks of the tournament, which includes the opening games scheduled on 5 February 2013, will still be played at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, but most of the matches of the league will be played at the newly-constructed artificial pitch after Chinese New Year. The league started to use the facility, dubbed Emperador Stadium, in 9 February 2013. The first league game in the stadium, Dolphins United versus Cebu Queen City United, got cancelled as the latter forfeited the match. The second match slated for the same day, Philippine Air Force against Nomads FC, became the first official league game in the stadium. Nomads FC won, 1–0, against Philippine Air Force.
In January 2013, Global FC chairman Dan Palami posted a picture via Twitter of the letter of approval from Asian Football Confederation general secretary Dato Alex Soosay of his club's participation to the 2013 AFC President's Cup, which will be held from 2 to 12 May 2013 for the group stage. The team's participation marks the first time that the UFL and the Philippines will be sending a team in the cup to compete against clubs such as Taiwan Power Company, Hilal Al-Quds, and FC Dordoi Bishkek, to name a few. Global qualified and was chosen to represent the country after winning the league title in the 2012 UFL season. In addition, it was also reported in 16 February 2013 that Pasargad would be the lone representative of the league and the Philippines in the 2013 AFC Futsal Club Championship qualifiers.
Starting the 2013 UFL season, a new promotion-relegation system will be adopted by the league. The club that finishes second in Division 2 will also have a chance to be promoted via a two-legged aggregate-goal playoff against the ninth-place team in Division 1, similar to the system used in the Bundesliga.
In an effort to hold matches outside Metro Manila, United Football League marketing manager Coco Torre confirmed in 30 January 2013 that the league is discussing with its broadcast partner, AKTV, the possibility of staging a few games in the provinces. UFL assistant technical director Ritchie Gannaban further explained the possibility of staging at least two provincial matches during the second round of the tournament, which could be either played at the Cebu City Sports Complex, Cebu City or at Panaad Stadium, Bacolod City.
In cooperation with the Philippine Football Federation, the league directed its referees to undergo a training module to better their decision making and player management. The training was facilitated by Football Association of Singapore committee member Augustine Arlando, a former FIFA match official, and Football Association national referee tutor Dave Roberts.
The regular season of the United Football League is composed of two competitions, namely: the United Football Cup, a knockout-tournament that allows clubs to participate regardless of their division, and the league, which are separate round-robin tournaments for clubs in the first division and second division.
The association football season in the Philippines is from November to July, the driest months of the year. The UFL has a similar season schedule as the Philippine Basketball Association, with two competitions following one after the other: the cup competition and the league competition. The cup competition runs from November to December, while the league runs from January to July. Therefore, the two competitions in a season happen in separate calendar years:
Note: The 2009 UFL Cup was created to determine the composition of teams that will be playing in the league.
Since its inception, the United Football League has received corporate sponsorship. After air cargo delivery service company LBC Express Inc. committed as its principal sponsor in October 2009, the league kicked off as a premier tournament composed of several football teams around the nation.
- 2009–2011: LBC (LBC United Football League)
Past league champions
|2010||Philippine Air Force||Kaya FC||Union FC|
|2011||Philippine Air Force||Global FC||Philippine Army|
|2012||Global FC||Kaya FC||Loyola Meralco Sparks|
|2013||Stallion FC||Global FC||Loyola Meralco Sparks|
|2010||Global FC||Manila Nomads||Mama Africa F.C.|
|2011||Manila Nomads||Stallion FC||Pasargad|
|2012||Pachanga||Diliman FC||Cebu Queen City United|
|2013||Team Socceroo||Union Internacional Manila||Forza|
Current clubs by division
The following clubs will be competing in the United Football League 2014 season based on the recently concluded United Football League 2013 season:
|Club||Head Coach||Team captain||Kitmaker||Shirt sponsor||2013 position|
|Global FC||Brian Reid||Ben Starosta||LGR Athletic||KIA||2nd|
|Green Archers United||Rodolfo Alicante||Christian Pasilan||LGR Athletic||Globe Telecom||6th|
|Kaya FC||David Perkovic||Anton del Rosario||LGR Athletic||LBC Express Inc.||4th|
|Loyola Meralco Sparks||Vincent Santos||James Younghusband||LGR Athletic||Meralco||3rd|
|Manila Nomads||John Jofre||Randy Musters||AtletA||8th|
|Pachanga Diliman||Noel Marcaida||Davide Cortina||Umbro||Victory Liner||5th|
|Pasargad||Esmaeil Sedigh||Jaham Taher||LGR Athletic||Cord Epoxy||7th|
|Philippine Army||Patricio Bumidang||Boogie Margarse||LGR Athletic||9th|
|Stallion FC||Ernest Nierras||Reuben Doctora Jr.||Giligan's Island Bar and Grill||1st|
|Team Socceroo||Nolan Manito||Michael Reyes||LGR Athletic||Vcargo worldwide||Promoted|
|Founded||2009 (as a semi-pro league)|
|Number of teams||10|
|Promotion to||UFL Division 1|
|Domestic cup(s)||PFF National Men's Club Championship|
|League cup(s)||UFL Cup|
|Current champions||Team Socceroo (1st title)
|Most championships||Global FC
(1 title each)
|2014 United Football League|
The United Football League Division 2, often referred to as UFL Division 2, is the second-highest division overall in the football league system in the Philippines. The second division was introduced for the 2010–11 season. The winner of the UFL Division 2 gets an automatic promotion to the league's first division while the second placer will go against the ninth placer of division one in a two legged playoff for a slot in the first division the next season. Manila Nomads won the first-ever UFL Division 2 title, and the club was promoted to the UFL Division 1 the following season along with season runner-up Stallion FC and third placer Pasargad.
The current champions of the UFL Division 2 is Pachanga. The club finished at the top of the second division, which secures the team's promotion to the UFL Division 1. Freddy Gonzalez, Pachanga FC's resident striker, was awarded the golden boot of the UFL Division 2 for the 2012 season.
At the start of the 2012 UFL season, the UFL Division 2 has been expanded to 12 football clubs. Most of the matches for the second division were held at the Turf@BGC, a venue with an artificial football pitch located at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
|Club||Head Coach||Team captain||Kitmaker||Shirt sponsor||2013 position|
|Agila||John Paul Merida||Mark Alvin Valeroso||LGR Athletic||4th|
|Cebu Queen City United||Ricky Dakay||Jan Michael Flores||Cebu Landmaster||DQ|
|Cimarron||Stephen Permanes||Paolo Misa||7th|
|Dolphins United||Apolonio Clemente Jr.||Romnick Echin||OLM||9th|
|Forza F.C.||Michael Garcia||Allan Auman||LGR Athletic||Orient Freight||3rd|
|Laos FC||Elmo Stephen Triste||Rolly Lear||LGR Athletic||5th|
|Manila All-Japan||Shinichiro Maeno||Yuki Tanaka||Cebu General Services, Inc.||8th|
|Philippine Air Force||Edzel Bracamonte||Ian Araneta||LGR Athletic||Relegated|
|Philippine Navy||Narciso Rosima||Jose Alfie Caminos||6th|
|Union Internacional Manila||Dan Padernal||Hamed Hajimehdi||LGR Athletic||2nd|
Note: The two bottom-placed teams will be removed from the league to give way for other teams a chance to compete, although they may qualify for the 2013 UFL Cup
United Football League Cup
The United Football League Cup, also known as the UFL Cup, is an association football competition in the Philippines that runs from mid-October to mid-December. The cup is a single-elimination tournament where clubs from both divisions of the United Football League are eligible to compete. In addition, the competition is also open to local clubs in the country that have passed the requirements set by the Football Alliance.
After defeating Loyola Meralco Sparks in the finals, Philippine Air Force were crowned the 2011 UFL Cup champions. For the 2012 edition of the cup, 28 clubs would compete into four groups of five and in two stages. Clubs from the UFL Division 2, along with other guest teams, would comprise the first stage of the cup. Teams from the UFL Division 1, on the other hand, would be included in the second stage. Afterwards, the top 10 clubs would move on to the knockout stage of the 2013 PFF National Men's Club Championship.
Primary venues used in the United Football League:
|Rizal Memorial Football Stadium||Emperador Stadium||University of Makati Stadium|
|Capacity: 12,873||Capacity: 2,000||Capacity: 4,000|
|Alabang Country Club||Turf BGC, Bonifacio Global City||Nomads Field|
|Capacity: N/A||Capacity: N/A||Capacity: 3,000|
Most football clubs of the UFL use the 4,500 capacity Mckinley Hill Football Field as their main home stadium. Manila Nomads FC's home field is at Nomads Field in Parañaque
Golden boot winners
Golden glove trophy
Golden ball award
The UFL Golden Ball Award is the league's equivalent for the Most Valuable Player award. The award has been given since the 2012 season after the league's expansion to two divisions. Spanish–Filipino footballer Carli de Murga of Global was awarded the first Golden Ball for the first division. Freddy Gonzalez of Pachanga, on the other hand, won it the same year for the second division.
Official match ball
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- Official website
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