Takashi Odawara leaves United City, signs with Maldives club

Originally published by Tiebreaker Times

Japanese midfielder Takasha Odawara has become the latest athlete to leave reigning Philippines Football League champions, United City.

The pro club announced Saturday that the 28-year-old has departed the team for Maziya Sports & Recreation Club.

“UCFC is announcing the departure of Takashi Odawara and would like to thank him for his contributions in helping us win the 2020 PFL Championship,” read the statement.

“We will miss you but wish you and your family well with your new club, Maziya S&RC from the Dhivehi Premier League in Maldives.”

Odawara first landed on Philippine shores back in 2015 when he signed with JP Voltes to compete in the defunct United Football League. Following his stint with JPV, he then moved to Davao Aguilas in 2018.

His most successful time in local football, though, came a year later as he transferred to Ceres-Negros, with whom he won the 2019 PFL and Copa Paulino Alcantara titles.

With Ceres-Negros changing its identity to United City following the takeover of MMC Sportz Marketing LLC from longtime benefactor Leo Rey Yanson, Odawara stayed with the new management and was part of the squad that won the 2020 PFL crown during its bubble tournament at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.

This development is another blow to United City as it gears up to compete in the 2021 AFC Champions League group stage this April where they will be up against China’s Beijing Guoan, Japan’s Kawasaki Frontale and the winner between South Korea’s Daegu FC and Thailand’s Chiangrai United.

Also leaving the team were Robert Lopez Mendy (who signed with Preah Khan Reach), Manny Ott (Melaka United), Dennis Villanueva (Nakhon Ratchasima), and OJ Porteria (Ratchaburi).

Stephan Schrock has yet to announce a decision on his future.

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