Originally published by Daily Tribune
United City FC (UCFC) is eyeing no less than the title when the Philippine Football League (PFL) kicks off its regular season next week.
UCFC team owner Eric Gottschalk expressed his confidence that his wards are up to the task of defending their title in the tourney’s much-awaited return since 2020.
The rebuilding crew of Hikaru Menigishi, Anthony Pinthus, Mark Hartmann and Ivan Ouano will open their campaign against Maharlika Manila FC on 7 August at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
“The caliber of players we have at our disposal will always make us an automatic contender,” Gottschalk told Daily Tribune in a conversation.
“And coming off of the AFC Champions League and winning the Copa has given the players not only experience on the highest level but also confidence that they can win it again.”
True enough, UCFC had already proven itself in the PFL stage time and time again.
After buying the franchise from three-time PFL champion Ceres Negros FC in 2020, United City continued the club’s rich winning tradition and breezily captured its fourth straight crown in that season.
The club kept the fire going and clinched its second Copa Paulino Alcantara title after dethroning Kaya FC early this year.
It also competed against the best Asian teams in the Champions League in April, but it finished empty-handed in six matches.
Although skipper Mike Ott left the squad for Indonesia, the club still has what it takes to bounce back with reinforcements Amirbek Juraboev, Ricardo Sendra and Alan Robertson.