Mendiola FC gets boost with addition of international players

Mendiola FC 1991 are about to get a significant dose of help in the remainder of the 2019 PFL season as they secure the services of international talents.

Argentine midfielder Ricardo Sendra, and Cameroonian defender Souleyman Ndepe bolster the squad from the backline up.

29-year-old “Ricki” Sendra, who had tenure with Singaporean club Geylang international and has been training with the squad since the early part of the season, has his international transfer certificate (ITC) clearance confirmed last July 19, while Ndepe joined in as a mid-season transfer acquisition also on the same date.

Meanwhile, Ivorian goalkeeper Dini Ouattara is just waiting for clearance from his home federation, the FIF (Fédération Ivoirienne de Football) and FIFA’s green light as of last night, according to club source.

If Ouattara gets the clearance to play this afternoon, he could provide the necessary depth to the goalkeeping position which the club currently has a shortage in.

A few hours before this writing, all three were on the way to Mendiola FC’s match against Stallion Laguna this afternoon and is a possibility that Ouattara may be available to step on the pitch as well.

Currently standing in fifth place out of the seven-team PFL, Mendiola only has one win and one draw, with four losses as they try to pull off a massive turn of results their remaining match-days for a chance to significantly improve their maiden top-flight season’s record.

Mendiola FC 1991’s match against Stallion Laguna at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona kicks off later at 3:30 PM.

Photo credit: Mendiola FC 1991/SG Morales

Former Kaya striker Robert Mendy joins Ceres-Negros

After a stint with UiTM FC in Malaysia Premier League, Robert Lopez Mendy joins Philippines Football League defending champions Ceres-Negros FC.

The signing was completed on July 19, according to Ceres-Negros Head Coach Risto Vidakovic.

The 32-year-old Senegalese forward had been a lethal finisher for his former Filipino club Kaya FC Iloilo, but after a contrasting tenure in front of goal in Malaysia, he gets another opportunity to regain his old scoring ways for Ceres-Negros under Coach Risto.

His 43 goals in 43 appearances for Kaya speak volumes in the Philippine pro football setting as he helped the club win the inaugural Copa Paulino Alcantara and secure an AFC Cup qualification slot, something that his new team would be looking forward from him.

Before that glorious tenure with Kaya, Mendy was with Green Archers United where he made a name as an effective attacking player in what was then known as the United Football League.

As for Ceres-Negros, the club’s reinforcement does not end in their swoop for Mendy as they looked into their young talents this time, promoting two Ceres Youth players Charles Ivan Barberan of Bukidnon and Tristan Kit Robles of Iloilo City to the senior squad for the rest of the domestic campaign.

Ceres Negros will see action in the PFL 2019 season tomorrow, Sunday (July 21), against Green Archers United which will be held in The PFF National Training Center in Carmona. Match will be streamed live via pfltv.ph.

Photo credit: Kaya FC Iloilo

Azkals veteran Angel Guirado signs for Chonburi FC

After a stint with Malaysian club Negeri Sembilan, Filipino forward Angel Guirado completed a move to Thai League 1 club Chonburi FC in the midseason transfer window.

34-year-old Guirado’s deal was confirmed late Friday, July 19, which will serve as a frontline reinforcement for the remainder of the domestic season in Thailand and where he will join compatriot Curt Dizon.

A journeyman with an extensive list of tenures with different clubs from different parts of the globe, his experience will serve to be one of his best contributions to the club which is aiming to improve on their current mid-table position.

Before his stint with Negeri Sembilan, he was with Filipino club Davao Aguilas which last competed in the 2018 season of the Philippines Football League.

Guirado also has been with the Philippine National Football Team’s senior squad, The Azkals, where he was able to score nine goals in 34 appearances.

Chonburi FC is schedule to play a match tonight, July 20, against Suphanburi FC. Kickoff is at 8:00PM (9:00PM Philippine Time).

Photo credit: Thai League

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Thai club Chonburi confirms acquisition of Azkals forward Curt Dizon

Top Filipino football talents’ moves to Thai League 1 continue with Curt Dizon’s transfer to Chonburi FC from Ceres-Negros being the latest development.

The deal was completed and confirmed as of July 17 via official sources making Dizon the fifth player from the same Filipino club to make the jump to the Southeast Asian neighbor along with Kevin Ingreso, Alvaro Silva, and Martin Steuble.

With Chonburi, under manager Sasom Pobprasert, currently in mid-table at ninth place in the on-going League 1, the club will expect 25-year-old Dizon to provide the necessary impetus with the hopes of further improving their place in the table and avoid a possible relegation battle in what seems to be a tightly contested season.

Curt Dizon is a pacy forward-winger who operates on the left with Ceres and has the capability to either create chances for his teammates or score goals. His strengths lie mainly in his pace and dribbling ability – tools that could help him succeed in his new club.

Aside from a successful tenure with Ceres-Negros, where he helped the club win the 2018 domestic league, Curt also played for Philippine-based clubs Global FC and FC Meralco Manila.

Dizon also has been a regular mainstay in the Azkals squad amassing 16 competitive appearances for his country including the AFF Suzuki Cup and the historic 2019 AFC Asian Cup campaigns.

Dizon and Chonburi are scheduled to face up against Suphanburi which has fellow Azkals Alvaro Silva and Patrick Deyto on Saturday, July 20, at 9:00PM local time (10:00PM Philippine Standard Time).

Photo credit: Chonburi FC Facebook page

Philippines’ Martin Steuble completes transfer from Ceres to Thai club Port FC

After initial reports that Philippine international Martin Steuble has left Ceres-Negros FC, the defender has formally joined Thai League 1 club Port FC last July 4, 2019 ahead of its Saturday match against Ratchaburi Mitr Phol.

Steuble ended his competitive appearance for the defending Philippine domestic league champions as the team captain in the AFC Cup ASEAN Zone semifinals loss against Hanoi FC.

His addition to the Central Bangkok-based club for the second half of the 2019 season (with an option to extend until 2020 according to reports) serves as a reinforcement as the Port Lions aim to finish strong in the campaign with the possibility of still winning the league.

Port FC are currently, as of this writing, in fifth out of the 16-team Thai League 1 after 16 matches, trailing leaders Buriram United by only four points proving that the race to the top is still hotly contested.

Martin Steuble operates mainly at the left flank (sometimes at the right) as a defender, but he can also take the midfielder role. And even if his main duties lie on the defensive end, he can also contribute on the offense as a conduit and supplier from the wings, and he can also score from range. His one goal (against Stallion Laguna) and an assist (versus Global FC) in the still early 2019 PFL season are a testament to his ability to contribute and be an option in attack.

Hailing from Switzerland, Steuble started his career within the Swiss footballing system where he played in several clubs such as Neuchatel Xamax, Grasshopper Zurich, Lausanne-Sport, FC Wohlen, and FC Wil. He also had a brief stint in the United States’ Major League Soccer with Sporting Kansas City before a significant spell with Ceres-Negros in the Philippines.

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Martin Stueble also suited up for the Philippine Azkals, amassing 39 caps with three goals. The 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup campaign under legendary head coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, which reached the semifinals stage, was his latest participation with the national team to date.

Port FC face Ratchaburi Mitr Phol in an away match on Saturday July 6, 2019.

Photo credit: Port FC

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Azkals defender Alvaro Silva unveiled by Thai club Suphanburi

After formally confirming his departure from Ceres-Negros FC last week, Filipino international Alvaro Silva joins Thai League 1 club Suphanburi FC as posted by the club through its official social media channel.

Silva fills in an ASEAN quota for the club, with two more slots available. It is to note that fellow Filipino footballer, forward Mark Hartmann, has transferred out of the club to join Nakhon Ratchasima last week.

35-year-old Silva comes into the club as a vastly experienced veteran with stints in Spain, particularly in Spanish clubs Malaga, Cadiz, and Xerez before having extensive tenures overseas, especially in Asia, where Philippine league champions Ceres-Negros has been his last stop before moving to Thai League for the first time in his career.

The Filipino colossus will have a tough task of helping his new club for the second half of the 2019 season as the War Elephants fight out of the League 1’s relegation zone which, currently, is precariously placed at 15th place out of the 16-team league.

On the international front, Silva has played as a starting defender for the Philippine Azkals in the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup and the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

Silva can suit up competitively in the Thai League 1 as soon as Sunday, July 7, in an away fixture against top team Buriram United.

Photo credit: Suphanburi FC

Azkals striker Javier Patiño joins Ratchaburi on loan

Filipino forward Javier Patiño has been loaned out by Buriram United to Thai League 1 competitors Ratchaburi Mitr Phol for the second half of the season.

The move has been confirmed as of July 1 in the middle of Thailand’s mid-season transfer window.

Patiño joins fellow Philippine internationals Amin Nazari and Manny Ott as the club aims to come up with a massive push to improve their current standing of tenth out of the 16-team league.

It is to note that the forward has been re-acquired by Buriram United last April of 2018 after being released by Chinese Super League Henan Jianye and recovering from a lengthy injury.

He has yet to regain his scoring form in his second spell with the Thunder Castle, mostly coming on as a substitute, scoring only one goal in the campaign.

The move to Ratchaburi with The Dragons could serve as an opportunity for Patiño to get more regular playing time.

Ratchaburi’s next fixture is tomorrow, July 3, in an away match against Nongbua Pitchaya for the Thai League Cup, but Javier could feature more likely on Saturday, July 6, in a League 1 home match against Port FC.

Photo credit: Buriram United FC

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Azkals defender Daisuke Sato officially bids farewell to Romanian club Sepsi OSK

After a two-season stint, Philippine international defender Daisuke Sato formally announces via social media that he is leaving Romanian club Sepsi OSK Sfântu Gheorghe.

The former Global FC star completed a move to the Covasna County-based club from Danish Superliga side AC Horsens in early 2018 where he amassed a total of 45 competitive appearances playing as a left-back.

He was a main contributor in Sepsi OSK’s successful run in avoiding relegation during the 2017-18 Liga I Play-out while helping the club in 2018-2019 qualify for the Liga I Championship Playoffs.

Initial unofficial reports of Sato’s departure from the club has circulated as early as June 12, 2019 stating that his affiliation with the club effectively comes to end by July 1.

As of this writing, it is not yet determined on where or which club the Azkals star will be heading next.

Photo credit: Sepsi OSK Facebook page

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Transfer news: Azkals midfielder Kevin Ingreso joins Thai League giants Buriram United

Philippine Azkals midfielder Kevin Ingreso was not part of the list when Ceres-Negros officially released the squad list for the 2019 PFL season raising speculations that he is heading to an overseas club.

Initial developments in which the player has been seen training with the his supposed new club prior to the transfer window were finally confirmed when defending Thai League champions, Buriram United, released an official post of the now former Busman‘s transfer to their squad.

Buriram United are currently leading the table in the on-going Thai League season, but it is turning out to be a closely fought campaign with Port FC, Bangkok United and Samut Prakan City mounting serious challenges to unseat the Thunder Castles.

Kevin Ingreso’s acquisition would most likely serve as a reinforcement in the midfield area. Though he can operate well with a holding role, he is also effective on the offensive end with his creative qualities by helping the frontline find goalscoring opportunities.

A product of Hamburger SV’s youth system, Kevin played in Germany in the early part of his career before joining Ceres in 2015 and being a part of the club’s meteoric rise to prominence in professional football in the Philippines and it’s milestone-laden campaigns in the continental front, particularly in the AFC Cup.

On the international stage, Kevin Ingreso’s most significant highlight while playing for the Philippines is scoring the equalizer against Tajikistan at the final qualification match that technically booked the Southeast Asian nation to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup – the first time ever in its history.

Photo credit: The Azkals

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Azkals midfielder Adam Reed joins Thai League 1 club Chainat Hornbill

Philippine Azkals midfielder Adam Reed gets acquired by Thai League 1 club, Chainat Hornbill, for the 2019 season.

The move means he becomes the second Filipino player in the club’s ranks along with Marco Casambre who was signed earlier.

The two players have formerly been with Davao Aguilas before the Filipino club pulled the plug on its professional team.

Information on this development first came out from Adam Reed himself through an Instagram story last morning of February 7, 2019 in the Thai province of Chai Nat [where the club is based], wearing the club’s training outfit.

A day later, February 8, Adam Reed’s acquisition has been finalized after completing a medical.

Adam Reed has been one of the main players of Davao Aguilas’ commendable performance during the 2018 PFL season when the club was almost able to win a silverware, only to come up short against Kaya FC Iloilo in the final of the inaugural Copa Paulino Alcantara.

The Filipino midfielder is a product of Sunderland AFC’s youth setup and has played on loan for renowned English clubs such as Portsmouth and Leyton Orient.

On the Philippine Azkals front, the versatile midfielder has been on legendary head coach Sven-Goran Eriksson’s rotation during the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 and the historic AFC Asian Cup 2019 campaigns, either as a starter or as a substitute.

Chainat Hornbill FC formally begins its 2019 Thai League 1 campaign on February 23, 2019 against Suphanburi FC which also has Filipino international Mark Hartmann in its squad.

Chainat Hornbill FC is already not new in hiring the services of Filipino footballers, as they already happened last 2018 when they signed forward Chima Uzoka who previously played for PFL clubs such as Ilocos United and Global Cebu.

Adam Reed’s addition makes it a total of ten Filipino players currently plying their trade in the Thai League 1.

Photo credit: Kieron Tan