MP United FC players are back after a notable debut in the 2013 Pilipinas Cup International Invitational Youth Tournament.
MP United Boys U18 Team brought home the third place Cup after beating La Salle Greenhills last Thursday, 2-1, while Michelle and Rachelle Masga, Amy Taylor, Jayda Mendoza, Karleen Reyes, and Seoung Hyun Lee also arrived last Saturday with their first place medals after helping Chelsea FC Philippine dominate the girls competition last week in Sta. Rosa Laguna. The MP United boys squad are composed of Chris Aninzo, Greg Sablan, Kennedy Izuka, John Taisacan, John Diego Masga, Bob Kim, Scott Kim, Thanyakorn Konkoed, Jehn Joyner, Chris Park, Angelo Jones, Namki Kim, Tanapon Unsa, Daniel Lim, Sungbae Park, and the Philippines’ Kevin Hartmann and VJ Ramos.
Norman del Rosario coached the Typhoons, which was the first club to bring home a Cup from an off-island tournament. He added that from an unknown team, MP United FC rose to become a club to watch out for in the next Pilipinas Cup.
“We showed them Saipan can play football, too,” Del Rosario added.
The Typhoons debuted in the Philippine Football Federation-sanctioned tournament with a 4-1 thrashing of Sta. Rosa FC last Monday at Nuvali-Evoliving Field in Laguna, south of Manila and then made it two in a row after blanking Manila Jeepney FC, 2-0. MP United went on to miss a sweep in Group B after losing to UAAP champion Ateneo, 0-1, and a finals stint after bowing to the collegiate team-bannered and eventual champion Loyola Meralco Sparks, 0-6.
After the back-to-back losses, MP United managed to end its campaign in the Pilipinas Cup on a winning note, edging La Salle Greenhills, which fell to Ateneo in the other semis duel, 4-5. The Typhoons won the battle for third place despite playing with a depleted crew in the last 20 minutes of the game. MP United FC, which challenged La Salle only a few hours after losing to Loyola, was one man down, following a red card issued against Konkoed.
“Despite of fatigue and a shorthanded lineup, the boys hung in there. It was a very physical game and we kept our composure. We followed the game plan, which is to keep our offense going, even with one man down. La Salle Greenhills have good midfielders, but if they don’t have the ball, they can’t do anything, so we kept the possession most of the time and dictated the tempo of the game,” said del Rosario.
With MP United in control, Unsa managed to score and later assist Ramos for the second goal in the game.
Meanwhile, the six MP United female strikers played key roles in Chelsea FC’s triumph in the girls open division against three other clubs. Reyes and Michelle Masga scored several times for Chelsea FC Philippines, a team under the Younghusband Football Academy of PH players and siblings Phil and James Younghusband, while goalie Rachelle Masga, Lee, Taylor, and Mendoza held strong on defense, limiting their opponents to no more than two goals in each game in the double-round robin play. Chelsea FC Philippines was unbeaten in six games.