By ADRIAN STEWART CO
Negrense midfielder Arnie Pasinabo will remain with the United City Football Club for its Philippines Football League (PFL) and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League campaign this year.
The San Carlos City, Negros Occidental-native Pasinabo was among the returning players unveiled by the United City FC on its social media accounts on Monday evening.
The 35-year-old Pasinabo was one of the reliable right wingers for the four-time PFL champions Ceres-Negros FC/United City FC. He also played for Green Archers United FC and Kaya Futbol Club-Iloilo before.
Also getting inked to new contracts by the four-time PFL champions United City FC squad are midfielder Hikaru Minegishi and goalkeepers Florencio Badelic Jr. and Anthony Pinthus.
According to the United City FC, they were able to renew the contract of 13 players from its 2020 PFL champion roster, while also securing the commitment of a minimum of 12 other players.
The United City recently lost several key players led by Manny Ott, who will have his next stint in Malaysia, as well as Jose Elmer Porteria and Dennis Villanueva, who have signed for Thailand’s top-tier clubs.
Also departing from the squad were Robert Lopez Mendy, who will next play in Cambodia, and Takashi Odawara, who have signed up with the Maziya S&RC from the Dhivehi Premiere League in Maldives.
United City FC is the defending champion in the third edition of the Copa Paulino Alcantara, which is being eyed for April, as well as in the PFL’s league season later this year.
In the 2021 AFC Champions League, United City FC is placed in Group I against current three-time Japanese champions Kawasaki Frontale, China’s Beijing Guoan, and either South Korea’s Daegu FC or Thailand’s Chiangrai United.
United City FC has automatically earned the right to represent Philippines in the 2021 AFC Champions League for ruling the 2020 edition of the Philippines Football League last November./ASC, WDJ