Bienvenido Marañon and Stephan Schrock will return for United City’s defense of the Philippines Football League crown and its historic appearance in the AFC Champions League.
The club made the announcement this week, with Marañon, in the midst of becoming a naturalized Filipino, and Schrock leading a group of returning players from last season’s team that won the PFL title.
Also back are Mike Ott, another key contributor in United City’s title run, Pika Minegishi, Sean Kane, Jordan Jarvis, Cholo Bugas, Jun Badelic and Arnie Pasinabo.
United City did lose some key players, particularly Senegales striker Robert Lopez Mendy, Japanese Taka Odawara and Manny Ott.
But having Marañon and Schrock for another year gives United City reasons to feel good once the domestic season begins with the Copa Paulino Alcantara and later the PFL.
Marañon won the Golden Boot award as the season’s top goalscorer with seven while also assisting four.
United City ruled the shortened PFL season inside the bubble in Carmona, Cavite to earn the distinction as the first Filipino club to gain direct entry to the prestigious Champions League.
The Champions League increased its number of participants from 32 to 40 beginning this year, with the PFL champion assured of a spot in the group stage.
The East zone where United City will play has been moved from April to sometime between June and July due to travel restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.