United City, Stephan Schrock part ways

Stephan Schrock

Stephan Schrock parted ways with United City FC almost a week before seeing action in the Copa Paulino Alcantara.

The club made the announcement Friday, March 18, ending days of speculation after Schrock’s name was not mentioned in the list of players set to see action in both the domestic cup competition and the AFC Champions League.

Schrock signed a new deal in March 2021 to remain with United City “for at least the next three seasons.”

“UCFC would like to announce the departure of Captain Stephan Schrock after mutually agreeing on an early termination of his contract,” United City said on its social media accounts.

Schrock’s exit came two months after naturalized striker Bienvenido Marañon ended his United City stint to sign with Malaysia Super League powerhouse Johor Darul Ta’zim.

It also raised the possibility of the Philippine Azkals veteran to ply his trades in leagues from neighboring nations, namely in Thailand and Malaysia.

A number of Filipino footballers are currently playing for clubs based in both countries.

Schrock was one of the holdovers of the defunct Ceres-Negros squad that joined UCFC, which took over the license of the multi-titled squad from Bacolod City in mid-2020.

He helped United City win the shortened Philippines Football League crown later that same year.

The 35-year-old midfielder was also a big part in United City’s historic campaign in last year’s AFC Champions League group stage, scoring a goal in the 1-1 draw against Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan.

United City opens its Copa campaign on Thursday, March 24 against Maharlika-Manila at the PFF National Training Centre in Carmona, Cavite with a mixture of 12 holdovers and plenty of new faces.

It will also mark the return of UCFC to the domestic scene after skipping the 2021 Copa held last November.