BELIZE CITY–The abbreviated Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season 2014-2015 is already half-way through its regular season for most teams, and already the fight to reach the playoffs is intense, with two teams, Paradise/Freedom Fighters and San Ignacio United, seemingly out of playoff contention, and one other, FC Belize, hanging on to a thread of hope. (See standings below.)
There are always shifting allegiances in professional sports, and the Premier League of Belize is no different, with a number of big names changing jerseys during the off-season.
While some well sponsored teams have “strengthened up” as a result, the negative impact has been felt most glaringly in the cases of Paradise/Freedom Fighters and FC Belize. The Toledo squad lost their former captain/sweeper Frank Lopez, midfield star Jordy Polanco, and most recent PLB Best Forward Franz Vernon; while the FC Belize roster no longer includes top striker Jarret Davis, former Best Goalkeeper Glenford Chimilio, and stalwart midfielder/defender Ryan Gill, all of whom are now with Verdes FC.
Keeping track of the standings, it must be noted that, with one team “resting” each week due to the uneven number (9) of teams in the tournament, some teams will have more games remaining in the 8-game regular season than others.
Over the weekend, there were two Saturday night games and two on Sunday.
At the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan on Saturday night, November 8, defending champions Belmopan Bandits FC demolished visiting San Ignacio United FC by a 7-0 margin, with goals coming from Highking Roberts (16’, 50’ & 78’), Elroy “Bibs” Kuylen (44’ & 66’), John King (69’) and Jordy Polanco (72’). Also on Saturday night, up north at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk (originally scheduled for Sunday at Louisiana Field), the difference was a penalty conversion by Luis “Baca” Torres (85’ PK) to give Placencia’s Texmar Assassins the 1-nil win over home standing FC Belize.
On Sunday afternoon, the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk was busy again, as league leading Belize Defense Force FC was held to a 0-0 draw by visiting Police United FC. And in the other Sunday encounter, struggling Paradise/Freedom Fighters travelled all the way from Punta Gorda to the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio, where they fell 2-0 to Verdes FC. The Freedom Fighters held Verdes scoreless in first half, but Jarret Davis struck twice within ten minutes (62’ & 72’) to give home standing Verdes the 2-0 victory.
Upcoming Week 5 schedule:
Saturday, November 15
7:30 p.m. – Belmopan Bandits FC vs Verdes FC – Isidoro Beaton Stadium
Sunday, November 16
3:30 p.m. – Belize Defense Force FC vs Placencia Texmar Assassins – People’s Stadium
3:30 p.m. – Paradise/Freedom Fighters vs FC Belize – Toledo Union Field
3:30 p.m. – San Ignacio United FC vs Wagiya FC – Norman Broaster Stadium