Getting to Know- Muanthong United

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After securing progress to the Group Stage with a 2-0 win over Shanghai Shenhua two weeks ago, Brisbane Roar are set to get their 3rd AFC Champions League campaign tomorrow night. With that in mind, we continue our traditional look at our Champions League opponents and get to know a bit more about tomorrow nights opponent, Muanthong United.

History
The club was formed back in 1989 as Pittayanusorn Football Club before changing its name to Muanthong United back in 2007. IN the early years Muanthong were in the second division of Thai football, before earning promotion in 2009.

Since then Muanthong have gone on to win the Thai Premier League on four occasions, in addition to the League cup and the Kor Royal Cup –which is played between the League and FA Cup winner- on one occasion.

Honours
Thailand Premier League (4) – 2009, 2010, 2012, 2016.
Kor Royal Cup (1) – 2016.
Thailand League Cup (1) – 2016.

Stadium SCG Stadium- Nonthaburi, Thailand
Opened- 1998
Capacity- 15,000

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Muanthong play their home games at the SCQ Stadium in Nonthaburi, and have done so since it opened in 1998. For the Champions League campaign, Muanthong will play at two different venues, with the Brisbane and Ulsan games at their usual ground. The game against Kashima on Matchday 2 however has been moved to the Supachalassi National Stadium in Bangkok.

Record in Asia
AFC Champions League- 1 previous participation
2013 Group Stage- 4th place (Guangzhou Evergrande, Jeonbuk Hyundai, Urawa Reds)

AFC Cup- 2 previous participations
2010 (Semi-Final) – Lost to 2-1 Al-Ittihad (Syria)
2011 (Quarter-Final) – Lost 1-0 to Al-Kuwait (Kuwait)

Muanthong have been a regular in the Champions League over the past few seasons, with playoff losses in 2011, 2014 and 2016. They did however make the group stage in 2013 making this their second participation in the Group Stage. Back in 2013 Muanthong were drawn into a tough group with Guangzhou Evergrande, Jeonbuk Hyundai and Urawa Reds, with the Thai side finishing bottom of the group.

In the AFC Cup however Muanthong have been much better, with a quarter final and semi final appearance in their two appearances in the competition. 2010 was Muanthong’s best showing in the AFC Cup where they made it to the semi-finals before losing to Syrian club Al-Ittihad, before a quarter-final loss to Al-Kuwait the next season.

How they Qualified
2016 Thailand Premier League Champions
-5pts clear of Bangkok United.

Thailand qualified for the Group Stage as winner of the 2016 Thai Premier League, their fourth Championship as a club which saw them qualify due to a change in the allocation of AFC Champions League spots. Muanthong ended the season five points clear, although the season was abruptly ended following the passing for King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Manager- Totchtawan Sripan
45 years old former Thai international Totchtawan Sripan is listed as the clubs manager, having been appointed back in January 2016. Sripan’s first season with Muanthong was a success winning the League and the League Cup for his new club.

Since retiring from football, Sripan has managed BEC Tero Sasana, Saraburi and Police United before making the step up to one of Thailand’s biggest clubs. Interestingly however, the official AFC website lists Technical Director Ronnarit Suewaja as the manager.

Squad
GK- 1) Kawin Thamsatchanan, 28) Prasit Phadungchok, 37) Putthipong Pomlee.
DF- 2) Perapat Notechaiya, 3) Theerathon Bunmathan, 5) Aoyama Naoaki, 15) Lee Ho, 19) Tristan Do, 25) Adison Program, 26) Sulphan Thongsong, 29) Celio Dos Santos, 33) Pitakpong Kunsuwan.
MF- 6) Sarach Yooyen, 13) Ratchapol Nawanno, 14) Sorawit Panthong, 16) Sanukran Thinjom, 18) Chanathip Songkrasin, 20) Wongsakorn Chaikulthewin, 34) Wattana Playnum.
FW- 9) Xisco Jimenez, 10) Teerasil Dangda, 11) Adisak Kraisorn, 22) Mongkol Thosakrai.

Key Players
Xisco-
Spanish striker Xisco is the star man for the Thai Champions, with the striker mostly remembered for his unsuccessful spell with Newcastle United. His form in Spain however was much better, with solid returns for Deportivo La Coruna and Cordoba more prolific.

Celio do Santos- The much travelled Brazilian central defender will add some much needed experience to the Thai Champions, joining the club from fellow Group E side Ulsan Hyundai. Having played for five clubs since 2015, the 29 year old defender will be looking to settle in at his new club.

Naoaki Aoyama- The likely partner for dos Santos at the heart of defence for Muanthong will be Japanese defender Aoyama. The 30 year old brings a wealth of experience in the Japanese League system with Shimuzi S-Pulse, Yokohama F. Marinos and Ventforet Kofu before joining Muanthong in 2015.

Lee Ho- Experienced South Korean Lee Ho rounds out Muanthong’s visa contingent, adding some additional experience in the middle of the midfield. Like dos Santos, Lee has previously played for Ulsan, but also brings experience in Asia with Jeonbuk Hyundai, Omiya Ardija and Al Ain, in addition to a brief spell in European Football with Russian club Zenit St Petersburg.

Teerasil Dangda- Club captain Dangda is the most dangerous of Muanthong’s Thai playing group, with the 28 year old attacker likely to provide a dangerous foil to Xisco in the final third. Dangda, who is also a key member of the Thai National Team, is one of the few Thai players with experience in Europe, with spells at Manchester City, Grasshopper and Almeria to his name.

Other members of the Thai National team from Muanthong United include goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan, defender Theerathon Bunmathan and midfielder Chanathip Songkrasin. All up 11 Muanthong United players have represented the Thai national side in the past year.

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One Comment on “Getting to Know- Muanthong United”

  1. […] So far Muanthong have picked up maximum points with six points out of six, with a 4-0 opening day win away to Bangkok Glass before Friday’s 1-0 win at home to Sukhothai. You can learn more about Muanthong United here. […]


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