Los Héroes del Uní-Uní, or ‘the heroes of the Union’, is a very apt title considering the season that has just gone. Union San Felipe have astounded critics in their bid to become Primera Division champions.
The final game of the season sees Union San Felipe play away at Union Española, knowing that a win will secure them a title. O’Higgins go into their game against Huachipato needing to win and better USF’s result.
Could the side from San Felipe really win the third most reputable league in South America?
San Felipe, Chile
San Felipe is a commune based in the Valparaíso region of Chile.
The small community has a population of just under 65,000 according to an outdated 2002 census.
However it is thought that this number could be significantly higher after the recent 2019 Census of Population and Housing showed Chile to have an increased population of over 21 million.
In terms of football, the small commune has had little to shout about over the previous decades. On solitary Primera Division victory came back in 1971. Since then just one Copa de Chile win has raised San Felipean spirits.
With Union San Felipe on the verge of a huge success, it seems appropriate now to go through our squad and find out a bit more about the heroes that have brought us so far.
We’ll be looking at the players to have played a part in our latest 2022 season.
Name: Miguel Vargas Joined from Santiago Wanderers in 2020 (Free) League Apps: 73
Name: Simon Ramirez Joined from Huachipato in 2021 (£140K) League Apps: 28
Name: Dilan Zuniga Signed from Colo Colo in 2021 (Free) League Apps: 27
Position: D/RL League Goals: 1
Name: Ricardo Caceres Came through our Youth System League Apps: 86
Position: D/L Sold for £2.4M League Goals: 4
I decided to keep Ricardo Caceres in our squad review as for the first 12 games of the year he averaged an 8.03 rating. He was instrumental in our impressive run at the beginning of the year.
Name: Alejandro Fuentes Signed from Colo Colo in 2021 (£130K) League Apps: 25
Position: D/C Sold for £1.2M League Goals: 3
Name: Nozomi Kimura Signed from Santiago Morning in 2020 (Free) League Apps: 71
Position: D/C League Goals: 8
Name: Luis Benitez Signed from Nacional (PAR) in 2022 (£650K) League Apps: 10
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Name: Gonzalo Moreno Came through our Youth System League Apps: 35
Position: DM League Goals: 3
Name: Danilo Catalan Joined from Everton (CHI) in 2021 (Free) League Apps: 37
Position: M/C AM/C League Goals: 6
Name: Juan Pablo Abarzua Signed from Deportes Puerto Montt in 2019 (£50K) League Apps: 77
Position: M/C League Goals: 1
Name: Jean Patric Signed from Sao Paulo in 2018 (Free) League Apps: 100
Position: AM/R Sold for £350K League Goals: 30
Name: Victor Lugo Signed from Atletico All Boys in 2019 (Free) League Apps: 51
Position: AM/R League Goals: 11
Name: Merival Signed from Inhumas in 2020 (£12.75K) League Apps: 45
Position: AM/C League Goals: 3
Name: Marailton Signed from Goias in 2022 (£1.7M) League Apps: 11
Position: AM/C League Goals: 1
Name: Carlos Garrido Came through our Youth System League Apps: 32
Position: ST League Goals: 8
Name: Danilo Signed from Sao Paulo in 2021 (£12.5K) League Apps: 22
Position: ST League Goals: 8
Name: Ignacio Jeraldino Came through our Youth System League Apps: 201
Position: ST League Goals: 65
Name: Juan Jeraldino Came through our Youth System League Apps: 219
Position: ST League Goals: 109
Union Española v Union San Felipe 27th November 2022
Having worked so hard all year, the fate of our title charge rested on one game. We went 17 games unbeaten to lead by 13 points, yet here we are. Union Espanola stand in our way.
Both sides battled well in this game, with Union San Felipe scoring two first-half goals to lead at half-time. Espanola battled back, netting two goals for themselves.
Moving into the final minutes of the game the score remained level. But a truly brilliant strike in injury time from Merival secured the Primera Division title as we won 3-2.
The incredible last minute winner saw hundreds of the travelling away fans storm the pitch, hugging their heroes, delighted with their sides success.
Support flooded in to our club’s social media manager from around the globe as fans tweet their congratualtions to the team they love.
Our season started in unbelievable fashion. As mentioned earlier we won 16 of the first 17 games of the season, drawing the other. This run saw us take a 13 point lead at the top of the table.
In this run we only conceded six goals, three of which came in one game!
Our second half of the season included 6 losses and O’Higgins took advantage. But we held on to win the league.
In the Chile Cup we made the Semi-Final but lost to Huachipato over two legs. This run included beating both Universidad Catolica and Universidad de Chile, two tricky ties. Everton (CHI) went on to win the Copa de Chile this year, was this an opportunity missed?
What now for Hurtado and his Héroes?
In winning the league, Union San Felipe will enter in the Group Stages of the Copa Libertadores for the first time under Hurtado’s leadership.
In addition, with the aim of this save being to win each top tier league AND cup in each playable South American country, the Chile Cup is still up for grabs.
The plan is to have one more season with Union San Felipe. We’ll enjoy our time in the Copa Libertadores and aim to win the Chile Cup before moving countries.
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Thank you for reading this long VivaGlobetrotting update. It has been a pleasure writing this and detailing the successful season just gone.
I have been sharing tweets with live updates as I play the save, you can follow them by following my account in the link above.