In their sixth season, United SC, who finished fourth last season, have not had the best preparation as they had to deal with the financial crunch leading to the exit of many big names. (Agencies)
But to their credit, United SC managed to retain Nigerian striker Ranty Martins, I-League top scorer for the last three campaigns, so also the Dutch coach Eelco Schattorie who guided the side to their maiden IFA Shield triumph last season.
In terms of new faces, Liberian striker Eric Brown has been signed from ONGC while experienced midfielder Snehashish Chakraborty has also joined the purple brigade.
"We have started late and the boys are not still fully match-fit. In the first few matches, we will fight to survive. Let's see how the season turns out to be," Schattorie said.
Captain Deepak Mondal said, "One of the most important things for me as a captain is to stay together. Like a family. We're a United SC family whether on or off the field."
Formerly known as Ar-Hima, Shillong's Rangdajied United became the third club from the north-eastern part of the country.
They don't have any big names in their squad but in Santosh Kashyap they have a tactical coach who did well with Air India and ONGC.
In the foreigner’s lineup, the 26-year-club has roped in Senegalese defender Lamine Tamba and Brazilian striker Edmar Figueira as both have the experience of playing in India.
The first target for Rangdajied will undoubtedly be to remain in the I-League and coach Kashyap has been honest about it.
"Our first objective will be definitely to remain in the I-League and then we'll see how far we can adjust," Kashyap said.
In their sixth season, United SC, who finished fourth last season, have not had the best preparation as they had to deal with the financial crunch leading to the exit of many big names.