Saturday, May 05, 2007

Guam to face Northern Mariana Island 'All-Stars'

Last month, Guam defeated the Northern Mariana Islands in back-to-back games to qualify for the first round of the East Asian Football Championship. Both sides were made up of entirely United States citizens as the two western Pacific Ocean island nations are territories of the United States of America. On 3 June, however, the Guam team will return to Saipan to clash with an International All-Stars team from the Northern Mariana Islands League that will include residents who are not US citizens. The match also serves as a way to capitalise on the momentum gained during the build-up to last month's matches and growth of the football in the islands.

“The idea was to give Guam’s national team a warm-up game for their trip to Macau. Our football association decided to try and set-up a game for all the foreign players living here who couldn’t play on the CNMI national team-give a little something back to all the footballers on Saipan ineligible to play versus Guam in the two games just played,” All-Stars coach Wesley Bogdan told Brad E. Ruszala of The Saipan Tribune.

"This is a historic event for both federations. For a squad like Guam (and ourselves), it is nearly impossible to arrange off-island friendly matches as there is little to gain for most countries in playing the match and it is expensive. It is one of the reasons Guam has had difficult results internationally since entering FIFA 12 years ago. Every match they play is in a real tournament,” added NMIFA Men's League coordinator and CNMI Men's midfielder Vince Stravino.

1 comment:

bradinthesand said...

Aside from me typing away at the old keyboard for the Saipan Tribune, I had no idea that we were in the news. Thanks for spreading the word about our soccer happenings. Come on out to watch the game!

Brad