AND then there were 18.
After over four months of training, Matao head coach Gary White officially made his final 18-man selection from the initial 78 players who had shown interest in playing for Guam at next week’s East Asian Cup preliminary competition at Leo Palace Resort.
“It was very difficult to make the final selection and as it got closer to 25, it was even more difficult,” White said. “The last 22 was tough. We had to go with four alternates for the team – it was that close.”
White said each player’s performance in the Philippines in matches against the Azkals and two professional club teams was instrumental in helping to gauge if players were ready to play at the level required by the EAFF tournament.
The 18-player roster includes captain Jason Cunliffe, and goalkeepers Dallas Jaye and Ryota Nault. Zachary DeVille, Dylan Naputi, Marcus Lopez, Reyn Johnson and Scott Spindel fill in as the team’s forwards, supported by midfielders Jonahan Romero, Ian Adamos, Devin Mendiola, Thaddeus Atalig, and Ian Mariano. Guam’s defensive line will be anchored by Joshua Borja, Christian Schweizer, Micah Paulino, Scott Leon Guerrero, and Anthony Paulino.
The 2013 East Asian Cup is composed of three rounds: the preliminary competition, the semifinal round, and the final round. Guam will be competing against CNMI at 4 p.m. on Wednesday and against Macau at 4 p.m., July 22. The winners from the preliminary competition will move on to the semifinal round in Hong Kong the first week of December.
“We will be taking every team seriously,” White said. “We have to because we don’t know the kind of development these countries have had in the past few months.
“We do expect to qualify for the next round; we are prepared and organized enough. The GFA has truly invested in both the men’s and women’s teams more than ever and both teams feature the strongest available players,” White added.
The Matao was featured briefly at a press conference at the Atkins Kroll Chevrolet showroom Friday morning. At the press conference, Atkins Kroll executives officially announced Chevrolet’s support of the Guam Football Association as a corporate platinum sponsor and exclusive vehicle sponsor of the organization.
The sponsorship includes naming rights for the upcoming fall Chevrolet Robbie Webber Youth Soccer League. Additionally, company executives unveiled the official GFA vehicle provided as part of the corporate sponsorship – a black, 2012 Chevrolet Camaro 1SS. The Camaro, adorned with decals reading “Shoot for Chevy” and logos of both AK and GFA, will be driven primarily by White.
(Information obtained from a press release)
AND then there were 18.