by Dave Delgado
Guam - Our Men's National Soccer Team held a meet and greet training session at the Leo Palace Soccer Field before heading to the Philippines for competition. Team Guam will be facing the Azkals who are the Philippines National Soccer Team and play two other matches against professional club teams in the P.I.
Gary White, Team Guam's head coach, said, "Our style of play will be very attacking minded. It's an opportunity for us to try new things and try out our players and utilize this event to prepare for the East Asian Football Championships here on Guam in July. We are going to go out there and attack which is a little bit different than what Guam is used to playing. We are going to go out there and take the game to them. The way the Matao plays, is we like to be aggressive and dictate the tempo of the game. We play the Azkals on the 12th and then we play against Global FC on the 14th and then the Stallions FC on the 16th, both professional clubs in Manila. We are very prepared and very focused and coming up here for camp up here in Leo Place is perfect for us. It allows them to get away from their stressful lives at home and anything that is allowing them from not getting focused. The GFA has invested in this team and their minds are right and the players are ready and this is exciting stuff for us."
The team is stacked with young talent with several players back home from school where they play for different universities. For veteran player and team captain Jason Cunliffe he says that the strength on the team will be their youth and will to win and represent our island proudly. The against the Azkals will be played in the Panaad Stadium, where many Filipinos remember it as the site the Philippine national team defeated Mongolia 2-0 in the AFC Challenge Cup qualifier in February of last year. The Azkals eventually secured third place in the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup.
Jason Cunliffe, Team Guam captain, said, "Going into the matches in the P.I we have been working on our shape, a lot of pressing and covering. We are playing a very attacking minded game a very modern style of football. So we have just been working on cleaning everything up, just the last few details. We are very prepared and looking forward to it. One of our advantages is we have a lot of young guys, I'm the oldest player on the team at 28 and everybody else is 25 and under. I believe the average age of our team is 20 and a half so we are very young and inexperience but at the same time these guys believe, we believe in the system and the program and we are ready to show the world what we are about to do."
The guys are excited to get on the field and show their opponents the new style of Guam Football.
And goalkeeper Dallas Jaye said, "Representing Guam has brought me a lot of pride and I get to represent my family and Chamorro roots and I think as a team collectively were looking forward to just showing the world what we are about. We are representing for the island and for our fans and for our people and we are very excited for this trip."