Matao hires interim coach - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Matao hires interim coach

Posted: Updated:

The head coach position for the Matao has been filled – for now.

The Matao have hired an interim coach to help them prepare for the East Asian Football Federation E-1 Football Championship Round 2 in November in Chinese Taipei. This after the Guam National Men’s Soccer Team lost former head coach Gary White in April after White left the club to accept a head coaching position in the china league one.

The Guam Football Association has officially hired Darren Sawatzky – a former Major League Soccer player, Seattle Sounders youth development director and assistant coach for the University of Washington. Most recently, Sawatzky was head coach of the Tacoma Stars of the Major Arena Soccer League.

GFA spokesperson Jill Espiritu says Sawatzky signed with the Matao as an interim coach – and he is scheduled to land on Guam to take a look at the facilities and meet with players by the end of the week. GFA president Richard Lai says the matter of hiring Sawatzky on an interim status will be brought before the GFA board tonight.

As you may recall, White left the Matao after receiving a critical FIFA coaching certification upgrade enabling him to coach at a higher level of soccer. After having been with the Matao for 4 years – a period which saw the team garner international media attention after its FIFA ranking peaked at an all-time high for the island – white promptly left the team and accepted a head coaching job in China.

Several candidates had expressed an interest in coaching the Matao – most notably Serbian coach Nikola Kavazovic – but Sawatzky was signed as interim coach to help the Matao prepare for the EAFF E-1 Championship Round 2. As you may recall, Round 1 was played on Guam, but the Matao had enjoyed a first-round bye in the tournament. Sawatzky’s hiring has come at a crucial time, as Guam has attained its highest-ever FIFA ranking at 146th in the world. GFA officials did not say how much Sawatzky was getting paid for the interim coaching job. Sawatzky’s twitter account made no mention of the hiring.

Sawatzky, 43, spent four seasons as a player in the MLS – mostly as a part time player traded between teams before he signed with the Seattle Sounders of the United Soccer League in April of 2000. He tied for 3rd in the league with 16 goals and was a first team all star. He attended the University of Portland where he finished 10th on the school’s all time goals scored list.

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Victim testifies against Denard Atalig in rape trial

    Victim testifies in rape trial

    "He spread my legs and pulled me down," - that's part of the testimony from the teen in an ongoing sexual assault trial at the Superior Court of Guam. The defendant is accused of forcing the girl to have sex with him when she was only 15 years old.Today,More >>
    "He spread my legs and pulled me down," - that's part of the testimony from the teen in an ongoing sexual assault trial at the Superior Court of Guam. The defendant is accused of forcing the girl to have sex with him when she was only 15 years old.Today, More >>
  • Defendant in Rolex theft case appears in court

    Defendant in Rolex theft case appears in court

    It's a case that involved high-end watches, guns, and was even the Guam Police Department's largest prescription drug bust in history. And now, the case could soon be coming to a close. Vince Benito, one the final defendants in the case, appeared in SuperMore >>
    It's a case that involved high-end watches, guns, and was even the Guam Police Department's largest prescription drug bust in history. And now, the case could soon be coming to a close. Vince Benito, one the final defendants in the case, appeared in SuperMore >>
  • $149M contract to build training facilities finalized for AAFB

    $149M contract to build training facilities finalized for AAFB

    More money for the military buildup has been secured, as a $149 million contract was awarded to build three new training areas on Andersen Air Force Base. According to a Navy news release, the projects include a combat vehicle operators course, a hand greMore >>
    More money for the military buildup has been secured, as a $149 million contract was awarded to build three new training areas on Andersen Air Force Base. According to a Navy news release, the projects include a combat vehicle operators course, a hand greMore >>
Powered by Frankly