The 2019 Marianas Cup played out Saturday at the Guam Football Association National Training Center with Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands splitting the friendly competition.
Guam retained its Marianas Cup title with a 6-2 win over the NMI in the U19/U23 men's competition.
Guam's Isiah Lagutang scored the eventual game winner in the 63rd minute. Teammates Anthony Quidachay, Kyle Halehale, Jacob McDonald, Devan Mendiola and Clayton Sato also scored. Sunjoon Tenorio scored for the NMI. The NMI's other goal came on a Guam own goal.
Halehale was voted the U19/U23 men's competition MVP for his stellar play on both sides of the ball.
The NMI U19 women's team defended its 2018 title, defeating Guam 3-0 behind a brace from Gianna Griffin and a goal from Guinivere Borja.
Griffin was voted the U19 women's competition MVP.
Making the roster
Competition to make the final roster for the Marianas Cup was intense, but Matao head coach Karl Dodd said the match had several key components as far as training.
One main purpose was to assess how the selected players can "display the Guam national team playing style, our proactive mindset and to ensure that we dominate the match from start to finish,” Dodd said.
Maggie Phillips, head coach for the U19 women's team, acknowledged the rivalry after the rosters were announced, stating the girls understood the importance of the match.
Another long-term goal, Phillips said, was to assess how the women adapted to the new playing style that had been implemented after their Hong Kong competition earlier this year.
Both squads have recently completed Kamp Tinituhon, a weeklong induction camp, at GFA. During the induction camp, players engaged in football training on the pitch, as well as sessions on nutrition with Eat Right Guam's Lenora Makela, Chamorro language classes with Theresa E.G. Taitano, organizing a soccer skills carnival for Harvest House foster kids, team bonding activities at PanIQ 45, and yoga with Turning Leaf Yoga, among other activities. The induction camp was supported in great part by Mobil Oil Guam, Eat Right Guam, Triple J Auto Group, Triple J Five Star Wholesale and Hertz.
Information was provided in a news release.