Guam Football Association officially announced the appointments of Sang Hoon Kim as head coach of the Guam Men’s National Team and Ross Awa as interim head coach of the Guam Women’s National Team for Asian Football Confederation tournaments next month, GFA stated in a press release.
“I’m confident in both coach Kim and Ross in their new roles with our men’s and women’s national teams and I encourage all supporters to continue to track the progress of our senior national teams,” said Valentino San Gil, GFA president.
Kim, GFA technical director and formerly the head coach of the Masakåda, Guam Women’s National Soccer Team, will now take on the role of head coach of the Matao, beginning with the team’s upcoming AFC Asian Cup China 2023™ Qualifiers Playoff Round against Cambodia in October 2021. The team will be competing in two matches against Cambodia for one of the remaining slots left for the third qualification round of the continent’s premier football tournament, GFA stated in the release.
The Playoff Round matches will be played Oct. 9 and Oct. 12 at the Khalifa Sports City Stadium in Isa Town, Bahrain. Guam’s Oct. 9 match will kick off at 8:30 p.m. Bahrain time (3:30 a.m. Oct. 10, Guam time), while the Oct. 12 match will kick off at 7 p.m. Bahrain time (2 a.m. Oct. 13, Guam time).
Currently, 30 domestic players have been training under Kim four times per week. The final selection of players will be made from a larger preliminary roster that includes players abroad eligible to play for Guam.
Guam and Cambodia are currently 1-1 in head-to-head competition. Guam defeated Cambodia 2-0 in November 2013 in a friendly match in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Cambodia’s win over Guam was in an AFC Challenge Cup match in April 2006.
Also traveling next month, the Masakåda will compete in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022™ Qualifiers Group D competition in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, a neutral venue.
Awa, GFA assistant technical director and Guam U20 Women’s National Team head coach, accepted the interim head coach role for the senior team after Kim vacated the position. Awa will be assisted by Chyna Ramirez and Keleko Fejeran for the upcoming competition, where Guam will play against Myanmar, United Arab Emirates and Lebanon.
Guam will open its bid with a match against the United Arab Emirates on Oct. 18, kicking off at 5 p.m. Bishkek time (9 p.m. Guam time) followed by a match against Myanmar on Oct. 21 at 5 p.m. Bishkek time (9 p.m. Guam time). Guam’s final match in the group against Lebanon is set for Oct. 24 at 5 p.m. Bishkek time (9 p.m. Guam time). All matches will be played at the Dolen Omurzakov Stadium.
The Masakåda, the No. 83 world-ranked team, are the second-highest-ranked team in the group.
Myanmar, one of the top 10 teams in Asia, is the top-ranked team in the group at No. 46. United Arab Emirates is ranked No. 100 and Lebanon is No. 145.
Awa will select a final team of 23 from the initial preliminary roster of 51 players closer to tournament dates.
Competing in the qualification round of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup this year will mark Guam’s return to the competition after an 18-year absence on the continental stage.