It’s been more than two months since Guam’s soccer fans got to watch Matao battle Bhutan and take the 5-0 victory in Round 1 of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Preliminary Qualification at the Guam Football Association National Training Center.
This Thursday,the Matao will take on the Maldives at 3:30 p.m. at the Guam Football Association National Training Center in Harmon. They will play again five days later against the Philippines Azkals. The Guam-Philippines fixture will kick off at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 10 at GFA.
Guam National Team head coach Karl Dodd released the Matao roster for Round 2. With the Matao playing on its home pitch, a spot on the 23-man roster is coveted.
Dodd credited the soccer program’s development of its players, which increased the competition for a seat on the team.
“This competition for places from within the current squad and now players graduating through the youth program forces all players to work even harder to apply themselves more at training and during games in order to earn a spot on the squad and even harder for a spot in the starting 11,” Dodd said.
The competitive environment is key to Guam’s growth and evolution in football, he added.
“It is now making it very hard for coaches to select players for matches, which is a great headache to have,” Dodd added.
Making the final cut are goalkeepers Dallas Jaye, Bijan Gloston, and Sean Evans and field players Mark Chargualaf, Joey Ciochetto, Michael Crowley, Jason Cunliffe, Marlon Evans, Nichika Fermin, Dominic Gadia, Kyle Halehale, Isiah Lagutang, Nate Lee, Marcus Lopez, Shane Malcolm, Ian Mariano, John Matkin, Devan Mendiola, Dylan Naputi, Shawn Nicklaw, Travis Nicklaw, Takumi Odell, and Ryan Quitugua.
Of the 23 players, 15 return from the squad that played against Bhutan in the tournament’s Qualification Round 1. Guam defeated Bhutan 5-1 on aggregate to advance to Round 2. Cunliffe scored a hat trick in Guam’s 5-0 home match win and Lagutang and Malcolm also scored.
Get a seat
Tickets are on sale at the GFA Main Office to watch the next two matches. Category 1 tickets are $25 each and Category 2 tickets are $10 each. Category 3 tickets are $5 each. The office is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday through Friday. On match days, only tickets for the featured match will be sold at the gate beginning at 1:30 p.m. Only cash payments will be accepted at the gate. A Bank of Guam ATM will be available for use at GFA on match days.
To appease your hunger during the game, the confirmed concessions at the match will be Fizz & Co, Hafaloha, and Jamaican Grill, as well as Budweiser beer gardens.
There will be security measures in place for the safety and enjoyment of all who plan to watch. Prohibited items include umbrellas, whistles, megaphones, large, unwieldy objects, hydroflasks, outside food and drinks, firearms, incendiary devices, illegal items, and others.
Information was provided in a press release.