As the island’s sports scene remains mostly locked down, unable to compete in head-to-head action due to the coronavirus-inspired public health emergency, the University of Guam is taking advantage of the break in action to assemble what may prove to be a competitive men’s soccer team.
In mid-July, the Tritons came to terms with Darren Smartt and Jose Taimanglo, the first two members of the brand new program.
Under head coach Dylan Naputi, a mainstay for the Guam Men’s National Soccer Team, also known as the Matao, Smartt and Taimanglo will help create the squad’s foundation as they prepare for the 2010-2021 season.
Smartt and Taimanglo will receive partial tuition grants, stated UOG in a news release.
Bringing international experience to the pitch, Smartt, a former four-year member of Guam’s men’s national team, has represented the island in Japan and the Philippines. His 30-year soccer resume also includes coaching the George Washington High School Geckos boys' soccer team, where he brought the purple-and-gold to three semifinals appearances.
According to the news release, Smartt is an all-around sportsman with expertise in cross-country, triathlon, softball, table tennis, kendama, and is a two-time winner of the Guamazing Race.
Smartt has returned to college at UOG to change his career direction, and will give the Tritons a lot of added experience on the field, said UOG athletics director Doug Palmer.
Taimanglo, a transfer student from Grossmont Community College in San Diego, California, was a member of the Wolverines soccer club and played basketball for the Father Duenas Memorial School Friars.
At FD, Taimanglo was a member of the school’s honor roll.