Friday, December 12, 2008

Spring Coed Soccer Registration

The soccer gods have spoken and they say that we are going to have more coed soccer starting in January. Interested? Drop me a line so we can get an idea of our numbers. Here is the story in today's Saipan Tribune:
The Northern Mariana Islands Football Association will be kicking off the 2009 season with the NMIFA Co-ed Soccer Spring League at the CPA Field.

“The co-ed soccer league is starting in January as a non-competitive recreational league to provide the opportunity for adults who are new to soccer, people who are out of shape, or people who are getting creaky, to have an opportunity to learn and to play the world's most popular sport. The main purpose is to have fun and to learn the game.” said David Khorram, who is organizing the league along with Jaime Saiki and Angelo Villagomez.

Khorram added they are looking to start the event on Jan. 5 with one game to be played in each playing day. Games will be played every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and will start at 5:15pm. But Khorram said schedules are tentative.

An “Intro to Soccer” camp will be held on Jan. 3 to teach participants drills on dribbling, passing, shooting, and other basic skills.

Khorram is inviting interested individuals, especially those with no prior soccer experience to join the camp and the league.

“I've had a great time with the past two summer co-ed leagues. There are lots of opportunities for the island's talented players to be involved with soccer year-round. For those of us with less skill, the co-ed league is the place to be. We're looking at having it run for many more weeks of the year, and drawing only a limited number of the talented players,” Khorram said.

Players joining next month's league will be classified into three categories. A players are those with the ability to play in the men's or women's league, or have significant experience playing soccer. B players have some soccer experience and with moderate stamina, while C types are those new to soccer, or completely out of shape.

“The league will limit the number of 'A' players per team, and the role of these proficient players will be to teach and to support the development of the less skilled players,” Khorram said.

Each team will be composed of 11 players.

If interested to play or for more information, contact Villagomez at 285 6462 or email

Friday, November 14, 2008

NMIFA Men's League Finals

The end of season tournament for the 2008 Fall Men's league is this Sunday, November 16th at Ada field.

The format of the tournament is a seeded team format. The teams' records during the regular season will determine their seed.

Games will consist of tow 35 minute halves with a single 5 minute half time. If regulation ends in a tie, there will be two ten minute overtime periods, and a shoot-out if still tied after overtime.


Game A 11:00 AM Independents v. MPU (2nd v. 3rd place)

Game B 1:00 PM Inter v. MFC (1st v. 4th place)

Consolation 2:30pm loser A v. loser B

Final 4pm winner B v. winner A

The winner takes home the NMIFA Cup. Trophies will be presented at a ceremony across the street on the beach.

Standings after regular season play:

1. Inter 6-0
2. Independents 3-3
3. MPU 2-4
4. MFC 1-5

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

2009 Coed Winter Soccer League


There is going to be a coed league starting up in January. Pass it on.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Link to the Friends of the Monument blog

Good For Indigeneous CultureWould you like to help spread the word about the Friends of the Monument blog? Just copy and paste the following code into your blog template!

Mariana Monument Banner

The federal workshops on Saipan are just over one week away! There are ways that you can help to support the monument. Click HERE for more information.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Tournament Schedule

8 am: Cap't Morgans v. Sureshanks RIO (Devil)
9 am: GMF v. Devil's Advocates DEAN'S PICK(Dean)
10 am: C. Morgans v. Gil Fever PETER L. (Sure)
11 am: Devils Advocates v. Deaniacs GREG (GMF)
12 pm: Sureshanks v. Gil Fever NICK (Captain)
1 pm: GMF v. Deaniacs JASON (Gil)
2 pm: Third Place Final (Champ game team)
3 pm: 2nd Place Final (3rd place team)
4 pm: Championship (2nd place team)

Friday, August 22, 2008

USA is Gold, Gold, Gold!

The U.S. Women’s Olympic Soccer Team put together a near perfect defensive performance to hold powerful Brazil scoreless for 120 minutes while getting a goal from Carli Lloyd just six minutes into overtime to record a historic 1-0 victory and earn the gold medal.

This victory marked the third gold medal for the U.S. women in four Olympic Games. The USA also won gold in 1996 and 2004 while taking the silver in 2000.

The match was played in front of a raucous crowd of 51,612 on a field made slippery by rain that fell during the entire day and for the first part of the match.

The winning goal came on a shot from outside the box from Lloyd, who took advantage of a nice piece of possession in the U.S. attacking half that saw the ball go from substitute Lauren Cheney to Lloyd, who one-touched it to Amy Rodriguez. The speedy U.S. forward played a cheeky back heel to an overlapping Lloyd, and she took a touch forward before blasting a low left-footed shot into the lower left corner of the goal.

“What an amazing match,” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. “I am so proud and I am enjoying the moment.”

The game was a rematch of the 2004 gold medal game that saw a similar result with the USA winning 2-1 in overtime off a game-winning goal from Abby Wambach.

Hope Solo played a super match in the U.S. nets, catching several dangerous crosses, stuffing Brazilian star Cristiane on a mini-breakaway, denying FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Marta on an almost-point blank shot and parrying away a terrifyingly dangerous cross near the end.

The U.S. team played Brazil even during the first half, with both teams producing only a few scoring opportunities, but the Brazilians picked up the pace in the second half. That’s when the U.S. defense shined the most, riding a spectacular defensive performance from center backs Kate Markgaf and Christie Rampone and outside backs Heather Mitts and Lori Chalupny to keep the Brazilian strikers off the board despite several close chances.

After a scoreless 90 minutes, the teams entered the overtime period with Brazil getting the nod on scoring chances, but the U.S. defense and Solo would not break.

Solo’s best save of the night, and possibly the biggest of her career, came in the 72nd minute, after Marta got around two U.S. defenders and into the six-yard box. Marta had a clear shot from point-blank range, but Solo reacted with lightning-fast reflexes to block the well-struck shot with her right hand to keep game scoreless.

The Brazilian attack of Marta and Cristiane was dangerous throughout the night, using their dribbling runs at the U.S. defenders to create chances. In the 31st minute, Cristiane got in behind the American back line, but Solo came off her line to smother the ball, sending the Brazilian forward flying into the air. Three minutes later, it was Marta who danced around Markgraf and Rampone, but her low driven ball hit the side-netting at near post.

In the 41st minute, the U.S. turned a half-chance into a great opportunity. Heather O’Reilly made a quick turn near the right touchline and lifted the ball up in the air toward the penalty box. Hucles was there to run onto it and hit a half volley, but her shot went wide.

Solo was called upon to make another big save in the 54th minute, after Cristiane and Marta combined again to get Marta down the end line. She cut in toward the goal and hit a shot from a difficult angle that Solo snared and held onto as other Brazilian attackers crashed in for a potential rebound.

At the other end of the field, the Americans pressed forward late in the game as they looked to win the game in regulation. Brazilian goalkeeper Barbara was called upon to make her best save of the game in the 86th minute when Hucles ripped a one-timer that seemed destined for the side-netting, but Barbara dove to make the save and keep her team in the game.

Just before the end of regulation, Rodriguez found herself in alone on goal as a ball skipped past the Brazilian defense. The 21-year-old striker saw Barbara slip and tried to chip her, but the Brazilian ‘keeper was able to recover and knock the ball down.. With the final regulation chance, it was Rodriguez again who received the ball in the center of field, turned and ripped a low driven shot right to Barbara.

The American momentum carried into the first overtime period and the U.S. Women got the game winner just six minutes after the restart.

Both teams made substitutions after the goal as Sundhage brought on Natasha Kai for O’Reilly and Brazil countered by subbing in Rosana.

The South American side ratcheted up their attack looking for the equalizer and almost got it in the second overtime period. Following a quick restart, Marta got around two defenders on the dribble and hit a hard shot that went just high of Solo’s net.

Minutes later, she took a dangerous-looking free kick from outside the penalty area that took a bounce near the far post before skipping wide of the goal, just out of reach of a crashing Renata Costa.

With Brazil pressing forward, the U.S. took advantage of the counter attack, almost doubling their lead. Kai ran down a ball in the corner and played it across the top of the box, where Lloyd took it on the run and battled through a few defenders before hitting a shot that caromed off the right post and away.

With time running out, Brazil earned three straight corner kicks and the third almost leveled the score. Marta’s corner from the right side swung to the far post for Renata Costa, who got her head on it, but her shot hit the outside netting of the goal. The last chance of the game belonged to Brazil as Renata Costa lofted the ball into the box for Cristiane. She was able to get a head on it and drive the ball low, but Solo was there for the save.

Following the 2008 Olympic Games, the U.S. Women’s National Team will take on Ireland in a three-match tour, hitting stops on the East Coast and Midwest shortly after their return from China. The Fall Tour gets underway on Saturday, Sept. 13 in Philadelphia at 8 p.m. ET at Lincoln Financial Field, and continues on Wed., Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The last of these three games will be played on Saturday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. CT at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill.

Match-up: USA vs. Brazil
Competition: 2008 Beijing Olympics – Gold Medal Match
Venue: Worker’s Stadium; Beijing, China
Date: August 21, 2008; Kickoff – 9 p.m. local / 9 a.m. ET
Attendance: 51,612
Weather: Rain – 68 degrees

Scoring Summary:
1 2 E E F
USA 0 0 1 0 1
BRA 0 0 0 0 0

USA – Carli Lloyd (Amy Rodriguez) 96th minute.

USA: 18-Hope Solo; 2-Heather Mitts, 15-Kate Markgraf, 3-Christie Rampone – Capt., 17-Lori Chalupny; 9-Heather O’Reilly (6-Natasha Kai, 101), 7-Shannon Boxx, 11-Carli Lloyd, 5-Lindsay Tarpley (12-Lauren Cheney, 71); 8-Amy Rodriguez (14-Stephanie Cox, 120), 16-Angela Hucles
Subs not used: 4-Rachel Buehler, 10-Aly Wagner, 13-Tobin Heath, 18-Nicole Barnhart
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

BRA: 12-Barbara; 2-Simone (18-Rosana, 104), 4-Tania, 5-Renata Costa, 16-Erika; 6-Maycon, 7-Daniela (15-Fabiana, 77), 8-Formiga (13-Francielle, 106+), 9-Ester; 10-Marta, 11-Cristiane
Subs: 1-Andeia, 3-Andreia Rosa, 17-Maurine, 14-Pretinha
Head Coach: Jorge Barcellos

Statistical Summary: USA / BRA
Shots: 10 / 15
Shots on Goal: 7 / 6
Saves: 6 / 6
Corner Kicks: 3 / 15
Fouls: 11 / 15
Offside: 0 / 6

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Heather Mitts (caution) 37th minute.
BRA – Rosana (caution) 106+.
BRA – Erika (caution) 108.
USA – Natasha Kai (caution) 114.

Referee: Dagmar Damkova (CZE)
Asst. Referee: Maria Luisa Villa Gutierrez (ESP)
Asst. Referee: Hege Steinlund (NOR)
4th Official: Christine Beck (GER)

Sierra Mist Woman of the Match: Hope Solo

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Master List Redux

The Master List of Saipan bloggers has been updated over on The Saipan Blog.

There are currently over 140 Saipan bloggers along with almost 20 Coconuts Abroad.

Bloggers are requested to add a link to the Master List as it is the most comprehensive list of Saipan (and Tinian and Rota) blogs.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Women's CNMI National Team try-outs


CNMI Women's National Team Tryouts:

Location: ADA field

Monday Sept. 8th at 5:15 PM to 6:45 PM
Sat. Sept. 13th 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM

Monday Sept. 15th 5:15 PM to 6:45 PM
Sat. Sept. 20th 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM

Monday Sept. 22nd 5:15 PM to 6:45 PM
Sat. Sept. 27th 8:30 AM to 10:30 PM

There are few weeks to get into as best shape as you can, so everyone can come into tryouts ready.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Game 4: Deaniacs vs Devils Advocates

The Summer's last place team, Deaniacs, were too much for the Devils Advocates. They whomped them in a 3-2, uh, whomping.

Lar Theotherthaiguy scored both of the Devils Advocates goals. Masa Otsuka scored the first goal for Deaniacs and Pete Lokan scored two others. Pet's goals won't count towards the Golden Boot because he plays for another team.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

NMIFA 3-on-3 soccer a go today

With six full teams running up and down the CPA Airport Field three days out of the week and scores of unsigned players waiting in the wings, the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association is in the midst of its most successful coed soccer league in its three year history.

The most popular sport on the planet has finally gained more than a foothold in the CNMI, and the NMIFA Women's Committee is capitalizing on the excitement by hosting its first 3-on-3 Coed Football Tournament today, Aug. 10, at Navy Hill field

The Women's Committee has already drummed up support from the local community as PTI, Pacific Islands Club, Tan Holdings Corp., Whispering Palms School, and CNMI Parks and Recreation have teamed up to host the event.

Registration is $10 and will begin at 8am at Navy Hill field, adjacent to Whispering Palms School. In order to maximize the action during the tournament, organizers are limiting the tournament to a total of 60 players.

“There is limited space so arrive early! Once registration has closed teams will be chosen at random,” said NMIFA Women's Committee spokesperson, Laura Williams.

Williams added that the proceeds from the tournament will be used to fund equipment for the upcoming Woman's Futsal season, which is set to begin Oct. 1, at the Northern Marianas College gymnasium.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Game 3: Captain Morgans 2, Gil Fever 2

Another tie game this week. Reigning champions Captain Morgans tied Gil Fever 2-2.

Jason Schroeder scored two goals for Gil Fever, with both goals coming off of crosses from Bradley Whatshisface. Nick Swaim and Chris Nelson scored for Captain Morgans.

3 vs 3 Tournament on Sunday

The NMIFA women's committee is hosting a 3 vs 3 soccer tournament up at Navy Hill this Sunday. They are raising money to buy futsal goals for the upcoming futsal league.

Tournament Info:
  • $10 entry fee - additional donations are always welcome
  • 8-8:30 registration, games begin at 9:00
  • Navy Hill field - 2 fields, no more than 20 teams (that means we hope to get 60 people - if 65-70 show up we will give some teams subs)
  • Players must be at least 14 years of age
  • Top 3-4 teams will win prizes - futsal balls, PIC waterpark passes, a date with Brad Ruszala, etc.
  • Water will be provided and people are more than welcome to bring grills and BBQ
With over 130 people playing COED this summer, spaces are probably going to be limited. Make sure you get there by 8:00 to register.

Game 2: Devils Advocates 4, GMF 1

In a rematch of the Summer League's 3rd place game, Devils Advocates came out strong to defeat GMF 4-1.

The trio of Patty Coleman, Lyndsay Davis, and Meaghan Hasselhoff (that's not Irish) strung together a series of passes early in the first half, resulting in a goal by Davis.

The D Advocates scored again in the first half, wih Hasselhoff finding the back of the net.

GMF came back strong in the second half. Joe "Miller Time" Miller came out of his first half daze to score off a strong kicked right footer that seemed to break the sound barrier as it blew by second half keep Jetsada Thethaiguy.

With GMF threatening a tie game, the Advocates came back to score two more goals before the end of regulation. Lar Theotherthaiguy scored on a long dribble up the middle and Becky C. nailed a shot after a cross from Angelo Villagomez was deflected by the keeper right to her feet.

Tonight's game features a rematch of the Summer Leagues Championship game.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Game 1: Deaniacs 1, Sureshanks 1

The opening game of the NMIFA COED Summer League started off with a 1-1 tie between Deaniacs and Sureshanks.

The women scored first, with Zoe Jewel of the Deaniacs nailing a spinning header off a cross from Masa Otsuka in the final minutes of the first half.

Phil Theintern evened things out in the second half and the game ended without a clear winner.

Tomorrow's game features Devils Advocates vs GMF, a repeat of last week's third place final. Devils Advocates won that game 2-1.

A New Season Begins

The NMIFA COED Summer League ended last week and the COED Fall League is set to begin tonight.

Gil Fever, a team that remained undefeated until the final week of the regular season, took home the championship trophy after a grueling final game against Captain Morgans.

Devils Advocates completed the season in third place.

A brand new season starts tonight with Sureshanks taking on the Deaniacs in the season opener. The game starts at 5:15.

Other games this week have Devils Advocates playing GMF Wednesday, Gil Fever taking on Captain Morgans on Thursday, and Deaniacs playing Devils Advocates on Sunday afternoon. All games are at 5:15, except for the games on Sunday, which are at 3:00 PM.

The fall season will only last four weeks, which each team playing each of the five other teams once. At the end of the season, a tournament will be held to determine the league champion.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Coed Fall League Standings

I'll keep this as up to date as possible. At the end of the season the top two teams will play each other for first place.
TeamRecordGoal Diff.Points
Gil Fever0-0-101
Captain Morgans0-0-1
Devil's Advocates1-12

New Schedule

Game #DateDay HomeAwayResult
1August 5TuesDeaniacsSureshanks1-1
2August 6WedsD AdvocatesGMF4-1
3August 7ThursGil FeverC Morgans2-2
4August 10
SunDeaniacsD Advocates3-2
5August 12TuesD AdvocatesC Morgans
6August 13WedsDeaniacsGil Fever
7August 14ThursGMFSureshanks
8August 17SunSureshanksGil Fever
9August 19TuesSureshanksC Morgans
10August 20WedsD AdvocatesGil Fever
11August 21ThursDeaniacsGMF
12August 24SunGMFC Morgans
13August 26TuesDeaniacsC Morgans
14August 27WedsGil FeverGMF
15August 28ThursD AdvocatesSureshanks

There will be a tournament on Sunday the 31 if someone else will organize it.

Sunday games are played at 3 PM (except for the first game becuase of a conflict with the 3 vs 3 tournament). All other games start at 5:15 PM.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Last week final results

Sureshanks beat Deanicas 2-1.

Devils Advocates beat GMF 2-1.

Tonight is the final.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Last Week of Coed

...or is it?

Last week marked the end of the regular season.

On Tuesday the Deaniacs defeated the Sureshanks 2-1. Masa Otsuka scored twice for the Deaniacs, while Brenda Shultz scored for Sureshanks.

On Tuesday GMF tied Captain Morgans 2-2. Joe "Miller Time" Miller scored twice for GMF, while Tiger Lee and Vishow scored for Captain Morgans.

In Thursday game, the Devils Advocates defeated the nearly unstoppable Gil Fever 4-3. The game was Gil Fever's first loss. Jetsada Thethaiguy scored three times for Devils Advoates, ending his drought. He hasn't scored since the first game of the season. Gil Fever managed to score three goals (who?), but Patty Coleman put Devils Advocates ahead with a goal.

Oh yeah, we're ending the season on Thursday, but starting a new 4 week season next week.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Soccer Advice from Flint

Brad, will yelling at Billy help?

Week 6 Games

Tuesday's game is Deaniacs vs Sureshanks.

Wednesday's game is GMF vs Captain Morgans.

Thursday's game is Devil's Advocates vs Gil Fever.

Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Week 5 Results

Wednesday's game pitting Gil Fever vs Captain Morgans resulted in a 3-3 tie.

The Deaniacs won their first game last night defeating Devil's Advocates 3-1.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It's Miller Time!

Joe Miller, the starting forward for the Men's National Team, made quit a splash in co-ed league debut. While things were looking up for the opposing Sureshanks during the first half, Miller scored two goals in the second half to force a 2-1 decision in favor of GMF.

The play of the game award goes to little Sami Birmingham-Babauta who scored a goal after GMF keeper and captain Greg Borja bobbled an easy ball. Sami BB, as she is affectionately known by her fans, is the youngest player to ever score in an NMIFA league game.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Week 5 Game Schedule

Anybody else want to be a contributor to this blog?

Anyway, Tuesday's game features Sureshanks vs GMF.

Wednesday's game is Gil Fever vs Captain Morgans.

Thursday's game is Devil's Advocates vs Deaniacs.

I am off island until Thursday. I will bring the t-shirts to the game on Thursday. If you have not paid, you will have to pay. If you do not pay by Thursday, you will not play next week...until you pay.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Silver Cross found at Football Field

An engraved silver cross was found by the airport soccer field Wednesday.

E-mail or phone Peter at 322-0120 or tropical.pete at yahoo dot ca.

Week 4 Results

We had another great week of soccer.

Tuesday's game pitted the Sureshanks in white vs the Devils Advocates in orange. Both teams were missing some of their star players. Rio Sawhill and Jesse P missed the game for orange and Brenda Schultz and team captain Steve Mckagan were in Guam for white. The game was a close one, with the only scoring coming in the closing minutes of the of an own goal. Devil's Advocates won 1-0.

Wednesday's game was Captain Morgans in red against the Deaniacs in blue. Chris Nelson, aka Rhino, found the back of the net twice in the first half to put Captain Morgans up 2-0. The Deaniacs fought back in the second half, with Madison Smith scoring the goal of the week off a beautiful pass from Jersh Angeles, but it wasn't enough to force a tie or a win. Captain Morgans won 2-1.

Bruce Berline received the second red card of the coed season for slide tackling. He claims he slipped. Whatever.

Who would have guessed that Bruce Berline and Dave Banes would get the only red cards so far? Oh wait, probably everybody.

Thursday game was GMF in green vs Gil Fever in yellow. I had to leave last night's game early to go to an event at the Hyatt. The score was 0-0 when I left, but I am told that Jeff Cloud scored before half time. Dan Westfall scored a great goal in the second half, however it didn't tie the game because he scored the goal against his own team.

Both own goals this week will not count towards the Golden Boot Award.

Speaking of the Golden Boot, Jack Thethaiguy is running away from the competition. Jerk. In the women's category, Lindsay Sosovec leads three other women by one goal.

Monday, July 7, 2008

CNMI U-14 Team

The CNMI U-14 Team is in Guam this week competing against teams from nine other countries (Guam, China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Macau, Hong Kong, Mongolia, and Taipei) in an EAFF Football Festival.

Go CNMI!!! Make us proud!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Week 3 Results

There were a couple of great games this week...and the women have done all of the scoring so far.

Ratree (insert Thai name here) scored off a penalty kick to give GMF a 1-0 edge over the Deaniacs. The Deaniacs are winless so far this season. Sucks to be them.


Dave Loan's Captain Morgans put on a great show in the first half of their game against Devil's Advocates. Lindsay Sosevic found the back of the net twice. She drilled the first goal by D. A.'s keeper Glenn Smith, who was caught watching.

He didn't even make a dive!!!

In the early minutes of the second half Dave Banes was ejected for slide tackling Lovelle D'Lonsed.

No slide tackling, Dave!!!

Even though forced to play a man down (you wouldn't like me when I'm angry), D.A.'s managed to keep Captain Morgans scoreless in the second half. Fortunately for the Captain Morgans, they kept the D.A.s scoreless, too.

Dang it.

Gil Fever continued to dominate with a 2-1 win over Sureshanks. Jack Thethaiguy and Jason Schroeder scored for Gil Fever and some unnamed guy who didn't pay his league fee scored for Sureshanks. His goal doesn't count.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


I know some of your are reading this. Do you know that you can leave comments?

...comments trash talking the other teams even!

...or supportive comments telling the other players how good they are...

...but trash talking is way better!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Next Week's Games

Next week Deaniacs will challenge GMF on Tuesday. These two teams are at the bottom of the standings. Cathy Anderson is the referee.

Devils Advocates will challenge Captain Morgans on Wednesday. Both teams are tied for third place. The winner of this game will move into third and possibly second place. Arkie is the referee.

Gil Fever will challenge Sureshank on Thursday. The winner of this game will move into first place, as these teams are currently first and second, respectively. Glen Smith is the referee.

The Coed Summer League is a non-competitive league. While results and goals are tallied, the number one rule of this league is to have fun.

Deaniacs vs Gil Fever

I didn't watch the game, but Gil Fever took down the Deaniacs 3-2. Jason Schroeder and Jack Thethaiguy were the scorers for Gil Fever. Schroeder scored once and Thethaiguy scored twice.

On the Deaniacs side Masa Otsuka and Jersh Angeles scored.

At the end of two weeks of play, Gil Fever sits atop the rankings with a record of 2-0 and six points. Sureshanks is in second with a win and a tie, good for four points. Devils Advocates and Captain Morgans are tied for third with six points apiece.

Jack Thethaiguy currently leads in the Golden Boot category with 4 goals, while Pattie Coleman leads in the woman's category as the only woman to score so far this season.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

GMF vs Devils Advocates

Angelo Villagomez' helped his team Devils Advocates skadoosh Greg and Mel Borja's GMF last night.

Devils Advocates drew blood in the early minutes of the game with new draftee Pattie "I've got three kids" Coleman scoring off a near perfect pass from Jessie P. Villagomez added to the goal total with a looper from 25 yards out that was too much for keeper Greg Borja to handle.

The score was 2-0 at the restart. Despite some valiant efforts by CNMI National Men's Team starters Brad Ruszala and Dan Westfal, GMF was unable to score.

The game ended 2-0.

Pattie Coleman was the first woman in the league to score a goal. She sits alone in the Golden Boot standings. Villagomez joins the pool of 9 male players who have scored a single goal in the league. Rob Jordan, Jessie P, and Jack Thethaiguy currently share the Golden Boot title with 2 goals a piece.

Tonight's game features the undefeated Gil Fever vs the winless Deaniacs.

Not that I'm partial....but go Deaniacs!!!

Sureshanks vs Captain Morgans

A star was born in Tuesday game pitting Steve Mckagan's Sureshanks vs Dave Loan's Captain Morgans.

The teams were evenly matched through 35 minutes of play, with neither team managing to find the back of the net. First time soccer player Rob Jordan came into the second half determined to win it for his team.

He nailed two shots in the second half, both on fast breaks, leaving the defenders in the dust.

Sureshanks defeated Captain Morgans 2-0 and Rob Jordan is now tied for the Golden Boot with Jack and Jessie.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sureshanks vs GMF

The first meeting of Sureshanks and GMF resulted in a 2-2 draw. Steve McKagan and Tyce Mister found the back of the net for the Sureshanks and Dan Westfall and Daniel Macario scored for GMF.

After one week of play, Gil Fever and Captain Morgans are tied for 1st, Sureshanks and GMF are tied for third, and Devils Advocates and Deaniacs are tied for fifth.

The Thai duo of Jesse Phonsutjit and Jack Thethaiguy are leading in the Men's Golden Boot competition with two goals apiece. The women have yet to score, so everyone in the league is tied for first place!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Coed Standings

I'll keep this as up to date as possible. At the end of the season the top two teams will play each other for first place.
TeamRecordGoal Diff.Points
Gil Fever4-1-1+413
Captain Morgans3-1-2
Devil's Advocates3-3-1

Team 1 vs Team 6

Team 6 won their first game against Team 1 by a score of 3-1.

Can you guys come up with team names, please?

Allen Mijares, Tiger Lee, and Zach Posner scored for Team 6. Brenda Schultz scored for Team 1, but since see plays for another team, her goal won't count towards the Golden Boot award.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Devil's Advocats 2 - Gil Fever 3

Dang it.  We lost 3-2.

Kudos to Jessie for scoring both of our goals and to Jason who scored once and Jack who scored twice for Gil Fever.

It was a great first game.

There are games tonight and tomorrow at 5:15 PM.  Come on out and cheer us on!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Still Looking for Women

49 women and 61 men have signed up for the NMIFA Co-ed Summer League. Are there 10 women out there interested in playing?

Call me at 285-6462 or email me at nmifacoed at gmail dot com.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Game 2

Team 3 played one hell of a game versus Team 4 today.

Team names are coming, relax...

This was the second day of pre-season scrimmage games. I had a front row seat because I was the center referee.

Team 4 came out of the starting blocks with all cylinders firing. They scored in the 7th, 12th, and 17th minute to end the first half with a score of 3-0.

Team 3 didn't give up though. Part time actor/elementary school teacher Peter Loken put on his special second half boots to score three goals in the second half, tying it up at 3-3.

It looked like the game was going to end in a tie, but the referee (me) made a bad call with minutes to go. He thought he saw a hand ball in the box (most every one on and off the field agreed that it was a bad call) and game team 4 a penalty kick, which they easily slipped into the goal.

The game ended minutes later.

Player of the game bragging rights go to Tyce Mister, who managed to get a yellow card in the first minute of the game. Congrats, Mister Mister!

Peter Loken scored all three goals for Team 3, of which he isn't even a member.

Jack Thethaiguywithanamereallyhardtopronounce ,Jersh Angeles, Nong Ikickedangelointheanklelastyearanditstillhurts, and Gil "the Cal Ripken of Godfathers" Birnbrich scored one a piece for Team 4. This was Gil's first game with NMIFA. He recieved a $100 bonus from everyone's favorite 2003 Canadian Moose Call Contest Champion for his feat.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Game 1

If there was a player of the game, it would have to be Julian Fitial. Julian scored a goal in the second half. It was his first time playing soccer.

Team 1, captained by Meaghan and Angelo, defeated Team 2, captained by Dean and Dora, by a score of 3-1. In addition to Julian's goal, Angelo scored twice for Team 1, and Peter Houk found the back of the net for Team 2.

This game was a scrimmage, so the result and the goals scored will not count towards the points total or the Golden Boot title.

Co-ed League Rules

COED Rules:

  1. Have fun. This is a recreational league. The goal of the league is to play, win or lose, and for everyone, regardless of skill level, to have fun.
  2. All 17 FIFA laws will apply to the league.
  3. Games begin at 5:15.
  4. Halves will last 35 minutes with a 5 minute half time.
  5. If there is a late start, the referee shall shorten playing time to ensure that the game is only played in full light. Playing at dusk or in the dark can be dangerous.
  6. A team must field at least seven players in order for a game to start.
  7. If a team does not have enough players, they forfeit. The forfeit shall occur 5 minutes after the scheduled start of the game. The score shall be 3-0 if one team forfeits and 0-0 if both teams forfeit. A scrimmage game can be played, however all other rules apply during the scrimmage game (i.e. alcohol consumption).
  8. A team may field no more than 5 men on the field at any one time (the keeper does not count).
  9. If a team is up by three points, the men on the leading team are not allowed to score until the trailing team scores.
  10. If a team doesn't have the requisite five women at the start of the game, they can borrow a player from a team not playing that day. The drafted player can not score.
  11. There will be no consumption of alcohol by players before or during a game. Half time is considered part of the game. Violations will result in a Red Card and a one game suspension.
  12. Substitutions will only be allowed during a goal kick and an own possesion throw in. Substituting with out the referee shall result in a Yellow Card.
  13. Slide tackling in any form will result in a Red Card.
  14. Sexual harassment will result in a Red Card and possible expulsion from the league.
  15. Fighting will result in expulsion from the league.
  16. Teams will receive 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, and 0 points for a loss. Points will be tallied at the end of the season to determine who plays in the championship games. In case of a tie, goal differential will determine ranking.

This list of rules will probably grow as new issues arise.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Co-ed Soccer Schedule

Team 1: Deaniacs
Team 2: Devil's Advoates
Team 3: Sureshanks
Team 4: Gil Fever
Team 5: GMF
Team 6: Captain Morgans

Game # Date Day Home Away
1 10-Jun Tuesday 1 vs 2
2 11-Jun Wednesday 3 vs 4
3 12-Jun Thursday 5 vs 6

4 17-Jun Tuesday 2 vs 4
5 18-Jun Wednesday 1 vs 6
6 19-Jun Thursday 5 vs 3

7 24-Jun Tuesday 3 vs 6
8 25-Jun Wednesday 2 vs 5
9 26-Jun Thursday 1 vs 4

10 1-Jul Tuesday 1 vs 5
11 2-Jul Wednesday 2 vs 6
12 3-Jul Thursday 3 vs 4

13 8-Jul Tuesday 2 vs 3
14 9-Jul Wednesday 1 vs 6
15 10-Jul Thursday 4 vs 5

16 15-Jul Tuesday 3 vs 5
17 16-Jul Wednesday 4 vs 6
18 17-Jul Thursday 1 vs 2

19 22-Jul Tuesday 1 vs 3
20 23-Jul Wednesday 5 vs 6
21 24-Jul Thursday 2 vs 4

22 29-Jul Tuesday 5th vs 6th
23 30-Jul Wednesday 3rd vs 4th
24 31-Jul Thursday 1st vs 2nd

Co-ed Soccer T-shirts

NMIFA soccer t shirtsNorman del Rosario designed our t-shirts for the co-ed summer league.

The team colors are:

1 Dean & Dora - Blue
2 Angelo & Meaghan - Orange
3 Steve & Nicole - White
4 Jason & Tamarie - Yellow
5 Mel & Greg - Green
6 Dave & Leanne - Red

Co-ed Soccer Summer League starts tonight

The NMIFA Co-ed Soccer Summer League kicks off tonight for a summer full of action. The first game is tonight at 5:15pm at the CPA Airport Field.

The summer league lasts for eight weeks, with games played on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons. Each team will play one game per week.

Games will start at 5:15pm on game days and will consist of two 35-minute halves with five-minute halftimes.

Players in the co-ed league hail from the NMIFA Men's, Women's, and Youth Leagues. Some of the players from the Men's and Women's National Teams also play.

Brad Ruszala, starting forward for the CNMI Men in this year's annual Marianas Cup, looks forward to competing against his counterpart on the CNMI Women's Team, Brenda Schultz.

“Last year's co-ed season was a great opportunity to go out and stretch my legs once a week and I'm really looking forward to winning my first co-ed game. Maybe I'll have more luck this year”.

Teams were picked last night, but it is not too late to play. The registration form can be downloaded at Completed forms can be dropped off at the NMIFA office located on Beach Road in Garapan or emailed to

The registration fee is only $15 and includes a co-ed T-shirt and eight weeks of play. For questions, contact co-ed league commissioner Angelo Villagomez at 285-6462

Monday, June 2, 2008

Co-ed Soccer Registration

The registration form for Co-ed soccer is available here. Please print it out and return to me this week. We are going to pick teams over the weekend.

You can email the completed form to or give the form to me. My phone number is 285-6462.

The cost to register is $15 and includes a Coed t-shirt and 8 games. Games will be played on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursday from June 10 - July 30.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Famous in Japan

NMIFA Soccer MagazineNMIFA Saipan SoccerTranslation:

Weekly Soccer Digest
Monthly Asian Report: Vol.6
“Ambition of The Tropical Resort Island”
by Takashi Morimoto

From The Northern Mariana Islands
Seeking Membership with AFC and FIFA (with Japanese Support)

“Kazuyoshi Miura? Resort destination? What’s the connection? Well, I would like to say that the CNMI is a place for football foremost.” President of NMIFA (Northern Mariana Islands Football Association) Mr. Jerry Tan said.

He has a great ambition. The first step is to obtain membership with AFC and then FIFA. NMIFA applied for the membership three years ago. Today the application is still under the careful review.

The Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands is the US territory, made of 14 small islands in the Pacific Ocean. One of the islands is Saipan, a popular resort destination for Japanese, and recently known as the place where Kazuyoshi Miura was arrested. It is hard to recognized Saipan as a place for football.

By the way, do you know there is one well-known football player of CNMI National Team? The player is Bruce Berline, who is the “celebrity” lawyer for Kazuyoshi Miura. Although he didn’t have any experience playing football, having great athlete nature and challenging sprit, he was selected as a CNMI National Team player last year and played in one of the play-off games against Guam National Team in the preliminary round of the EAFF Cup 2008. He is not playing this year. He would be too busy at the court to be on a field.

So, why has CNMI been working hard for football today?

Mr. Tan replied, “It’s of course impossible to win at the World Cup. The population of CNMI is only 70,000.” Do you think competitive and strong football (FIFA ranking?) is everything? “Of course not.” “The reason why I decided to apply for the membership was that I saw the CNMI matching to FIFA’s philosophy, which is to promote football throughout the world.”

Perhaps Mr. Tan’s background is a foundation of his passion today for football. Born in Hong Kong, he moved to Guam during his early childhood because of his parents business and so he grew up on Guam. At that time, Guam was not a member of AFC or FIFA. There is no opportunity to have an international football match or game. Football on Guam was not popular at all, being lack of fields, facilities, and coaches. Football was not even recognized as a recreational sport on Guam.

However, since 1996 when Guam became the AFC and FIFA member, everything changed dramatically. Today football is the No. 1 sports on Guam, even more popular than American football and basketball, which used to be the most popular sports on Guam.

We see many children playing football after school. Guam also has been helped by JFA (Japan Football Association). JFA sends coaching staffs to help the Guam National Team, such as Mr. Kanbe (2003-2004), Mr. Tsukitate (who was a former head coach for Simizu Youth Club). Guam has also hosted many foreign national teams and clubs as a training place. Recently, the Urawa came to Guam. During that time, Guam National Team played on a practice game against the Urawa. The result was 0-19: Guam lost. However, it was a great opportunity for the non-professional players to play with professional players. Such a huge gap of level (between Japanese professional players and Guam National Team players) surprise Mr. Tan.

Media tends to focus on negative sides of both AFC and FIFA recently, such as messy operation at AFC and reselling the last World Cup game ticket by the officers, but in fact, they have given tremendous efforts and activities to promote football in developing nations and regions.

Mr. Tan settled on Saipan just before he turned 30. His name is famous as one of the most successful business owners of the island, who runs many businesses such as hotels, IT, real estate and amusement services. He is also a chairman of Mariana Visitors Association today. “For many people to love soccer, to improve the technique level, and to deepen the friendship with each other,” Mr. Tan stood up for promoting football through the islands and contributing the local community.

NMIFA’s General Secretary and former National Team Player Mr. Wesley Bogdan recalled the past three years development, “There is only way to express our appreciation toward the generous support from so many and that is to say thank you. Especially, thanks to EAFF which has been incredibly supportive, giving NMIFA the opportunities to participate in the preliminary games for EAFC and in the EAFF U-14 Festival held in China last year and for providing monetary funding for these activities. JFA has also been generous and allowed a JFA member of its International Committee, Ichiro Fujita, to come to Saipan several times now to help and guide our development and hold coaching clinics. He is a special person for us.”

AFC will be visiting the island of Saipan in the middle of the next month to discuss more details for the future membership. Mr. Bogdan said, “The last time when AFC came to Saipan was two years ago. I believe AFC will see and be very surprised how much we have progress and accomplished within these two years. We have opened an office and hired staff and football has increased in popularity in many ways ion response to NMIFA’s activities and undertakings. It is going to take a lot of work, but the NMIFA can absolutely become a member of both AFC and FIFA.”

We look forward to welcoming the 209th FIFA member that would be the 47th FIFA member from Asian Nations.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Co-ed Soccer Schedule

Alright, co-ed soccer is scheduled to run from June 10 - July 31. It is an 8 week season, with games on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons. All games will be played at the CPA Airport field.

Before the season starts we will play pickup games on Thursday afternoons at the CPA Airport Field. The dates for those pickup games are May 15, 22, 29 and June 5.

We are going to form the teams in the upcoming weeks.

This year we are going to have 6 teams and we are still looking for co-captains. Greg and Mel Borja have agreed to co-captain a team, as have Norm and Dora Camacho.

Please contact Angelo if you would like to be a co-captain.

Stay tuned for more information.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Co-ed Pickup Games

There will be co-ed pickup games every Thursday in May. We'll play at the CPA airport field starting at about 4:45. Younger players are welcome, but keep in mind that they will be playing against adults. All skill levels are welcome, even Brad Ruszala.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Who wants to watch a soccer game?

Looks like we're going to be superstars here in the near future because there'll be a screening of the men's 2008 Marianas Cup match between the CNMI and Guam tomorrow night! Yep, so come on down to (Mom's) Round Two for the 6:30pm showing of the big game.

Copies will be available for sale!

*This is not the play-by-play version that will be shown on KSPN2. According to the station, their video is already cut and ready for sale.

PS- Feel free to bring a friend

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Saipan and Soccer In The News

It might not be exactly the way we want it, but here's another reference to Saipan through the Red Mist story that's become somewhat of a legend in Ireland.

This is from The Mayo News, an Irish newspaper that touts itseld as "Eurpoe's best designed paper." How about that? Now that's something to be proud of.

Well, Mayo is not only the name of the paper, it's also the name of a county. I wonder if it's Europe's best designed county, as well. Anyway here it is...Oh, and the link is in the title.

Mayo’s very own Saipan?

Ciaran McDonald’s future divided fans’ opinion online

By Daniel Carey

THERE’S a picture on which was taken at Dublin Airport in March 2005. It shows a raft of water bottles, trays and full-to-the-brim O’Neills bags being checked in by the Dublin kit manager, who’s about to board a flight to Kerry for a league match in the Kingdom. The overhead shot appears under the headline “Why the GAA will never have a ‘Saipan’ incident”.

Until now that is.

Training gear may not be at issue, and the country at large may be indifferent. But six years after the soccer dispute which split the country down the middle, a war of words between a manager and a footballer is again dominating sporting conversation in Mayo.

Some people are firmly behind John O’Mahony, others are entirely supportive of Ciaran McDonald, while many feel there is fault on both sides. And a large number of people seem utterly bewildered, unable to make sense of the events of the last few days.

Ever since the championship panel appeared in The Irish Times last Friday week, Ciaran McDonald was the major topic of discussion wherever Mayo GAA people gathered. In public houses, at matches and on internet discussion boards, the question was the same: ‘What’s the story with McDonald?’

‘RedandGreenSniper’ got the online ball rolling on, noting that McDonald’s omission appeared to signal the end of his inter-county career. “Thanks for the memories Ciaran,” the contributor wrote. “You will always hold a place in the hearts of Mayo fans and, I’m sure, fans of football all over Ireland.”

As of yesterday (Monday) afternoon, the thread which this post sparked had prompted over 200 replies and been viewed over 4,000 times. Variations on the same debate were also ongoing on the Hogan Stand, Mayo Fans and An Fear Rua websites.

As speculation mounted about why McDonald wasn’t involved and whether he would return, ‘IolarCoisCuain’ urged caution, noting: “It’s a long road yet, and there’s no need for hullaballoo.”

But a hullaballoo there most certainly was last Wednesday morning when the Irish Independent carried a rare interview with Ciaran McDonald. The Crossmolina clubman told Martin Breheny that it was not his choice that he was not involved with Mayo and that he was unhappy with John O’Mahony’s handling of the matter.

The first many people knew of the interview was when they turned on Midwest Radio. Having opened his morning programme with a summary of McDonald’s criticisms, presenter Tommy Marren interviewed John O’Mahony, who said there was no reason why McDonald couldn’t play for Mayo again.

As phones hummed and text messages flew back and forth, online reaction was swift. ‘Tubberman’ suggested that neither manager nor player had ‘handled the situation particularly well’ and concluded: “JOM is really under the microscope now and has to deliver this year”.

‘Stephenite’ was of the opinion that ‘if a player wants to play the onus should be on him to stay in contact with the manager and let him know what his situation is’, but ‘the Deel Rover’ disagreed, saying: “The onus is on the management to let the players know whether you … are part of their plans or not”.

Referring to the situation as ‘a serious shambles’, a poster called ‘Barney’ said the McDonald interview had ‘really blown the cat amongst the pigeons’. Criticising contact by text, he added: “For me the problem begins and ends with this daft notion of a public announcement of a championship panel”. ‘Maradona’ (presumably not the Argentinian Maradona) said that he was probably McDonald’s ‘biggest fan’, but that the ‘will he won’t he’ questions which had dogged Mayo teams in recent years went ‘against collective team building’. The ‘ideal scenario’, he concluded, would be for both men to ‘get together and sort out the issues’.

Perhaps the most unlikely scenario outlined on all the discussion boards was the ‘McDonald for President’ call by ‘midLouth’. Mind you, stranger things have happened. After all, Saipan spawned a musical …

Monday, May 5, 2008

CNMI Women in the news

Newman makes NMASA's Athlete of the Month

After denying the women of Guam a score during last week's 2008 Marianas Cup, CNMI Women's National Soccer Team goalkeeper Rebecca "The Wall" Newman was named as the Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association's Female Athlete of the Month.

Newman deflected praise as effortlessly as she deflected shots by saying that her defense made her look better than she was. Though she admitted to bringing her "A-Game," Newman attributed most of her success between the pipes to her teammates.

Here's the story from the Saipan Tribune.

NMASA spreads out monthly honors

The Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association spread the wealth Thursday night when it awarded Athletes of the Month honors to four athletes from different sports.

Northern Marianas Swimming Federation's Rezne Wong and Northern Mariana Islands Football Association's Becca Newman were named the Male and Female Athletes of the Month, while Christian Miller of the Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association and Lia Rangamar of the Northern Marianas Athletics earned the Male and Female Student Athletes of the Month.

Wong, who is a member of Tsunami Swimming Center Saipan, competed in the 2008 GSF All Island Invitational Swim Meet last Aoril 26 at the Hagatna Pool in Guam.

The Marianas High School student finished first in the 200m individual medley with a time of 2:17.46 and also topped the 100m backstroke after touching the tile in 1:08.38. He competed in the open division.

His time in the 200m IM was just a second and change off the CNMI age group record of 2:16.56 set in 2003 by Dean Palacios. Wong’s 100m backstroke, meanwhile, was just tenths of a second off Juan Camacho’s record-setting pace of 1:07.03 he recorded in 2006.

Wong also finished second in the 50m butterfly and 50m freestyle with times of 29.18, which is just .17 off the 29.01 record of Seung Jin Lee in 2001, and 26.18 almost comparable to the 25.68 set by the immortal John Sakovich way back in 1987.

Newman, meanwhile, helped the unranked CNMI Women's National Football team force Guam to a surprising scoreless draw in last weekend's 2nd Annual Marianas Cup football match held at the Civic Center Field inside the Susupe Sports Complex.

Newman, playing as goalkeeper, put up a defensive wall at the CNMI goal against a Guam team that is ranked 75th in the world. Her impressive stint earned her the tournament most valuable player honors, which were voted on by members of both teams.

She had a total of 17 saves including a number of key stops in the two overtime periods that could have allowed Guam to escape with the win. This was also Newman's second time as a member of the CNMI national team.

Aside from being a member of the Women's Nationals, Newman also serves as a Women's Football Committee member, treasurer of the Paire Football Club, Under-8 coach, and captain of her Women's Football League team.

Miller, for his part, earned the CNMI top ranking in the boys' 13-and-under division after winning the Spectrum Electric-Marianas Medical Center CNMI Junior Championships in both the singles and doubles events.

The singles and doubles titles in the junior championships were also Miller's fourth crown in April. He won the Under-13 title in the junior championships after a 6-3, 6-1 win against Nathan Nutting then teamed up with Daniel Camacho to score a 6-4, 6-0 triumph against brothers Jake and Aaron Lee in the doubles event in last week's finals.

Early last month, Miller avenged his Coconut Classic loss to Rafael Jones to claim the Pacific Islands Club-Gatorade Tennis Tournament 13-and-under crown with a hard-earned 5-7, 6-1, 7-5 win.

Miller will be the CNMI's top-ranked player heading into the International Tennis Federation-North Pacific Qualifying Event from June 16 to 20 in Guam.

NMA's Rangamar earned the female student honors after a dominating performance in last month's preliminary trials in the 4th Annual McDonald’s All-Schools Track and Field Championship.

The 13-year-old multi-event athlete is coming of age and proved this when she competed against other athletes who are in the high school division. She set national age group records in the 200m run, javelin, and discus throw as well as finished in the Top 3 of three more events.

She clocked in 30.96 seconds in the 200m run, and threw distances of 27.48m and 22m in the javelin and discus throw.

Aside from breaking age group records, Rangamar also topped the 400m run with a time of 1:12.23, placed second in long jump with a jump of 3.75m, then cleared the bar in high jump with a height of 1.25m for another second place finish.

Other nominees for last month's sports plums were NMA's Jessie Brel, Jericho Cruz, and Jacque Wonenberg, NMITA's Amy Arenovski, NMSF's Carol Lynn Pierce, Kaito Yanai, and Fumika Umeda, and NMIFA's Joe Miller.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

Here'a a shot of the game

Ben Wood raises his arms in the foreground while Steve McKagan (#4) pumps his fists after scoring the second goal for the CNMI to tie the game, 2-2. Player-coach Nick Swaim (#2)celebrates with McKagan while Norman Camacho (#13) lets loose his barbaric yawp.

Marianas Cup Results Day Two

The home team suffered a heartbreaking loss at the hands of the Guamanian Men's National Soccer Team when the visitors found the back of the net with 30 seconds remaining to take a 3-2 lead in the second overtime period.

More to come...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Marianas Cup Results Day One

CNMI Women 0, Guam Women 0

There were no goals scored through the first 90 minutes so the teams went into two seven and a half minute overtime periods. After another scoreless round of play, both women's teams shared the 2nd Annual Marianas Cup.

Without a doubt, the player of the game for the CNMI women was goalkeeper Rebecca Newman. "The Wall" turned away 17 shots from the Guamanians, but the biggest save came on a 20-yard free kick that came right before the end of the first half.

Simone Nicholle Willter's shot was heading for a sure goal under the crossbar when Newman's outstretched arms deflected the ball away. When the CNMI gained possession the ball, referee Rhonda Bamba gave two solid puffs on her whistle to end the half.

Most of the second half action took place in the CNMI's defensive zone and there were many close calls, but the local women denied Guam time and time again.

Willter was definitely Guam's goto player. Unfortunately for the visiting team, Guam was unable to transform her quickness and powerful shot into a score.

Think U Got Skillz?

Check this out...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Marianas Cup Preview

The CNMI Men's National Team squares off against the Guam National team this Sunday, April 27, at the Oleai Sports Complex. Opening ceremonies start at 2:45pm followed by the 3pm kickoff.

Be there to support your home team!

Soccer and Snow

Number 17 is me. Finally got to play again after moving back to the States in the middle of Winter. This winter seems to not want to end. It was about 40 degrees on this day. Since then, I've been wearing long sweats to play, a hat and gloves. Yesterday, I had to be goalie (everyone takes turns for 1/2 of a game). It hailed. Imagine someone flinging little pebbles at your face from the sky. I'm playing in a 30+ women's league and a 30+ co-ed league. During the co-ed game I met a guy on my team who is friends with someone on Saipan. When I pulled out my red, mud stained socks and pulled them on they disintegrated from rot:)
Miss you all!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Midfielders and Forwards

NMI Learning To Deal With Several Roster Changes

The midfield makeover is perhaps the biggest change for the CNMI men as the Blue Ayuyus made some positional changes and picked up three new players since their 2007 meeting with Guam. Peter Houk served as the home team’s top offensive threat last year, and he’ll maintain his presence at the heart of the CNMI’s attack.

Houk’s footwork will be complimented by returning youngster, Lucas Knecht. The Saipan International School student’s maturity and skill have grown to match his size during the past year, and Knecht looks make the transition to soccer manhood by playing in his second international match.

Knecht has received plenty of pointers along the way from returning starter, Angelo Villagomez. The environmentalist took the field as a striker when the CNMI last played Guam, but Villagomez has transitioned into his new role of midfielder with ease.

Chemistry in the middle of the field is a key component to any team’s success, and the addition of three position players to mix has thus far proved to be a benefit to the CNMI’s central core. Elementary school teacher Peter Loken will play his first international game with the squad, along with fellow rookies, Steve McKagan and Joe Miller.

An accomplished tennis player and part-time actor, Loken has the athletic ability to get the job done, and he garnered the respect of his teammates when he was recently named as the CNMI’s co-captain. McKagan has also proved his value to the squad in his first season of Saipan soccer, as the fisheries biologist added the same experience that helped lead the CNMI All-Stars to a 3-3 tie with Guam last summer.

Miller is one of the youngest players on the team, and the Kagman High School student brings his passion for the game and positive attitude every time he takes the field. Miller has been with the team just under two months after making his debut in the CNMI Men’s League this year.

While the midfielders have plenty of youth, the CNMI forwards have the benefit of years of experience with strikers Chris Guerrero and Choi Yong Woon. For the past seven weeks, Guerrero has spent his days keeping Saipan safe with the Department of Public Safety and his evenings working out with his teammates. After missing out on last year’s home and home series with Guam, he looks to help bring the CNMI its first Marianas Cup victory.

While Guerrero takes care of the ground, Choi spends most of his time minding the skies with Asiana Airlines. Injuries prevented him from joining the squad in 2007, and Choi plans on making the most of his first international competition this Sunday.

The same goes for new forwards Michael Thomas and Brad Ruszala. Both earned spots on the roster last year, but only Thomas found playing time against Guam in both games. After running the flanks in the midfield, Thomas’ offseason training regimen resulted in better ball handling skills and increased endurance.

Ruszala made the move from fullback to midfielder in with the Independents of the Men’s League, and on to striker with the nationals. The former sports reporter turned PTI marketing associate aims at earning his first international cap in front of the home crowd this Sunday.

The 2nd edition of the Marianas Cup gets underway tomorrow afternoon when the women take the field at 3pm with pre-game activities getting underway at 2:45pm. Day Two takes place between the men on Sunday at 3pm with pre-game activities getting underway at 2:45pm, as well. Attendance is free and organizers invite the community to provide the same crowd support that last year’s team enjoyed.

More on the build up to the 2008 Marianas Cup

New defenders looking to protect CNMI Men

With the CNMI Men’s and Women’s National teams are tapering their training routines and the faint sound of Europe’s 1980’s smash hit is in the air as the final countdown to the 2nd Annual Marianas Cup has indeed begun.

With only a couple of days remaining before both squads seek revenge for their 2007 debut losses on Guam’s Harmon Field, the players will have to hope that their weeks spent on the training pitch were well spent.

The CNMI Men will take the field against their regional rivals this Sunday, April 27, looking much different than last year’s squad as the home team will be without 11 of players that filled out its roster in 2007.

One of the biggest changes comes between the pipes as starting keeper Greg Borja and back-up Elias Rangamar suit up for their first contest as CNMI goalkeepers. Borja spends most of his time away from the pitch with his family and defending the rights of the others as an advocate with NMPASI. A sage of sports, Rangamar has been molding athletes on the basketball and volleyball courts, as well as on the track and field for many years as on the CNMI’s highest ranked coaches of any sport.

The duo will lean upon each other this weekend, but they’ll also receive plenty of help from this year’s squad of CNMI fullbacks. Nobody knows what the keepers need more than former CNMI net minder, Ben Wood.

The accomplished artist and teacher from Saipan Southern High School made the move to the back line while playing for the Independents during the Men’s League, and he’s never looked back. Joining him are returning starters, Dale Roberts and team co-captain David Dueñas.

A veteran of many international sporting events, Roberts helps to develop the next generation of scholar-athletes as the vice principal of Garapan Elementary School while Dueñas manages oversees the front office of one of Saipan’s most popular resorts: the Pacific Islands Club.

Another one of the new faces to the CNMI Men is outdoor enthusiast, Dan Westphal. Long known locally as “Barno” because of his talents on the beach volleyball haunts, Westphal brings a “no holds barred” attitude with him to the pitch.

Keeping the unit in check will fall on Dueñas’ shoulders, but player-coach Nick Swaim has spent more than his fair share calling the shots for the CNMI during the build-up to the rematch. When he’s not training the CNMI Men, Women, and U14 teams, the former PIC Clubmate is chasing waves on his surfboard or hiking the many trails Saipan has to offer.

All-around athlete Norman Camacho, is another addition to the 2008 roster who didn’t even tryout for last year’s team. Now the family man and PTI communications specialist serves Team CNMI as a utility player that can play with the defenders, mix it up in the midfielders, or pose a threat up top with the forwards.

The 2nd edition of the Marianas Cup gets underway on Saturday when the women take the field at 3pm with pre-game activities getting underway at 2:45pm. Day Two takes place between the men at 3pm with pre-game activities getting underway at 2:45pm, as well. Attendance is free and organizers invite the community to provide the same crowd support that last year’s team enjoyed.

All About Inter

Inter wins NMIFA men's championship

From Today's Saipan Tribune-

Inter-Godfather's capped their 2008 Men's Winter Football League season with the title in tow after having the most wins in the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association's first league for the year.

Inter-Godfather's won the title after having the most wins.

It came out on top this season with the most wins in the six-team field, compiling a league-best 7-1-1 win-loss-draw record to receive the NMIFA Men's League Cup.

The award ceremony was held last Saturday where other teams and top performers of the past season were also honored as well as the tournament officials.

FC Arirang took runner-up honors with a 6-2-1 slate while Onwel, which also earned the sportsmanship award, placed third after having a 4-3-2 mark.

Onwel took the sportsmanship trophy after being well organized and respected the referees' calls, and were courteous to other players and the fans.

Ol'Aces was awarded the Most Improved Team after showing great improvement in the nine games they played this season.

Joe Miller, who was playing his first season in the men's league, earned the golden boot trophy for scoring nine goals against the other five teams this year.

The league referees were also honored during the ceremony with organizers and players thanking them for their fare officiating. The referees received medals and a special thank you note.

NMIFA Men's Football League director Michael Thomas said they would be holding a tournament in May while the next season opens in July.

Maddie Smith gets her 15 minutes

Smith ready to face the challenge

From today's Marianas Variety-
SAIPAN International School Lady Geckos center female cager, Madison Smith is not only ready but also excited to face the challenge of managing her time and stamina for the two sports she loves.

Smith a key player of Lady Geckos who contributed most to their wins in the Coalition of Private Schools Sports Association Basketball Tournament is among the six picks in the CNMI Women’s National Football Team draft that will compete with the visiting team from Guam in the second Annual Marianas Cup at the Gilbert C. Ada field at 3 p.m., this Saturday.

The 15-year-old cager said she and Zoe Jewell, her team mate in the basketball team accepted the offer when joining the football national team was brought up to them weeks ago.

In an interview following the basketball game where they defeated the Lady Eagles on Tuesday, Smith said she knows she is going to have tough schedule these following days since the NMI women’s football team is eager to take on Guam’s best.

She and five other picks have started practicing with the veterans and she has already figured out the first time she tried, “I can do it.”

Managing her time for studies, for the basketball games which she usually carried along with Melissa Halaby, and now the preparation for football game, Smith could only laugh and say, “It’s crazy,” but she thinks she has enough energy to accomplish all those things.

The other new bloods that will join the national team are Marianas High School’s Elisa Fejeran, Mariana Gramlich, and Rima Halaby, Saipan International School’s Zoe Jewell and Grace Christian Academy’s Ashley Hofschneider.

Just like the basketball, Smith really enjoys playing football as well.

“The older players (in football) are always willing to help and teach us. It makes it easier to learn the game,” she said, adding that she plans to attend the try-out game for the national team again next year.

Fourteen-year-old Jewell is the only student who was also on the women’s team last year.

Women’s Committee Director Francine Sablan said the girls got involved in playing soccer only through participation in the recreational women’s league until the veteran members saw their potential and invited them to attend a try-out for the national team.

Patricia Coleman, a veteran player who feels having these young girls on the team has helped add a new dimension to the team said, “As skilled as [the young girls] are now, if they continue with the team, in just a few years, they will be able to take the team to a higher level.”

Sablan who looks to the young girls for motivation during practice said that during practice, he observed that the energy and youthful enthusiasm of the girls were contagious.

“During a long, hard practice, I see the high school girls working just as hard as I am, but I see them smiling and enjoying themselves. They remind that I’m playing this sport because it’s fun,” she said.

The girls she added showed maturity when it gets down to business on the pitch.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

NMIFA In The News Again!

AFC team impressed with football development in the Northern Mariana Islands

KUALA LUMPUR: A two-member AFC Vision Asia team recently visited Saipan, the capital of the Northern Mariana Islands, upon the request of the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association (NMIFA) to help start the Vision Asia development programme in the commonwealth, which is about 200km north of Guam.

The AFC team held meetings with the Executive Committee of NMIFA to formulate a development strategy to strengthen football on the islands, besides visiting several training facilities in Saipan, an Under-12
football festival, and the training sessions of the Northern Mariana Islands men’s and women’s national teams who are preparing for matches against Guam in the 2008 Mariana Cup.

NMIFA President Jerry Tan was delighted with the visit.

“As a new and developing football association we need benchmarks on how to develop our local football,” said Tan.

“The visit by the Vision Asia team has helped clarify many areas for us. Now the Executive Committee is also fully aware of what needs to be implemented for us to bring our football forward.”

The AFC officials also met the Governor Benigno R. Fitial and discussed football development in the commonwealth.

Since its foundation in 2005, the NMIFA have made many inroads in developing a sport that was virtually non-existent on the baseball centric islands. The NMIFA has organized multiple projects and tournaments for men’s, women’s and youth football as well as coaching and referee seminars.

There are nearly 500 youth aged 4 to 15 currently playing in NMIFA youth leagues, and each of the 15 public schools in Saipan have received a set of goalposts from the football authorities.

With the assistance of Vision Asia, the NMIFA is looking to launch an elite level league competition. There are currently four clubs and the NMIFA has been advised to establish four more so that the elite league can commence.

A schools league is scheduled to kick off in August 2008 and Vision Asia will provide administration, coaching and referee courses for the successful organization of the program.

The Vision Asia team also advised the NMIFA on bringing their statutes in line with international standards and developing their organization structures.

Monday, April 21, 2008

NMIFA In The News

AFC pleased with NMIFA programs

By Jon Perez

Asian Football Conference Vision Asia division development officer Biplav Gautam, left, and AFC development officer Keita Sugihara, third left, join Northern Mariana Islands Football Association officials led by president Jerry Tan, fourth left, for a group photo at the NMIFA office at the TSL building on Saturday. Others in photo are Wes Bogdan, second left, and Vicki Izuka. (Jon Perez) The rapid development of football in the CNMI brought smiles to two Asian Football Confederation officials, which were on island this weekend to assess the programs started by the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association.

AFC development officer Kaita Sugihara and AFC Vision Asia Division development officer Biplav Gautam arrived on Saipan last Thursday and spent Friday and Saturday meeting with NMIFA officials to get an update of its football programs.

Sugihara said he and Gautam even visited the training sessions conducted by the men's and women's national teams in preparation for this weekend's Marianas Cup against Guam.

They also witnessed the Youth Football Festival at San Antonio Elementary School and inspected some of the facilities and venues in football games. Sugihara and Gautam visited the three schools used in football games-Hopwood Junior High School, Saipan Southern High School, and Garapan Elementary School-as well as the Oleai Field inside the Susupe Sports Complex, CPA Field, and the one at American Memorial Park.

“A lot has changed since the first time we came here in October 2006. We can see a lot of positive things in NMIFA's programs. We are very much impressed with the development,” said Sugihara.

Gautam added NMIFA's program is centered on developing the sport at the grassroots level and establishing clubs. “NMIFA is geared towards developing the youth with the establishment of clubs, which is essential part of every football program.”

Sugihara and Gautam said from establishing the youth, men's, and women's programs NMIFA is now geared toward strengthening the club system.

“NMIFA and football on Saipan rapidly change in a short time compared to other countries that are starting with their own program,” Sugihara said.

Gautam added, “They [NMIFA] already have four clubs, which have their own committees and active volunteers. Clubs are important to football development.”

The two also met with Gov. Benigno R. Fitial and played pickup games with some of the local teams before again meeting with NMIFA officials to further discuss their developmental plans and programs.