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MEET THE MATAO ON FRIDAY

The Matao starting 11 pose for a photo before the team’s match against the Philippines during the Philippines Football Peace Cup in September at Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, Philippines. The Matao will be hosting an open house event at the Guam Football Association National Training Center Friday beginning at 10 a.m. Professional players Ryan Guy (13), Douglas Herrick (1), Jason Cunliffe (10) and Jonah Romero (4) will be at the open house for a short activity with youth soccer players and a question-and-answer and autograph session. Lacoste worked with GFA to put on the event for the local community. (courtesy photo)

PRESS RELEASE – The community will have an opportunity to meet professional soccer players on the Matao’s roster Friday during a men’s national team practice session and open house event at the Guam Football Association National Training Center.

On hand during Friday’s event will be head coach Gary White and professional soccer players Ryan Guy, Matao goalkeeper Douglas Herrick, Jonah Romero and Jason Cunliffe. Guy, the son of former Sen. Jesse Lujan, currently plays for the New England Revolution in the MLS. Herrick returns to the Matao with both MLS and J-League experience, while Romero and Cunliffe both play on professional teams – Kaya FC and Pachanga FC, respectively – in the United Football League in the Philippines.

The professionals will join the Guam-based Matao team members in a training session beginning at 10 a.m. Youth soccer players will be able to interact with the team from 11:30 a.m. before joining the professional team members for a question-and-answer conference.

All who attend will receive a Matao team card that includes a special offer at Lacoste boutique at Tumon Sands Plaza.

“Lacoste proudly supports the Matao, Guam men’s national team,” said Richard Hawes, president and CEO of Gemkell Group, which includes Lacoste in its portfolio of luxury brands. “We’re very excited to work together with GFA, GFA president Richard Lai, and Matao head coach Gary White to put this event together for the local community. We invite all to attend and meet the Matao team members.”

In addition to the community event Friday morning, the community is invited to watch a friendly match between the Matao and the visiting Saipan national team Saturday at 12 noon at Leo Palace Resort Guam Field 2.

The Matao is in its final two weeks of training before the semifinal round of the East Asian Cup. The team will be traveling to Hong Kong Monday to compete against host Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, DPR Korea and Australia for a berth in the final round of the tournament against Japan, Korea Republic and China. The Matao’s first match will be played Dec. 1 at 2:30 p.m. Hong Kong time at Mong Kok Stadium against Hong Kong.

Guam qualified for the semifinal round after defeating both the Northern Mariana Islands and Macau during the preliminary competition of the tournament held in July at LeoPalace Resort Guam.

Admission is free to both Friday and Saturday events. Youth soccer players will need to wear soccer cleats in order to participate in activities with the team on the turf after the team’s official practice session.

For more information, call the GFA main office at 637 4321 or E-mail info@guamfootball.com

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