📅23 November 2013
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By Robert Balajadia


(photo by Asha Robles)

Professional MLS L.A. Galaxy soccer player, and Guam’s professional soccer team fellow Matao teammate, A.J. DelaGarza visited Guam for the very first time. Matao just recently wrapped up a FIFA international friendly where they grabbed a win over Cambodia and played Laos to a draw.

The press conference for DelaGarza’s official welcome was held at the GFA facility where he and head coach Gary White opened up for questions to the public.

DelaGarza, at 26, is eligible to play for Guam under FIFA regulation with having his grandmother being from Guam. DelaGarza has also played for the USA national team and is also eligible to play for Mexico.

When asked one of the more difficult questions of the day about whether or not he would continue to play for the US or Guam, DelaGarza answered by saying how much he likes Guam and how his short stay already makes him feel at home.


(photo by Asha Robles)

Behind DelaGarza and coach White stood the American and Guam flags. A few moments after the question was asked, the American flag took a fall due to a heavy gust of wind  while the Guam flag stood still.

Coach White joked with the situation saying, “Well, I guess that answers that question on who he’s going to play for.”

DelaGarza said he was welcomed by his teammates from Matao as soon as he joined the team by having known some players while attending college in San Diego.

When playing with a star who has played with and against some of the best in the world, it’s easy for teammates to be starstruck and rely too heavily on the star to shine. Coach White says that’s not the case with Matao.

“We had four days before we faces Laos to ensure that we got the team to bond. We made the team do a lot of challenges to get them to interact. When we did that enough times, they soon forgot to get he was A.J. from the L.A. Galazy and looked at him as a normal teammate. All the players that we brought in from the international level, including Ryan Guy, fall in love with the Guam culture so we utilize that to our affect.”

DelaGarza posed for pictures with fans and signed autographs for them right after the press conference. He later hosted a training session for all who wanted to attend.







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