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BIG MEDIA EXPOSURE FOR MATAO

team yangonPRESS RELEASE – Following the Matao’s recent trend of success, the team and head coach Gary White have received international attention on both FIFA.com and ESPN recently.

“I am very proud of success of the Matao, our men’s national football team, in international tournaments,” said Richard Lai, Guam Football Association president. “One of the goals we had set when bringing in head coach Gary White was to be more competitive in international tournaments. I am happy to note that the success the team has earned, and its overall development in a very short time, not only has been recognized locally, but around the world by media outlets followed by billions of people. This is a great achievement not only for the team and for GFA, but for the whole Guam community.”

FIFA.com recently featured a story on its homepage about the rapid development of the Matao, titled “Little Guam making giant strides.” FIFA.com writes, “Guam’s results might be relatively small steps but in the context of the nation’s football history they are massive strides. They recently participated in the final qualifying stage of the East Asian Football Federation Championship (EAFF), where their performances provided overwhelming evidence of remarkably rapid growth.”

The full article may be viewed at http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/news/newsid=2016123.html

In addition to the media coverage by FIFA.com, ESPN Playbook writer Chris Gigley featured Matao head coach Gary White is his recent installment “What’s it like to coach a tiny soccer nation?” In the news article Gigley opens with, “The Guam national team is just a speck on the map of world soccer. But in just more than a year on the job, England-born manager Gary White has his squad from the tiny South Pacific island beating opponents it used to lose to by two or more touchdowns. Last year, Guam reached 178th in the FIFA world rankings, its highest position ever.”

Gigley’s full article, listing eight coaching strategies provided by White, can be viewed at http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/fandom/post/_/id/19224/whats-it-like-to-coach-a-tiny-soccer-nation

The Matao recently competed in the AFC Challenge Cup Group A qualifier in Yangon, Myanmar, where the team defeated Chinese Taipei for the first time in its history – a resounding 3-0 victory over a team that drew 1-1 with host country Myanmar and lost 2-1 in stoppage time against the group’s second place finisher, India.

 

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Since forming the GNYFF in 2009, the league has never gone without a season until 2020. The league announced their plans to cancel the 2020 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

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RIP: Former Guam football player Phil Mendiola, shown here with son Tano, passed away in Las Vegas due to a heart attack. Mendiola played for numerous Guam teams from youth to varsity. He was 39.
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Morgan McKenna (left with black face mask) poses for a photo with Guam Football Association Technical Director Sang Hoon Kim (seated, with blue face mask) and Guam Football Association Assistant Technical Director Ross Awa (standing) after signing his letter of commitment to play intercollegiate men’s soccer for Muskingum University in Ohio. The Fighting Muskies compete in NCAA Division III’s Ohio Athletic Conference.

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