Matao roster finalized for EAFF tournament in Hong Kong

[October 31, 2016 - Harmon, Guam] Guam Football Association officially released the list of players selected to the final Matao roster set to compete in the EAFF E-1 Football Championship Semifinal Round in Hong Kong beginning Sunday.

The Matao, Guam men’s national football team, will be competing against DPR Korea, Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei. The winning team from the semifinal round will earn a berth in the final round of the biennial tournament to compete against Japan, Korea Republic, and China, P.R. in Japan next year.

“The competition we’ll be facing in Hong Kong will be fierce, organized and prepared to win games,” said Darren Sawatzky, Matao Head Coach, via E-mail from Washington. “We must approach the competition game-by-game and opponent-by-opponent.


Guam's Lopez signs to play professionally in India

[October 28, 2016 - Harmon, Guam] Notable performances by Marcus Lopez during Guam’s campaign in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia and AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Joint Preliminary Qualification Round 2 helped propel the Matao forward to a professional playing contract in India.

Particularly after Guam’s second match against India in Bangalore, a prominent Indian agency contacted Lopez for a two-month trial beginning in July with Minerva Academy FC. At the end of two-month trial, the club officially offered Lopez a full contract for the club’s 2017 season, which begins in January.

“Earning a contract with the club was a great feeling – hard work really does pay off,” Lopez said.


Sawatzky named interim head coach of the Matao

[September 1, 2016 - Harmon, Guam] Coach Darren Sawatzky will officially take the helm of the Matao, Guam men’s national team, ahead of the upcoming EAFF E-1 Football Championship Round 2 scheduled to begin in November.

Sawatzky, currently General Manager and Head Coach of the Tacoma Stars, a professional team from Washington state in the Major Arena Sports League (MASL), takes over the Matao Head Coach position vacated by Gary White in June. Sawatzky’s resume also includes experience as Head Coach of the Seattle Sounders U-23 team, as well as six years as Director of Youth Development for the Sounders, among other notable coaching positions.

“I look forward to welcoming Darren to Guam and tracking his progress with the Matao as the team competes in the upcoming EAFF tournament,” said Richard K. Lai, Guam Football Association President.


Guam MNT head coach accepts Chinese pro club offer

[May 31, 2016 - Shanghai, China PR] Guam Football Association National Team Head Coach and Technical Director, Gary J. White, has taken on a new challenge in his journey as an international professional coach: lead the Shanghai Shenxin FC back to success and ultimately back to the Chinese Super League. 

White recently departed Guam to Shanghai and officially signed on as the football club’s newest head coach, replacing Kim Sang-Ho from Korea Republic. Kim had been the club’s coach since December 2015, the same year the team was relegated to China League One, one level below the Chinese Super League. The club has started extremely poorly under Kim and currently sit 13th out of 16 teams in China League One after 10 games into the new season. The club has recruited White to establish stability and to drive them back to top of Chinese professional football.


GFA Tech Director Gary White earns UEFA Pro License

[May 15, 2016 - Staffordshire, England] With his newly earned UEFA Pro License from The FA, Guam Football Association Technical Director and Matao head coach Gary J. White is now closer to realizing his dream – to one day manage The Three Lions, England’s national football team – while also opening the door to attaining full manager roles for the world’s top professional clubs, including those in the Barclays Premier League.

The UEFA Pro License is the second of two Level 5 qualifications White has on his football resume, following The FA Elite Coaches Award License, earned in 2013. White was presented his UEFA Pro License, certified by both The FA Technical Director Dan Ashworth and Head of FA Education, Chris Earle, in England on May 10. Only a couple hundred in the world hold a UEFA Pro License issued by The FA.


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