02 Jan Soccer Moms Begin 2014 Fall Season
Close to 300 women made their way to the Guam Football Association National Training Center Sunday afternoon for the opening of the 2014 GFA Soccer Moms League Fall season, by far the largest number of players in the league’s past three seasons.
For first time player Eliana Walker, suiting up to play in her first match with the Wings Momdeshiko was an exhilarating experience.
“It was awesome – it was beautiful, I had so much fun,” Walker said. “The only experience I’ve had playing soccer was when I was six years old in school, if that counts. I’m originally from Colombia and everyone in Colombia is just crazy about soccer. So, you can say that soccer is in my blood, although I haven’t really played.
“In fact, I came a little bit late to my game because I was watching the Real Madrid-FC Barcelona match with my family – Colombian player James (Rodriguez) now plays for Real Madrid,” Walker added.
Walker, who has a son who plays for Wings FC in the Triple J Auto Group Robbie Webber Youth Soccer League, was invited to join the Wings Momdeshiko team in the Soccer Moms League by fellow Wings mother Risa Suzuki during their kids’ practice session Thursday afternoon. Suzuki, who had played in the Soccer Moms League before with Quality Distributors, didn’t pass up the chance to play for the Wings when the club decided to put in a Soccer Moms team this season.
“When I found out the Wings were going to put in a team into the Soccer Moms League, I replied right away that I’d join,” Suzuki said. “Coming back to the sport and playing in my first match this season was better than I expected – I had a lot of fun with the team. I really look forward to our next match.
“It’s a great league. It’s a lot of fun,” Suzuki added.
The Wings Momdeshiko– one of three new teams to the league – had only five players confirmed before Sunday, but two more players were able to make the match for a full seven-player squad for their league opener against the Dededo Divas. The other two new teams in the league are Team United, made up mostly of mothers from United Airlines, and the Sidekick SC Sirenas. Returning teams are the Tumon Pika Moms, Dededo Divas, Crush Hers, Queen Cobras, Islanders, Heat Wave, Femme Fatale, Quality Distributors Dragonflies, Supersonics, and Lady Bombers for a total of 14 teams. The Islanders entered two teams – the Islanders Betde and the Islanders Apaka.
Before the start of the matches, a short opening ceremony with a parade of colors was held, with visiting FIFA technical adviser Horst Kriete in attendance, as well as GFA Executives. The Matao’s trainer, Ian Lawton, also invited players who made it to GFA early to take part in FIFA 11+ warm-up and stretching exercises before their matches.
“I’m happy to the see the continuous growth of this league from when we started in the fall of 2013,” said Grace Martinez, GFA Women’s Administrator. “Thanks to a generous grant from FIFA for women’s football development in Guam, we’ve been able to put on this league, now two times a year to meet the growing demand of players. This league alone has more than doubled the number of women’s football players in Guam.”
All players in the Soccer Moms League received complimentary T-shirts and each team received a bag of Adidas training balls from FIFA.
The same day the Soccer Moms took over United Airlines Field 2 and 3, teams in the GFA Women’s Intermediate 7-A-Side Recreational League played their final fall season matches earlier in the afternoon. In the battle of southern teams, the Queen Cobras played against the Heat Wave in their final match of the season. Sonic Boom took on the Lady Bombers and the Island Eye Specialists/LASIK Lady Eye-Landers played against Femme Fatale.