MP United U13 marched into the finals of the 1st Pacific Ocean Cup held yesterday in Shizuoka, Japan.
The 13-player MP United Team, which is composed of Clayton Izuka, Colin Ramsey, Moris Villanueva, Alex Park, Amir Abes, Wataru Tajima, Sun Joon Tenorio, Gillian Villagomez, Yna Poquiz, Jee Syu Han, Kentaro Kitagawa, Mackie Binalay, and Juan Quitano, made it to the championship game of the four-team tournament after a 1-1-1 win-draw-loss record in the preliminary matches.
According to a report in MP United Football Club's Facebook account, MP United first played Vivid Blue and forced a scoreless draw. The visiting team then eked out a 1-0 victory over Primera Gotenba, a local team in Shizuoka, before bowing to Nagaoka SSS, 0-4. The Joel Jimenez and Joon Lee-coached MP United then challenged Nagaoka SSS anew in the title match with the Japanese team notching a 5-1 victory. Players who scored for MP United in yesterday's matches were not reported at the group's Facebook account.
Besides the Pacific Ocean Cup, MP United also had a series of exhibition matches against other Japanese teams and posted an impressive 4-1 record in the games played in Numazu City last Saturday.
MP United debuted in the weekend matches with a 1-0 victory over sister team Vivid Blue U10 behind the goal of Tajima. The visitors then gained their second win against the host club after logging a 4-1 win over Vivid Blue U12. Moris Villanueva led the second victory with his twin goals, while Tenorio and Izuka added one apiece.
Tajima got his second goal in the exhibition series when he lifted MP United to a 1-0 triumph over Ashitaka FC. Tenorio and Izuka then duplicated Tajima's feat when they notched their second goal in MP United's shutout win over Vivid Blue, 2-0.
Primera Gotenba was the last team to challenge MP United and it also handed the visitors their lone loss in the Saturday games, as the former cruised to a 2-0 win.
“We had wonderful friendly matches,” team manager Lydia Tan reported in an email sent to MP United members.
“We are so grateful to Vivid Blue president Sachisan [Sachiko Tahara] and Kosuke [ Yakubo] and all the families of their club players for giving us a huge welcome party last Friday night. There were about 50 people who attended the party. They also had a cultural performance with drums and flute. All of our players participated and learn how to play the drums. Coach Joel and Joon also joined in the cultural performance,” Tan added.
Tan and company left Saipan last Thursday for soccer games and cultural exchange in Japan and will return to the island tomorrow.