Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association has selected two football players as top performers for September.
Joe Miller of the Tan Holdings FC was named Male Athlete of the Month for his impressive debut in the fall season of the M-League. The many-time CNMI National Team member had a hat-trick in his first game of the season to lift Tan Holdings FC to a come-from-behind win over Inter Godfather’s, 4-3. Before Miller’s explosion, Tan Holdings faced a 0-2 deficit at halftime. The Tan Holdings FC forward then put his team on the board with his first goal in the opening minute of the second half. With Tan Holdings FC still down, 1-3, after Inter Godfather’s got another goal in the third minute, Miller continued to be aggressive on offense and was rewarded later with two penalty shots, which he completed to tie the match. Tan Holdings FC went on to steal the game after Zheng Xu scored two minutes before the match wrapped up.
The September plum was Miller’s second award from NMASA this year, as he also took the August plum. Miller earned NMASA’s nod for the August citation after trying out for a Hong Kong professional football team. He left a notable mark in the tryout and may get another invitation from the pro club before the season ends.
Joining Miller on the September best list was Kennedy Izuka, who was named NMASA/Tan Siu Lin Foundation Male Student Athlete of the Month. The Saipan International School student was the team captain of the CNMI U16 National Team that joined the AFC U16 Qualifying Tournament at the Hankou Culture and Sports Stadium in Wuhan, China, last month.
The MP United defender started for the Teen Ayuyus in all three games and provided leadership to his teammates when they played against powerhouse North Korea and China and Myanmar.
Meanwhile, NMASA president Michael White is calling on all member federations to get more involved in the nomination of athletes of the month. He also encouraged more nomination of female athletes.