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Sunday, April 20, 2014

NMIFA kicks off spring youth league

A Matansa FC goalie stands by on defense as Paire’s Ethan Dickinson attacks during the second half of their game in the opening week of the NMIFA youth spring league last Saturday at the Hopwood Junior High School Field. (ROSELYN B. MONROYO) Northern Mariana Islands Football Association began its 2014 spring season last Saturday, drawing 48 teams for its youth league.

The co-ed U12 division drew the most participants with 10 squads joining the 2014 NMIFA Youth Football Spring League. The list includes two teams each from MP United FC, Paire FC, and Tan Holdings FC and one apiece from Kanoa FC, Shirley’s FC, Matansa FC, and Tinian Premier Club.

Eight teams played their season-opening games at the various school pitches last weekend, while Tan Holdings FC 2 and Tinian drew a bye in the kick-off day.

In the U8 division, all eight squads played last weekend with Kanoa set to collide against Tinian, while the three other pairings were MP United 2 versus Tan Holdings; Paire against MP United 1; and Matansa over Shirley’s FC.

In the U10 division, Tinian drew a bye, leaving Kanoa FC, Matansa FC, MP Unoted 1 and 2, Paire 1 and 2, Tan Holdings, and Shirley’s FC to see action in the opening week.

In the U6 age group, six teams are participating in NMIFA’s grassroots program. They are Kanoa FC, MP United FC, Matansa FC, Shirley’s FC, Tan Holdings FC, and Paire FC.

All games in the U6, U8, U10, and U12 divisions are non-competitive ones and though scores will be recorded, they will not be included in team standings, as these age groups aimed at promoting fun matches and improving players’ skills.

Meanwhile, the U15 and U18 divisions will have team standings and will later award the season championship to each winner.

In the boys U15, five teams will battle for the spring crown. Leading the list is the favored MP United FC, which will be up against Paire, Matansa, Tan Holdings, and Shirley’s.

In the girls U15, six teams are entered in the spring season. Kanoa FC is fielding a squad this season to join returnees Matansa, Paire, MP United, Tan Holdings, and Shirley’s.

In the boys U18, it will be a four-way fight among MP United, Paire, Matansa, and Tan Holdings.
Games in the competitive age groups are played at the Oleai Sports Complex Field and the Hopwood Junior High School Field.

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