Northern Mariana Islands Football Association will be hosting the inaugural Northern Marianas Invitational Football Tournament with four teams playing in the three-day competition at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville.
The event will feature two squads from China—the Beijing Elite Core Football Club and the Beijing 97 Return Football Club—going up against the CNMI’s very own—the CNMI U18 Boys and M-League All-Stars. Matches will start this Saturday and will run until Monday.
The CNMI U18 will see action against Beijing Elite in the opening game this Saturday at 4:30pm, while the M-League All-Stars versus Beijing 97 tiff is scheduled for 7pm.
Twenty-three players from the various clubs competing in the Commonwealth’s premier men’s league have been selected to suit up for the M-League All-Star Team. Goalkeeper and CNMI Men’s National Team member Chris Aninzo leads the list and will be joined by fellow goalie Richard Waldo, Daniel Agulto, Aloy Zeus Angeles, Emanuel Aniana, Gabriel Arkoh Sr., Travis Camacho, John Canape, Jonathan Capayas, Mark Esalan, Neil Gebhard, Alan Gudino, Kawsar Hamid, Martin Jambor, Kamrul Kamrul, Daniel Matsunaga, Jacob Montes, Floyd Muda, Reginal Pascual, Panapa Peteru, Lar Wongpaya, Kosuke Sato, and Jireh Yobech. Wai Wo Lee is the coach, while Ruselle Zapanta is the team manager.
The tournament will have a single round-robin format with the team that has the best record in three games to be declared the winner.
Two more matches will be played this Sunday with the CNMI U18 and M-League All-Stars colliding in the first game at 5pm and the two Beijing squads squaring off in the second tiff at 7pm. Then for Monday’s match at 5pm, the CNMI Boys U18 will close out against Beijing 97, while Beijing Elite and the M-League All-Stars will duel in the 7pm game.