Close race for M-League Golden Boot


Paire Football Club’s Eric Barajas currently holds the lead in Golden Boot race of the M-League Spring 2021 season. (Contributed Photo)

Paire Football Club’s Eric Barajas currently holds a slight advantage in the Golden Boot race of the M-League Spring 2021 season.

After five matches at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville, Barajas has recorded seven goals and is so far in the lead for the Golden Boot award.

Barajas made it to the board in all but two of Paire’s matches, with his best scoring output seen in the team’s 5-0 destruction of The One last Feb 28 after tallying three goals. Barajas also carried his team in their second match of the season where they pummeled Old B Bank, 5-0, scoring three of the team’s winning goals.

And to think Barajas didn’t even made it to the board in Paire’s third and fifth game, but restarted his goal spree in the fourth game, where Paire eased past the U18 Boys National Team B, 2-0, making one of the team’s goals.

However, the race for the Golden Boot remains a close one with TanHoldings FC’s Mark Esalan recording six goals after five games.

Esalan contributed two goals to THFC’s first win back in Feb. 28 where the season’s leading team crushed NMI U18 B, 6-2. Esalan was absent on the board for the following game, but made a comeback in the March 14 match where he scored two of the teams six goals to ease past The One. Eslan was silent again on the March 21 game, but returned with the vengeance with two goals in their match against Old B Bank, 5-0.

The NMI U18 Team A’s Kaden Church joins Esalan and Barajas in the Top 3 for the battle for the Golden Boot award after finding the back of the net four times this season

Church delivered one goal in their 5-0 win over The One last March 7 and one piece in its 3-1 victory against Paire. However, Church showed his best scoring output in the 5-0 win over Old B Bank, contributing two of the team’s winning goals.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at
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