CNMI U15, U16 national squads named


Members of the CNMI boys U15 and U16 teams are in action during an exhibition game at the opening of the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville early this month. Both squads will be playing in off-island tournaments this month. (Contributed Photo)

Northern Mariana Islands Football Association has named the members of the CNMI boys U15 and U16 national teams that will be competing in separate off-island tournaments this month.

Selected to play for the CNMI U15 Boys National Team are midfielder Razeff Altamirano, Taka Borja, Ian Karl Maniago, Floyd Muna, Reginald Pascual, Brandon Tenorio, Merrick Toves, and John Joseph Villagomez, defenders John Ezekiel Canape, Brian Lubao, Daniel Mar Pablo, Rinto Takahashi, and Elijah Villarmero, forwards Oliver Fajardo and Rintaro Miyawaki, and goalkeepers Jonathan Minadanao, John Martin Palad, and Jason Quimzon.

The Michiteru Mita-coached U15 crew will be seeing action in the East Asian Football Federation U15 Boys Tournament in Xianghe, China from July 21 to 29. Completing the squad are assistant coach Jersh Angeles, goalkeeper coach Kwok Kei Poon, team manager Mikky Vargas, and team physiotherapist Hazel Mabasa.

In China, the Commonwealth bets are in Group A of the EAFF-sanctioned tournament and will be playing against the host, Japan, Chinese-Taipei, and Mongolia. The CNMI will also duel Group B’s Macau, which is joined on the pool by South Korea, North Korea, Guam, and Hong Kong.

Mita’s wards will challenge Macau first on July 23 and then face China on July 24, Japan on July 25, Mongolia on July 26, and Chinese-Taipei on July 28.

From China, nine members of the U15 squad will head to the Philippines to join the CNMI U16 Boys National Team and participate in the Tuloy XO Cup that will run from July 31 to Aug. 5.

Altamirano, Taka Borja, Canape, Lubao, Mindanao, Miyawaki, Quimzon, Takahashi, and Toves will be reunited with Kirt Andon, Thaiphi Austria, Ichiro Borja, kaden Church, Mark Esalan, Sebastien Manabat, Joshua Mendez, John Michael Rojas, Joshua Waldo, and Richard Waldo Jr. as they square off against five teams.

Mita will still call the shots for the U16 team and will also be joined on the coaching staff by Angeles and Poon, while Raymond Zapanta has been designated as the manager. The U16 crew will debut against Luenthai Soccer School on Aug. 1 and will also meet host Tuloy sa Don Bosco in the opening day. Then on Aug. 2, the CNMI bets will take on Makati Football Club, while their last two elimination round games will be against Don Bosco Technical College Cebu and Chelsea FC Soccer School (Hong Kong) on Aug. 3. The Top 2 teams after the preliminary games will advance to the finals that will be played on Aug. 5 at 9am.

Meanwhile, NMIFA will be hosting a send-off ceremony for both the U15 and U16 teams tomorrow at 5:30pm at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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