M-League returns, opens spring season


Lilian Podziewski, seen here performing warm-up drills during a clinic at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville, will be suiting up for the NMI Women’s National Team in the M-League Spring 2021. (Contributed Photo)

Soccer competition returns after nearly a year of absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic with the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association’s M-League holding its spring season.

The M-League Spring 2021 is divided into two divisions—A and B—and had its first game last night at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville. Saipan United and Shirley’s Football Club kicked off the action in the M-League, as they squared off in the 7:30pm match in Division B. Results in the opener were unavailable at press time.

Joining Saipan United and Shirley’s FC in the battle for Division B championship this season is the NMI Women’s National Team, Bangladesh FC, Island Star, and Matansa FC. Bangladesh FC will have its season debut tomorrow night when it takes on the WNT, while the Island Star will duel Matansa FC this Saturday. All matches in Division B will be played at 7:30pm every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and each squad will have nine matches in the regular season before moving to compete in the M-League Cup.

In Division A, games will be played every Friday and Sunday.

TanHoldings FC, NMI U18 Team A and B, Paire FC, Kanoa FC, The One FC, Old B Bank, and MP United will vie for Division A crown and matches will start this weekend.

Four matches are scheduled for this Sunday with TanHoldings FC debuting against NMI U18 Team 8 at 1:30pm. Next up is the 3:30pm tiff between Paire FC and The One FC, while Kanoa FC will challenge the NMI Team A in the third game at 5:30pm. For the final match in the opening week, the Old B Bank will square off against MP United FC at 7:30pm.

M-League’s Division A has a double-round robin format in the regular season.

The spring season in the M-League has started after receiving clearance from the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force and NMIFA will be implementing safety measures at the NMISTC at the duration of the competition and any other soccer-related activities at the facilities.

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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