Northern Mariana Islands Football Association will be hosting the Northern Marianas Masters Friendly Tournament 2020 next month at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville.
The event will feature the Saipan Master All-Stars and the NMI Women’s Masters Team and the visiting Guizhou Women’s Football Team and Tianjin Shengde Men’s Football Team. Games will be played on Feb. 9 and 10.
Saipan Master All-Stars will conduct a tryout on Jan. 21 from 7pm to 9pm to select the 20 players that will suit up for the squad. Coaches will pick two goal keepers and 18 field players. Nine field players must be born between 1975 and 1984 and the other nine must be born in 1974 or earlier.
Players trying out should have participated in the 2019 Men’s M-League, either in Division A or B, or have played in the 8×8 Masters Winter League.
Meanwhile, the tryout for the NMI Women’s Masters Team took place last Thursday and the selection will be announced once they are finalized.
The Northern Marianas Masters Friendly Tournament 2020 is part of NMIFA’s program in developing and promoting the sport in the community. It is also a shot in the arm for sports tourism in the CNMI. It’s the second of its kind hosted at the NMI Soccer Training Center and will come less than a year after the successful staging of the Marianas Invitational Football Tournament in August.
The CNMI Boys U18 National Team ruled last year’s competition, which also featured two off-island teams—Beijing Elite Core Club and Beijing 97 United Football Club—and the M-League All-Stars.
The CNMI U18 topped the event after earning a 3-0-0 win-draw-loss mark, while Beijing Elite Core Club came in at second with its 2-0-1 slate. M-League All-Stars and Beijing 97 United Football Club finished the round-robin contest with 1-0-2 and 0-0-3 marks, respectively.
Century Tours coordinated the participation of the two Beijing-based teams and is back this year to help NMIFA set up the Masters competition.