Former CNMI national soccer player John Taisacan joins the growing list of CNMI players who has a chance to play in the collegiate ranks.
Taisacan, in a message sent to Saipan Tribune early this week, said he is red-shirting at Louisiana State University-Alexandria. The LSUA Generals play in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics under the Red River Athletic Conference and against eight other schools.
“I am red-shirting this season,” said Taisacan, who is among the 21 freshmen on the squad composed of players from around the world.
The former MP United Football Club member does not mind sitting out in his rookie season, as he is still recovering from an ACL injury and will use his freshman year to learn more about his new squad and the competition in their division.
“The program here at LSUA is very organized and there is a lot of talent among the players. The coaches are of course strict and know what they are doing,” said Taisacan.
Brocklon Chatman, the former player and assistant coach of St. Louis Lions in the United Soccer Leagues Professional Development League, is the Generals head coach.
“The level of soccer here is higher than any league on Saipan. Everyone has skills. It is way rougher than the men’s league on Saipan. People get injured more often,” added Taisacan, who is the third player from the CNMI to find a collegiate team this season with his former MP United teammate Enrico Del Rosario and Paire FC’s Ethan Dickinson the first two.
“You will have to be more disciplined. There cannot be any mistakes here. Coaches are really strict and if you aren’t playing the way he expects you to, you will get replaced easily,” the many-time CNMI youth national team member said.
Taisacan also said the things he learned from his club coaches and Northern Mariana Islands Football Association technical director Kiyoshi Sekiguchi are really helpful as he adjusts to a different playing field.
“Most of what I’ve learned on Saipan comes from coach Seki. He has been my coach for over four years and I remember every important thing he has taught me. Playing soccer is not only just about how you perform physically throughout the whole 90 minutes of it, but it is also about how you play mentally. Anticipation of the next play, patience, and remembering to enjoy the sport are the three very important things I always remember when playing,” Taisacan said.