The CNMI Boys U18 National Team’s Sunjoon Tenorio and Dai Podziewski may soon bring their acts to the prestigious National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Tenorio and Podziewski have committed to play for Suffolk University, an NCAA Division III school based in Boston and competes in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference with 11 other colleges.
“I’m excited to go to the best city in the world, in Boston, to continue my journey as a soccer player. I’m looking forward to the new challenges and the level of play at the collegiate ranks, and I know this isn’t the last step in my journey,” said Tenorio.
The striker plays for MP United in the 2019 NMIFA Spring Youth League and has won numerous Golden Boot award. Tenorio also suited up for the CNMI Men’s National on several occasions and is considered as one of the top scorers of the squad. In the 2019 Spring Men’s M-League, he led the Teen Ayuyus to a perfect 6-0-0 win-draw-loss record in the regular season and scored the most goals (14) in the elimination round. Tenorio and his squad were scheduled to play TanHoldings Football Club in the semifinals of Division A of the M-League last night.
While Tenorio is best known for his offense, Podziewski prides himself for being one of the pesky defenders of the national youth squad. Podziewski is excited for the opportunity to play in the collegiate ranks and thanked the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association for opening the door to him and other aspiring youth athletes.
“I’m very excited to be able to continue my soccer career at Suffolk University. It’s made possible through all of the opportunities we got from NMIFA and the support from my club, MP United, my family, and friends. I’m looking forward to the challenge of playing against elite competitions,” Podziewski said.
Both Podziewski and Tenorio admit that playing in the collegiate ranks would be intimidating, but they are glad that they have each other to count on in their next journey.
“Going with my teammate Dai makes me comfortable knowing that I will already have a friend on the team,” Tenorio said.
“It will be great to play with one of my closest friends and teammates, Sunjoon, because of the sense of familiarity we would have in the unknown environment, and we can continue to push each other to be better as we always have over the years,” Podziewski said.
The defender also hopes that more and more CNMI youth players will get the opportunity to play in the collegiate ranks.
“It’s amazing to think that two players from a small island will be playing for the same school. I hope to be a great role model to the next generation of players to keep playing soccer,” Podziewski said.