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U15 team needs to keep ‘never give up’ spirit

The NMI U15 Men’s National Soccer Team that was in Qingdao, China for the FIFA Forward Developmental Programme EAFF U15 Men’s Championship 2023 lost all four games in the tourney.

Despite that, head coach Michiteru Mita said that the team needs to “keep their passion for football, keep the ‘never give up’ spirit, and learn to adapt to situations.”

Mita said that the tournament they went through was “a different standard of football and they know they need to improve more and work harder.”

He added that the players did learn a lot from the competition—on and off the pitch, and that “They understand that they have to keep their pride and play their best when they go out there as a national player representing the NMI.”

NMI lost their last two games in 0-23 blowouts last Sunday against South Korea and last Monday against the People’s Republic of China. Against Mongolia last Friday, they lost 0-4, and the one bright spot in their tourney was when Paul Anthony Lizama nipped two goals against Macau last Saturday, but settled for a 2-5 loss.

Mita said about their first two games, “We were able to compete well despite playing in very hot weather and facing strong opponents. Against Macau, we scored two goals and that was the best performance of our team in this tournament.”

With four straight games played in a row, Mita said that it was very challenging for the team. He said some players got sick because of fatigue, but that they did their best to recover and be ready for the next game.

He added, “The last two matches (versus South Korea and China) we had tough results, but the boys fought all the way to the end against an extremely challenging environment.”

The U15 team is made up of Terrel Kileleman-Hix, Taiga Namai-Scoggins, Aiden Camacho, Jayson Tagabuel, Michael Miller, Arstin Tagabuel, Mark Costales, Chan Woong Yeom, Chan Seo Yeom, Paul Anthony Lizama, Rooney Gil, Akoni Matsumoto, Bennet Haro, Bennetton Haro, Gaius Ranada, Yutaka Kadokura, Nolan Ngewakl, Moshe Sikkel, Kian Estolas, and Edward Arriola III.

Mita, assistant coach Jireh Yobech, assistant coach Konomi Suzuki, team manager Mikki Vargas, assistant team manager Khristelle Itaas, and physical therapist Hazel Mabasa accompanied the team.

Published by Saipan Tribune - September 7, 2023


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