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Tacoma Stars-Sounders U23 GM, head coach Darren Sawatzky leads Guam in East Asian Cup

Sawatzky will coach his first ever international match this weekend.

Darren Sawatzky with Doug Herrick
Darren Sawatzky (right) will lead Guam in the upcoming East Asian Cup.
Mike Russell Foto

Tacoma Stars and Seattle Sounders U23 general manager and head coach Darren Sawatzky will lead Guam’s national team in the East Asian Cup this coming Sunday, November 6th. The former Seattle Sounders Academy Director took the job in September.

Guam will take on Hong Kong (November 6th), North Korea (November 9th) and Chinese Taipei (November 12th).

Sawatzky played four years in MLS with three different teams — New England Revolution, Dallas Burn and the Colorado Rapids — from 1996 to 1999. He also played a number of years in various indoor soccer leagues during his career.

In an interview with Radio New Zealand’s website, Sawatzky had this to say; "I would be remiss in saying that I understand and know everything, because this will be my first international game at this level, so there's always things to learn.''

"My approach is very team-oriented, group-oriented,'' Sawatzky said. "Our team will be very passionate and competitive. We will hunt in packs and the style of play will be very evident when the games start.''

He was approached for the job after being referred by Gary White, the former national team coach of Guam. The two of them previously worked together when Sawatzky helped White identify players who were eligible to play internationally with Guam.

There are a number of recognizable names on the Guam roster for the upcoming tournament. Goalkeeper Douglas Herrick played with the Sounders U 23’s from 2012-2013 and 2015. He has 26 appearances for Guam. Tye Perdido is another name that is familiar locally, as he previously played with the Kitsap Pumas.

A couple other notables are A.J. DeLaGarza of the LA Galaxy and Ryan Guy who played with the Revolution from 2011-2013 where he scored four goals in 45 appearances.