The Guam National Team is not a powerhouse, but they are in their best era. Currently ranked 146th in the World the island nation is preparing for the East Asian Football Federation E-1 Football Championship Round 2. They recently selected current Tacoma Stars/Sounders U23s General Manager and Head Coach Darren Sawatzky as their interim head coach.
Sawatzky has previously led the Sounders Academy and Thomas Jefferson High School (he’s an alumni). Darren played professional soccer for wide swath of the American soccer pyramid, both indoor and outdoor, to include several years in MLS and as a Sounder in USL.
Guam’s team is made up of a players who mostly play in the US lower divisions, but their biggest name is LA Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza. Other recognizable talents are former Sounder Doug Herrick, Kitsap Pumas forward Tye Perdido and former New England Revolution winger Ryan Guy.
Their next match is against Chinese Taipei on Nov. 4. They will also play Hong Kong and North Korea in the EAFF E-1 second round. The winner advances to the Final with China, Japan and South Korea.
Darren will remain in his roles with the Stars/U23s. Tacoma’s schedule will be released soon.
The Tacoma Stars press release follows;
TACOMA, Wash. -- Tacoma Stars Head Coach and General Manager Darren Sawatzky has accepted the head coaching position for the Guam Men’s National Team, the club announced today. Sawatzky will remain in his current position leading the Stars.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to coach the Guam Men’s National Team this fall,” Sawatzky said. “This camp and set of games represents another challenge and working with the Mateo will add experience for me as we work to win and develop the program.”
Sawatzky, the 2015-16 Major Arena Soccer League Coach of the Year, departs today for a week with the team to prepare for the East Asian Football Federation E-1 Football Championship Round 2 in November. He will then return to the Pacific Northwest to ready the Stars for the 2016-17 MASL season.
“The Tacoma Stars organization is proud to support Darren in this opportunity to coach at the international level,” Stars owner Lane Smith said.
The Stars open their 2016-17 season on Saturday, Oct. 29 with a matchup against Soles De Sonora at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington.