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Thursday, November 21, 2013
Guam trio to test
Ian Mariano in action during Tuesday's international match - pic by Jill Espiritu
They came, they conquered and now they are staying. Well, three of the successful Guam national squad, who comfortably beat Cambodia 2-0 on Tuesday, are remaining in-country and will begin a 10-day trial with Phnom Penh Crown, ahead of the upcoming new season. Crown coach Sam Schweingruber was on a FIFA Instructor's course with Guam's coach Gary White recently and the tie-up has been extended with three of Guam's regulars testing themselves over the next few days, to see if there's a mutual attraction, by the club and whether the players fancy their chances in the Kingdom of Wonder. Two of the players took part in Tuesday's game, Ian Mariano (age 23) started the match and Scott Leon Guerrero (23) came on as a second-half substitute. The third member of the trio, striker Marcus Lopez (21) was delayed by family matters and arrived a couple of hours after the game, but is just as keen to show his worth during the try out. Lopez is the newest addition to the Guam national team, making his debut in 2012 though he's already scored three goals in two matches against Macau. Mariano, who plays in midfield or as a striker and Guerrero, usually a defender, have been regulars in the Guam line-up since their debuts in 2007. All three were born in Guam, an island of less than 200,000 people lying in the South Pacific, they've all played locally in the Guam Budweiser League as well as spending time in the United States playing college football and studying. Earlier this year both Mariano and Lopez tried their luck in the new Philippines professional league and were regulars with Pachanga Diliman. Over the past two months Crown have been trying out a number of new faces to complement their experienced defender Odion Obadin amongst their foreign contingent for the forthcoming season. Tomorrow morning they play their 13th pre-season practice match - against AEU at RSN Stadium, KO 8am - as they continue their preparation, with most of the squad returning today after a week away in southern China.