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Northern Mariana Islands national football team

The Northern Mariana Islands national football team represents the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in international men's football. The team is controlled by the governing body for football in the Northern Mariana Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association, which is a member of the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) and an associate member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The federation is not a member of the world governing body FIFA and so whilst the national team is eligible to enter AFC and EAFF-run competitions, they are currently ineligible for global competitions such as the FIFA World Cup and FIFA Confederations Cup. As such, they do not have an official FIFA ranking. However, the team have been consistently ranked as one of the worst teams in the world on the Elo ratings and are in fact, at July 2016 rated as the worst men's senior international team in the world in a ratings system that also includes a number of other non-FIFA teams. Following the completion of the preliminary qualifying round for the 2017 EAFF East Asian Cup the team have won only one official competitive match against international opposition and have a goal difference of −78 in official matches. The team have never qualified for the finals of a major tournament and beyond friendlies and qualifying matches, their only official competition has been in an exhibition tournament in the regional Micronesian Games in 1998, which they won, to date their only tournament success.

Northern Mariana Islands
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Blue Ayuyu
AssociationNorthern Mariana Islands Football Association
ConfederationAFC
Sub-confederationEAFF (East Asia)
Head coachKim Do-hyeon
CaptainJonathan Jones Takano
Most capsNicolas Swaim (15)
Top scorerJoe Wang Miller (4)
Home stadiumOleai Sports Complex
FIFA codeNMI
First colors
Second colors
Elo ranking
Current 237 Steady (13 September 2019)[1]
Highest214 (August 1998)
Lowest238 (September 2018)
First international
 Northern Mariana Islands 8–0 Palau B Palau
(Koror, Palau; 27 July 1998)
Biggest win
 Northern Mariana Islands 12–1 Palau Palau
(Koror, Palau; 31 July 1998)
Biggest defeat
 Guam 9–0 Northern Mariana Islands Northern Mariana Islands
(Hagåtña, Guam; 1 April 2007)
 Palestine 9–0 Northern Mariana Islands Northern Mariana Islands
(Kathmandu, Nepal; 4 March 2013)
 Mongolia 9–0 Northern Mariana Islands Northern Mariana Islands
(Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; 4 September 2018)
AFC Asian Cup
AppearancesNone
EAFF E-1 Football Championship
AppearancesNone

They are one of the youngest international teams, having played their first match in an exhibition tournament associated with the 1998 Micronesian Games. Following this appearance, they played only one more match, against the Federated States of Micronesia before the original governing body for football in the country, the Northern Mariana Islands Soccer Federation, became defunct and the team withdrew from international competition. During the time of the Northern Mariana Islands Soccer Federation, eligibility criteria for the national team were quite lax, a minimum residency requirement of two years meant that the national team often included a number of contractors working on Saipan who were not of Northern Marianan heritage. Following the foundation of a new governing body, the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association, the national team was reestablished and, having resigned their associate membership of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), they joined the EAFF in 2006, becoming full members in 2008.

Since that date, their international appearances have mainly been restricted to qualifying competitions for the EAFF East Asian Cup, although they also attempted to qualify for the AFC Challenge Cup once, having been admitted as associate members in 2009, and have played several friendly matches against neighboring nation Guam, in which the two countries compete for the perpetual trophy, the Marianas Cup.

Competitive success has been hard to come by for the team, they had to wait until June 2010 to register their first draw under the auspices of the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association, a 1–1 draw in a Marianas Cup match against Guam. A further four years passed before their first victory, a shock 2–1 win against Macau in July 2014 in EAFF Cup qualifying. As of July 2016 the team have failed to win another competitive international.

Contents

HistoryEdit

1998 Micronesian GamesEdit

The Northern Mariana Islands made their international debut in an exhibition football tournament associated with the 1998 Micronesia Games.[2] The original governing body for football in the Northern Mariana Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands Soccer Federation had been accepted as an associate member of the Oceania Football Confederation, but this was the first time records indicated they had participated in any international tournament.[2]

The tournament was officially called the W.C.T.C. Shell Soccer Exhibition and was a demonstration event only at the games, not having medal status.[3] Furthermore, the tournament did not meet established regulations; the matches played were only 9-a-side, the games lasted only 80 minutes and the pitch was smaller than regulation size.[3]

Nonetheless, the Northern Mariana Islands team performed well in the group stage playing against Guam, Palau, Yap (then considered essentially the Federated States of Micronesia national football team), a team representing the Micronesian state of Pohnpei and a "Palau B" team consisting of Bangladeshis living on Palau.[3] The team won their first two matches 8–0 against Palau B and Yap respectively. A 2–1 loss to Guam in their third game was quickly forgotten as they went on to record resounding victories in their final two group games defeating Palau 12–1 and Pohnpei 11–2 to finish second in the group with a +35 goal difference after their five games, qualifying for the final match.[3][4]

The team avenged their earlier group stage defeat to Guam in the final, beating them 3–0 to claim the tournament title.[3] Charles Kewo and Christopher Guerrero scored in the opening quarter of an hour to give the Northern Mariana Islands a 2–0 half time lead, a lead they extended in the second half through an unknown goalscorer (although other sources suggest Guerrero was the scorer[2]) to seal their victory.[3]

1999 Micronesian CupEdit

The following year, the team travelled to Yap to compete the first Micronesian Soccer Cup.[5] This was a three team tournament consisting of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and an international team known as Crushers (or Crusaders according to other sources).[5] Their performance here was less successful than at the Micronesian Games the previous year. In their first game, they lost 7–0 to the Federated States of Micronesia.[5] It is not recorded whether they played their other group match against Crushers / Crusaders, but given that the final was contested between the Federated States of Micronesia and Crushers / Crusaders, it can be extrapolated that if the match did take place, the best result the Northern Mariana Islands could have achieved was a draw.

HiatusEdit

The country then entered something of a hiatus in footballing terms. The original governing body for football in the country, the Northern Mariana Islands Soccer Federation became defunct sometime between 2002 and 2003 and after that, no international competition took place until the current governing body, the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association (NMIFA) was founded in 2005.[2] Around this time, reports indicate that there was no official men's football of any kind in the country. In 2006, discussions were held with the NMIFA concerning the establishment of an official men's league.[6] At the time it was hoped that the establishment of an official men's competition would provide the means by which players who could meet the citizenship and eligibility criteria to represent the country at future tournaments might become involved.[6] Under the auspices of the Northern Mariana Islands Soccer Federation, teams entered into tournaments such as the 1998 Micronesian Games included a number of foreign players working on Saipan as contractors. This was not uncommon in the area at this time and some other teams also included players of similar status. For the Northern Mariana Islands specifically, the only eligibility requirements players needed to fulfill was a two-year residency.[2]

ReturnEdit

In December 2006, the East Asian Football Federation admitted the Northern Mariana Islands as a provisional member.[2] This membership entitled them to a $120,000 annual grant from the EAFF to further football development in the country.[7] The EAFF then granted full membership in September 2008.[8]

2007–08: Marianas CupEdit

Following their acceptance as an associate member of the EAFF, their first participation in EAFF competition was in the 2008 East Asian Football Championship Preliminary Round, a two legged tie against Guam. The first leg, played in Saipan, resulted in a 3–2 loss for the Northern Mariana Islands[9] Mark McDonald twice equalised after Guam had taken the lead only for Zachary Pangelinan to score the winning goal in the 72nd minute.[9] Nonetheless, the performance of the home team was positively received and was still remarked upon a year later.[10] Unfortunately the return leg in Hagatna a week later produced a much more one-sided result as Guam were victorious 9–0, Pangelinan scoring five times and four other players scoring once[9] to ensure that Guam not only progressed to the next round of the EAFF competition but also that they were the winners of the inaugural Marianas Cup, a perpetual trophy contested each time the two nations play each other.[10]

The two teams met again the following year in Saipan and for the third time in a row, Guam were the victors.[11] Guam took the lead halfway through the first half through David Manibusan, but Joe Wang Miller equalized four minutes later and the teams went into half time tied at 1–1.[11] Guam again took the lead in the 52nd minute through and own goal but the Northern Mariana Islands equalised with ten minutes left in normal time through Steven McKagen.[11] With the teams tied at the end of 90 minutes, two periods of extra time of seven and a half minutes were played and in the 95th minute, Matthew Cruz scored the deciding goal with Guam running out victors 3–2 and retaining the Marianas Cup.[11] Although there was disappointment in not winning, national newspapers commented that the performance was an improvement over the "shocking" 9–0 defeat in their previous encounter.[11]

2009: AFC membershipEdit

Prior to their AFC membership being accepted, the team made the short trip to Yona, Guam to compete in the preliminary round of the 2010 East Asian Football Championship. This time, instead of the two-legged playoff against Guam contested in the previous edition, the Northern Mariana Islands took part in a four team group, the winner of which would advance to the next round. The team was drawn against hosts Guam, Mongolia and Macau.[12] The team prepared for the tournament for several months prior to departing for Guam, although in that time, they were only able to train with new coach Sugao Kambe for a month.[13] It was acknowledged by their coach prior to their departure that they would be the least experienced of the four teams competing at this stage[13] and this was to prove true as they lost all three of their games: 6–1 to Macau, 2–1 to Guam (a third successive Marianas Cup victory for Guam) and 4–1 to Mongolia.[12] The team returned home without a positive result, although it was noted in the national press that they had been able to score in each of their three games.[14]

In July 2009, the AFC Exco agreed to accept the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association (NMIFA) as an Associate Member of the Asian Football Confederation,[15] after the association received permission for release from the Oceania Football Confederation in June 2009, paving the way to join AFC.[16] It was the NMIFA which resigned from the OFC, despite it being the earlier governing body, the Northern Mariana Islands Soccer Federation which had become a member in the first place.[2]

2010: First drawEdit

On June 19, 2010 the NMI earned a 1–1 draw with neighbor Guam in the 2010 Marianas Cup.[2] The match ended in a draw as there was insufficient lighting to continue the match after the end of regulation. Joe Wang Miller scored for the NMI in the 68th minute and Jason Cunliffe answered in the 89th minute to salvage a draw for Guam.

Despite the efforts of the NMIFA, delays in decision making around whether the 2011 Pacific Games football tournament would double up as a FIFA World Cup qualifying event meant that the national team were unable to enter.[17] As a result, no games were played for the next two years until July 2012 when The Blue Ayuyus entered the 2013 EAFF East Asian Cup First Preliminary Round, hosted again by Guam.[18] New coach Chikashi Suzuki was conscious of the need to snap the losing run of matches against Guam, had recognised that previous squads had contained a large number of veteran players and called up a number of younger players such as Lucas Knecht and Bo Barry who were playing college and high school football respectively in the United States.[18] However, the team still included a wide age range of players, Enrico del Rosario and Brian Lee were the youngest at 15 with Dan Westphal the oldest at 42.[19]

Optimism that the team might finally be able to beat Guam appeared well placed when Joe Wang Miller opened the scoring for the Northern Mariana Islands, but two fouls from William Dunn allowed Guam to score through a penalty and a free kick before a handball from Kirk Schuler gifted Guam their third goal[20] confirming a fourth defeat out of five games against Guam.[2] Despite the result, the team expressed confidence that they would be able to beat Macau, the other team in the three team qualification group, who still had to play Guam, and potentially secure the single qualifying berth for the next round.[21] However, this confidence was to be misplaced. Macau took a 2–0 lead at half time, despite resolute defending from the Blue Ayuyus in the first twenty minutes, and although Kirk Schuler was able to halve the deficit in the 51st minute, Macau scored three more goals, including a penalty to eliminate the Northern Mariana Islands at the first hurdle for the third consecutive time.[22]

In 2013, the team played their first ever series of matches against opposition from outside the EAFF, taking part in the qualifying rounds for the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup.[23] With the football federation founded only a year prior to the inaugural edition of the AFC Challenge Cup, the team not only had to acclimatize to the elevated environment in which they would be playing, they would also have to face some very strong teams in the shape of Palestine, Bangladesh and Nepal[23]

In their opening game against Nepal, they were dominated from the start, with Bharat Khawas opening the scoring in the fourth minute and completing his hat trick in the 72nd, with three other Nepalese players completing a 6–0 rout.[24] In their second match they fared even worse, losing 9–0 to Palestine, the middle-eastern team scoring four times in the first half and five in the second.[25] Despite already being eliminated following their initial two defeats, the Blue Ayuyus defense performed well in their final game, despite losing 4–0 to Bangladesh, the team managed to keep the scoreline respectable with the result flattering Bangladesh as they scored two very late goals.[26]

2014: First victoryEdit

2014 saw a return to EAFF Cup qualifying for the fourth time, drawn again in a qualifying group containing the weakest four nations in terms of ranking: Guam, Mongolia and Macau.[27] Following an initial 4–0 loss to Mongolia,[27] on 23 July 2014, the Northern Mariana Islands recorded their first ever international win in a match against Macau. Nicolas Swaim and Kirk Schuler scored to beat Macau, 2–1.[28] Following the historic victory, the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association held a celebratory dinner in honour of the team's victory.[29] Younger players commented to national media about how proud they were to be a part of the victory, whilst older players reflected on how their first matches consisted of a team of veteran players trying to achieve a respectable result and that the victory was the result of years of hard work behind the scenes.[29] Unfortunately, the team were not able to carry this momentum into their final game and again lost to Guam, this time 5–0.[27] They were again eliminated at the first hurdle.

No further international matches were played until the 2017 EAFF East Asian Cup qualifying competition. During the send off to the competition, Ralph Torres, the Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands committed to the team that the government would provide a new pitch in Koblerville, the ground breaking for which will take place in October 2016.[30] the team were not able to repeat the comparative successes of the previous qualifying campaign however, losing all three games and being eliminated at the first stage again. the team lost their first match against Chinese Taipei 8–1, a result made all the more easier for their opponents once striker Joe Wang Miller was sent off for a second yellow card in added time at the end of the first half.[31] A second loss followed against Macau, 3–1[32] before the campaign was rounded out with a third loss, 8–0, to Mongolia.[33] The team were not aided in their qualifying campaign by a pre-tournament training camp in the Philippines which saw a large number of the squad taken ill.[34] The team played three friendly matches against club sides. Prior to their second match, five of the squad were in hospital and a further five or six were recovering from a bacterial infection that had struck the squad.[34] Nonetheless, they fulfilled all three matches. The results of the first two were not released, but the final match was a 5–1 loss to Kaya.[34]

Home stadiumEdit

The Northern Mariana Islands play their home matches at the Oleai Sports Complex, a multi-use stadium in Saipan. It is currently used mostly for football matches and has a capacity of 2,000 people.[35][36] The surface is grass with an athletics track around the perimeter.[36][37]

HonorsEdit

As of 2016, the Northern Mariana Islands have won one competition:

Team ImageEdit

ColorsEdit

The Northern Mariana Islands current home kit is all sky blue shirts, shorts and socks, with a white pattern on the shirt.[38] Their away kit is the mirror image of this, all white shirts, shorts and socks with the pattern on the shirt in sky blue.[39]

Kit historyEdit

Home

 
 
 
 
 
2002
 
 
 
 
 
2007
 
 
 
 
 
2009
 
 
 
 
 
2012
 
 
 
 
 
2013
 
 
 
 
 
2016

Away

 
 
 
 
 
2009 and 2013
 
 
 
 
 
2016

Sources:
Home – 2002,[40] 2007[41] 2009,[41] 2012,[42] 2013[43] 2016.[38]
Away – 2009 and 13,[44] 2016.[39]

Edit

The Northern Mariana Islands men's national football team shares the same logo as the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association. The logo consists of three elements in addition to the name of the federation. In the back ground is a Latte stone, a pillar (Chamorro language: haligi) capped by a hemispherical stone capital (tasa) with the flat side facing up. Used as building supports by the ancient Chamorro people, they are found throughout most of the Mariana Islands. In modern times, the latte stone is seen as a sign of Chamorro identity and is used in many different contexts.[45] Overlaid on this is a football and overlaid again on this is a two-tone wave mirroring the colours of the national flag.

NicknameEdit

The team are nicknamed the "Blue Ayuyu".[34] The Ayuyu is the name given in the Mariana Islands to the Coconut crab,[46] also known as the Robber crab.[47]

Current squadEdit

Selected for the 2019 EAFF E-1 Football Championship in Mongolia against Guam, Mongolia, and Macau.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK John Bucayo (2001-03-10) 10 March 2001 (age 18) 0 0   MP United
23 1GK Christopher Aninzo (2000-01-06) 6 January 2000 (age 19) 4 0   MP United

3 2DF Hark Galarion (1999-08-04) 4 August 1999 (age 20) 3 0   Tan Holdings
4 2DF Enrico del Rosario (1997-03-21) 21 March 1997 (age 22) 6 0   Stallion
13 2DF Nicolas Swaim (1984-10-25) 25 October 1984 (age 34) 16 2   MP United
8 2DF Michael Barry (1995-11-10) 10 November 1995 (age 23) 8 0   MP United
5 2DF Jehn Joyner (1997-10-09) 9 October 1997 (age 21) 7 0   MP United
14 2DF Ryan Relucio (1999-11-20) 20 November 1999 (age 19) 3 0   Tan Holdings
16 2DF Dai Podziewski (2001-08-31) 31 August 2001 (age 18) 1 0   MP United

11 3MF Jonathan Takano (1980-05-01) 1 May 1980 (age 39) 9 0   Tan Holdings
9 3MF Joel Fruit (1998-05-31) 31 May 1998 (age 21) 9 0   Paire
6 3MF Sebastien Manabat (2002-09-07) 7 September 2002 (age 17) 1 0   Kanoa
7 3MF Anthony Fruit (2001-01-10) 10 January 2001 (age 18) 2 0   MP United
19 3MF Thaiphi Austria
2 3MF Jonathan Capayas (2001-07-09) 9 July 2001 (age 18) 2 0   MP United

10 4FW Ryu Tanzawa (1998-03-04) 4 March 1998 (age 21) 2 0   Paire
15 4FW Sunjoon Tenorio (2001-05-20) 20 May 2001 (age 18) 3 1   MP United
17 4FW John Rojas (2002-06-29) 29 June 2002 (age 17) 2 1   Tan Holdings

Note: Birth dates and ages taken from the following source:[48][49]
In addition, caps and goals taken as the sum of those listed in the previous source plus appearances recorded in the three 2019 EAFF Cup match reports:[50][33][32]

Recent results and upcoming fixturesEdit

RankingsEdit

FIFAEdit

The Northern Mariana Islands, although a member of the East Asian Football Federation are not members of FIFA and so are not ranked. Additionally, although associate members of the AFC, they are, as of June 2016, not included on their ranking list of member associations.[51]

Elo ratingEdit

 
Northern Mariana Islands Year End Elo Ratings 1998–2016.

The team has steadily fallen down the Elo ratings since their first official game against international opposition versus Guam in the 1998 Micronesian Games, from a starting point of 214 to their current position of 234.[52] This is in part due to performance that has seen them gain only one win and one draw since their reemergence on the international scene in 2007 and part due to the fact that they have always been at or near the bottom of the rankings in a period where a number of new competing nations have emerged. Currently their ranking of 234 confirms their status as the world's worst senior international football team.[53] They are ranked directly below their fellow non-FIFA teams of Kiribati, Tibet and Palau, though this is perhaps somewhat skewed by the fact that all three of these teams are essentially in hibernation having not competed internationally for a number of years.[53] The nearest FIFA affiliated team to them is Bhutan, who are ranked 230th.[53]

Competitive recordEdit

The Northern Mariana Islands have only entered three formal international competitions, the AFC Challenge Cup, the EAFF East Asian Championship and the Micronesian Games. As non-FIFA members, they are not entitled to enter the FIFA World Cup. The Marianas Cup is not noted as a separate competition in this section as it is the name given to a perennial trophy contested each time the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam meet.

AFC Asian CupEdit

The team were eligible to enter the AFC Asian Cup through the AFC Challenge Cup from 2011. However, they did not enter the 2010 AFC Challenge Cup so did not qualify. In failing to qualify for the 2010 AFC Challenge Cup they also failed to qualify for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.

AFC Asian Cup AFC Asian Cup qualification record
Hosts / Year Pld W D* L GS GA Pld W D* L GF GA
  1956 to      2007 Not a member of the AFC Not a member of the AFC
  2011 Did not enter Did not enter
  2015 Did not qualify 0 0 0 0 0 0
  2019 Did not enter** Did not enter**
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

**: As the first two rounds of qualifying for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup were also the first two rounds of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the Northern Mariana Islands were ineligible.

AFC Solidarity CupEdit

Host/Year Result Pts GP W D* L GF GA GD
  2016 DNP 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0/0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

AFC Challenge CupEdit

Having been accepted as an associate member in 2009, the Blue Ayuyus attempted to qualify for the AFC Challenge Cup once, in 2013. They were unsuccessful in qualification, losing all three matches without scoring a goal. The AFC Challenge Cup has been discontinued by the AFC, with all nations now entering qualifying for the AFC Cup due to the expansion of the Asian Cup to the 24-nation format from the 16-nation one after the 2015 edition.[54][55]

AFC Challenge Cup AFC Challenge Cup qualification record
Hosts / Year Result Pld W D* L GS GA Pld W D* L GF GA
  2006 to   2012 Did not enter Did not enter
  2014 Did not qualify 3 0 0 3 0 19
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 3 0 19

EAFF East Asian ChampionshipEdit

The EAFF East Asian Championship has been the primary source of competitive football for the Northern Mariana Islands since they reemerged onto the international scene and were accepted as a member of the EAFF. They have attempted to qualify for each edition of the EAFF East Asian Championship since they were admitted to the federation, each time without success.

EAFF East Asian Championship AFC Challenge Cup qualification record
Hosts / Year Result Pld W D* L GS GA Pld W D* L GF GA
  2003 to   2005 Not a member of the EAFF Not a member of the EAFF
  2008 Did not qualify 2 0 0 2 2 12
  2010 Did not qualify 3 0 0 3 3 12
  2013 Did not qualify 2 0 0 2 2 8
  2015 Did not qualify 3 1 0 2 2 10
  2017 Did not qualify 3 0 0 3 2 19
 2019 Did not qualify 3 0 1 2 1 14
Total 0/8 0 0 0 0 0 0 16 1 1 14 12 75

Micronesian GamesEdit

Micronesia made their international debut at the 1998 Micronesia Games, though the tournament was not a formal part of the games, merely an exhibition. The formal name of the football tournament was the W.C.T.C. Shell Soccer Exhibition. The team were successful, winning the tournament, but have not entered since, although football has only sporadically been included in the games program.

Micronesian Games
Hosts / Year Result Pld W D* L GS GA
  1969 to   1994 Football not included in games' programs
  1998 1st 6 5 0 1 43 5
  2002 to   2010 Football not included in games' programs
  2014 Did not enter
  2018 To be determined
Total 6 5 0 1 43 5
*Denotes draws includes knockout matches decided on penalty kicks. Red border indicates that the tournament was hosted on home soil. Gold, silver, bronze backgrounds indicates 1st, 2nd and 3rd finishes respectively. Bold text indicates best finish in tournament.

International opponentsEdit

Last match updated:   Chinese Taipei on 4 July 2016.
Opponent Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Diff Win % Loss %
  Bangladesh 1 0 0 1 0 4 −4 0% 100%
  Chinese Taipei 1 0 0 1 1 8 −7 0% 100%
  Guam 8 0 1 7 7 34 −27 0% 100%
  Macau 4 1 0 3 5 15 −10 25% 75%
  Mongolia 3 0 0 3 1 16 −15 0% 100%
    Nepal 1 0 0 1 0 6 −6 0% 100%
  Palestine 1 0 0 1 0 9 −9 0% 100%
Official Total 19 1 1 17 14 92 -78 5% 89%
  Federated States of Micronesia 1 0 0 1 0 7 −7 0% 100%
  Guam 2 1 0 1 4 2 2 50% 50%
  Palau 1 1 0 0 12 1 11 100% 0%
  Palau "B" 1 1 0 0 8 0 8 100% 0%
  Pohnpei 1 1 0 0 11 2 9 100% 0%
  Yap 1 1 0 0 8 0 8 100% 0%
Unofficial Total* 7 5 0 2 43 12 31 71% 29%
Overall Total 26 6 1 19 57 104 -47 23% 73%
Key
>50% Wins
50% Wins
<50% Wins

*: Unofficial matches include all games played prior to 2007 regardless of opponent on the grounds that eligibility criteria for selection fell short of acknowledged international standards.

Notable playersEdit

Record appearancesEdit

The table below records all Northern Marianan players with more than 10 caps. In this instance the table records all caps received under the auspices of the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association (i.e. since 2007) as matches preceding this lacked internationally accepted eligibility criteria.

# Name Career Caps Goals
1 Nicolas Swaim 2008–present 16 2
2 Joe Wang Miller 2008–present 15 4
3 William 'Trey' Dunn III 2012–present 12 0
4 Lucas Knecht 2007–present 11 0
5 Steve McKagan 2008–2013 10 1

Sources: Birth dates and ages taken from the following source:[56]
In addition, caps and goals taken as the sum of those listed in the previous source plus appearances recorded in the three 2017 EAFF Cup match reports:[57][31][32][33]

Note: Bold indicates players still active in the national team.

Top goalscorersEdit

The Northern Mariana islands have scored a total of 14 goals in 19 games in official international competition. The table below outlines all goalscorers. Goals scored prior to 2007 are not included in this listing as the eligibility criteria for selection for the national teams fell short of acknowledged international standards.

# Name Career Goals Caps Position Average
1 Joe Wang Miller 2008–present 4 14 Forward 0.2857
2 Kirk Schuler 2008–present 3 9 Defender 0.3333
3 Nicolas Swaim 2008–present 2 15 Forward 0.1333
4 Mark McDonald 2007 2 2 Forward 1.0000
1 Michah Griffin 2016–present 1 3 Forward 0.3333
1 Peter Loken 2008–present 1 9 Forward 0.1111
1 Steve McKagan 2008–2013 1 10 Forward 0.1000

Sources: Birth dates and ages taken from the following source:[56]
In addition, caps and goals taken as the sum of those listed in the previous source plus appearances recorded in the three 2017 EAFF Cup match reports:[31][32][33]

Note: Bold indicates players still active in the national team.

Player agesEdit

Statistically, the Northern Mariana Islands have given senior international debuts in competitive matches to a larger number of very young players, those under 16 years of age, and more caps to veteran players, those over the age of forty, than any other nation.[58]

Youngest

Of the nine players globally who have made their international debuts before their fifteenth birthdays, three of them are from the Northern Mariana Islands. Both Joel Fruit and Kennedy Izuka made their international debuts in the 8–0 friendly loss to Guam in 2012. Izuka was aged 14 years and 242 days and is the seventh youngest debutant in history, whilst Fruit was the younger at 14 years and 177 days, the fourth youngest player recorded.[58] However, Lucas Knecht featured for the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association on April 1, 2007 in an East Asian Football Federation Championship Qualifier, again versus Guam. Knecht was 14 years and 2 days old at the time making him the youngest male player to ever appear in an international match, 91 days younger than the previous record holder, Myanmar player Aung Kyaw Tun.[58] In addition to the three fourteen year old debutants, three other players: Enrico del Rosario, Jehn Joyner and Scott Kim all made their debut prior to their sixteenth birthdays.[58]

Youngest Players
Name Age Birth Date Debut Date Competition Opponent Result
Lucas Knecht 14y 2d 30 March 1993 1 April 2007 2008 EAFF Championship /
Marianas Cup
  Guam 0–9
Joel Fruit 14y 177d 31 March 1998 24 November 2012 Friendly   Guam 0–8
Kennedy Izuka 14y 242d 27 March 1998 24 November 2012 Friendly   Guam 0–8
Enrico del Rosario 15y 119d 21 March 1997 18 July 2012 2013 EAFF East Asian Cup   Guam 1–3
Jehn Joyner 15y 144d 9 October 1997 2 March 2013 2014 AFC Challenge Cup     Nepal 0–6
Scott Kim 15y 155d 22 June 1997 24 November 2012 Friendly   Guam 0–8

Source:[58]

In addition to the players listed above, it is possible that Michael Barry may also have made a senior international appearance in the teams 1–1 Marianas Cup match against Guam in 2010 aged 14 years and 251 days, which would make him the eighth youngest debutant in history.[58] However, although it is known that he was named in the match squad, it is not known whether he actually played in the game.[58]

Oldest

In addition to being the national team to have given the most senior team debuts to under sixteen players, they are also the team to have given the most international caps to players aged over 40, of the 88 players confirmed to have played an international football match after their fortieth birthdays, 11 of them are from the Northern Mariana Islands. Of these players Wesley Bogdan is the nation's current oldest player when he made his first senior international appearance in 2007 EAFF Championship qualifying match against Guam aged 48 years and 243 days.[58] Only two players have made international appearances at an older age: Greek midfielder Giorgos Koudas, who played in a 2–0 defeat to Yugoslavia in 1995 aged 48 years and 301 days and Barrie Dewsbury, who played in Sark's 16–0 loss to Greenland at the 2003 Island Games aged 52 years and 11 days.[58]

Oldest Players
Name Age Birth Date Appearance Date Competition Opponent Result
Wesley Bogdan 48y 243d 1 August 1958 1 April 2007 2008 EAFF Championship /
Marianas Cup
  Guam 0–9
Vince Stravino 43y 320d 16 May 1963 1 April 2007 2008 EAFF Championship /
Marianas Cup
  Guam 0–9
David Dueñas 43y 94d 11 December 1965 15 March 2009 2010 EAFF Championship   Mongolia 1–4
Daniel Westphal 42y 355d 5 April 1970 6 March 2013 2014 AFC Challenge Cup   Bangladesh 0–4
Bruce Berline 42y 176d 7 October 1964 1 April 2007 2008 EAFF Championship /
Marianas Cup
  Guam 0–9
Dale Roberts 42y 144d 22 October 1966 15 March 2009 2010 EAFF Championship   Mongolia 1–4
Christopher Guerrero 41y 301d 1 July 1966 27 April 2008 2008 EAFF Championship /
Marianas Cup
  Guam 2–3
José Dueñas 41y 207d 20 August 1967 15 March 2009 2010 EAFF Championship   Mongolia 1–4
Mike Hall 41y 106d 16 December 1965 1 April 2007 2008 EAFF Championship /
Marianas Cup
  Guam 0–9
Greg Elliott 40y 247d 15 October 1969 19 June 2010 Marianas Cup   Guam 1–1
Tyce Mister 40y 15d 10 March 1967 25 March 2007 Marianas Cup   Guam 2–3

Source:[58]

Coaching HistoryEdit

Statistics correct as of 30 March 2016
Manager Dates P W D L Win % Competitions
  Stefan Bossler 1998–1999 7 5 0 2 071.4 1998 Micronesian Games,
1999 Micronesian Cup
  Jeff Korytoski 2007 2 0 0 2 000.0 2008 East Asian Football Championship
  Nicolas Swaim 2008 1 0 0 1 000.0 Marianas Cup
  Sugao Kambe 2009 3 0 0 3 000.0 2010 East Asian Football Championship
  Nicolas Swaim 2010 1 0 0 1 000.0 Marianas Cup
  Chikashi Suzuki 2012 3 0 0 3 000.0 2013 EAFF East Asian Cup
  Koo Luam Khen 2013 3 0 0 3 000.0 2014 AFC Challenge Cup
  Kiyoshi Sekiguchi 2014–2017 6 1 0 5 016.7 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup,
2017 EAFF East Asian Cup
  Michiteru Mita 2017– 0 0 0 0 !

Key: P – games played, W – games won, D – games drawn; L – games lost, % – win percentage
Source:[2]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit