Lee, Palomares, and Laanan Recognized for National Academy Honors


Guam – The Guam Football Association National Academy directors and staff recently recognized Michael Lee, Jadyn Palomares and Joseph Laanan as Jamaican Grill Players and Coach of the Cycle, respectively, for the program’s fourth and final session of 2013.

“Michael has spent this last year training with the U14s, yet is still eligible for our U12 group,” said Dominic Gadia, National Academy Director for Boys. “He recently participated with the team that traveled to Saipan for friendlies. In Saipan, Michael demonstrated why he is one of our most promising players in the program. He is well-balanced and very strong on the ball. He used his excellent shielding ability against bigger players and is a very brave player; his competitiveness showed in Saipan. He is a very intelligent player with superb technique.”

Lee, a sixth grader at St. John’s School, plays for the Guam Shipyard Wolverines in the Robbie Webber Youth Soccer League.

“Jadyn is intelligent, modest, and hardworking,” said Kimberly Sherman, National Academy Director for Girls. “As a second-year Academy player, she is a standout within her group and is a good example of what the Academy program can do for our island’s young footballers.

“She does well in central areas of attack and is comfortable playing in tight spaces and with her back to the goal. Her composure in and around the goal box allows her to find the corners of the goal upon finishing,” Sherman added.

Palomares, a fourth grader at Santa Barbara Catholic School, plays for the ASC Trust Islanders in the Robbie Webber Youth Soccer League.

Laanan, who completed all requirements for the AFC “B” Coaching License, most recently traveled with the Guam U16 Boys national team with head coach Gadia and assistant coach Mark Chargualaf to Laos. Laanan also was part of the Matao’s traveling staff in March 2013 and had previously assisted with the Guam U14 Boys national team in 2011 and 2012, under then head coach Matt Cruz, among other national level coaching assignments. Laanan also is a former national team player.

“Joe (Laanan) has voluntarily helped the National Academy program through this past cycle,” Gadia said. “He had been busy finishing his university studies and graduated last semester. During that time, he’d rush over to GFA on a daily basis to help work with the National Academy players and has worked closely with all age groups. He instilled good values to all players he has coached.”

For each of the winners’ efforts, Jamaican Grill awarded certificates of achievement as well as dining certificates at the restaurant’s Dededo location.

The first cycle of the 2014 National Academy will begin March 11. The program’s directors and coaches will hold an open house at 6 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Guam Football Association National Training Center for all interested in joining the 2014 Academy. All players, including those from the 2013 Academy still eligible to register, will need to attend a tryout session based on their respective age group. Tryout dates are set for Feb. 25, 26, and 27 for the U8, U10 and U12 age groups, respectively. More detailed information will be disseminated at the open house event.

For inquiries about the National Academy, contact the GFA Main Office at 637-4321 or send an E-mail to info@guamfootball.com.