Guam – Guam Football Association National Academy directors and staff recognized athletes Riley Rama and Vanessa Cruz, and coach Samuel San Gil as the Jamaican Grill players and coach of the cycle, respectively, for the program’s first session of 2013.
“Riley was chosen for the Player of the Cycle Award because he has displayed the exemplary traits we try to instill in all our National Academy players,” said Dominic Gadia, National Academy Director for Boys. “He is an extremely competitive individual who strives to be the best in every training session. He is highly enthusiastic in training and is complimented with excellent football technique.
“He is a very clever player on the ball and excels in 1 v 1 situations. His dribbling is top in the group and he has one of the cleanest strikes of the ball,” Gadia added.
[L-R: Front row – Cesca Tamannalon, Jamaican Grill manager, Rama, National Academy Boys Player of the Cycle, and Cruz, National Academy Girls Player of the Cycle. Pictured from left to right in the back row are Kim Sherman, National Academy Director for Girls, San Gil, National Academy Coach of the Cycle and Aldwin Pablo, Jamaican Grill manager.]
Rama, from the National Academy’s U8 division, also plays for the Sidekicks Soccer Club during the youth league seasons. Also part of the Sidekicks Soccer Club is the Girls Player of the Cycle, Vanessa Cruz, from the program’s U12 division.
“Vanessa is very focused during training sessions,” said Kim Sherman, National Academy Director for Girls. “She has good field vision and is able to control the tempo of play in games – when to pick up the pace and when to slow the game down. She’s also very composed on the ball, even when being defended closely.”
San Gil adds the Jamaican Grill Coach of the Cycle to a long list of coaching accolades. San Gil, who earned an AFC “B” License last year, recently returned from Beijing, China, where he was the head coach of the Guam U14 Girls national team that earned a shutout win over the Northern Mariana Islands and significantly reduced the performance gap between the island and soccer powerhouses in the region, Korea Republic and China, P.R.
San Gil coached mostly the same group of girls that traveled to Vietnam last year for the AFC U13 Girls Regional Tournament and led the team to a key win against the host country, and shut out victories over the Philippines and Cambodia. San Gil also assisted in coaching the Guam U16 Women’s national team, which made history in November last year as the first national side from Guam to ever qualify for the final round of an AFC tournament. The team defeated Hong Kong 1-0 on an Olympic goal by Maria Abbey Iriarte, earning the right to move on to the AFC U16 Women’s Championships in Nanjing, China later this year. San Gil also coaches youth soccer teams in the ASC Islanders organization.
For their excellence and commitment to the National Academy program, Rama, Cruz and San Gil each received award certificates and prizes from Jamaican Grill.