Guam have been invited to play friendlies at Hong Kong and Singapore later this month in preparation for upcoming joint qualifying for the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup.
Matao head coach and technical director Gary White sees the fixtures, to be played on March 28 and 31 respectively, as perfect preparation for the group stage which is scheduled to begin in June.
“Although one of the most obvious goals of these friendly matches is to get FIFA World Ranking points ahead of [next month’s group stage draw],” White said in his bi-weekly column for Pacific Daily News, “[they will also serve as] an opportunity for me to evaluate new players called up to the travelling squad prior to selecting the final squad that will represent Guam in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.”
Youngster Marlon Evans, who will enter North Greenville University on a full scholarship later in the year, has gotten a call-up as White continues to evaluate new talent, while Guam FA academy director Mark Chargualaf will join the coaching staff as he studies to become the nation’s first-ever home grown AFC A Licence holder.
Hong Kong head coach Kim Pan Gon also wanted to use the friendly as a testing ground for new talent.
“I would like to let those have not played in the EAFF East Asian Cup 2015 Preliminary Competition in last November to fight for Hong Kong this time,” Kim explained in an official statement. “I also want to give a trial [to] some new players like Lo Kong Wai, Cheng King Ho and Lee Ka Yiu.
“It is a good time to evaluate our squad and prepare for the future. We need to [work] harder to prepare for the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers, as well as boost our position in the FIFA ranking.”
The March 31 clash will be the first time Singapore and Guam have faced each other in a senior men’s match and will take place after the Lions face AFF Suzuki Cup champions Thailand in the first of a two-legged friendly competition on March 26.