New Soccer Moms League to begin Sunday
Since her children have been able to kick a soccer ball, Annette Roberto has dedicated countless hours cheering them on during matches in each Robbie Webber Youth Soccer League season up to the adult leagues, where two of her daughters currently play for Guam Shipyard.
Beginning Sunday, the tables will turn as Roberto will be the one donning a playing jersey, shin guards and cleats in the inaugural Guam Football Association Soccer Moms League, made possible by a FIFA grant to grow women’s football in Guam.
“I never thought about getting on the field to play because there wasn’t a league for non-competitive moms who didn’t have experience playing and I really like my long fingernails,” said Roberto, a seven-year coach with the Shipyard Wolverines club. “When we all heard about a soccer mom league and a ‘novice’ division, we said to ourselves, we are putting in a team. The mommies have so much fun supporting our kids and husbands, we thought, why not us?
“Most of my teammates are actually mommies to players in the youth league, the Division II men’s league or the women’s league. I personally have my youngest, Shyann, who plays for the Shipyard Wolverines in the youth league, my two eldest daughters Sherene and Shaniece who play for Shipyard in the women’s league and my son Shane, up until he left island for the Air Force, played for Big Blue in Division II of the men’s league,” Roberto added.
The new Soccer Moms League will be played in a 7-A-Side format starting at 3 p.m. Sunday at the GFA National Training Center. A total of 10 teams registered for the league: Victorious Secrets, Heat Wave, Power Puff Moms, Islander Wrecking Women, the Goal Diggers, Wolverines Råska Red, Wolverines Båsta Move Blue, two Lil’ Bombers teams, a team from the U.S. Air Force, and an additional Islanders team.
An opening ceremony will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday before the start of the matches. A group photo also is scheduled before the start of the first matches on the GFA National Training Center lower turf pitch.
“The women’s program is growing in leaps and bounds,” said Grace Martinez, GFA Women’s Administrator. “Some of the main objectives of this new Soccer Moms League is to first, promote a healthy and active lifestyle, second, provide a venue for friendly adult women’s competition, third, provide an opportunity for youth program coaches, parents and adult soccer enthusiasts to play the beautiful game, and last, promote soccer as a sport for people of all ages.
“It is a league that provides a friendly atmosphere where soccer moms play organized small-sided games, which is one step up from a pick-up format,” Martinez added.
As an extra benefit to players in the new Soccer Moms League, Paradise Auto Spa is offering a 20% discount off its listed prices for various services. Players in the league need only to show their GFA ID Card that indicates “Women’s Rec.” The Soccer Mom deal ends Dec. 31 this year, according to Joe Roberto of Island Tinting and Paradise Auto Spa.
In addition to a financial grant for women’s football, FIFA donated Adidas training gear, including cleats, and other equipment to jumpstart the league. Each team also will receive jersey tops to use when playing in matches. Additionally, GFA granted the Soccer Moms League teams free-of-charge use of the National Training Center’s lower turf on Monday and Thursday afternoons for practice.