World Soccer Sportswear, 2007
To date, all my shirts have purposefully been outfield ones, but as Guam is a harder shirt to get I was happy with anything. I missed out due to a lack of funds when Nick managed to import a few Diadora shirts directly from the Guam FA, so since then I’ve been hoping something would turn up again. I was especially happy then, when I got the chance to buy a match-issued shirt. This comes from Christopher Reid, who was issued the shirt in 2007 while playing for the Guam u16 team. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of Reid in it, but below you can see the Guam senior goalkeeper wearing this shirt design (albeit in yellow), also in 2007. In the same year, Reid played some games with the youth team of a pro Japanese club. Having moved to Australia, he also trained with a pro club there but as yet a major breakthrough has not happened.
The shirt itself is made by World Soccer Sportswear, but really is just a generic team-wear effort badged up by the Guam FA. The outfield shirt that went with it is an Adidas rip-off, presumably also manufactured under the WSS name. It features mesh panelling on the front which is sewn on above the orange material of the rest of the jersey. This is consistent with the shirt worn by the senior 'keeper. I've tried to show how it rises form the main material in one of the pictures below. I've included a video of Guam's 15-1 loss to Hong Kong in 2007, where this design can clearly be seen on the 'keeper. He's certainly on screen enough.
At present, the stand-out name in the Guam senior team for me personally is that of midfielder Ryan Guy, who have a very impressive stint in the League of Ireland between 2007 and 2010, before moving ‘home’ to the MLS. I say ‘home’, because at the time he was “the American, Ryan Guy”. However, in 2012 he declared for Guam and since become their star player, according to the national coach. Guy’s Irish link aside, it would be hard to look past A.J. De La Garza, two-time MLS winner with LA Galaxy, as the marquee player. De La Garza had earned two caps for the USA national team before declaring for Guam, which he qualified for through his father. He’s also a winner off the field for his charity work, having been named the MLS’s 'Humanitarian of the Year' for his work in the LA community.
Guam, a small island in the Pacific Ocean, is technically a U.S. territory but their football association has been affiliated to FIFA since 1996 (before FIFA became a bit tighter on who they would let in). Since then, it is fair to say they have been perennial whipping boys. 160 is the highest they have reached in the FIFA rankings, but with a population of just 160,000, this is perhaps unsurprising. Guam have only attempted World Cup qualifying on one occasion, being eliminated with little fuss in their quest for Japan/Korea 2002 (19-0 and 16-0 to Iran and Tajikistan respectively). In 2005, North Korea hammered them 21-0. It hasn’t been all doom and gloom for the team though. Recently they have notched up some wins in qualifying tournaments for the East Asian championships, and the Asian Challenge Cup. A quick look at social media accounts for Guam football show a great deal of work going at at grassroots level. Hopefully in time this will bear fruit at international level