Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 21 May 2019 12am







    Sunday, May 19, 2019-8:27:48A.M.






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Toves, team keep soccer alive amidst disaster

SOCCER is still alive even in the midst of destruction as Merrick Toves and his team continued to hone their skills in preparation for future off-island tournaments.

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NMI U15 Boys National Team’s Merrick Toves pushes forward against a Taipei player during their match of the EAFF U15 Boys’ Tournament at Xianghe, China.  Contributed photo

The young scorer Toves was also affected by Typhoon Yutu as his house had some flood. But despite these losses, he had to make sure he was recovering mentally as well and that is where soccer comes in.

“Yes training has helped me cope. Knowing that we still have training is enough to keep me going,” Toves said.

“We just want to prepare for the Asian Football Confederation tournaments,” he added.

Toves’ passion to get better is his motivation as he and the U16 National Team, coached by Patrick McCallion, Jersh Angeles and Mita Michiteru, practice at the NMI National Training Center every Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The team focuses on in-game situations and drills that make them work as a team according to Toves.

“It helps us get better and perform at a high level with each practice. Communication is also an important factor and we are working on that too.” He said. “We all want to prepare for the upcoming AFC tournaments next year and we want to get better than we are now,” he added.

The last time Merrick participated in the an off-island tournament was the EAFF U15 Boys’ Tournament 2018 for the CNMI U15 Boys National Team where they nipped one win against Macau 1-0, forcing a draw against Mongolia and two losses against Japan and Chinese Taipei in July.