THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

EXCLUSIVE | Ryan Guy: Guam has the strongest squad in the country’s history

Midfielder Ryan Guy is one of the key members in national coach Gary White’s Guam squad for the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers.

The 27 year old international plays his club football for MLS side New England Revolution and he has gained a lot of experiences during his professional career.

I had the chance to speak exclusively to Ryan ahead of Guam’s first match about the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup Qualifying Group A which includes Guam, hosts Myanmar, Chinese Taipei and our very own Indian national team.

“My personal expectations for the Challenge Cup are to help lead my team to as many victories as possible,” Ryan told when asked about his expectations for the Qualifiers in Yangon.

“We have the strongest squad in the country’s history and, unlike the past where every match was focussed on not conceding goals, we expect to score goals and do our best to make it through to the next round in the Maldives.”

“There is no doubt that these are lofty ambitions, but as a professional, I wouldn’t choose to enter a competition that I felt was a lost cause,” Ryan told.

Ryan stated that he unfortunately did not know as much as he would like to know about Guam’s opponents in Group A. “I have had the opportunity to play against Chinese Taipei so I have a decent feel for their style, but other than them I have to rely on our manager’s scouting reports to help with the opposing teams.”

“I believe Myanmar may be the slight favourites based on rankings, but I think this questions depends on who you ask,” Ryan pointed out.

Talking about the Indian national team, the MLS star honestly admitted that Wim Koevermans’ team is a dark horse for him. When I asked Ryan what he does know about the Indian national team he said: “Probably about as much as most people know about the Guam national team.”

“My footballing career hasn’t brought me to India as of yet and I haven’t yet had the pleasure of playing against the national team, but I am really looking forward to changing that over the next week!”

“I do not know any Indian players but plan on becoming very familiar with them over the next couple of days as we get closer to our match.”

“Our scouting reports are in-depth and looking at video will be part of that process,” he told “Also, John Landa Matkin, who plays in the I-League for United Sikkim FC has begun to tell us a little bit about the players that are here for India.”

Ryan is quite realistic about the chances for his team, but he has the hope to pull one or two surprises during the Qualifiers. “I am excited and very optimistic for the upcoming games. To come out of the tournament with a negative win to loss ratio would be a disappointment for me.”

“Our manager, Gary White, and his staff work very hard and getting us as prepared as possible for each match. From the physical aspects such as therapy and food, to the tactical and technical preparation through video and chalkboard meetings, we always feel that the surprises are taken out of the game and we are as prepared as a team could be.”

“I believe my experience of playing in the MLS and in Ireland are indeed helpful for Guam,” the Guam international continued.

“I have been blessed to play at a high level and bringing my experiences to the young players on the team has tended to bring a calming influence when we step on the pitch.”

“Personally, playing in the MLS has helped make for a comfortable transition to the speed of play at the international level.”

Talking about the pillars in the Guam team, Ryan said: “Jason Cunliffe, Shawn Nicklaw, John Landa and our goalkeeper Doug Harrick are probably four of our strongest players.”

Turning the focus on the Guam team and their playing style, I asked Ryan to describe the same to me as someone who is not too familiar with the “Matao”, the national team of Guam.

“We are a tiny island nation with a rich heritage who have always had to fight for recognition and a voice.”

“Our style reflects those sentiments, we have a strong team culture, with much pride for our heritage, we are physically strong and willing to fight hard.”

“Our technique has a mixture of American and Asian influences and our tactics are very modern and cutting edge with some British flare which is brought by our manager.”

“We are a mixture, just like most of the modern Chamorro race (the indigenous ethnicity) but we are a potent mixture with brimming potentia,” Ryan concluded.

Guam started its 2014 AFC Challenge Cup qualifying campain with a 0-5 loss against Myanmar today. Ryan Guy and his “Matao” are scheduled to face our Indian team in their second Group A match on Monday.