Two Hawaii high school soccer programs will get a taste of international competition this month.
The Punahou boys and girls teams are going to Spain. The ‘Iolani boys team is headed to England.
“While in Madrid at the end of November, the (Punahou) teams will compete against a local school, train at the world-renowned Real Madrid facility, and experience the local culture and landmarks of Madrid,” said Buffanblu boys coach David Trifonovitch, whose team is the defending Division I state champion. “We expect that this trip will impact our players beyond this soccer season as they create friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.”
Added Punahou girls coach Shelley Izuno: “This is an awesome opportunity for the student-athletes to experience an incredible cultural experience, train with Real Madrid coaches and compete with the local talent.”
Coach Chris Lee‘s ‘Iolani boys are spending Thanksgiving next week in Manchester, England.
“We will train with English Academy coaches, play a few friendlies against English high school teams and get to watch a Champions League game, Manchester City vs. Shakhtar Donetsk,” said Lee, whose Raiders were on the short end of a 1-0 D-I state final loss to Punahou last spring. “The team will also get to tour Anfield, the home of Liverpool, and Man City’s Ethiad and Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadiums.
“I wanted to give the team a different experience. Also, right now, Liverpool and Man City are two of the best teams in the world, so for our players to get to experience English football at this time is a special experience.”
Some of the key returnees on these three Hawaii traveling teams:
>> Punahou boys: Midfielder Johnnie Dodge, midfielder/forward Dominic Gusman, defender Treyden Buder-Nakasone.
>> Punahou girls: Midfielder Leila Mukaigawa, center backs Taryn Kaneko and Jordan Lau, defender/striker Adriana Maroney.
>> ‘Iolani boys: Defender Jacob Lee, midfielder Freddy Mareels, forward Jonah Kawamura, goalkeeper Isaak Tanaka.