FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The past week took Ryan Guy halfway across the world to meet a new set of teammates and play three games in the span of five days.
The only surprise after that grueling itinerary? He couldn't be happier about the trip.
Guy made his international debut with Guam after qualifying to play for the US territory through his father, and picked up his first three international appearances as part of the 2012 Paulino Alcantara Peace Cup in the Philippines last week.
“I had a really good time,” Guy told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday. “I meshed with the guys on my team very quickly. I felt like for a second, ‘Oh my gosh, these are my people.’ That was really special for me.”
The whirlwind journey involved a series of flights from Boston to Manila on Sunday, a few hours to rest on Monday and three appearances of varying length (adding up to a total of 135 minutes) against the Philippines (1-0 defeat on Tuesday), Chinese Taipei (2-0 defeat on Thursday) and Macau (3-0 win on Saturday) during the week.
Guy said he relished the opportunity to link up with his new teammates and play in a tournament that offered different challenges than the hurdles he faces on a weekly basis in MLS.
“It was a special experience,” Guy said. “Soccer-wise, it was certainly a breath of fresh air to see different styles, experience a different culture and see how they express themselves on the field.”
Although the matches did not unfold as Guy would have preferred, he took this tournament as another sign of progress for the developing national team program. Plenty of room for growth still exists for a country ranked 178th in the latest edition of the FIFA World Rankings, but Guy said he hopes to play his part to push Guam forward over the next few years.
“The level is decent,” Guy said. “There is a long way to go for Guam. They have a lot of the institutions in place to help grow the national team. It's something I'm excited to be a part of. It's special to be able to play for a nation, one you feel pride in and a part of. I was grateful for the opportunity.”