SYC’s Jonah Romero On Managing Guam National Team Duties And Coaching In UPSL
Born in Fairfax, Virginia to a former pro soccer player from El Salvador, Jonah Romero always had aspirations of playing professional soccer on the international stage. Little did he know his naturalization while living in a foreign county in southeast Asian would be the main catalyst of him achieving those dreams.
“I was playing with a local summer team at the time when I got the chance to join the Puerto Rico Islanders in the USL. After playing for a few pro teams in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, I settled down with a newly formed pro team in Guam, then afterwards a team in the Philippines. During this time playing in southeast Asia, I met Gary White, head coach of the Guam National Team.”
In 2012, the El Salvador Football Federation was under scrutiny for match fixing and in the process of being suspended by FIFA. Thus, the El Salvador National team call up Romero was expecting never materialized and he was offered the opportunity to represent Guam after living there for years.
“I was fortunate enough to take part in World Cup Qualifying matches against some top international sides and lucky enough at one point, to bring home the East Asian Games championship.”
Now at the tail end of his career, Romero is fully focused on coaching the next generation of players, not only for the Guam National team, but also for his local UPSL side, SYC United.
“The UPSL plays a big role in the club’s development, because we are constantly searching for ways to develop players for the next level. SYC’s UPSL team helps demonstrate the club’s pathway to the pro game and helps create a club atmosphere on all matchdays. It has been a great learning experience for the whole club, and we have noticed other clubs around the area have caught on and followed our path in joining the UPSL. Everyone at the club wants to see a professional team in Virginia, and so every day we are working towards that.”
Regarding his goals with both the Guam National Team and SYC United, Romero explains, “On the international stage with Guam we are fully focused on preparing for the upcoming East Asian qualifiers coming back around in October. Assessing our players and seeing who we have. On the club side, we are focused on winning the conference and being the most competitive team in the area.”
As one of Guam’s most capped players with almost 40 appearances, Romero explains his philosophy when working with SYC and Guam. “Every year you will see growth, our goal every season is to keep moving forward and improving. We want to find talent, put them in positions to succeed and get results on the field.”
SYC United are currently competing in the DMV South Premier division and have started the season with two wins from two games, and eight goals scored. They take on Olympiacos DC this Sunday 9/11 at 6:30 pm EST.
About United Premier Soccer League
The UPSL was formed in 2011 and occupies the unofficial fourth tier of US Soccer. Across its Premier, Division 1 and Womens leagues there are more than 400 teams competing nationwide. The UPSL is now the largest Pro Development League in North America and is a National Affiliate member of the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF). Each UPSL team is individually owned and operated. UPSL teams are eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup Qualifying Rounds through the league’s affiliation with USSF.
More information about UPSL can be found at www.upsl.com or by following the league on Facebook (facebook.com/upslsoccer), Instagram (@upslsoccer) and Twitter (@upslsoccer).