By Daniel Cermak/NPSL.com
Detroit City FC’s Marlon Evans received the call of a lifetime when he discovered he was being
called up to the Guam National Team, and is thankful for the understanding.
“Growing up here and playing soccer at a young age, that was always my dream, and to be able
to finally live it out is amazing,” Evans said. “I got a call from Guam head coach Karl Todd
asking me to come into these World Cup qualifiers and told me to talk to Detroit City FC head
coach Trevor James. Fortunately, Coach James understood the importance of these qualifiers for
me personally and for Guam as a whole and was all for me leaving Detroit for a short time.”
In this cycle, Guam takes on the Maldives and the Philippines. Ahead of these matchups, Evans
and the rest of the squad are in Guam training and preparing for what comes next.
“The past few days of training camp and preparations have been going very well,” Evans said.
“We traveled to Taiwan as a team and played a friendly before camp to brush up. Since then,
we’ve traveled back to Guam and have been training, and the atmosphere amongst the team is
great and we are all well prepared for these matches.”
Guam is a U.S. territory with a population of 164,000, located around 4,000 miles west of
Hawaii. For Evans, this island will always be his home, and where he started his soccer career,
first joining local Guamanian side Wings FC. The opportunity to join the national team means
that he’ll have another chance to visit his home and see his family.
“The first people I always call are my parents that live on Guam,” Evans said. “Every time I
come back to the island with the national team is another time I get to see them again after being
in the states for so long and it’s really special.”
Following his time with Wings FC, Evans joined North Greenville University, where he
graduated from before joining DCFC. In his time with Le Rouge, Evans has already seen an
improvement in his play and development.
“The NPSL season and Detroit City FC have definitely helped me prepare to the best of my
ability before these qualifiers,” Evans said. “We have had multiple matches against Liga MX
teams and USL Championship teams. Testing ourselves against those bigger teams and seeing
where we stack up and where we may be lacking, assists in continuously improving as players
and as a team. I think those matches against bigger opponents are vital and have been a key
factor in Detroit City FC’s success over the years.”
Now that Evans has a chance with the national team, he’s looking to cement his place, all while
helping his team get the best results possible along the way.
“My goal personally in these World Cup qualifiers are to cement myself in the starting lineup,”
Evans said. “I’ve been involved in the national team ever since I was 17 but finally got my first
cap a year ago when I was 21. But at the same time, personal goals aren’t really a big issue to
me. If the team doesn’t succeed and win, there’s no point. The obvious overarching goal for us
is to be top two of our group and progress onto the next and final round of World Cup
For Evans, advancing in the World Cup qualifiers is not just important for the present, but also
for the future of soccer in Guam.
“We’ve never been past round two, and everyone on the team is hungry for creating a legacy that
will carry on for ages, paving the way for the younger generation behind us. While this is the
overarching goal, the main goal is to just focus on one game at a time. The most important
match is the next one we are training to play in. While there are eight games in this round, we
need to collectively focus on one single game at a time.”
With players like Evans who have such a passion for Guam and advancing the game as much as
possible, Guam is a team to watch in the early rounds of World Cup qualifying.
Photo Credit: Jon DeBoer/DCFC