In March, the Guam National Women and Youth Soccer Teams completed their first off-island recruitment effort in Ventura, CA. After three grueling days of drills and scrimmages led by Guam head coaches: Gary White, former technical director of Washington Youth Soccer and the Seattle Sounders FC elite player development program, and Sang Hoon Kim, former Korea Republic national team defender and coach for Ulsan Hyundai FC, Northwest National’s very own Isa Whalen was the single youth player asked to join the Guam National Team.
Isa Whalen has been playing with NWN for three years in both offensive and defensive positions. Although she has played for other clubs, Isa believes NWN is the best club to improve athletes’ confidence, technical work and strategy. As a result, she plans to continue with NWN while she participates in international competition with Guam’s National Team.
Isa is the oldest daughter of Anthony and Barbara Whalen, both originally from Guam. Military relocation brought the Whalens to Lynnwood, WA, in 2005. While in Washington, Anthony has served on the USS Lincoln, NAS Whidbey Island and USS Nimitz. During the day, Barbara teaches at Edmonds Community College. In the evening, she joins the shifts of chauffeuring parents and juggles her two daughters to soccer and her son to football and baseball. When Anthony is home, he volunteers as a football coach for Edmonds-Woodway Warriors Junior Football, as a baseball coach for Pacific Little League, and as a basketball coach for the Alderwood Boys and Girls Club. Although the family has had the opportunity to relocate twice since 2005, Barbara remembers Isa at 8yrs old bringing home a paper full of signatures from second grade classmates and teachers requesting that the family stay in Lynnwood. At that time, Isa said: “I’m 8. I’ve moved six times. I deserve to settle down.” But that is probably the one thing she has yet to do- “settle down”.
Isa’s determination is never waivered. She is an honors student at Meadowdale Middle School and will be completing her 8th grade year with high school credits. Her mother admits that military life has required Isa to be more responsible and independent than other kids her age, but Isa still finds her creative spirit. She adventures, hangs-out with friends, bakes, plays the ukulele, and actively participates in Instagram. She has also funded her own way to the youth tryouts in Ventura and is now fundraising for international competition.
At the end of May 2014, Isa will join the Guam Youth National Soccer team in Beijing, China, for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) quarterfinals. Guam is scheduled to compete with Japan, Korea, and China in their first bracket. Please join us in supporting Isa as she continues to represent Northwest Nationals and youth soccer! FIFA funding does not subsidize travel costs for youth players from the mainland U.S. to Guam. If you would like to donate to Isa, please visit her GoFundMe site at: http://www.gofundme.com/7yb71c