Arizona-based Soccer club to begin play in 2014

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

TAMPA, Fla. – The W-League announced an important step in its western expansion today with the addition of the Sedona FC Strikers, who will begin play in 2014. Owned and operated by AGM Soccer Management, LLC and its principals Oscar Guardado and Manny Arias, Sedona FC will compete in the W-League’s Western Conference alongside traditional league powers such as the LA Blues and Seattle Sounders Women.

In addition to the W-League team, Sedona FC also plans to provide development programs for the area while establishing itself as a role model for the local youth and business community. Plans include recreational and competitive opportunities, camps and clinics run by the staff and players, youth tournaments, and men’s and women’s international friendly matches.

“Sedona FC is an important addition to the W-League and will help the already formidable Western Conference grow even stronger,” W-League Senior Director Amanda Duffy said. “Oscar Guardado and Manny Arias have devoted themselves to growth of soccer in Arizona at all levels, and we are confident they will operate a first-class franchise while helping to raise the profile of women’s soccer and the W-League throughout Arizona.”

Guardado, who has more than 20 years of competitive and semi-professional playing and coaching experience, will serve as the Strikers’ director of business operations and general manager. He began playing professionally in his native El Salvador in 1988, continuing his semi-pro career in the U.S. until 2006. He has become immersed in Arizona club soccer scene, creating Estudantez AZ to help young players reach the next level.

The Strikers have tabbed Arias, who also has an extensive professional playing background in his native El Salvador, as head coach. Arias has served as a professional, college, high school and club coach in Arizona since 2000, and holds USSF and international “A” licenses. He has also been a driving force behind the creation and development of many of Arizona’s top youth clubs, including Chivas USA, Atlas FC Academy, Barcelona FC and Estudantez AZ.

“We are looking forward to this great opportunity to put local talent and soccer in Arizona on the map, and bring opportunities to play and be seen at a higher level,” Guardado said. “It is truly an honor to be part of the W-League, as we feel it will give Sedona FC Strikers the experience and exposure we need. Our ultimate goal is to provide different opportunities for female soccer players to showcase their talent and skills on a local, national and international stage while giving back to the community of Sedona and promoting female soccer at a more professional level.”

The Strikers will play a 12-game schedule between the months of May-July, with the announcement of the team’s home venue expected to be made in the coming weeks.

Tryouts for the new club are planned for March, 2014. All information will also be available online at the club’s new website, slated for launch in December.


Usually our thoughts are in the past or future, worrying about stuff that will never happen or stuff that did and is long past. In Chinese medicine, worry is one emotion known to be very destructive to our bodies. It can affect the immune system and cause many physical problems. Since most of the thought energy that goes into worrying takes us out of the moment, we aren’t present or in our bodies. In order to create the life we want and to stay healthy we have to be present.

If you want a long, healthy life… stop thinking and worrying. Worrying is like PRAYING for failure. Thought creates. Our thinking is creating our reality whether we want it or not. When we stop the incessant chatter in our minds we can allow the moment to fill us up. Thinking is a huge addiction; we just don’t recognize it as such.

Our reality is formed by what we are thinking. Many of us have to retrain our minds to be positive and to look for what is right instead of what is wrong. Be grateful for what you have instead of focusing on what isn’t there. Rather than worrying, think about what you would like. Stay in the moment. Stay present. Stop thinking so much, analyzing and trying to fix the world. Try just being. When we are present and let things go, we don’t accumulate a lot of stuff to think about. There are no answers tomorrow…only today.

Try giving yourself attention. Gift yourself with a sunrise or sunset. Hug someone with your heart when you hug. Really enjoy that cup of coffee or tea. Smile. Show up, stop thinking, and be.“Circle of Healing” by Andrea Smith


Sometimes it is necessary to just begin again. Especially at this time of the year when the pressure is on for gifts, giving, parties, holiday cheer and spirit, at times we are left feeling overwhelmed. The pressure from advertising, TV, magazines, stores and marketing in general have turned what was a charitable time of the year into gift giving frenzy. You do have a choice as to whether or not you will participate in making this holiday one where you can give from the heart or give from the wallet.

When we give a gift of a helping hand, or assistance to an elderly or sick friend or feed a hungry soul or offer a smile or an encouraging word we are truly giving in a way that cannot be measured in material terms. Very often the kindness is remembered long after the glow of a new scarf or gloves. Human connection is more important than anything we could buy. Have you ever hugged a person and felt their heart beat along with yours? That is how we can connect, heart to heart with another human being. It is my most favorite of ways to really feel another being’s essence and love and it is totally free!! Give some hugs and feel their magic!

So during this time of year when everything we read, see and listen to reminds us to buy, buy, buy…..maybe see it as give, give, give. The more you give, the more you get. Giving does not have to be money…it can be, but it does not have to mean that. When we give of ourselves, it is giving. It takes human hugs, human kindness, human understanding, humans giving of themselves to make this world we are part of a more humane and loving place. Today, begin again and ask yourself, what is really important to you. Get the “shoulds” out of the way and replace them with “coulds”. Without the pressure of what you think you “should” be doing, you find a real picture of what you ”could” be doing. We have to be willing to look at our life and see the areas that are troublesome and need some shifting.

It is up to us to be responsible enough to give in ways that matter. Begin again and ask yourself how you can really be of service and help. Many of the things we can give are free. Giving of yourself doesn’t cost a cent and the gift is really in the giving. Begin again and ask yourself, “How could I really give?”, then do it!

Love Makes the World Go Round“Love Makes the World Go Round”
by Andrea Smith


There is a phrase that says the lower you go the higher you bounce back up, referring to life in general. No one feels on top of the world all the time, but you know when you are feeling great and you know when you are not. It is of course easier, more joyful and certainly more fun to feel good, but if you are not feeling the way you would like, just tell yourself “The pits before the Ritz”. To me this always meant that a beautiful, wonderful, exhilarating experience was just around the corner and that this too would pass. It meant that this night would not last forever and I would feel fine again. I would also look at how low I felt and then know when I was done with whatever I was processing I would feel so much better. I had enough presence of mind to be aware of what I was going through and know I would come out of it wiser, more balanced and aware of why I needed the experience. Knowing there would be another side to the emotional turmoil made it easier to go through. I knew there would be an end to the suffering when I came out the other side. The only way to heal it is to FEEL it. That is it. You can spend decades weaving in and out and around your issues but they will stay right there until you face them head on and deal with them.

If you want joy in your life, get rid of anything in your mind or world that is not bringing joy into your world. If you want the “Ritz” and not the “pits” you have to feel whatever you need to, and then let it go! Feelings are and feelings change. If you want something healed in your life, feel it.

We are told so many things to feel or not feel when we are children; we lose touch with what we ourselves feel. Take the time to ask yourself how you feel ….and do not be afraid of the process involved in the answer. The path to awareness can sometimes be painful. If you remember that the lower you feel, the higher you will bounce up when you are done with the emotional ride, it will make the journey much smoother.


I have been reflecting on what I have learned, standing and painting in one place for over 30 years. One thing that stood out was that peace and quiet were an important part of the equation for me. If there was outside interference, it was hard to get in a meditative state. I eventually turned off the radio (I naively thought, music was music) and began to listen to music without any words I understood. Painting outside, with gentle Maui breezes and the ocean in front of me…I felt as if I landed in Heaven. Eventually I stopped worrying about what to do next in a painting, or what color to use. Everything began to just flow thru me and the ONLY time it stopped, was when I thought about what I was doing. As soon as I finished with one color, my brush would intuitively go to the next. I never learned the color wheel or how to mix colors so I would think about a color and mix my brush around and get it! I called it “Being in the Zone”. It was a deeply spiritual experience where I was both receptive and creative. I was totally in the “NOW”.

Our lives can be the same way. It requires us to show up where we are or nothing can happen. We know when we are in the flow. It is up to us to put ourselves in situations that serve us and reinforce the feeling. The same way the next color would reveal itself to me, your life will let you know your next step if you are quiet enough to hear.Hawaiian Happiness

“Hawaiian Happiness”
by Andrea Smith


Much of what I have learned in life comes to me when I am painting. Life and the act of painting have a lot in common. I discovered an important piece of the puzzle while working on a painting. I had diligently been working on a watercolor for weeks. In my world, weeks were a lifetime! As I was working on this piece, I kept turning the painting upside down, sideways, at right and left angles…every way I could to get a different perspective. I actually forgot what I was painting and just focused on the darks, lights, shapes, negative and positive space. I then became lost in the colors and patterns and when nothing else wanted to be on the page, I assumed I was done. I had never had a painting come through like that one. I stood back from the painting, to get a little distance, and I amazingly loved it!!!

For three years I hadn’t liked one thing I painted, and now I had before me a piece I loved! I asked myself what was different about this piece? The answer was that I kept turning the sheet of paper I was painting on. I realized we can’t see clearly or balanced when we only look at something one way. There are actually many points of view, it just depends on where you are standing. Sometimes really trying to see everyone’s perspective can really open our eyes. We can’t just look at life from one vantage point, it has to be more of a circular view. By turning my sheet of paper I learned an important life lesson. Always look at everything from many different perspectives.

We Have To Be Carefully Taught

“We Have to be Carefully Taught”

New Painting
by Andrea Smith


The end of the summer is when the old vibration begins to exit and the new energy begins to appear. Fall is when the new energy is anchored. Knowing this, we can actively participate in guiding our life and learn to sidestep the negative and push the positive. I believe in the phrase “Don’t give up before the miracle”, however sometimes we have to know when to let go and move on. If something no longer feels good, it is time to let it go. When we let go, we get it back tenfold in ways we would have never dreamed of. The act of releasing the old allows for people, places, and experiences that enhance our life and feel great to enter our world.


“The Goddess of Light”
by Andrea Smith


Love, joy and peace cannot exist unless you free your mind from thinking. As long as we are creating emotion and thought, there is no room for pure love, joy and peace. They are deeper than emotions and are more states of being. Joy comes from within us, pleasure from outside. Things and conditions can give us pleasure, but they cannot give you joy. Actually, nothing can give you joy. Joy is something that arises from within us as the joy of being. When we describe the peace of God, joy is an essential component of the inner state of peace. Peace and joy are really our natural state of being and nothing we have to struggle with.

Now stopping our mind is another thing. If you do not stop your mind you continue the same, non-peaceful mental dribble. We basically have to wake up and pay attention not only in traffic, but to our own thoughts. When you listen to a thought, you are aware not only of the thought but you see yourself as the witness of the thought. This is the beginning of present moment, witnessing awareness. When we know what we are thinking we can stop the thoughts. After practice it becomes easier and easier to stop thinking and simply be.


October 1st is the start of the new year in numerology. It represents new beginnings and releasing what no longer serves us.  The end of the summer is when the old vibration begins to exit and the new energy begins to appear. Fall is when the new energy is anchored. Knowing this, we can actively participate in guiding our life and learn to sidestep the negative and push the positive. I believe in the phrase “Don’t give up before the miracle”, however sometimes we have to know when to let go and move on. If something no longer feels good, it is time to let it go. When we let go, we get it back tenfold in ways we would have never dreamed of. The act of releasing the old allows for people, places, and experiences that enhance our life and feel great to enter our world.

When we let go we get so much creativity, freedom and light back. The old energy holds a darkness, density and despair that feels heavy and burdensome. Every so often we have to clean house and get rid of stuff that’s not needed. October 1st is the perfect time to take inventory of what you do not want or need. Begin the new year with a clean slate and a new vibration. It is your life and no one else can clean it up. Let go, let God and watch your movie unfold with grace, goodness and magic.

Happy New Year

As the new year begins it is time to clean our “mental house” and get rid of thoughts, things and situations that do not add to our peace and well being. If something is in your life that is not nourishing, positive, loving and supportive, get rid of it!! Follow your passion and open your mind, heart and soul. Close the last chapter of the 2011 book and begin again with a new book and chapter in 2012. Nothing in your life is changing unless you make the effort and take the time to alter what no longer is serving you. Rise above the small stuff and remember , most of what we obsess about is small stuff.

Each year we are afforded the luxury of mentally starting over. Most of what we worry about never occurs so that is one area, worrying, that could be addressed. Worrying is like praying for failure. Who would do that? Begin this year with gratitude, grace and forgiveness. Forgive yourself first because for some reason we are always harder on ourselves. Then forgive everyone else for whatever you think they might have done. In actuality we are still as God created us…we just seem to forget this. Whatever you want inyour life in the new year remember to give it first…that is how we prime the pump.

May your new year be filled with love,miracles,blessings and joy. It is a wonderful opportunity to begin again with a renewed sense of spirit.

Happy, happy new year!!
Andrea Smith