American Samoa national football team
The American Samoa national football team (Samoan: Au soka Amerika Sāmoa) represents American Samoa in association football and is controlled by the Football Federation American Samoa, the governing body of the sport in the territory. American Samoa's home ground is the Pago Park Soccer Stadium in Pago Pago and their head coach is Tunoa Lui.
|Nickname(s)||The Boys from the Territory|
|Association||Football Federation American Samoa (FFAS)|
|Head coach||Tunoa Lui|
|Most caps||Nicky Salapu (22)|
|Top scorer||Samuel Hayward|
Ramin Ott (3)
|Home stadium||Pago Park Soccer Stadium|
|Current||192 (September 17, 2020)|
|Highest||164 (October 2015)|
|Lowest||205 (May 2006)|
|Current||237 (September 16, 2020)|
|Highest||188 (22 August 1983)|
|Lowest||238 (27 August 2015)|
Western Samoa 3–1 American Samoa
(Apia, Western Samoa; 20 August 1983)
Tonga 3–0 American Samoa
(Rarotonga, Cook Islands; 2 September 1998)
American Samoa 3–0 Wallis and Futuna
(Apia, Western Samoa; 22 August 1983)
American Samoa 2–0 Cook Islands
(Apia, Samoa; 4 September 2015)
| Australia 31–0 American Samoa |
(Coffs Harbour, Australia; 11 April 2001)
Regarded as one of the world's weakest teams, until November 2011 they were the joint lowest FIFA ranking of all countries registered for full internationals. The team holds the world record for the largest defeat in an international match, set after their 31–0 loss to Australia.
On 23 November 2011, the team defeated Tonga 2–1 in the first round of OFC World Cup Qualification, with a long-range goal by Ramin Ott, and a chip over the keeper by Shalom Luani, helping them record their first official international victory after 30 consecutive defeats.
In December 2011 the team achieved its then greatest position in the FIFA World Rankings.
The team's efforts to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup was chronicled in 2014 British documentary, Next Goal Wins, directed by Mike Brett and Steve Jamison. They followed this campaign with their most successful qualifying attempt in their history during the 2018 World Cup qualifiers in summer 2015, winning twice and narrowly missing out on progressing to the next stage on goal difference. This rise in fortunes can be attributed to the increased number of US college based players, who experience a more professional training regime compared to the amateur players that used to dominate previous squads. These victories would take them to a new high FIFA ranking of 164th in October 2015.
Up to matches played on 18 July 2019.
|Papua New Guinea||3||0||0||3||0||37||−37||0.00|
|Wallis and Futuna||2||1||0||1||4||5||−1||50.00|
- Includes results as Western Samoa.
World Cup recordEdit
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup|
|1930 to 1998||Did not enter||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|2002||Did not qualify||5th||4||0||0||4||0||57|
|2022||To be determined|
|2026||To be determined|
World Cup qualification recordEdit
|FIFA World Cup qualification history|
|2002||Group 1||N||American Samoa 0–13 Fiji||Loss|
|Group 1||N||American Samoa 0–8 Samoa||Loss|
|Group 1||N||American Samoa 0–31 Australia||Loss|
|Group 1||N||American Samoa 0–5 Tonga||Loss|
|2006||Group 1||N||American Samoa 0–4 Samoa||Loss|
|Group 1||N||American Samoa 1–9 Vanuatu||Loss|
|Group 1||N||American Samoa 0–11 Fiji||Loss|
|Group 1||N||American Samoa 0–10 Papua New Guinea||Loss|
|2010||Group B||N||American Samoa 1–12 Solomon Islands||Loss|
|Group B||N||American Samoa 0–7 Samoa||Loss|
|Group B||N||American Samoa 0–15 Vanuatu||Loss|
|Group B||N||American Samoa 0–4 Tonga||Loss|
|2014||First round||N||American Samoa 2–1 Tonga||Win|
|First round||N||American Samoa 1–1 Cook Islands||Draw|
|First round||N||American Samoa 0–1 Samoa||Loss|
|2018||First round||N||American Samoa 2–3 Samoa||Loss|
|First round||N||American Samoa 2–1 Tonga||Win|
|First round||N||American Samoa 2–0 Cook Islands||Win|
OFC Nations Cup recordEdit
Pacific Games recordEdit
|South Pacific Games record|
|1963 to 1979||Did not enter|
|1991 to 2003||Did not enter|
|2015||Did not enter|
The football tournament at the 1983 South Pacific Games in Western Samoa was the first time American Samoa had entered, having missed the six tournaments from 1963 to 1979. American Samoa were drawn in Group A along with Samoa, Tonga, and the Wallis and Futuna Islands. Two points would be awarded for a win, one for a draw, with the top two in each group advancing to the quarter-finals. Their first two games ended in defeat, losing 3–1 to Samoa and 3–2 to Tonga. In their final game against the Wallis and Futuna Islands, however, they achieved their first victory, winning by three goals to nil. The two points gained from this win, though, were not enough to finish in the top two, so American Samoa went out at the group stage.
The 1987 football tournament saw American Samoa compete for the 2nd time in their history. In a format change from the previous tournament in 1983, the entered teams were placed in one large group, with the group winner taking the gold medal. In their opening match, American Samoa were on the receiving end of a 10–0 thrashing from the hosts, New Caledonia. Their next two matches also ended in defeat, albeit less severe: 7–0 against Vanuatu and 5–1 against the Wallis and Futuna Islands. Papua New Guinea, however, were less merciful, and scored twenty without reply in what turned out to be the American Samoans' last game of the tournament, their final match against Tahiti being cancelled. American Samoa would not enter again until 2007, missing the 1991, 1995, and 2003 tournaments.
American Samoa made their 3rd appearance at the South Pacific Games football tournament in 2007. The competition also doubled as the first stage of the OFC qualification tournament for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, with the three medal winners progressing to the final qualifying group. American Samoa were drawn in Group B along with the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa, and Vanuatu. In their opening match, they were defeated 12–1 by the Solomon Islands, with Ramin Ott scoring only their second goal in their FIFA World Cup qualification history. Following two more heavy defeats (7–0 against Samoa and 15–0 against Vanuatu), American Samoa went into their final game versus Tonga unable to qualify from their group. Their 4–0 defeat in this game, however, was their best result since 2004.
At the football tournament of the 2011 Pacific Games, held in Nouméa, New Caledonia, American Samoa were drawn in Group A alongside the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Guam, Tuvalu, and the hosts New Caledonia. In their opening two games, they were defeated 4–0 first by Tuvalu and then by the Solomon Islands. Their best result came in game three, a 2–0 loss to Guam, before back-to-back 8–0 defeats to New Caledonia and Vanuatu ensured that once again American Samoa exited at the group stage. Their group stage stats were: Played 5, Lost 5, Scored 0, Conceded 26.
American Samoa did not enter the football tournament of the 2015 Pacific Games, which was age-restricted and open to men's under-23 national teams only. However, they made their 5th appearance at the Pacific Games Football Tournament in 2019, with the team being managed by former coach Tunoa Lui. Lui had previously managed the team at the time of their world-record 31-0 defeat to Australia in 2001. The squad also saw the return of Nicky Salapu, famous for being the goalkeeper during their 31-0 defeat to Australia in 2001, and Jaiyah Saelua, who was the world's first openly transgender player to play in a FIFA World Cup qualifier. The team were unable to call upon the services of star striker Ramin Ott however, since he was occupied with military responsibilities. The team was drawn in Group B, alongside Tuvalu, New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Tahiti. The team performed better than expected in their opening game, only losing 5-0 to one of the pre-tournament favourites New Caledonia, when they were expected to lose by a much greater margin. They then lost 9-0 to Fiji, before earning a 1-1 draw with Tuvalu after a Walter Pati goal. This was the first game American Samoa had not lost at the tournament in 36 years. Saelua was praised for her strong defensive performance. The team then lost 13-0 to the Solomon Islands, and finished their campaign with a 8-1 loss to Tahiti, with Chris Faamoana scoring an impressive solo goal. The team managed to avoid finishing bottom of their group on goal difference. They achieved their highest goal tally since their first tournament in 1983.
Results and fixturesEdit
The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.
|8 July 2019 2019 Pacific Games-Group Stage||American Samoa||0–5||New Caledonia||Apia, Samoa|
|9:00||Report||Stadium: J.S. Blatter Soccer Stadium #2|
Referee: Joel Hopken (Vanuatu)
|10 July 2019 2019 Pacific Games-Group Stage||American Samoa||0–9||Fiji||Apia, Samoa|
|10:00||Report||Stadium: J.S. Blatter Soccer Stadium #1|
Referee: Nazmi Nasaruddin (Malaysia)
|12 July 2019 2019 Pacific Games-Group Stage||American Samoa||1–1||Tuvalu||Apia, Samoa|
||Stadium: J.S. Blatter Soccer Stadium #2|
Referee: Pari Oito (Tahiti)
|15 July 2019 2019 Pacific Games-Group Stage||Solomon Islands||13–0||American Samoa||Apia, Samoa|
|16:00||Report||Stadium: National Soccer Stadium|
Referee: David Yareboinen (Papua New Guinea)
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Nicky Salapu (captain)||13 September 1980||22||0||PanSa East FC|
|18||GK||Hengihengi Ikuvalu||2 December 2002||1||0||Pago Youth|
|2||DF||Takai Pouli||18 July 2000||4||0||Vaiala Tongan|
|3||DF||Jaiyah Saelua||19 July 1988||15||0||Lion Heart|
|4||DF||Ryan Samuelu||19 February 1991||9||0||Utulei Youth|
|5||DF||Ueli Tualaulelei||2 August 1999||5||0||Pago Youth|
|13||DF||Matthew Taga'i||28 March 2002||2||0||Ilaoa and To'omata|
|19||DF||Tuaki Latu||15 July 2000||2||0||Vaiala Tongan|
|20||DF||Uasila'a Heleta||27 February 1987||17||0||Lion Heart|
|6||MF||Kuresa Taga'i||4 August 2000||5||0||Ilaoa and To'omata|
|7||MF||Austin Kaleopa||24 November 2001||5||0||Utulei Youth|
|8||MF||Roy Ledoux||26 June 2000||5||0||Pago Youth|
|11||MF||Milo Tiatia||18 February 2002||5||0||Royal Puma|
|12||MF||Mark Taga'i||28 March 2002||2||0||Ilaoa and To'omata|
|15||MF||Chris Faamoana||2 August 2001||5||1||Vaiala Tongan|
|21||MF||Puni Samuelu||16 August 1996||4||0||Pago Youth|
|9||FW||Walter Pati||31 March 2002||5||1||Royal Puma|
|10||FW||MJ Faoa-Danielson||13 April 2000||3||0||Vaiala Tongan|
|14||FW||Palauni Tapusoa||1 February 1994||0||0||Utulei Youth|
|16||FW||Junior Teoni||6 February 2001||1||0|
|17||FW||King Moe||21 January 2002||1||0|
- Soccer: the Ultimate Guide. Penguin. 19 April 2010. p. 109. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 17 September 2020. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
- Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 16 September 2020. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
- "American Samoa men's National Team ready to play". Football Federation American Samoa. 4 July 2019. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
- "American Samoa wins first ever football match after 30 straight defeats in 17 years". The Daily Telegraph. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
- "FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA.com. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- American Samoa's victory on 23 November came too late for this ranking period, and will be incorporated into the December rankings
- Rookwood, Dan (11 April 2001). "Aussie Rules as Socceroos smash world record again". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- Lee, Ben (24 November 2011). "American Samoa football team celebrate first win in 18 years". Digital Spy. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- Mitchell, Wendy (3 February 2014) Making Next Goal Wins screendaily.com
- Kev Geoghegan (6 May 2014). "Next Goal Wins for 'world's worst football team'". BBC News. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- "Pacific Games soccer to be played at Under 23 level". Fiji Village. 16 February 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Vitolio, Brian (4 July 2019). "American Samoa men's National Team ready to play". Football Federation American Samoa. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Rockwood, Dan (14 April 2020). "Aussie Rules as Socceroos smash world record again". Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Smith, Pete (28 August 2014). "Jaiyah Saelua: if I experience transphobia I just tackle harder". Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Bjerkevoll, Ola (10 July 2019). "INTERVIEW: American Samoa's Nicky Salapu and Jaiyah Saelua on their love of the game". Football in Oceania. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Ewart, Richard (8 July 2019). "The Pacific Games Day 1: Raining, and raining goals". Football in Oceania. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Ewart, Richard (12 July 2019). "Pacific Games Day 3: Red cards and red mist!". Football in Oceania. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- "World's first transgender footballer proud to be 'home' for pacific games". Loop Pacific. 15 July 2019. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Vitolio, Brian (12 July 2019). "American Samoa draw with Tuvalu 1-1". Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Ewart, Richard (18 July 2019). "Pacific Games Day 5: Krishna turns on the style and Vanuatu left wondering what might have been!". Football in Oceania. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
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