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.[4]

American Samoa
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)The Boys from the Territory
AssociationFootball Federation American Samoa (FFAS)
ConfederationOFC (Oceania)
Head coachTunoa Lui
CaptainNicky Salapu
Most capsNicky Salapu (22)
Top scorerSamuel Hayward[1]
Ramin Ott (3)
Home stadiumPago Park Soccer Stadium
FIFA codeASA
First colors
Second colors
FIFA ranking
Current 192 Steady (September 17, 2020)[2]
Highest164 (October 2015)
Lowest205 (May 2006)
Elo ranking
Current 237 Steady (September 16, 2020)[3]
Highest188 (22 August 1983)
Lowest238 (27 August 2015)
First international
unofficial
 Western Samoa 3–1 American Samoa 
(Apia, Western Samoa; 20 August 1983)
FIFA recognized
 Tonga 3–0 American Samoa 
(Rarotonga, Cook Islands; 2 September 1998)
Biggest win
unofficial
 American Samoa 3–0 Wallis and Futuna 
(Apia, Western Samoa; 22 August 1983)
FIFA recognized
 American Samoa 2–0 Cook Islands 
(Apia, Samoa; 4 September 2015)
Biggest defeat
 Australia 31–0 American Samoa 
(Coffs Harbour, Australia; 11 April 2001)
(international record)

OverviewEdit

Regarded as one of the world's weakest teams,[5] until November 2011 they were the joint lowest FIFA ranking of all countries registered for full internationals.[6][7] The team holds the world record for the largest defeat in an international match, set after their 31–0 loss to Australia.[8]

American Samoa achieved its first victory in a 3–0 win against Wallis and Futuna in the group stage of the 1983 South Pacific Games,[9] when neither team was a member of FIFA.

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.[5]

They followed this up with a 1–1 draw against Cook Islands, but failed to progress in their qualifying group, after losing to Samoa 1–0, the only goal being scored in the 89th minute.

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.[10][11] 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.

All-time recordEdit

Up to matches played on 18 July 2019.

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD WPCT
  Australia 1 0 0 1 0 31 −31 0.00
  Cook Islands 4 1 1 2 6 8 −2 25.00
  Fiji 4 0 0 4 0 39 −39 0.00
  Guam 1 0 0 1 0 2 −2 0.00
  New Caledonia 4 0 0 4 0 33 −33 0.00
  Papua New Guinea 3 0 0 3 0 37 −37 0.00
  Samoa[a] 10 0 0 10 5 44 −39 0.00
  Solomon Islands 3 0 0 3 1 29 −28 0.00
  Tahiti 4 0 0 4 2 40 −38 0.00
  Tonga 9 2 0 7 10 28 −18 22.22
  Tuvalu 2 0 1 1 1 5 −4 0.00
  Vanuatu 4 0 0 4 1 39 −38 0.00
  Wallis and Futuna 2 1 0 1 4 5 −1 50.00
Total 51 4 2 45 30 340 −310 7.84
Source: Results
Notes:
  1. ^ Includes results as Western Samoa.

World Cup recordEdit

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup
qualification record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA Pos Pld W D L GF GA
1930 to 1998 Did not enter
    2002 Did not qualify 5th 4 0 0 4 0 57
  2006 5th 4 0 0 4 1 34
  2010 5th 4 0 0 4 1 38
  2014 3rd 3 1 1 1 3 3
  2018 2nd 3 2 0 1 6 4
  2022 To be determined
      2026 To be determined
Total 0/22 18 3 1 14 11 136

World Cup qualification recordEdit

FIFA World Cup qualification history
Year Round H/A/N Score Result
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
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
1963 to 1979 Did not enter
  1983 Group stage / 3 1 0 2 6 6
  1987 Group stage 6th 4 0 0 4 1 42
1991 to 2003 Did not enter
  2007 Group stage / 4 0 0 4 1 38
  2011 Group stage / 5 0 0 5 0 26
  2015 Did not enter
  2019 Group stage / 5 0 1 4 2 36
Total 21 1 1 19 10 148

1983Edit

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.

1987Edit

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.

2007Edit

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.

2011Edit

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.

2019Edit

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.[12] However, they made their 5th appearance at the Pacific Games Football Tournament in 2019, with the team being managed by former coach Tunoa Lui.[13] Lui had previously managed the team at the time of their world-record 31-0 defeat to Australia in 2001.[14] 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.[14][13][15] The team were unable to call upon the services of star striker Ramin Ott however, since he was occupied with military responsibilities.[16] 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.[17] They then lost 9-0 to Fiji, before earning a 1-1 draw with Tuvalu after a Walter Pati goal.[18] This was the first game American Samoa had not lost at the tournament in 36 years.[19] Saelua was praised for her strong defensive performance.[20] 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.[21] 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.

Kit sponsorshipEdit

Kit supplier Period
  Lotto 2007–2013
  Nike 2015-2018
  Puma 2019-

Source:[22]

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.

Recent resultsEdit

8 July 2019 (2019-07-08) 2019 Pacific Games-Group StageAmerican Samoa  0–5  New CaledoniaApia, Samoa
9:00 Report
Stadium: J.S. Blatter Soccer Stadium #2
Attendance: 100
Referee: Joel Hopken (Vanuatu)
10 July 2019 (2019-07-10) 2019 Pacific Games-Group StageAmerican Samoa  0–9  FijiApia, Samoa
10:00 Report
Stadium: J.S. Blatter Soccer Stadium #1
Attendance: 250
Referee: Nazmi Nasaruddin (Malaysia)
12 July 2019 (2019-07-12) 2019 Pacific Games-Group StageAmerican Samoa  1–1  TuvaluApia, Samoa
9:00
Report
Stadium: J.S. Blatter Soccer Stadium #2
Attendance: 100
Referee: Pari Oito (Tahiti)
15 July 2019 (2019-07-15) 2019 Pacific Games-Group StageSolomon Islands  13–0  American SamoaApia, Samoa
16:00
Report Stadium: National Soccer Stadium
Attendance: 400
Referee: David Yareboinen (Papua New Guinea)
18 July 2019 (2019-07-18) 2019 Pacific Games Group StageTahiti  8–1  American SamoaApia, Samoa
13:00
Report
Stadium: National Soccer Stadium
Attendance: 140
Referee: Joel Hopken (Vanuatu)

Current squadEdit

The following players were called up for the 2019 Pacific Games from 7–20 July in Apia, Samoa[13]
Caps and goals updated as of 18 July 2019 after the game against Tahiti.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Nicky Salapu (captain) (1980-09-13) 13 September 1980 (age 40) 22 0   PanSa East FC
18 1GK Hengihengi Ikuvalu (2002-12-02) 2 December 2002 (age 17) 1 0   Pago Youth

2 2DF Takai Pouli (2000-07-18) 18 July 2000 (age 20) 4 0   Vaiala Tongan
3 2DF Jaiyah Saelua (1988-07-19) 19 July 1988 (age 32) 15 0   Lion Heart
4 2DF Ryan Samuelu (1991-02-19) 19 February 1991 (age 29) 9 0   Utulei Youth
5 2DF Ueli Tualaulelei (1999-08-02) 2 August 1999 (age 21) 5 0   Pago Youth
13 2DF Matthew Taga'i (2002-03-28) 28 March 2002 (age 18) 2 0   Ilaoa and To'omata
19 2DF Tuaki Latu (2000-07-15) 15 July 2000 (age 20) 2 0   Vaiala Tongan
20 2DF Uasila'a Heleta (1987-02-27) 27 February 1987 (age 33) 17 0   Lion Heart

6 3MF Kuresa Taga'i (2000-08-04) 4 August 2000 (age 20) 5 0   Ilaoa and To'omata
7 3MF Austin Kaleopa (2001-11-24) 24 November 2001 (age 18) 5 0   Utulei Youth
8 3MF Roy Ledoux (2000-06-26) 26 June 2000 (age 20) 5 0   Pago Youth
11 3MF Milo Tiatia (2002-02-18) 18 February 2002 (age 18) 5 0   Royal Puma
12 3MF Mark Taga'i (2002-03-28) 28 March 2002 (age 18) 2 0   Ilaoa and To'omata
15 3MF Chris Faamoana (2001-08-02) 2 August 2001 (age 19) 5 1   Vaiala Tongan
21 3MF Puni Samuelu (1996-08-16) 16 August 1996 (age 24) 4 0   Pago Youth

9 4FW Walter Pati (2002-03-31) 31 March 2002 (age 18) 5 1   Royal Puma
10 4FW MJ Faoa-Danielson (2000-04-13) 13 April 2000 (age 20) 3 0   Vaiala Tongan
14 4FW Palauni Tapusoa (1994-02-01) 1 February 1994 (age 26) 0 0   Utulei Youth
16 4FW Junior Teoni (2001-02-06) 6 February 2001 (age 19) 1 0
17 4FW King Moe (2002-01-21) 21 January 2002 (age 18) 1 0

ManagersEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Soccer: the Ultimate Guide. Penguin. 19 April 2010. p. 109. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  2. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 17 September 2020. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  3. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 16 September 2020. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  4. ^ "American Samoa men's National Team ready to play". Football Federation American Samoa. 4 July 2019. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  5. ^ a b "American Samoa wins first ever football match after 30 straight defeats in 17 years". The Daily Telegraph. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
  6. ^ "FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA.com. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  7. ^ American Samoa's victory on 23 November came too late for this ranking period, and will be incorporated into the December rankings
  8. ^ Rookwood, Dan (11 April 2001). "Aussie Rules as Socceroos smash world record again". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  9. ^ Lee, Ben (24 November 2011). "American Samoa football team celebrate first win in 18 years". Digital Spy. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  10. ^ Mitchell, Wendy (3 February 2014) Making Next Goal Wins screendaily.com
  11. ^ Kev Geoghegan (6 May 2014). "Next Goal Wins for 'world's worst football team'". BBC News. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  12. ^ "Pacific Games soccer to be played at Under 23 level". Fiji Village. 16 February 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  13. ^ a b c Vitolio, Brian (4 July 2019). "American Samoa men's National Team ready to play". Football Federation American Samoa. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  14. ^ a b Rockwood, Dan (14 April 2020). "Aussie Rules as Socceroos smash world record again". Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  15. ^ Smith, Pete (28 August 2014). "Jaiyah Saelua: if I experience transphobia I just tackle harder". Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Ewart, Richard (8 July 2019). "The Pacific Games Day 1: Raining, and raining goals". Football in Oceania. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  18. ^ Ewart, Richard (12 July 2019). "Pacific Games Day 3: Red cards and red mist!". Football in Oceania. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  19. ^ "World's first transgender footballer proud to be 'home' for pacific games". Loop Pacific. 15 July 2019. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  20. ^ Vitolio, Brian (12 July 2019). "American Samoa draw with Tuvalu 1-1". Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ https://www.oldfootballshirts.com/pt/teams/a/american-samoa/old-american-samoa-football-shirts-t2894.html

External linksEdit