American Samoa’s 18-man squad departs today for the Cook Islands to compete in the OFC Men’s U-19 Championship’s four-team qualifiers from May 26-June 1, 2018.
The other three countries are the Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga and the winner of the qualifiers advances to the second stage of the tournament set in August in Tahiti.
“In this world of ours, it is one of strife, but hard work and competitiveness in all aspects of life,” said Rev. Elder Ioane Evagelia of the Utulei CCCAS in his sermon during a church service for the players on Sunday, May 20, 2018. “And to survive in it, you have to work hard. Success will come with hard work.”
Of the 18 players, nine have experience playing in an OFC international youth tournament – Gabriel Taumua, Walter Pati, Chris Faamoana, Henry Milo Tiatia, Michael Settle, Joseph Jr. Choi, Roy Ledoux, Misipele Musu, Manu Faoa-Danielson Jr. and Darryl Ulufale. The latter two, however, have Futsal experience, and not the 11-a-side version of the game.
“Our team is ready to compete, and we look forward to competing in this tournament,” said coach Tunoa Lui. “The players have been training hard and are going to give it their best.”
American Samoa faces Samoa on May 26 at 3:30 PM; Tonga on May 29 at 3:30 PM, and Cook Islands on June 1 at 12:30 PM (American Samoa times and dates).
“You players are aware of the competitiveness of this tournament, and we urge you to play strong and play hard for yourselves, your families, and also for your country,” said FFAS President Faiivae Iuli Alex Godinet.
All details and information about the trip were explained by Faiivae and the executive committee to the parents in a recent meeting. The team will return to American Samoa on June 4, 2018. Taking the team besides Lui, are assistant coach Talalelei Faalavaau, physio Luaao Wasko, media officer Brian Vitolio and manager Tavita Taumua.
American Samoa Men’s U19 Squad
New Year Villar
Henry Milo Tiatita