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FFAS in 2010: The Show Must Go On

The earthquake and tsunami of Sept. 29, 2009 caused heavy damages to the FFAS facility in Pago Pago, especially the playing field, but with a great partnership between the association and Kananafou Theological Seminary, competitions were not called off.
By March the end of the girls’ high school league was moved to Pago Park Soccer Stadium, along with the boys’ competition and FFAS’ 7-a-side league before the FIFA Goal Projects II & III (extension of the playing field to fit two international size fields, new changing rooms, security fence and public bathrooms plus store and medical room behind the main stands) construction began.
Recently FFAS constructed a new, four-year, Long-term Development Plan to replace the expiring one that was created in 2007 with many objectives being continued.
“It was a very busy year for us but worth it,” Taumua pointed out. “We are looking forward to another busy one, busier than this past year because of the international competitions we will be entering.”
Those competitions include the Men’s U-17 and U-20 OFC Championships to be held in New Zealand in January and April, respectively. Come May FFAS sends a team to the OFC Futsal Championship in Fiji, a first time American Samoa will take part in this contest and then in August, a men and women’s national teams will represent American Samoa in soccer at the Pacific Games 2011 New Caledonia.
To end it all in 2011, FFAS will hold elections for its top officers — President, Vice-President and Executive Committee members.
FFAS held four courses in 2010:
1. FIFA-OFC Futsal Referee Course in February conducted by FIFA Referee Instructor Neil Poloso.
2. FIFA Women’s Football Coaching Course in April conducted by FIFA Coach Instructor Vicki Linton.
3. FIFA-OFC-FFAS Youth Coaching Course held in May conducted by FIFA Coach Instructor Jim Selby.
4. MA Follow-Up Referee Course in August conducted by OFC Referee Development Officer Massimo Raveino, FIFA Referee Instructor Neil Poloso and FIFA Fitness Instructor Kader Touati.
Black Roses was the most dominant club in this year’s competitions, winning every female competition they entered while the men’s team won one and fiercely contested in others.
Vailoatai Youth was the surprise club, entering its first year as a member and then winning the inaugural President’s Cup in the men’s national division and also the Boys’ 15-17 division of the Summer Youth League. They also finished high in other competitions as well.
The first competition of the year was the girls’ varsity high school contest with two teams other than Leone and Samoana reaching the final for the first time in nine years! Fa’asao-Marist Crusaders triumphed 4-2 over fellow private high school Iakina Seventh Day Adventist Academy in March.
Samoana was crowned the junior varsity winner with the best record.
In the boys’ contest, Tafuna Warriors won 4-2 in the title match against Leone Lions while the latter’s J-V squad took their division’s title by way of best record in April.
In May Black Roses’ claimed a double in the Futsal League with their men and women’s teams winning the championship games. The men’s team beat Lion Heart 5-4 while the ladies dominated Utulei Youth 8-1.
Come June Night Hawk Night Club won the shootout of the Business League final against Pacific Printing/Deluxe Café.
Also in June FC SKBC took the men’s 7-a-side league title with a 2-1 win over Pago Youth while Black Roses finished third and Vailoatai fourth.
Black Roses trounced Kiwi Soccers 5-0 in the women’s final while Ilaoa & To’omata and Tafuna Jets finished 3rd and 4th, respectively.
For the Summer Youth League, Lion Heart repeated as champs in the Boys’ 12-14 bracket after a 4-3 win over Pago Youth. Vailoatai Youth held off Utulei Youth 3-2 in the shootout for the Boys’ 15-17 championship.
Black Roses edged Ilaoa & To’omata 2-1 in the final for the Girls’ 15-17.
Finally, the big competition, the National League.
A knockout cup was added to the men’s National League competition with Vailoatai Youth winning the inaugural tournament in the final 3-2 over Lion Heart.
As for the regular competition, Pago Youth A, 2008 champions, crushed 2009 defending champs Black Roses 6-2. Fagasa Youth finished third and Vailoatai Youth fourth.
The Black Roses women breezed through their division with a perfect record and another title in the bag, beating Utulei Youth 3-0 in the final.
Ilaoa & To’omata placed third while Tafuna Jets finished fourth.
Programs and other miscellaneous other projects for the year 2010 were many and very successful.
There was the signing of a one-year agreement between the association and one of its partners, Blue Sky Communications Inc., to broadcast games on Moana-TV.
From this partnership blossomed the reality of showing all 64 games (the majority of them live) of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa with the help of Fiji’s May-TV, TVNZ, KVZK and Blue Sky Communications Inc.
ASPIRC partnered with FFAS again for its U-5 Soccer Footies program for the second year in a row for another successful run and near the end of the year soccer teamed up with two other organizations for a similar program — Ta’ita’itama and the Boys & Girls Clubs of American Samoa.
Together with FFAS they are running the After School Program Initiative that caters to sixth through eighth graders in elementary that is currently on break due to the school holidays but resumes on January 3, 2011.
“It’s all in the name of development soccer in American Samoa,” pointed out Taumua. “It’s been a positive end to the year and it will start off positive with the upcoming dedication ceremony for our FIFA Goal Projects II & III in January 15, 2011.”

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