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Seattle Reign star runs clinic for ASHSAA girls

Mariah Mealii Nogueira, a midfielder for the Seattle Reign FC in the National Women’s Soccer League in the U.S., is of Brazilian and Samoan descent.
Last Saturday, after watching local high school girls’ games, Nogueira ran a clinic before finishing with a fun game with the participants.
Also on hand were two representatives of the ASNOC’s Women In Sports as they contributed 10 cases of water for the clinic.
“I got to love soccer because of my dad being Brazilian,” she explained to the attentive participants. “But, being a soccer player and Samoan, I am proud to be here with you because this is one of the first times I’m surrounded by so many female Polynesian soccer players.”
This is Nogueira’s first trip to American Samoa, coming with her grandfather Tuinei Lemapu of Fagasa. Her trip to the territory is paid for thanks to Passion Passport, a company that had contestants write about their dream trip.
Nogueira, with her mom coming from American Samoa, wrote about traveling here and she was picked as the winner.
“I wanted to come to Samoa to get into my roots, meet family and then I wanted a way to give back and to serve the community,” she said in an interview with KHJ Radio. “I wanted to promote soccer because I know it’s not as popular here but I wanted the kids here to see that as a Polynesian, as a Samoan you can play soccer too and still be at the highest level.”
At the end of the clinic and game FFAS Vice-President and Head of Women’s Soccer, Sandra Fruean, gifted polo shirts with the association’s logo to Nogueira and thanked her for seeking out FFAS.
“We are proud to have you as a Samoan female playing professional soccer,” Fruean said. “We wish you the best of luck when you return home and to you girls, Mariah is proof that you can achieve playing professional soccer.
“You can go places with this sport especially in furthering your education.”
Nogueira went to Stanford University before being drafted by the Boston Breakers in 2013. She was later traded to the Seattle Reign after completing one season with the Breakers.
She has played for the U.S. Women’s National Team U-23 and U-15 squads.

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