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A.S. reaches new heights in FIFA Coca/Cola Ranking

In 2011 American Samoa went up 18 spots from 204 to 186 after the OFC Stage 1, 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil qualifiers.
This new leap comes on the heels of a similar tournament, this time for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia qualifiers.
“This is an amazing achievement for our men’s national team,” said Faiivae Iuli Alex Godinet, FFAS president. “The executive committee and I got to see first hand the training aspects and sacrifices made by our players and team management in preparing this team.
“We are all in agreement that it was well worth it and the executive and I and our association made many sacrifices for this team. We sacrificed many of our programs for this year alone by putting them on hold, as well as financially.”
“First, that is amazing that we moved up to 164. Wow!” exclaimed Larry Mana’o, coach for the men’s national team during the recent qualifiers in Tonga.
“Secondly, I think it is deserving based on what the team accomplished,” he added.
• Scored an average of two goals a game.
• First ever shut-out in the history of the team.
• 2 consecutive wins in a competition.
• 6 goals scored in a competition
“It shows that we have improved and getting better as a program and a country. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished and believe we can improve even further in the next few years.”
Goes to show that American Samoa’s only direction is going up in the rankings,” said Ramin Ott, captain of the men’s national team. “With the boost, it should shine the light that we need to play more international friendlies. We are more than capable to play amongst the best in the world! 164 is only the highest for now!”
“It just brings back strong memories of our team and our experience during this recent qualifiers and the one back in 2011,” said FFAS CEO Tavita Taumua, who doubled as the team’s manager in 2011 and 2015. “Both ended in disappointment as we did not progress to the second stage but I can say that I am proud of both teams and their achievements.
“Especially this recent squad because they gave us two great victories.”
American Samoa’s rise comes on the strength of its two victories in the month of September, a 2-1 result against Tonga and a 2-0 win over the Cook Islands.
With most of the Oceania national teams idle for the month of September, Samoa, American Samoa and the Cook Islands were able to leap ahead of the usual top teams such as New Caledonia, Tahiti and Fiji.
Samoa’s current FIFA ranking (162) puts them in second place in the Oceania region to New Zealand (148), followed by American Samoa (164) and the Cook Islands (166).
“It’s the highest ranking yet for us and it shows us what we’re capable of if we play well and hopefully we can build on this team’s achievements,” Taumua said.
Faiivae and the executive board — VP Sandra Fruean, Rev. Ioane Evagelia, Fano Mitch Shimasaki, Amio Mavaega-Luvu and Saili Ott — told the team upon their return from Tonga that they were extremely happy with their efforts, and are now looking forward to more positive actions towards such as FFAS’ development programs that will eventually feed these kinds of teams in the future.
American Samoa does not currently have any matches scheduled for the near future but FFAS are looking into it with a favorable view.

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