FFAS > News > 2013 O-League Preliminary > Pago Youth to compete in 2013 O-League Prelim

Pago Youth to compete in 2013 O-League Prelim

The women also added to the happy atmosphere with the Pago Girls finishing second in the Flag Day Kirikiti competition. All things Flag Day have turned out positive for the village.
It’s now Pago Youth’s turn to add further glory to the village, in particular, the men’s soccer team.
The club scored a double last year with their men and women’s teams clinching the 2011 FFAS Men and Women’s National League championships. The men’s team are back-to-back champions and winners of the title three times in the last four years.
As champions they will represent American Samoa in the 2012 O-League Preliminary competition involving the club champions from American Samoa, Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga that will be held in Tonga from May 1-7, 2012.
“This is a proud moment for our team because our title here means more as we get to travel to represent American Samoa as the best club on island,” said Pago Youth President, Silasila Samuelu. “Our players are looking forward to playing against these clubs from our fellow Polynesian islanders.”
The schedule has not been released yet but Pago Youth plays May 1 (April 30, local time), May 3 (May 2) and May 5 (May 4). Pago Youth departs for Samoa on April 26 to catch a direct flight to New Zealand where they will stay for one night before going on to Tonga.
The winner of this competition has a shot at advancing further in the O-League competition qualifiers. The O-League competition is similar to the famed UEFA Champions League as it features the club champions from eight of the 11 OFC Member Associations.
“FFAS wishes the best of luck to Pago Youth and we know they will give it their best out there in Tonga,” said FFAS President Iuli Alex Godinet.
The winner of this preliminary goes on to play against AS Mont Dore of New Caledonia on March 8 in Tonga with the winner advancing further into the 2013 O-League prelims set for May.
“This is an added incentive for all our national league teams to fight for the top spot in the men’s competition,” said FFAS CEO Tavita Taumua. “If they win they get to travel to these types of tournaments and remember, the winner goes to the O-League and if you win that competition, then that team represents OFC at the FIFA Club World Cup held at the end of every year.”
All arrangements such as travel, accommodation and meals are being covered by OFC for this preliminary competition. FFAS has also given Pago youth financial assistance courtesy of the president and executive committee.
Pago Youth have a strong squad as the majority of their players fed the last couple of American Samoa national teams.
They have stalwart defenders in Li’atama Amisone Jr. and Daru Taumua, both of them members of the November national squad under coach Thomas Rongen. They will get help from a very physical Sam Tualaulelei in the back.
In the middle they have Casper Kuresa, another member of the November club, and two others to help him out in Ben Satele and Ryan Samuelu.
Up front they have speedsters Rambo Tapui, Eugene Neemia and Ailao Tualaulelei Jr.
These are just some of the players they hope will bring them glory in Tonga.
Ailao Tualaulelei Sr. is the team’s coach while the physiotherapist is Freida Tualauleli, the team manager is Li’atama Amisone Sr., and the technical advisor is Samuelu.
“We are very thankful for this opportunity and are looking forward to competing against these other three teams,” said coach Tualaulelei. “We have a lot of experienced players on our team, players that have competed in the American Samoa national teams.
“These are the players that we will lean on to guide our team during the competition.”
Below is the full list of Pago Youth’s squad:
Moimoi Tualaulelei
Benjamin Fualaga
Penu B. Satele
Eugene Neemia
Ailao Tualaulelei Jr.
Faimalo Tapui
Ryan Samuelu
Henry Lameta
Moe C. Kuresa
Misionare Tuitamai
Fereti Logologo
Puni Samuelu
Li’atama Amisone Jr.
Daru Taumua
Jackson S. Tualaulelei
Poyer B. J. Samuelu
Ulufanua Maliko
Junior Mikaele

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