Samoana’s bid for a three-peat got off to a rocky start in the ASHSAA Boys soccer season that kicked off on March 15, 2019 — a 3-2 loss to the Leone Lions on March 16.
On March 15, the Lions’ varsity and J-V teams opened the season with games against the Tafuna Warriors. Both Leone teams won 3-2 and 3-1, respectively.
On March 16, Tafuna beat SPA 4-3 while in the J-V match the Warriors blanked the Crusaders 3-0.
There are five teams competing in the varsity bracket — Faga’itua, Leone, Samoana, South Pacific Academy and Tafuna. Four teams are playing in the J-V contest — defending champs Leone, Faga’itua, Fa’asao-Marist and Tafuna.
The league is a two-round robin with no playoffs. The team with the most points at the end of the double round will be crowned champions.
In the varsity division, teams are boosted by a number of American Samoa youth international representative players. SPA has two with Walter Pati and Henry Milo Tiatia. Samoana has Xavier Leatualevao and Christopher Faamoana, while Leone has Manu “MJ” Danielson, Hengihengi Ikuvalu and twins Mark and Mathew Tagai playing on the J-V squad. For Faga’itua, they have Steven Fiso and Hoenfels Unutoa, the latter trained with the U-19 team last year but did not travel to the Cook Islands.