kids encyclopedia robot

American Samoa national football team facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
American Samoa
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) The Boys from the Territory
Association Football Federation American Samoa
Confederation OFC (Oceania)
Head coach Ruben Luvu
Captain Vacant
Most caps Nicky Salapu (22)
Top scorer Ramin Ott (3)
Home stadium Pago Park Soccer Stadium
FIFA code ASA
First colors
Second colors
FIFA ranking
Current 190 Steady (February 7, 2019)
Highest 164 (October 2015)
Lowest 205 (May 2006)
Elo ranking
Current 236 Steady (3 March 2019)
Highest 188 (August 22, 1983)
Lowest 238 (August 27, 2015)
First international
 Samoa 3–1 American Samoa 
(Apia, Western Samoa; August 20, 1983)
FIFA recognized
 Tonga 3–0 American Samoa 
(Avarua, Cook Islands; September 2, 1998)
Biggest win
 Wallis and Futuna 0–3 American Samoa 
(Apia, Western Samoa; August 22, 1983)
FIFA recognized
 American Samoa 2–0 Cook Islands 
(Nuku'alofa, Tonga; September 4, 2015)
Biggest defeat
 Australia 31–0 American Samoa 
(Coffs Harbour, Australia; April 11, 2001)
(World record for senior international matches)

The American Samoa men's national football team (Samoan: Au soka Amerika Sāmoa) represents American Samoa in men's international association football and is controlled by the Football Federation American Samoa, the governing body of the sport in the territory. American Samoa's home ground is the Pago Park Soccer Stadium in Pago Pago and their head coach is Tunoa Lui.

History

Early history

In 1983, American Samoa entered a football team in the South Pacific Games for the first time. The territory's official first match took place in Apia, Western Samoa on August 20, 1983, and ended in a 3–1 defeat to Western Samoa. Two days later, the team recorded their first win with a 3–0 victory against Wallis and Futuna however, they were eliminated from the competition at the group stage following a 3–2 loss to Tonga on August 24.

The following year, the American Samoa Football Association (ASFA) – now known as Football Federation American Samoa (FFAS) – was founded and took over responsibility for organizing the territory's national team.

After competing in the 1987 South Pacific Games and the 1994 Polynesia Cup, ASFA became full members of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) allowing them to compete in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers for the first time. American Samoa registered their first FIFA-recognized international during the 1998 Polynesia Cup in Rarotonga, Cook Islands when they lost 3–0 to Tonga on September 2.

World record for the worst loss in international matches

During their first qualifying campaign for the 2002 FIFA World Cup in April 2001, American Samoa was involved in a match which set the record for the largest margin of victory in international football when they lost 31–0 to Australia. The outcome of the match led to debates about the format of qualification tournaments, with the Australian manager Frank Farina and striker Archie Thompson – who scored 13 times in the match – feeling that preliminary rounds should be introduced to avoid such unbalanced matches, views shared by the international footballing body FIFA. It eventually led to the introduction of a preliminary round in the Oceanian zone qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

Stagnation

Since joining FIFA, the team has been regarded as one of the world's weakest teams and were, until November 2011, the joint-lowest ranked national team in the FIFA World ranking.

On November 23, 2011, American Samoa recorded their second and first FIFA-recognized win when they defeated Tonga 2–1 in the first round of qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. It was also the team's first victory after 38 consecutive defeats.

The team's efforts to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup were chronicled in a 2014 British documentary, Next Goal Wins, directed by Mike Brett and Steve Jamison. In October 2015, the territory achieved its highest position in the FIFA World Rankings when they reached 164th following back-to-back wins against Tonga and the Cook Islands in qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

After playing in the 2019 Pacific Games, American Samoa was removed from the FIFA World Rankings after it had not played a match in over four years. This hiatus was caused in part by the COVID-19 pandemic which forced the team out of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification and the cancellation of the 2020 OFC Nations Cup. American Samoa would finally compete again at the 2023 Pacific Games.

Player pool

American Samoa has struggled in part because of its small player pool. The territory has a small population, and many potential players move away for education or work or choose to play other sports such as baseball. Another limiting factor is that international competition regulations often require that players hold the nationality of the country that they represent, which in the case of American Samoa is United States nationality. Although people born in American Samoa are United States nationals, foreign nationals who immigrate to American Samoa, who comprise about a third of its population, are ineligible to apply for United States nationality. An option for the team would be to recruit players from the United States, as other teams of Pacific territories have done with their parent countries, such as Tahiti drawing players from Metropolitan France.

Team image

Pago Park Soccer Stadium
Pago Park Soccer Stadium

Home stadium

American Samoa's home ground is the Pago Park Soccer Stadium in Pago Pago with a 2,000 capacity. However, American Samoa has never played a home match at the senior level in its history. The stadium featured in the highly rated 2023 film Next Goal Wins and was used as the national team's training ground in the build-up to the 2011 Pacific Games and the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Matches at the stadium must be concluded before 6:30pm because of a village curfew which limits noise and prevents the installation of floodlighting. For this reason, the association began planning a new facility in Tafuna in 2023. FIFA president Gianni Infantino promised the association $5 million for the project during his visit around Oceania in summer of that year.

Results and fixtures

2023

2024

Coaching staff

Position Name
Head coach England David Jones
Assistant coach American Samoa Fred Maiava
Team manager American Samoa Silasila Samuelu
Physicotherapist American Samoa Uaealesi Malaga
Goalkeeper coach American Samoa Augustine Grey

Coaching history

  • American Samoa Tiwo Kummings (2000)
  • American Samoa Anthony Langkilde (2001)
  • American Samoa Tunoa Lui (2001–2002)
  • England Ian Crook (2004)
  • American Samoa Nathan Mease (2007)
  • England David Brand (2007–2010)
  • American Samoa Iofi Lalogafuafua (2011)
  • Netherlands Thomas Rongen (2011)
  • American Samoa Larry Mana'o (2015–2019)
  • American Samoa Tunoa Lui (2019–2023)
  • American Samoa Ruben Luvu (2023–2024)
  • England David Jones (2024)

Players

Current squad

The following players were called up for the 2023 Pacific Games.

Caps and goals updated as of 30 November 2023, after the game against Tonga.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Penieli Atu (2005-09-05) 5 September 2005 (age 18) 3 0 American Samoa PanSa
23 1GK Matthias Logologo (2002-06-24) 24 June 2002 (age 21) 1 0 American Samoa Pago Youth

3 2DF Austin Kaleopa (2001-04-24) 24 April 2001 (age 22) 8 0 American Samoa Utulei Youth
4 2DF Poasa Collins (2004-01-12) 12 January 2004 (age 20) 2 0 American Samoa Pago Youth
5 2DF Leaga Lealuga 4 1 American Samoa Black Roses
6 2DF Robert Yarofalir 3 0 American Samoa Green Bay
8 2DF Lalofau Fe'a 4 0 American Samoa Pago Youth
14 2DF Misiona Fagapulea 2 0 American Samoa Ilaoa and To'omata
15 2DF Pela Scanlan (2006-01-24) 24 January 2006 (age 18) 3 0 American Samoa Pago Youth

2 3MF Roy Ledoux (2000-06-26) 26 June 2000 (age 23) 9 0 American Samoa Pago Youth
10 3MF Tia Silao 4 1 American Samoa Pago Youth
11 3MF Billjay Vaitoelau (2002-04-13) 13 April 2002 (age 22) 4 1 American Samoa Royal Puma
12 3MF Kuresa Taga'i (2000-08-04) 4 August 2000 (age 23) 7 0 American Samoa Ilaoa and To'omata
13 3MF Larry Silao 2 0 American Samoa Pago Youth
16 3MF Ben Tofaeono (2006-03-18) 18 March 2006 (age 18) 3 0 American Samoa Ilaoa and To'omata
17 3MF Pago Isu (2005-11-13) 13 November 2005 (age 18) 3 0 American Samoa Black Roses
20 3MF Puni Samuelu (1996-08-16) 16 August 1996 (age 27) 7 0 American Samoa Pago Youth

7 4FW Petu Pouli (2005-12-18) 18 December 2005 (age 18) 4 0 American Samoa Vaiala Tongan
9 4FW Daniel Lee (2007-02-17)17 February 2007 (aged 16) 3 0 American Samoa Royal Puma
18 4FW Tala Fereti 4 0 American Samoa Ilaoa and To'omata
19 4FW Paneta Loke 0 0 American Samoa Lion Heart

Player records

Goalkeeper Nicky Salapu holds the record for the most appearances for American Samoa. Since his debut against Fiji on April 7, 2001, he has made 22 appearances for the national team – including the world record defeat to Australia and American Samoa's first FIFA-recognized victory against Tonga in November 2011. Ramin Ott holds the record for most goals for American Samoa after scoring three times in 15 appearances between 2004 and 2015. In total, 10 different players have scored a goal in a FIFA-recognized match for American Samoa.

.

Most appearances

Rank Name Caps Goals Position Career
1 Nicky Salapu 22 0 GK 2001–2019
2 Uasi Heleta 16 0 DF 2004–2019
3 Ramin Ott 15 3 FW 2004–2015
4 Jaiyah Saelua 14 0 DF 2004–2019
5 Travis Pita Sinapati 12 0 DF 2001–2007
6 Roy Ledoux 9 0 DF 2018–present
Natia Natia 9 1 MF 2004–2011
8 Austin Kaleopa 8 0 MF 2019–present
Maika Molesi 8 0 DF 2004–2007
Ryan Samuelu 8 0 DF 2015–2019
Pesamino Victor 8 0 DF 2007–2011

Youngest player

  • Jaiyah Saelua – 15 years 300 days vs. Fiji on 15 May 2004

Oldest player

  • Nicky Salapu – 38 years 308 days vs. Tahiti on 18 July 2019

Top goalscorers

Rank Name Goals Caps Average Career
1 Ramin Ott 3 15 0.2 2004–2015
2 Demetrius Beauchamp 2 4 0.25 2015
Justin Mana'o 2 7 0.29 2011–2015
Shalom Luani 2 8 0.25 2011

First goal

  • Duane Atuelevao – 12 March 2002 vs. Tonga

Most goals in a match

  • Demetrius Beauchamp – 2 vs. Samoa on 31 August 2015

Team records

  • Biggest victory: 3–0 vs. Wallis and Futuna on 22 August 1983
  • Heaviest defeat: 0–31 vs. Australia on 11 April 2001
  • Most consecutive victories: 2; achieved September 2015
  • Most consecutive matches without defeats: 2; achieved November 2011 and September 2015
  • Most consecutive matches without victory: 37 between 24 August 1983 and 5 September 2011
  • Most consecutive matches without scoring: 7 between 27 August 2007 and 5 September 2011

Competitive record

FIFA World Cup

Following FIFA affiliation in 1998, American Samoa first entered the qualifying competition for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. They have entered the qualifiers for each subsequent edition but have never made it beyond the first stage. The closest they came to reaching the second phase was in qualifying for the 2018 edition when they won two of their three matches and narrowly missed out on progressing on goal difference.

FIFA World Cup Qualification
Year Host Round Pld W D L F A Pos. Pld W D L F A Source
1930 to 1998 Not a FIFA member Not a FIFA member
2002  Japan
 South Korea
Did not qualify Group – 5th 4 0 0 4 0 57
2006  Germany First round group – 5th[A] 4 0 0 4 1 34
2010  South Africa First round group – 5th[B] 4 0 0 4 1 38
2014  Brazil First round group – 3rd[C] 3 1 1 1 3 3
2018  Russia First round group – 2nd[D] 3 2 0 1 6 4
2022  Qatar Withdrew Withdrew
2026  Canada
 Mexico
 United States
To be determined To be determined
2030  Morocco
 Portugal
 Spain
2034  Saudi Arabia
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/6 18 3 1 14 11 136
Notes

OFC Nations Cup

Before becoming full members of OFC in 1998, American Samoa entered the 1994 Polynesia Cup which acted as the qualifying round for Polynesian national teams for the 1996 OFC Nations Cup. This was the territory's first time competing for a place in OFC's flagship competition for senior men's national teams.

The OFC Nations Cup has often acted as part of the FIFA World Cup qualification process for Oceanian national teams and, as a result, American Samoa have competed in the qualifiers for both competitions in every edition since 1998. They have yet to qualify for either competition.

Oceania Cup / OFC Nations Cup Qualification record
Year Host Round Pld W D L F A Pos. Pld W D L F A Source
1973  New Zealand Did not enter Did not enter
1980  New Caledonia
1996 N/A[E] Did not qualify 4th[F] 3 0 0 3 3 7
1998  Australia 5th[G] 4 0 0 4 3 23
2000  Tahiti 5th[H] 4 0 0 4 2 29
2002  New Zealand 5th 4 0 0 4 2 29
2004  Australia 5th[I] 4 0 0 4 1 34
2008 N/A[E] 5th[J] 4 0 0 4 1 38
2012  Solomon Islands 3rd[K] 3 1 1 1 3 3
2016  Papua New Guinea 2nd[L] 3 2 0 1 6 4
2024  Vanuatu Did not enter Did not enter
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 29 3 1 25 21 167
Notes

Pacific Games

American Samoa first entered the South Pacific Games in 1983. This was the first time a team representing the territory had competed in association football and they recorded one win from their three games in the group stage by beating Wallis and Futuna 3–0 – the only time American Samoa have recorded a win in the competition – but that wasn't enough to progress to the next round. American Samoa would go onto enter the 1987 edition where they were again eliminated in the group stage, losing all four of their matches.

It would be another 20 years before they again entered the competition. The 2007 edition was the last known as the South Pacific Games before becoming the Pacific Games four years later and it was also part of the qualification process for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In their third appearance in the competition, American Samoa were again eliminated at the group stage, losing all four matches. The same fate befell American Samoa in the 2011 Pacific Games as they lost all five games to finish bottom of their group.

In 2015, the Pacific Games was an age-restricted tournament that doubled as the OFC Men's Olympic Qualifying Tournament and no team representing American Samoa took part. Four years later, they were again eliminated at the group stage however, a 1–1 draw with Tuvalu ended a 32-year losing streak in the competition.

Pacific Games
Year Host Round Pld W D L F A Source
1963 to 1979 did not enter
1983  Western Samoa Group stage 3 1 0 2 6 6
1987  New Caledonia 4 0 0 4 1 42
1991 to 2003 did not enter
2007[M]  Samoa Group stage 4 0 0 4 1 38
2011  New Caledonia 5 0 0 5 0 26
2015  Papua New Guinea did not enter[N]
2019  Samoa Group stage 5 0 1 4 2 36
2023  Solomon Islands 4 0 0 4 2 31
Total 25 1 1 23 12 179
Notes

Records and statistics

American Samoa played their first full international match against Papua New Guinea, which ended in a 20–0 loss. Their national team have suffered the world's biggest international defeat, by losing to Australia 31–0. American Samoa have won only against Cook Islands, Tonga, and Wallis and Futuna. American Samoa have also lost to all of these teams at least once.

Head-to-head record

The following table shows the American Samoa national football team's all-time international record. The statistics are composed of FIFA World Cup, OFC Nations Cup, Polynesia Cup and Pacific Games matches, as well as international friendlies. American Samoa national football team results

Performance by competition

Up to matches played on 30 November 2023.

Pos Competition Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 FIFA World Cup qualification[N] 18 3 1 14 11 136 −125 10
2 OFC Nations Cup qualification[N] 29 3 1 25 21 167 −146 10
3 Polynesia Cup[N] 11 0 0 11 8 59 −51 0
4 Pacific Games[N] 25 1 1 23 12 179 −167 4
Source:
Pos Competition Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Competitive 54 4 2 48 32 365 −333 14
2 Friendlies 1 0 0 1 0 6 −6 0
Source:
Notes

Performance by venue

Up to matches played on 20 November 2023.

Pos Venue Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Home 6 0 1 5 3 42 −39 1
2 Away 3 0 0 3 1 25 −24 0
3 Neutral 50 4 2 44 30 334 −304 14
Source:

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Selección de fútbol de Samoa Americana para niños

  • American Samoa national under-23 football team
  • American Samoa national under-20 football team
  • American Samoa national under-17 football team
  • American Samoa women's national football team
  • American Samoa women's national under-17 football team
kids search engine
American Samoa national football team Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.