FFAS issues call to National Team players for WCQ 2018
FFAS is issuing a call to all American Samoa men’s National Team players in the territory and abroad of its preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia qualifiers.
The Oceania Football Confederation’s qualifiers for the FIFA flagship tournament of 2018 may be held late next year or early 2015.
FFAS hopes to improve on the results recorded by the 2011 squad, coached by former U.S. U-20 men’s coach Thomas Rongen when the team won its first ever FIFA international match on Nov. 22 against Tonga, 2-1.
The team went on to miss qualifying for OFC’s second stage of the qualifiers after an injury-time goal by Samoa during the tournament’s last match to determine the 1st Stage winner.
“We came very close in 2011 and we are looking forward to performing better during the next qualifiers,” said FFAS President Faiivae Alex Godinet. “I call out to all players in the territory and abroad that are either US citizens or nationals to make known to our staff your availability to try out for our team.”
FFAS CEO Tavita Taumua and Technical Director Ruben Luvu will be working together with Seattle-based Larry Mana’o on the make up of the squad.
“We are very blessed to have an individual like Larry help us out, especially in trying to contact and look for players of American Samoan descent living in the U.S. that want to represent us in soccer,” explained Taumua. “He will be working on the off-island players aspect of our team while Ruben & I will work with the locally based players.”
Taumua said that Mana’o could be contacted by phone — (425) 954-6119 — or via e-mail — email@example.com by players living in the U.S. FFAS can also be contact by phone — (684) 644-7104 — or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org as well.
Taumua went on to say that he and Mana’o discussed having tryouts in the mainland for all eligible players living in the U.S.
Of the 23-man squad from 2011, six of them were living in the states, including goalkeeper Nicky Salapu, defender Johnny Saelua and the Ott brothers, Diamond and Ramin, both of whom were and are still in the U.S. Army.
Diamond Ott joined his unit immediately after the tournament in 2011 to prepare for deployment in Afghanistan while the other five returned to their respective homes in the U.S.
Of the 17 locally based players from that team in 2011, six more have moved to the U.S. with three of them enlisting in the U.S. military, including the team’s skipper Liatama Amisone Jr. who went to basic training earlier this year.