Young squad for American Samoa women’s soccer team
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The American Samoa women’s national team is very young, with an average age of 17 for the 21 players selected.
Three players were part of last year’s 2018 OFC Nation’s Cup qualifying team for American Samoa — Saono Enesi, Elcy Lui and Rayxena Foma’i. Lela Waetin is another veteran with experience on the team, having played on the 2011 National Team during the Pacific Games hosted by New Caledonia.
Of the entire team, only three are over the age of 20.
“We have been training since the end of the girls’ high school season in February,” said head coach, Ati Faamau-Samuelu. “It has been hard training for the girls but they have responded well to our instructions.”
Despite their young ages, the majority of them play in the FFAS National League.
The women are grouped with five other teams, including their sisters and hosts, Samoa.
“We are looking forward to seeing them perform on the field,” said the team’s head of delegation, Sandra Fruean, who also doubles as the association’s vice-president.
The other teams are Fiji, New Caledonia, Samoa and Solomon Islands. The top team from the two pools will play in the gold medal game, while the second-best squads will vie for the bronze medal.
Aiding Faamau-Samuelu are assistant coach Sophia Ah Fook, trainer Donna Siliga, technical advisor Rupeni Luvu, team manager Amio Mavaega-Luvu and equipment curator Meipele Faamoana.
“They are the best players we have on island, and these players are the future of women’s soccer in American Samoa,” said FFAS president, Sen. Faiivae Iuli Alex Godinet.
The women’s schedule is as follows:
VS. Fiji — July 8, 12:00 PM (July 7, 12:00 PM local time and date)
VS. Samoa — July 10 3:00 PM (July 9, 3:00 PM local time and date)
VS. New Caledonia — July 12, 1:30 PM (July 11, 1:30 PM local time and date)
VS. Solomon Islands — July 15, 3:30 PM (July 15, 3:30 PM local time and date)
The women’s team will return home on July 16, arriving back home July 15.
The American Samoa Women’s National Team squad are:
Sandra FRUEAN – Head of Delegation
Amio MAVAEGA-LUVU — Team Manager
Rupeni LUVU — Technical Advisor
Ati FAAMAU-SAMUELU — Head Coach
Sophia AH FOOK — Assistant Coach
Donna SILIGA — Trainer
Meipele FAAMOANA — Equipment curator
Brian VITOLIO — Media Officer