Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Bottom Five: American Samoa

All the glamour goes to Spain, Holland, Brazil, etc., and rightfully so. But what about life at the bottom of the world rankings? In a five-part series, Staff Writer Chris Lillstrung looks at the five international soccer teams at the bottom of the FIFA rankings.


Manager: David Brand
Notable players abroad: None
What’s so bad?: In an American territory in which football, basketball and baseball are king, soccer has suffered for many years here in the South Pacific. American Samoa has never won a match in its time as a FIFA member and holds the dubious honor of being on the business end of the most lopsided international match in history. On April 11, 2001, American Samoa played Australia and lost, 31-0, in a 2002 World Cup qualifier (video of which can be found here. Aussie striker Archie Thompson set the world record for most goals in a single match with 13. Also, the country’s few resources devoted to the sport were decimated by a tsunami a year ago, and training facilities are only now beginning to return to their former shape.
What’s good: A strong push is being made by the governing body for soccer in this nation at the youth ranks, and thus far it appears to be a success. Brand played in England for Wigan Athletic and appears to be in it for the long haul, trying to get the team as far away from the 31-0 loss as possible.


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