27 Aug 2015

Sport: American Samoa to play first football match in 4 years

8:06 am on 27 August 2015
The American Samoa men's football team training in Fiji.

The American Samoa men's football team training in Fiji. Photo: Facebook / Football Federation American Samoa

American Samoa play their first senior football international in four years this evening against Fiji in Nadi.

The match is being used as a warm-up for the first round of Oceania World Cup qualifying, which kicks off in Tonga next week.

Head coach Larry Manao says just to be on the pitch for the first time since 2011 is an achievement in itself.

"There's a lot to be done. A lot of it's just getting familiar with the players and see if they understand the system so that particular match will be a good test, in terms of seeing if they understand the system of play, if they can enhance their communications and start getting familiar with some of these players - like I said they haven't played together, ever. It's early on but it will give us at least some indication of what capabilities we have".

Larry Manao says it would be far-fetched for the US territory to expect a win against Fiji but they want to be competitive.

"Fiji's a fantastic team - it will be a really tough match. I watched them personally in New Zealand at the Under 20 World Cup, when I was down there for the FIFA workshop. The way they play and the way they've been developing over the last four years they're definitely an up and coming talent - especially competing against New Zealand in the Oceania Confederation this time around - so my hats off to them - I think they've done a fantastic job of developing their programs".

American Samoa face Samoa in their first World Cup qualifying match on Monday.