The best soccer players Samoa has to offer will soon be heading off to the OFC Champion League 2017.
The number one soccer team in Samoa, Lupe O le Soaga, will be heading to Nuku’alofa, Tonga at the end of this month to compete in the qualifying round of the OFC against American Samoa, Tonga and Auckland City.
Lupe O le Soaga captured the number one spot in Samoa’s Premier Soccer League last year, solidifying their dominance on the pitch.
The team listed below fields some of the best soccer talent Samoa has to offer and its been a long time coming for this team.
The manager, Taioaliiseu Taimalelagi Fiti Aimaasu explains, “The main purpose of our short tour to Auckland, New Zealand last year was basically for us to have a look at the players who want to put up their hand and play for us in the upcoming tournament and are based in New Zealand. That’s where we held our final trial earlier in the year.”
After trials, management hand selected 19 players to best represent Samoa on the international stage .
The trip has been funded by Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) who paid for the air fares. The Samoa Football Federation have also been generous enough to donate more than $10,000 to help support their cause in the OFC Championship.
In the qualifying stage, Samoa will participate in a round robin tournament with the three other Pacific Island countries. The winner and runner up will then advance to the Group Stage where they will meet even more competitive teams like Fiji, Wellington, Papua New Guinea and much more.
However, the management’s plan is to stay grounded and take it one step at a time. Taioaliiseu stated, “We’re not counting out any of the teams. In the game of football , you can never make guesses because even the weaker teams in the past have created big upsets.
The club competition is a bit different from national representative teams at that national level because it has to do with financial issues. The more money you have, obviously , the wider selection of a broader number of players.”
But what separates Lupe O le Soaga from the rest of the line-up? That unique Magiagi spirit.
“It’s the camaraderie that usually comes with being a person coming from Magiagi, the togetherness of the boys as one unit. We’re looking to this to get us through. When you’re out and looking to a brother to support you on the field , I know 95/100 on the field, you will definitely get it from a Magiagi.”
Faafua Ataga Laloata
John Wesley Te’o
Darren Siaosi Alatina Talilai
Manager: Fiti Aimaasu
Assistant Coach: La’i Tautiaga
Head Coach: Paul Ualesi
Technical Advisor: Joseph Simon Taioalo