American Samoa, one of soccer's worst teams, scores first ever win
American Samoa are bottom of FIFA's world football rankings.
November 24th, 2011
03:25 AM ET

American Samoa, one of soccer's worst teams, scores first ever win

Talk about something to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.

The American Samoa soccer team, ranked dead last in the FIFA rankings, made history this week when it won its first ever international game.

That's cause for celebration for a team that for 16 years had never savored victory.

A team that played 30 games since 1994, losing all 30.

One that set a record for the largest loss in international soccer history, when Australia trounced it 30-1 in 2001.

But all that changed Tuesday when it beat Tonga 2-1 in a pre-qualifying game for the 2014 World Cup.

I hope that we can now improve our standing in the FIFA rankings and get into the hundreds," said coach Thomas Rongen to the country's football federation. "We are 204 at the moment and this win will have helped."

Rongen, who until May coached the U.S. Under-20 team, was hired just three weeks ago.

He told the Football Federation he wasn't even sure where the tiny U.S. protectorate in the South Pacific was when he was approached for the job.

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Filed under: Soccer • Sports • U.S.
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Go American Samoa!
    What you did inspires me!
    You can do anything you really want and work for.
    Never give up.
    The wolf at the bottom of the hill is the hungriest.

    November 24, 2011 at 4:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    About twenty years ago I had gotten out of shape and soft.
    I went to a hard-core gym and hired a Serious trainer who won bodybuilding ti-
    tles and trained champions.
    At the first gym session, he told me, "I want you to look around this room. Everybody in here is better than you."
    I died.
    He said, "that's good. The wolf at the bottom of the hill is the hungriest."
    I did the work. People started looking at me.
    I had "a lot of heart."
    The trainer let me work out with champions and with guys who were just a lot bigger than I.
    Onw day we started a group, and the others stared at me as if I were crazy.
    After about twenty minutes, one of them looked at me and said, "da-
    They were bigger, but I kept up.
    The wolf at the bottom of the hill is the hungriest.

    November 24, 2011 at 4:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I worked with another famous bodybuilder and trainer, Sig Klein.
    When new people came into the gym and saw pictures of bodybuilding champions on the wall, some of them would say, "I don't want to look like THAT."
    Sig Klein told them, "don't worry–the course isn't that good."

    November 24, 2011 at 4:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I'm waking up, realizing that the Hunger and Drive I described above is the thing that I have to be most Thankful for today.

    November 24, 2011 at 4:47 am | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Brandon:
    I expect a challenge to the agreement in my 4:47 sentence.
    Sturm und Drang is a single movement.

    November 24, 2011 at 5:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    Well, in every game, *someone's* got to be the loser...
    Does it have to be the same team every time, though?

    Well done, American Samoa.
    Well done, coach.

    November 24, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mmmmm

    Congratulations!!! Better late than thanksgiving everyone...

    November 24, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    Happy Thanksgiving, Mmmmm.

    November 24, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Duke

    They lost 31-0 to Australia. Not 30-1.

    December 4, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |