American Samoa – Is The Coach David Brand A Masochist?
Tilings were to get worse against Vanuatu and a 15-0 scoreline was yet another hammer blow for American Samoa, currently in 201″ and therefore last position in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
Some people say that Brand’s job is one for a “masochist”, with American Samoa’s most famous result a 31-0 loss to Australia in a FIFA World Cup qualifier a few years ago. Brand, however, defends his corner stoically and is proud of the work that he has achieved at a federation, the Football Federation of American Samoa (FFAS), that has been divided by political infighting throughout a turbulent ten-year period and has only just managed to come out of the dark and into a bright future.
Former FFAS President Pou Supapo had nothing but admiration for the work of Brand who she says had performed over and above the outline of his original job description: ”David has been wonderful for American Samoan football and we owe him a great deal of gratitude.”
American Samoa’s best march of the tournament came against the Kilifi Uele-coached Tongans, who had impressed with their nu\ athleticism and enthusiasm against Samoa, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. They discovered American Samoa a much tougher nut to crack, however, with Penitusi finally getting a fair share of luck and a more robust performance from those in front of him. The march had the American Samoa coach and his staff on the edge of their seats as Tonga toiled to open up a team that had previously unravelled at the merest hint of pressure, Tonga finally overcame American Samoa, but it was not without a struggle.
After the match, Brand had a beaming smile as he regarded the 4-0 defeat as a moral victory. “I am very proud of these players. When you lose a match 12-1, and another match 15-0, then 4-0 becomes a great result,” Brand said. “We work with very limited resources and you can see the criticism that we get from some quarters and most of it is unfair. We’re even lucky to put a team out on the pitch and so for people to criticise the performances is wrong, given that there was a question mark about us being here just a few days before the tournament started. I’m very proud of the ream,” concluded Brand, who also coached the women’s team that actually outperformed the men by achieving some historic results in their international football debut.