Photo Credit OFC Media
The beautiful country of Samoa plays host to the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament-Oceania Qualifier over the next couple of weeks and the host nation is determined not to just help make up the numbers.
Coach Juan Chang Urrea has made great strides since taking charge of the U-19 side which finished third at the OFC U-19 Women’s Championship in Fiji in July. The New Zealand-based coach took the senior women’s side to a 3rd place finish at the Pacific Games in Honiara late last year.
Chang Urrea speaks passionately about the team’s mission which is L.I.B.T.Y.F.I. It’s an acronym for leaving it better than you found it, referring to the player kit the team will wear.
“When you are out there and supporting us, our mission is to leave it better than we found it, and we will fight for Samoa.” Chang Urrea said.
The Samoa squad contains just one player, Repeka Asofa who plays her domestic football in Samoa, for Kiwi FC. Chang Urrea scouted far and wide to discover players with Samoan heritage, Asofa’s teammates come from as far away as Utah, California, Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand. All the players are proud of their heritage and have a deep connection with the South Pacific Nation.
And for the first time there are a set of three sisters in the Samoa squad. Xeyana Taimane Oilau Salanoa, Xevani Mataniufeagaimaleata Lilien Salanoa and Xehlia Litia Salanoa have grown up in Hawaii. Xeyana and Xehlia arrive on the eve of the tournament.
The squad were presented their playing jerseys at a ceremony at the Football Federation Samoa headquarters in Apia by FFS President Sam Petaia.
The squad is as follows:
Xeyana Taimane Oilau Salanoa – Vaiala, Taufusi, Saleufi
Xevani Mataniufeagaimaleata Lilieni Salanoa – Vaiala, Taufusi, Saleufi
Lianna Soifua – Mulifanua, Malaela
Jaedeci Uluvili – Faatoia
Leah Manuleleua – Vaigaga, Vaimoso, Vaiusu
Khelistar Silva Lisa Murray-Kumitau – Lotopa
Sariah Taeoalii – Fasitoo-uta
Arianna Skeers – Moataa, Vaimoso, Saoluafata, Satalo
Torijan Jonelle Lyne-Lewis – Saipipi
Jayda Stewart – Mulifanua
Lily Catherine Dowsing – Lepea, Satuimalufilufi, Tamaligi, Salailua, Lelata
Angelique Tuisamoa – Luatuanuu, Vaovai, Malaela, Vailele, Vailuutai
Sasjah Vikolia Dade – Lauli’I, Lotofaga
Shontelle Stevens- Moataa
Alisa Tuatagaloa – Poutasi, Neiafu, Savaia-Lefaga, Sinamoga
Monique Fischer – Malaela, Levili
Alexandria Mokafetu Ape-Paia – Fasitoo-uta, Saleimoa
Grace Taeoalii – Fasitoo-uta
Jordyn Eldredge Sagapolutele – Solosolo, Afega
Xehlia Litia Salanoa – Vaiala, Taufusi, Saleufi
Malia Joann Jessop – Malie
Repeka Asofa – Moataa, Leufisa, Lano