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World Soccer Has A New Runt – The Micronesian Underdogs

In the top level of international football, it is win at all costs. But what is it like to be accustomed to losing?

What if I told you, that losing is apart of the process that is the growth of football in Micronesia?

Micronesia is an archipelago that contains thousands of islands in the South Pacific, and have only begun playing football (again) two years ago. Their senior team has had no official game since 1999, but their U-23 is participating in the South Pacific Games.

Their results have caught the eyes of many across the globe – not in a good way.

The new kids on the block opened up their campaign with a 30-0 loss to Tahiti. Ok, first game jitters maybe? Then, Micronesia suffered through another bad game with with a 38-0 loss to Fiji in their second game. They went on to close out of the tournament with a brutal 46-0 loss from Vanuatu.

But one may ask, “How could a team do that? If I got my friends together we wouldn’t do that bad!”

It’s not all goals and glory for small, less developed countries. Usually, countries that create a soccer team don’t get off so well. Gibraltar are the most recent examples, but it’s playing other teams that build experience and create a path to a bright future.

The coach of the Micronesia U-23 team talked to Radio New Zealand about the selection of his team.

“A bit of criticism I got before we left was (for) picking a younger squad, but it’s no use picking older players who won’t be around for the next four (years).”

“Most of them have never been out of their villages let alone on to another island. I took them to Guam the other day (and it was) the first time they’ve been on an elevator or an escalator. It’s been a huge step-up for these guys and they’ve just been overawed really.”

It’s not only a growing time in terms of football, the players are being able to see a world outside of their country.

“I don’t care about the score, it’s all about improvement and development in the Micronesian country because we’ve only just really started into football at this level.”

It is a very slow process for football growing in a nation. Micronesia are not FIFA members, or even members of the OFC. They hope to become members of both organizations in the near future.

Their coach remains optimistic about their future, but at this time a goal would be a major milestone for the team.

 

 

 

Featured Image via Via http://www.playingtheangle.com/tag/micronesia/

Noah Ziegler View All

I write about the beautiful game. From the smallest islands to the biggest teams, it all will be covered.

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