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Welcome to Partially Obstructed View. We are each restrained by the limits of our own perspective, but when we meet to share information a clearer picture of the truth can be revealed. Comments & criticisms are welcome.

Saturday, 31 December 2011

American Samoa

    This being the holiday season an all, there’s always room for a heartwarming story. Take some time to listen to the BBC World Service’s World Football program from this past week.

    The excellent James Montague reports from American Samoa on the epic story of the small Pacific Island’s World Cup Qualifying campaign as they seek to rectify the ignominy of that record thirty-one goal loss to Australia in 2001.

    The tiny island, under the tutelage of former Dutch footballer, MLS manager, and American U-20 coach Thomas Rongen, sought to turn their dismal fortunes around. Following North American soccer Rongen was never painted in the best of lights, but hearing his interviews makes one marvel at the transformative powers of the game.

    Mr. Montague, if you haven’t come across his work before, regularly contributes to various outlets, including CNN, World Soccer, and others. He wrote a marvelous piece in Issue One of The Blizzard on the first Israeli national team. He is associate editor of the intriguing Delayed Gratification quarterly, and author of When Friday Comes: Football in the War Zone (which I am just starting to read now).

    The work that he does, shining a light on the untold stories in some of the less-traveled regions of the world, is the cure for any soul worn-weary with the commercialism of the modern game. 

    For more on the story of American Samoa, ESPN has a great piece as well.

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