Micronesia

A NATION’S STORY OF ADVERSITY AND SETTING A WORLD RECORD (IN THE WORST POSSIBLE WAY!)

The 2015 Pacific Games were the last time that the FSMFA competed in football of any kind. In their three group stage matches, the National Team lost by a combined score of 114-0, including their last game played to date, a world record breaking 46-0 loss to Vanuatu. After these three losses FA folded and football on the islands ceased to exist. However, it’s not all doom and gloom for Micronesian football. As of July 2023, the Free-State of Micronesia formed a new Football Assocation, (FSMFA) with representatives from all four federated island states, Pohnpei State, Chuuk State, Yap State, and Kosrae State. This is important since the political factors that led to the 2015 catastrophe are no longer in place, and the FSMFA is in a much better position to be competitive going forward on the world stage.

SPORTS BIGGEST UNDERDOGS

There isn’t a small island footballing nation in the world that doesn’t have some obstacles standing in the way of their path to success. What separates FSM from other nations as the sports world’s biggest underdog is the sheer number of hurdles the leap over every day. Adapting to the flooded or frog infested football fields, the team trains and plays on concrete basketball courts is the daily hurdle to leap.

The bigger hurdle is that the four island states span nearly 1700 miles across the Pacific Ocean making it nearly impossible for all members of the national team to practice together as one unit. Growing Micronesian Football is a herculean task that the amazing inhabitants of FSM push to overcome every day.

Practice makes perfect! Or as Coach Jim likes to say, Practice makes PERMANENT!

PLAYER PROFILE – KENNY ALDANA

A young man’s passion and desire to represent his heritage leads to massive changes.

Kenny Aldana’s story with the FSMFA starts as a 17-year-old high school junior in Georgia, USA. It was then, when Aldana found out about his FSM roots through his grandfather who was from the island state of Kosrae. With this newfound sense of heritage, Kenny was desperate to represent the country of his grandfather’s birth. There was, however, the issue of there being no national team for Micronesia. This did not deter Kenny, and his persistence led to the first Futsal Micronesian Cup. Kenny’s efforts resulted in being appointed captain of the Kosraean team that competed in the Cup event. The success of the 2023 Futsal Micronesian Cup led to the newly re-organized FSM Football Assocation.

Kenny Aldana (on left)

PLAYER PROFILE – SEAN SOUTHWICK

The path to glory. One man’s journey to be his country’s first professional athlete.

Sean Southwick grew up on the island state of Yap, a son of an American father and a Yapese mother. Despite the lack of football influence on the island, Sean developed a deep passion for the sport. This passion led him to helping Yap win the 2023 Futsal Micronesian Cup and to help form the FSMFA alongside his father Brian. Brian Southwick, as president, is charged with growing the sport for the newly re-organized FSMFA. Sean currently plays on the island of Guam for the university team in hopes and preparations to being his country’s first professional football player.

Sean Southwick (on left) and his father Brian Southwick