In the past few years the number of Samoan descendants representing Samoa National Team is increasing. Most of them are from Australia, New Zealand or United States and they have been helping the Oceanian nation to move forward internationally. One of these players comes from Hawai’i (USA) and represented the country in the 2016 OFC Nations Cup and in the 2019 Pacific Games, he is Keone Kapisi.
Born in Hawai’i in 1994, Kapisi has Samoan heritage as his father is from the Oceanian nation. He started to play football competitively at school by representing Maui Sabers from 2008 to 2012. The opportunity to represent his father’s country came in 2016 when he was called-up to play the OFC Nations Cup – “My family from Samoa reached out to me about playing,” said Keone.
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In 2017 he joined Brigham Young University (BYU) to study and play football. In the same year he was called-up to represent the United States in the 2017 Summer Universiade – an international multi-sport event, organized for university athletes by the International University Sports Federation (FISU) – held in Taiwan. He was eligible to represent USA in this tournament because it is not linked to FIFA.
Kapisi represented BYU from 2017 to 2019. Last year he had the opportunity to play for Samoa one more time in the 2019 Pacific Games. He played just two matches in the tournament because he got injured against New Zealand – “I injured my knee so I was out for a time,” he said.
Back from injury, Keone recently moved back to Hawai’i and he is currently a free agent – “I have not found a new club yet […] I am no longer injured but I am still working back to where I was” he explained. The 26-year-old is still available to play for Samoa and he would be a huge addition for the National Team in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying round.