Women’s football – News – Kaufman: “I didn’t just grow in leadership”

  • Samantha Kaufman has been playing for Guam since 2014
  • The Guam Masakada have been through a dry spell since 2018
  • “I wish I could go back to Guam more often and help”

Ever heard of Guam? The largest and southernmost island in the Mariana Islands in the western Pacific Ocean and outskirts of the United States? Did you know that Guam has its own women’s national team, which first took part in the 1997 AFC Asian Women’s Championship? No?

Here comes the story of Samantha Kaufman …

Kaufman started playing football at the age of three and quickly realized how much this sport means to him. “When I was nine or ten years old and started playing on club teams, I really knew it was my passion and that it was something that would take me forward. I even played for the Olympic development program called the ODP In the United States, it’s basically a way to join the national team, “Kaufman said in an interview with FIFA.com. “I was fortunate enough to get a full scholarship to the University of Arizona, where I played for four years. My senior year I was the team captain. I was also the president of the student council for the sports department.”

However, she was denied the leap into professional football – for one of the most beautiful reasons. At the age of 23, Kaufman, who plays for Long Beach FC in California, became the mother of a son. “I think if I hadn’t got it and had worked as a teacher I would have played professionally, but it gave me the best of both worlds. I was able to play. In the United States we have semi-professional teams and I joined one after I had my son. I joined because I really wanted to play for the Guam national team. I was hoping to get back in shape and contribute. “

But how did it come about? “I didn’t even know I was eligible to play for Guam. Then I found out it was me because of my grandparents. They were both born and raised on the island. I never knew I would get that chance, and so was it it was a real blessing when I got it, “says the defense attorney. “My aunt grew up in Guam and has always encouraged me: Go to the Guam national team, you would be great. But I was aiming for the US. Why should I play for Guam when I had the potential to play for the US But I quickly realized that I was a good player, not great, and that I was not going to make it to the US team “. Honest words from the 33-year-olds today. A college friend stood up for Kaufman and brought her to the attention of the coaches. After a trial session in Ventura, the first on US soil, she got her line-up and made her debut in 2014.

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Since her first appearance for Guam, Kaufman has not only developed as a player, she has also grown as a personality. “When I started playing for Guam, I quickly realized that I was one of the oldest players. That didn’t mean I couldn’t keep up with the others, on the contrary. You could say that they tried to play with to keep up with me, “says the likeable Kaufman with a laugh. “I’ve always been a leader. I’ve always been the captain in all of my teams. I quickly realized that I have to be something of a mom-captain.” Kaufman is a role model and advisor for players who live in Guam and want to take the plunge to the USA.

“My love for Guam grew and the way I talk about Guam has really changed. I felt a lot more connected to Guam and was proud to be able to represent the island – especially for my grandmother, who was still on Life is. Not only have I grown in my leadership role, but also in my personal cultural perspective. I felt more connected. I know more about Guam and the girls were able to show me more about my culture that I didn’t know. That’s one of the things I’ll always take with me to get that connection. “

There are many players who are also very good in other sports and compete in other disciplines on a national level. We have a handful of women who also play on the Guam national rugby team. That’s something you don’t have in the US. There are no Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan who also play for the US rugby team.

Samantha Kaufman

A connection that has had to overcome a long dry spell. Since 2018 the Guam Masakada have not contested any more competition and are now aiming to take part in the qualifying round for the Asian Women’s Championship this year, as well as the preliminary round for the East Asian Women’s Championship.

“I’ll be honest, I don’t know who is part of the team now because it was a long time ago. There were some players who dropped out because they had to look for real jobs. There is a player who is her name Anjelica Perez. She’s probably one of the most influential for the national team. She’s one of our youth coaches at national team level and someone who tries to motivate everyone. She also does a lot on Instagram. But she has another job. I think that is the hardest part, ”summarizes Kaufman.

“I think the last two years have been difficult because there wasn’t that much communication. We were faced with challenges that we couldn’t do anything with and we would have liked to, but it was just hard at the time Always hoped that I would get another chance, that I could play again. I have the hope that something happens in September that we can play. “

We are crossing our fingers!

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