Perennial underdogs, American Samoa once again struggled to hold their own in the Oceanian region. Failing to progress from the preliminary competition in Apia, Samoa, they found the going tough from the outset.
A 4-0 loss to blood brothers Samoa, a 9-1 defeat at the hands of a much-improved Vanuatu and an 11-0 reverse by Fiji before one final disappointment, 10-0 against Papua New Guinea, proved the side still had vast room for improvement.
A member of FIFA since 1998, American Samoa is also one of the most recent beneficiaries of FIFA's GOAL Programme to take part in the qualifiers. The programme provides financial assistance to help build new football facilities and supports national football associations in developing and promoting the sport in their respective countries.
Work at Pago Pago Park in the nation's capital is near completion with the facility likely to be in use as American Samoa prepares for the XIII South Pacific Games - Samoa 2007 football competition.
The team from Oceania were forced to learn things the hard way in their first bid to qualify for a FIFA World Cup™ in April 2001. They were drawn against the teams from Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Australia in the preliminaries for the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan, which were held in the International Sports Stadium in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales.
Even their heaviest defeat, a 31-0 by the Socceroos failed to dampen their spirits as they battled on courageously in every single game.
And with more reason for despair following the Germany 2006 qualifiers, it is back to the drawing board for American Samoa.