Think Macro, Not Micro

Micronesia Minnows Soccer

(Credit: Twitter)

We’ve all been on the short end of the stick in sports. Playing for and/or coaching teams that had no chance, or vying against opponents so superior that the match-up really wasn’t fair. But 114 goals to zero?

That was the aggregate score in three recent soccer matches against the team from Micronesia in a competition called the Pacific Games (which has a great website for you fans). Micronesia lost 30-0 to Tahiti, 38-0 to Fiji, and 46-0 against Vanuatu. So, they’re definitely not improving.

Maybe next year Micronesia should consider wearing shoes. That’s an exaggeration, of course, but seriously: in the team photo above it looks like one of the goalies is wearing jean shorts! Can’t the people at Nike just step in and fix that?

Perhaps switching coaches is the recipe for positive change? Easier said than done. The current boss, Stan Foster, claims he’s the only certified coach in Micronesia. Maybe he meant certifiable, because you’d have to be a bit nuts to put yourself through this much pain.

And it’s possible no one else wants the job. It comes with, um, challenges. Micronesia’s population of 104,000 is spread out across 7.4 million square kilometers of the Western Pacific Ocean and comprised of 607 islands. Finding, organizing and training a competent soccer team can’t be an easy task.

The Cleveland Browns may never win a Super Bowl. But at least their players don’t have to take boats to get together and practice.

The Federated States of Micronesia also face other challenges. Its four geographic states include ones named Chuuk and Yap. Let’s face it: I could’ve told you these were locales in a Dr. Seuss book and you would’ve bought it. But, breeding grounds for top midfielders and strikers–forgettaboutit.

Micronesia obviously needs to start THINKING bigger. When your soccer team gets skunked 114-0, maybe you should give them another name besides Minnows. Come on! There’s lots of fish in the sea. Minnows? Really? Change that, folks!

Or maybe it’s time to just give soccer a rest and dedicate your energies in a different direction. Micronesia has excelled at other sports in these 2015 Pacific Games. Weightlifter Manuel Minginfel won a gold medal in the Snatch and a silver in the Clean and Jerk. And certainly Micronesia has SOMEONE who can swim, right?

Now, we’re not saying there’s NO hope for Micronesia soccer. After all, if Jamaica can field a bobsled team, anything’s possible. But, it would take a miracle. Until then, Micronesia may have to hang its straw hat on offering some of the best SCUBA diving sites on the planet.

Dave Coombs is a longtime morning radio host who is wagering on Micronesia’s Va’a (canoeing) team.

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