"I’ve really got a female starting at center back. Can you imagine that in England or Spain?"
-- Thomas Rongen, coach of American Samoa's national team whose backline for its historic 2-1 win over Tonga in World Cup 2014 qualifying included Johnny Saelua, who is believed to be the first transgender athlete to compete in a World Cup qualifying match. Saelua is part of the fa’afafine, biological males who have a strong feminine gender orientation and are widely accepted in Polynesian culture. American Samoa had lost all 30 of its previous international matches by a combined score of 229-12, including a world record 31-0 loss to Australia. (New York Times)