Luani in the 2017 NFL season.
|No. 24 – Seattle Seahawks|
|Born:||5 August 1994|
Pago Pago, American Samoa
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||201 lb (91 kg)|
(Faga'itua, American Samoa)
|NFL Draft:||2017 / Round: 7 / Pick: 221|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2018|
|Full name||Shalom Luani|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|2011–2012||Faga'itua Vikings (futsal)|
|2011||American Samoa U20||3||(0)|
|2012||American Samoa U23||3||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Shalom Luani (born August 5, 1994) is an American football safety for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). Luani is better known worldwide for his association football career, having scored against Tonga in American Samoa's first–ever FIFA–sanctioned win. Luani, who now plays as a forward, scored twice for American Samoa in November 2011, making him (at the time) the country's joint–top goalscorer of all time with fellow forward Ramin Ott.
He played college football at Washington State, and was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft. His American football career has also encompassed spells at Faga'itua High School, Chabot College and the City College of San Francisco.
Association football career
In February 2011, Luani played for the Faga'itua Vikings in the inaugural ASHSAA Boys' Futsal tournament, held at Samoana High School. The Vikings won the tournament after defeating Tafuna Warriors 5–4 on February 22. Luani's brother Roy was also playing for the Vikings and Shalom assisted his sibling for the game's opening goal before scoring a free–kick himself. The American Samoa Football Federation suggested that the brothers were the difference between the two teams, saying: "Shalom Luani was everywhere, whether it be defending or assisting on goals while his older sibling's tenacity, nose for the ball and no fear play were huge keys in winning the first ever Futsal championship in ASHSAA history".
On May 7, 2012, Luani played for the Faga'itua Vikings in the final of the ASHAA Boys' Soccer Championship, against Samoana Sharks at the Veterans Memorial Stadium in Pago Pago. Shalom scored to help his side to a 3–2 win and the Championship title, although the forward was injured and taken to hospital following a collision with Samoana's Palauni Taposua. Despite missing some of the game, Luani was voted the match's MVP, an award that was collected by his father Penitito.
Luani made his debut for American Samoa's U–20 side in a 7–0 loss to Vanuatu on April 21, 2011. He made his second appearance for the side in a 5–1 defeat against Papua New Guinea two days later. Luani's third and final game for the U–20 side came in a 5–1 loss to Fiji on April 25, 2011. All three games came in the 2011 OFC U-20 Championship in New Zealand. Luani played in defence during the tournament and wore the no.3 shirt for American Samoa.
Following his performances for the under–20 side, Luani was called up to the American Samoa senior team for the 2011 Pacific Games by coach Iofi Lalogafuafua. Luani's under–20 team–mates Suani Uelese, Frederick Charles Uhrle, Ismael D'Angelo Herrera, Moe Kuresa and Daru Taumua were also called up the squad.
Luani made his debut for the senior side in their opening fixture of the tournament, in a 4–0 to Tuvalu on August 27, 2011. Playing as a forward, he was replaced late in the game by substitute Lemusa Alatasi. He earned his second cap three days later in a 4–0 loss to the Solomon Islands, this time playing the full ninety minutes. Luani also played ninety minutes in all of American Samoa's remaining group stage matches, a 2–0 loss to Guam on September 1, an 8–0 defeat to New Caledonia two days later and another 8–0 loss, to Vanuatu, on September 5, 2011.
Following American Samoa's elimination from the Pacific Games, Luani earned his sixth senior cap in American Samoa's historic 2–1 victory over Tonga on November 23, 2011. Luani scored his first international goal by chipping Tonga goalkeeper Kaneti Falela in the second half to give American Samoa a 2–0 lead. The win was American Samoa's first ever in a FIFA–sanctioned match. Luani continued this form into the next match, against the Cook Islands on November 25, 2011. He gave American Samoa the lead in the first half after dispossessing Cook Islands defender Nathan Tisam and beating goalkeeper Tony Jamieson. This goal, Luani's second in international football, made him American Samoa's joint–top scorer of all time, tied with Ramin Ott. Luani's eighth senior international appearance came in American Samoa's 1–0 loss to Samoa on November 27, 2011, with the result knocking them out of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Luani revealed that he almost didn't feature in the match due to American football commitments, saying "I play [American football] for my high school and we have a play-off match at the same time as this tournament. I left it up to the coaches to decide what was best for me. I will just take whatever opportunity comes up."
In March 2012, Luani was selected as part of American Samoa's U–23 Olympic squad, along with his brother Roy. Luani played for the side on March 18, 2012 in a 7–1 loss to Fiji in an Olympic qualifier. Two days later Luani opened the scoring for American Samoa in another Olympic qualifier against the Solomon Islands on March 20, 2012. The goal would prove to be his side's only bright spot in a 16–1 loss.
|1.||November 22, 2011||National Soccer Stadium, Apia, Samoa||Tonga||2–1||Win||2014 OFC WCQ First Round|
|2.||November 24, 2011||National Soccer Stadium, Apia, Samoa||Cook Islands||1–1||Draw||2014 OFC WCQ First Round|
|Correct as of April 21, 2014|
American football career
Luani began his American football career as a defensive back for the Faga'itua Vikings, representing Faga'itua High School and wearing the number 21 jersey for the team. Competent in both association and American football, Luani has stated "I am keen to keep playing both at the moment because I am not sure which one will be my best option for the future. I would like to make a career in one but I don’t know which yet, I guess I will find out later on."
At the age of 15, in September 2009, Luani was named the Junior Varsity division's MVP, being selected by the coaches of other teams. He earned the accolade for his "perfectly executed trick plays" that helped the Vikings to an undefeated season.
In June 2010, Luani represented Faga'itua in an under–18s Rugby Sevens tournament held at the Veterans Memorial Stadium in Pago Pago. Luani was voted the tournament's MVP as Faga'itua won the cup, defeating Leone Whites 7–0 in the final. Faga'itua's head coach, Tuiaua Pio Grohse, suggested that Luani had been the difference between the two sides in the final, saying "They had a very good team, and we had a hard time scoring against them until a minute and a half left in the game, when Shalom Luani crossed the try line and added a score for our team".
On December 31, 2011, Luani represented American Samoa in a Samoa Bowl match against Hawaii. American Samoa eventually won 34–28 after double overtime, with Luani scoring the final touchdown to seal his country's victory.
In February 2012, Luani was included in an American Samoa All Star Team for an under–19 Junior Oceania Bowl championship match against Australia. The winner would represent the World Team against Team USA at the IFAF World Championship in June 2012. American Samoa won the match 93–7, with Luani scoring on a punt return, an interception return, a two–point run and an extra point kick.
In June–July 2012, Luani represented the American Samoa under-19 American football team at the 2012 IFAF U-19 World Championship, playing in his country's 27–6 loss to first seed United States on June 30 and being named American Samoa's MVP for the match. He made his second appearance of the competition in a 51–0 win over Panama on July 3. Luani played a prominent role in the victory, assisting five of his team's eight scores and scoring a 23-yard field goal. Luani then played in American Samoa's 27–14 victory against France in the fifth-place play-off on July 7, 2012.
Having joined Chabot College of California in June 2012, Luani was part of the team's roster for the 2012–13 season. Chabot suffered a poor start to the campaign, losing their first four games, but in October the side embarked on a six-game win streak that saw them undefeated until mid-November. By September 2013 Luani was playing for the City College of San Francisco; he starred in a 61–0 win over Fresno City College in October 2013. CCSF ended the season with an 11–2 record, earning a regional title, and Luani was unanimously named Bay 6 Conference Defensive Player of the Year by the conference's coaches as well as gaining All-California Region and junior college All-American First Team accolades.
By the end of 2014, Luani had established himself as a bright talent on the college circuit and was rated a four-star prospect. In December, he spurned scholarship offers from Illinois and Oregon State to join the Washington State Cougars; he had initially committed to Oregon in August but flipped his commitment after the departure of their head coach. At the time of his signing by WSU, intended to improve their struggling defense, Luani had already been recognised by national media. Described as "highly regarded in recruiting circles" by the Cougars, he was ranked 38th on the ESPN JC50, 19th overrall junior college player by Scout.com and as the country's top junior college safety by 247Sports. Luani's signing was positively met by Cougars fans.
In October 2015, Luani was named Pac-12 defensive player of the week, the first such accolade for a Cougar player since 2013; having made an "immediate impact" according to the Seattle Times, the American Samoan had started every game of the season.
Luani was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the seventh round, 221st overall, in the 2017 NFL Draft, making him the first American Samoa-born player to be drafted by the organization. In the 2017 season opener against the Tennessee Titans, Luani successfully recovered a surprise onside kick to begin the game.
On September 1, 2018, Luani was traded to the Seattle Seahawks for a 2019 seventh-round draft pick. He was waived on September 12, 2018 and was re-signed to the practice squad. He was promoted back to the active roster on September 15, 2018.
Luani is the son of Penitito and Niukini Luani and, like his parents, hails from the village of Masausi. Luani graduated from Masefau Elementary before attending Fagaitua High School. In June 2012, Luani was one of 32 of the island's students who were honoured in the Student-Athlete Ceremony of Recognition where student athletes officially signed on with the colleges of their choice; Luani joined Chabot College in Hayward, California.
Luani's brother Roy, who is a year older, is also an association footballer and also plays as a forward. Roy has played for the American Samoa under–20 side but is yet to appear for the senior team. The two also played alongside each other for the Fagaitua High School American Football team. Luani has family in North Carolina, but had hardly met them before moving to the United States in 2012. Of Luani's personality, his coach at San Francisco, George Rush said in 2014: "He's quiet, kind of shy, very polite, very respectful. The success he's enjoyed hasn't tainted any of that."
In 2016, he was arrested for felony assault charges outside of a Domino’s Pizza in Pullman when his order allegedly took two hours.
- WSU says "Shalom" to Luani Spokesman.com. December 17, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
- American Samoa: The Last Perennial Losers? Extra Time. March 12, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Binder's Guide to National Teams – American Samoa Archived December 28, 2014, at the Wayback Machine TurfAndTerrace.com. September 11, 2014. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- 2009 National League Underway OleOle.com. August 18, 2009. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- FFAS Men's League: Pool B Powers Duke It Out Archived July 19, 2012, at Archive.today Samoa News. October 4, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- Vikings Win Thrilling Boys' HS Futsal Final Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Football Federation American Samoa. February 28, 2012. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
- Vikings win Championship in dramatic Final Archived July 30, 2012, at Archive.today Football Federation American Samoa. May 9, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Match Summary: American Samoa – Papua New Guinea Archived August 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Oceania Football Confederation. April 23, 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
- American Samoa Men's Squad for XIV Pacific Games Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Football Federation American Samoa. August 23, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
- American Samoa Team Details Oceania Football Confederation. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
- Tuvalu 4–0 American Samoa Oceania Football Confederation. August 27, 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
- OFC WCQ: American Samoa record historic win ESPN Soccernet. November 23, 2011. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- American Samoa football team celebrate first ever win BBC News. November 24, 2011. Retrieved January 21, 2011.
- 2014 FIFA World Cup: Baby Steps Will Do For American Samoa Bleacher Report. November 27, 2011. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- Options open for multi-skilled Luani Archived January 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Football Federation American Samoa. November 25, 2011. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- American Samoa U-23 team finalized Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Football Federation American Samoa. March 10, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- American Samoa 1–7 Fiji Archived April 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Football Federation American Samoa. March 18, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
- American Samoa 1–16 Solomon Islands Archived April 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Football Federation American Samoa. March 20, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
- "2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ - Matches - American Samoa-Cook Islands - FIFA.com". FIFA.com.
- "2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™". FIFA.com.
- Shalom Luani Football Stats – Fagaitua MaxPreps. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- Shalom Luani has a bright future in the game Archived January 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Football Federation American Samoa. November 25, 2011. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- Vikings' Shalom Luani is MVP Samoa News. February 29, 2009. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- Fagaitua H. S. wins Under-18 Rugby 7s tourney SamoaNews.com. June 25, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2012.
- Calls to Continue Samoa Bowl[permanent dead link] Talanei.com. January 3, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- Samoa Bowl IX: American Samoa 34, Hawaii 28 In Double Overtime AmericanSamoa.gov. January 5, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- American Samoa playing American Football in Australia Archived July 19, 2012, at Archive.today AIGA Foundation. February 15, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- All Stars en route to IFAF Championship SamoaNews.com. February 18, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2012.
- All Stars on their way Down Under SamoaNews.com. February 17, 2012. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
- Australia loses the 2012 Junior Oceania Bowl 93–7 GridironVictoria.au. February 28, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- Highlights of Oceania Under 19 Championship Game[permanent dead link] Talanei.com. February 27, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- US Opens IFAF World Championship with 27–6 win USAFootball.com. July 1, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- Scoring Summary: American Samoa U-19 51–0 Panama U-19 under19championship.com. July 3, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
- American Samoa Blanks Panama 51–0 Football-Austria.com. July 4, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
- American Samoa 27–14 France IFAF. July 7, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- Chabot College – 2012–13 Roster June 18, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
- Chabot College Varsity Football – Schedule Hudl.com. June 18, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2013.
- City College of San Francisco 2013 Football Roster City College of San Francisco. August 17, 2013. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- City Dominates Fresco with Nine Touchdowns Archived October 22, 2013, at the Wayback Machine TheGuardsman.com. October 4, 2013. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- Cougar Football Adds Two JUCO Standouts Archived December 27, 2014, at the Wayback Machine WSUCougars.com. December 17, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
- Move to CCSF has paid off for safety Shalom Luani San Francisco Examiner. December 8, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
- Shalom Luani, Oregon's top-rated commit, flips to Washington OregonLive. December 16, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
- 3-star JUCO Safety Shalom Luani Commits to Oregon State Archived December 27, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Sport195.com. August 14, 2014. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- Oregon St. Adds JC Safety BuildingTheDam.com. August 14, 2014. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- West Recruiting Notebook Fox Sports. December 19, 2014. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
- WSU football recruiting: Jeremiah Mitchell, Shalom Luani sign LOIs CougCenter.com. December 17, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
- JuCo Countdown: No.19 Shalom Luani – Washington State WashungtionState.Scout.com. December 16, 2014. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- WSU safety Shalom Luani named Pac-12 Player of the Week Seattle Times. October 19, 2015. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
- "Oakland Raiders Select Shalom Luani In Seventh Round Of 2017 NFL Draft". Raiders.com. April 29, 2017. Archived from the original on September 12, 2017. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
- "Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans - September 10th, 2017". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
- Smith, Michael David (September 1, 2018). "Raiders trade Shalom Luani to Seahawks". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports.
- Boyle, John (September 12, 2018). "Seahawks Promote Keenan Reynolds From Practice Squad". Seahawks.com.
- Boyle, John (September 15, 2018). "Seahawks Promote Shalom Luani From Practice Squad; Release Tom Johnson". Seahawks.com.
- Warriors' Peni Imo and Vikings' Shalom Luani earn MVP honors Archived July 17, 2012, at Archive.today Samoa News. February 29, 2009. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- Australia and American Samoa Announce Rosters for Oceania Bowl Clash IFAF. February 25, 2012. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
- Rongen Gets Win in American Samoa Opener SoccerAmerica.com. November 23, 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
- 32 honoured during Student-Athlete Ceremony of Recognition Archived March 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine FH100Recruiting.com. June 6, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
- 32 Athletes Honoured: List of Athletes 2012 Archived December 12, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Samoa News. June 6, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
- American Samoa U-20 squad finalized Archived August 31, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Football Federation American Samoa. April 12, 2011. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- Fagaitua High School Football Roster Archived December 27, 2014, at the Wayback Machine MaxPreps. Retrieved April 29, 2012.