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Lo van Pham becomes the first Asian American NFL game official

Lo Van Pham NFL
  • Lo van Pham is set to make history as the first Asian American to officiate in the NFL.
  • In an announcement posted on Tuesday, the NFL congratulated Pham and its other new game officials.
  • Born in Vietnam, Pham and his family of five lived in a refugee camp in the Philippines before moving to Amarillo, Texas, in 1979.
  • Pham was a defensive back for Palo Duro before becoming a back judge in Amarillo in 2000.
  • He got his first break in 2006 when he was chosen to work for the Lone Star Conference.
  • The following year, Pham started rising through the ranks as a Division 1 on-field official for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). In 2015, he officiated his first Big 12 Conference game.

Editor’s note (5/5/21): A previous version of this story stated that Pham was born in Vietnam. The story has been corrected to show he was born in Laos.

Lo van Pham is set to make history as the first Asian American to officiate in the NFL.

Atlanta Falcons sign Seoul-born kicker Younghoe Koo to another 5 years in $24.2 million deal

Koo FI
  • The Atlanta Falcons officially announced yesterday, March 15, that they have re-signed Korean kicker Younghoe Koo, 27, to another five years in a deal worth $24.24 million or $4.85 million per year.
  • This puts Koo as the second highest earner among kickers after the Baltimore Ravens’ Justin Tucker.
  • Last season, Koo was among the NFL’s most accurate kickers, with three game-winning kicks. Since signing to the Falcons in 2019, Koo has had a 92.6% field goal success rate.
  • Koo had a rough start to his professional career: When he was signed to the Los Angeles Chargers in 2017, he was let go shortly after missing two game-deciding field goals.

Hailed as one of the NFL’s best kickers, Korean football player Younghoe Koo just committed to another five years with the Atlanta Falcons. 

The Atlanta Falcons officially announced yesterday, March 15, that they have re-signed Seoul-born kicker Koo, 27, to a five-year extension. According to the NFL, the deal is worth $24.25 million, which evens out to $4.85 million a year. This puts Koo as the one of the highest earners among kickers, second to only Baltimore Ravens’ Justin Tucker.  

China’s national women’s soccer team beats South Korea to win record-extending 9th AFC Women’s Asian Cup

china's WAC victory
  • The Steel Roses, China women's national football team, won their ninth AFC Women's Asian Cup Title in a victory over South Korea.
  • The hashtag “pay raise for women soccer players” went viral on Weibo, with Chinese netizens discussing the team’s more successful track record over the men’s football team, which was recently disqualified from the World Cup running, and demanding equal pay.
  • The women’s team collected a prize money of about 30 million yuan (approximately $4.7 million). They will also be offered a prize money of 13 million yuan (approximately $2 million) from Alipay and a bonus from the Chinese Football Association that “may surpass” 10 million yuan (approximately $1,570,600).
  • China and South Korea will advance to the 2023 World Cup.

The China women’s national soccer team, known as the Steel Roses, secured its ninth AFC Women’s Asian Cup Title in a dramatic, record-extending victory over South Korea.

The Steel Roses had a dramatic comeback from two goals down to defeat South Korea by 3-2 in Navi Mumbai, India on Feb. 6, reported the Associated Press.

Making history: Philippine women’s national football team qualifies for country’s first FIFA World Cup

PH football team
  • Malditas, the Philippine women’s national football team, recently made history by earning a victory ticket to their nation’s first World Cup.
  • The team will advance to the semis of the 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup and make their way to Australia to compete in the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023.

The Philippine women’s national football team, known as the Malditas, made history by securing a ticket to the country’s first-ever FIFA World Cup game.

The Malditas defeated the higher-ranking Chinese Taipei team by a 4-3 penalty shootout in Pune, India, on Jan. 30, reported ABS-CBN News.

Son’s emotional tribute to Cincinnati Bengals’ fan father goes viral on TikTok

Bengals Father Son Tribute
  • A viral TikTok video shows a son’s emotional reaction after his late father’s beloved football team, the Cincinnati Bengals, qualified for Super Bowl LVI.
  • Robbie Tseng paid tribute to his father, who passed away in June 2021, by wearing his dad’s shirt and carrying a plush Garfield, a shared reference between them since Robbie’s childhood.
  • Tseng shared that his father had “waited 30 years to see this happen” but ultimately “missed it by seven months.”

A video of a son paying tribute to his late father while celebrating the Cincinnati Bengals’ Sunday Super Bowl LVI qualification has gone viral on TikTok. 

“I never thought I’d be crying because of a football game,” Tseng says in the video’s voiceover. “My dad waited 30 years to see this happen, and he missed it by seven months.” 

‘Sonny, I love you!’: 4-year-old beams with happiness after Son Heung-min waves at her before game

Adorable moment Son Heung-min
  • Delilah Thorpe, a 4-year-old football fan, was ecstatic after Tottenham Hotspur Football Club’s Son Heung-min waved back at her before a match last December.
  • The special moment was filmed by Thorpe’s mother and posted on the Thorpes’ social media accounts.

A 4-year-old girl was over the moon after Tottenham Hotspur striker Son Heung-min waved back at her at a football match in December 2021.

The adorable moment was filmed at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium before Tottenham’s match against West Ham United Football Club on Dec. 22, 2021, according to Daily Mail. Young football fan Delilah Thorpe was filmed by her mother Demiee as she tried to get the attention of Son while he was warming up nearby.

Yoshihito Omi has a chance to become the first-ever Japanese NFL player

NFL Player

Japanese football player Yoshihito Omi was one of the talented 44 international athletes invited to the NFL’s international combine at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on Tuesday.

The first Japanese NFL player?: Omi, 25, has a shot at becoming the first-ever player to represent Japan in the NFL after being invited to participate in Tuesday’s event, which was a part of the league’s International Player Pathway program created in 2017, according to USA Today.

Former Assistant Coach Makes History as the First Indian American NFL Coordinator

Sean Desai

The Chicago Bears made history after promoting its safeties coach, Sean Desai, as the team’s defensive coordinator, making him the first person of Indian descent to become a coordinator in the NFL. 

The historic announcement came on Jan. 22 when the Bears officially confirmed the 37-year-old as the team’s new defensive coordinator, replacing NFL coach veteran Chuck Pagano, who revealed his plan to retire on Jan. 13.

Jackson He Becomes First Chinese-Born Player to Score Touchdown in Football Bowl Subdivision History

He Peizhang, also known by his English name Jackson He, has become the first Chinese-born player to score a touchdown in Football Bowl Subdivision history during a Dec. 11 game.

The historic moment happened on Friday when Arizona State University’s Sun Devils won against rival Arizona Wildcats, according to Fox News. The 22-year-old athlete scored a 1-yard run that ultimately gave them the final 70-7 score.

Korean American Football Player Younghoe Koo to Become NFL’s Lead Scorer at 26

Younghoe Koo

Korean American professional football player and Atlanta Falcons kicker, Younghoe Koo, is on track to become the NFL’s lead scorer.

Leading kicker: Koo, one of four Korean Americans playing in the NFL right now, managed to get a 5-for-5 on field-goal tries and 4-for-4 extra-point attempts against the Las Vegas Raiders at Sunday’s game, according to CBS Sports.