Penalties haven’t been the UAE’s strong point in the past with losses in the 1992 and 1996 Asian Cup from a shoot-out, resulting in their highest finishing rankings of fourth and second place, respectively. They have a relatively young team this year with 19 of its players being under the age of 30. This youth is doing a good job to add vitality to the team for a nation looking to win the 2015 Asian Cup.
Football is a sport that has become embedded in Emirati culture and is a sport that UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba, has brought with him to his DC Embassy and forms an integral part of the community work that the Ambassador is looking to achieve. Ambassador Al Otaiba has supported a Community Soccer Program that provides funds for local all-weather fields and some coaching for children to improve their skills and learn about teamwork. Thousands of children have already benefited from this program, from Los Angeles to DC and Miami to Chicago.