Soccertown USA (2018) the Jersey Boys of soccer

Soccertown USA (2018)

Soccertown USA is a treasure of painstaking research conducted by Writers Tom McCabe and Kirk Rudell. For years, I had wondered why so many US National Team players and referees came from New Jersey. This documentary explains how the Town of Kearny, a suburb of Newark, NJ, was a working class neighborhood of immigrants who brought their love of the game to their new country. The town became an oasis of excellence that developed American champions.

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Why I loved ‘The English Game’ (2020)

The English Game (2020)

A period drama about football is unique. A well-crafted tale in this time of pestilence is a joy and a comfort. The English Game, how football became the people’s game, is elegant soap opera and luscious escapism to a simpler time. Three nights in a row, to close out my shelter-in-place day, I self-administered dollops of this Netflix TV series and then slept deeply, sans souci.

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Streetball (2010) best Homeless World Cup soccer movie

Streetball (2010)

Streetball is not just another homeless world cup film, it is the best of its genre. Despite being 10 years old, this documentary is fresh, vibrant, and still relevant in its reflection of the world today. Streetball also stands out as one of the few homeless world cup (HWC) films where the soccer is as engaging as the stories of the people.

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The story you never heard about ‘The Team That Never Played’ (2010)

The Team That Never Played (2010)

If you are looking for a great idea for a soccer movie, you should buy the rights to this 10 year old documentary The Team That Never Played. Gather up the players interviewed by Writer-Director Greg Appel and fill out their stories while they can still be recalled. This is history that deserves to be retold on a bigger stage and preserved by more than word of mouth.

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Alexis Sanchez is a Maravilla in ‘Mi Amigo Alexis’ (2019)

Mi Amigo Alexis (2019)
My Friend Alexis

Mi Amigo Alexis has been released on Netflix in the USA without fanfare. Which is puzzling to me, because this is one of the best and highest-quality family-friendly soccer movies to arrive since Bend it Like Beckham. That being said, My Friend Alexis is not a comedy, not a film where you giggle along with your child while watching. It has some serious themes that you might need to discuss with your child afterwards. 

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‘Make Us Dream’ (2018) – the price of giving your all

Make Us Dream (2018)

You don’t need to be a Liverpool fan to love Make Us Dream. But by the end of it, you may want to become an LFC supporter. Because Writer-Director Sam Blair brilliantly crafts the tale of Steven Gerrard so that his pain, his mission, and his love for club and city bind to your heart. When you watch this film, you believe the club is the man, and the man is the club. 

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A Costa Rican gem: ‘Buscando a Marcos Ramirez’ (2017)

Buscando a Marcos Ramirez (2017)

I was thoroughly enchanted by Buscando a Marcos Ramírez, the first soccer movie I have seen from Costa Rica. In the story, Marcos’ single mom has named him for the popular eponymous children’s book and given him a love of reading. But when she dies, he must move from the simple countryside to the unwelcoming home of his grandfather in the city of San José, Costa Rica.

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‘Holy Goalie’ (2017) is one of the best soccer comedies

Holy Goalie (2017)

I am mystified that the Spanish media was mostly critical of Que baje Dios y lo vea (Holy Goalie), faulting it as clichéd and unimaginative, with actors in roles not much different from what they portray on popular TV shows. One writer even complained that there were too many jokes. Does Spain have the best television comedy in the world, so that this film pales in comparison?

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Is ‘Flitzer’ (2017) the funniest soccer movie ever?

Flitzer (2017)

A comedy about streaking sounds like a joke that would run out of steam fast. When introducing Flitzer (aka Streaker) at the Berlin & Beyond Film Festival in San Francisco, the announcer acknowledged the Swiss stereotype of being so serious all the time. He then proceeded to tell the one Swiss joke that exists, which I didn’t get. And then he closed by asking us to enjoy the film despite all the nudity. Talk about setting low expectations…

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[Review] ‘Save The Crew: The Fans vs The System’ (2017)

Save The Crew (2017)

If they give an Oscar for brilliant documentary made under incredible time pressure, Save the Crew: The Fans vs the System wins hands down. It starts with the first #SaveTheCrew rally:

Morgan Hughes: “This is not over! If you came here for a funeral, you’re in the wrong place!”
Crowd chants: “We’re not done yet! We’re not done yet!”

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