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      Thursday, July 31, 2014

09:26 AM - 07/31/2014

The topic: For review: Next Goal Wins


"In 2001, the tiny Pacific island of American Samoa suffered a world record 31-0 defeat at the hands of Australia, garnering headlines across the world as the worst soccer team on the planet. A decade after that humiliating night, they remain rooted to the bottom of FIFA's World rankings, having scored only twice in seventeen years. They have lost every competitive game they have ever played. It would take a miracle-maker or a madman to turn the team's fortunes around - and in maverick Dutch coach Thomas Rongen the islanders somehow find both. With the team about to embark on a grueling World Cup Qualification campaign, Rongen has just one month to transform this ragtag group of losers into a winning team - and perhaps learn a little about himself along the way."

Now, I'm not much of a sports fan, watching basketball on television is more boring than watching paint dry, I can watch baseball if Kevin Costner is in it and I quit football when the lords of the NFL promoted that thug Michael Vick to national hero status. I think it's safe to say, we pretty much don't watch sports at all. So, when I was given the opportunity to review this documentary film I was kind of "should I or shouldn't I?"

And I'm glad I did.

After over a decade of being a cellar team (I learned that from when we used to follow the Padres mad), with a new coach who didn't take any crap, he was in it to win it (after losing their previous coach, the team put out a call for a new one and there were no takers; finally a Dutch coach, Thomas Rongen, stepped up). There was a period of adjustment as the team learned how hard they'd have to work (no smoking, please!) and the coach had to learn about the Samoan culture. There was some headbutting, but  they both profited from the experience.

To see how much better the team got in a month's time was nothing short of miraculous. And they worked for it. They were pushed hard. They worked hard. And they made it. 

I loved learning a little bit about American Samoa, the island and their way of life.

I absolutely fell in love with Jaiyah Saelua, a transgender player. She kicked ass on the field. 

If you get a chance to see this, don't pass it by, give it a look. It's a good movie.



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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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