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Next Goal Wins DVD Review

Next Goal Wins DVD

“Next Goal Wins” is a winning documentary.

Back in 2001, the small spiritual island of American Samoa suffered the worst defeat in International soccer when they were shut out 31 to zero by Australia. Not only did this defeat land American Samoa at the very bottom of the FIFA World Rankings, but they were also labeled the worst soccer team. Even worse, the team had never won a match. Wanting to move past their humiliating statistics, American Samoa soccer officials reached out to the U.S. Soccer Federation for help. The Federation responded by sending the tough, passionate Dutch coach (and former MLS coach) Thomas Rongen to whip them into shape for the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers. If you don’t know what happens next, I won’t spoil it for you as it’s best to experience the events through this new documentary titled “Next Goal Wins.”

Whether it be a sports documentary or a fictional sports film, few films are more inspiring and touching than sports centric stories (especially underdog sports stories). If you need any evidence, just check out the underdog story to end all underdog stories in “Next Goal Wins.”

From a storytelling perspective, the events that transpire in this documentary feature film couldn’t be more cinematic. At the heart of the movie, you have a bad soccer club (American Samoa) comprised of amateur players that is being guided by a veteran coach (the fascinating Thomas Rongen). To make the story even more engaging, there are incredibly interesting players such as Jaiyah (the inspirational first transgender player to ever start a World Cup Qualifier) and Nicky Salapu (the haunted goalkeeper seeking redemption). There’s some serious drama in the form of MAJOR soccer matches. There’s an educational aspect with viewers learning about American Samoa’s culture and people. And, above all else, there’s an overarching story about family, life, belief, will, and yes, soccer. If that doesn’t grab your heartstrings, I don’t know what will.


Presentation: Widescreen. How does it look? Superb. The American Samoa and New Caledonia locals look especially stunning here.

Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1. How does it sound? The music, interviews, and sounds of a futbol match all sounded sharp to this reviewer. You can’t ask for much more from a documentary.

The only extra is a “Next Goal Wins” trailer.

Overall Thoughts: As a hardcore soccer/futbol fan, “Next Goal Wins” was definitely in my wheelhouse, but you don’t have to be a soccer nut to be swept up by this docu. Recommended.


August 5, 2014 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , , ,

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