[SOCCER FILMS]Next Goal Wins, the documentary on the American Samoa national team, will kick off the Tribeca Drive-In series at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival in New York on April 19.
The film, directed by Mike Brettand Steve Jamison, follows American Samoa -- FIFA’s lowest ranked team for 17 years -- as longtime U.S. U-20 national team and MLS coach Thomas Rongentakes over for 2014 World Cup qualifying.
The team, which had not won a single competitive game and scored only twice in nearly two decades, played what Rongen termed "by far the lowest standard of soccer I’ve ever seen.”
Rongen brings back Nicky Salapu, who once gave up a world record 31 goals in a match against Australia, Ramin Ott, an American serviceman stationed 6,000 miles away to rejoin, Jaiyah Saelua, a member of Samoa’s third gender (the fa’fafine), who identifies as a woman and becomes the first transgender player ever to compete at an international level.
American Samoa is eliminated in the first round of Oceania qualifying but not before it beat Tonga 2-1 and tied Cook Islands 1-1, ending a 12-game losing streak in qualifying.