Next Goal Wins DVD Review

     Actors: Coach Thomas Rongen
  • Directors: Steve Jamison, Mike Brett
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Ketchup Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 22, 2014
  • Run Time: 96 minutes



            I don’t really follow sports, and have never been much of a competitive person in that regard. I can appreciate the talents and abilities that go into playing the games, but find the personalities of entitlement and inflated egos an infuriating aspect of what it can become. Winning becomes everything and that’s usually when I lose interest. The reason why I hate sports but love sports movies is because the films always focus on the underdogs and the improvement of character that inevitably helps them win. In some of the best, they don’t even have to win for it to be a victory.


            Although Next Goal Wins is a documentary, it may as well have been designed to be a Hollywood underdog film. It is inspiring, not only to see the men improve their game on the field, but to become better people through the process. The film follows the soccer team of American Samoa, a tiny Pacific Island, long thought to be the worst soccer team in history. After losing to Australia with an astounding 31-0 final score, American Samoa remained the lowest ranked team in FIFA. Prior to this documentary, their team had never won a game, and had only scored two goals in 17-years of playing.


            In an effort to improve their ranking in the qualifying rounds of the World Cup, the American Samoan team brought in the help of Dutch coach Thomas Rongen for the last month before the games. His personality first appears to clash with both the team and the cinematic mentality of winning. It appears to be all that matters to him at the beginning of the film, but by the end he seems changed because of the relationships rather than any success they have on the field. This is not to say that they don’t have success, and it is a glorious thing to watch once you have invested the time to get to know the players.



    Entertainment Value: 8.5/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 8/10

    Historical Significance:  7/10

    Special Features: 0/10

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