When the American Samoan national soccer team suffered the world’s worst defeat, losing to Australia 31-0, these tiny islands crash-landed into last place in the FIFA world rankings, and became known as “the worst team in the world.” Despite having not won an official match for more than a decade, the team is held together by their pure love of soccer, deep faith, and American Samoan pride. Next Goal Wins delivers an intimate view of their miraculous efforts as they train for the next World Cup and a chance to redefine their international reputation.
By following the team’s eccentric new coach, Dutchman Thomas Rongen, and team members, including Jaiyah Saelua, a fa’afaine (the Samoan third gender), this documentary becomes more than a story about the ultimate underdogs. Directors Mike Brett and Steve Jamison bring us into a tightknit community whose dedication to family, spirituality, and mutual acceptance are all too uncommon today.
Length: 97 minutes
Language: English, Samoan
Director: Mike Brett, Steve Jamison
Producer: Kristian Brodie, Mike Brett, Steve Jamison
Editor: Julian Quantrill
Executive Producer: Myles Payne, David Staniland
Composer: Roger Goula
Cast: Thomas Rongen, Jaiyah Saelua, Nicky Salapu, Tavita Taumua, Larry Mana'o
This film is co-presented by: