Goal! The Dream Begins

Bomb Rating: 

I didn't realize that when they titled this film "Goal! The Dream Begins" they were using the word "begins" not because it was the beginning of the dream for the main character in the film, but because they were planning to inflict an entire series of soccer movies on an unwitting American public that doesn't give the slightest crap about soccer because it's quite possibly the most boring sport on the planet. They've already completed "Goal! 2" and are in pre-production on "Goal! 3." So I guess that now when any film has a subtitle that uses a words like "begins" or "the beginning" or "early years" or "first chapter" it's like somebody screaming out "fore!" on a golf course. We need to duck and hope something doesn't hit us.

"Goal!" is essentially "Rocky" on the soccer field. And as an aside, I fully realize that soccer is called futbol everywhere else in the world but America. However, I'm going to call it soccer to emphasize the reason we call it soccer here in America, which is to clearly differentiate the boring sport of soccer from the exciting sport of American football. To make matters even more politically interesting, the main character, Santiago Munez (Kuno Becker) is an illegal alien, a kid who crossed the border at a very young age with his father (Tony Plana) and grew up, for the most part, as an American.

Santiago is great at soccer, but like any kid who has dreams different from his father's, he's pressured into doing exactly what his father does, which is mow lawns. Actually, it's downright painful how many films use this same, tired cliché of a father who is so self-absorbed that he can do nothing but stomp all over his kid's dreams of becoming successful. This does two things: It provides fake conflict and it sets up the inevitable reconciliation down the road.

When a soccer fan with some connections named Glen Foy (Stephen Dillane) spots Santiago, he gets him to travel to England to try out for one of the professional squads there. Naturally, this enrages Santiago's father, who won't speak to him anymore. Santiago goes, doesn't experience the success he should, and almost leaves, but ends up making friends with the club's obnoxious, hard-drinking star, Gavin Harris (Alessandro Nivola), and proving himself a capable soccer player. He also falls for a British chick, Roz (Anna Friel).

"Goal! The Dream Begins" - it shoots! It bores!

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Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

Believe it or not I actually enjoyed the World Cup soccer game between the US and England last Saturday.  Probably because I didn't actually watch it.  Instead I read about it at an English newspaper's website as the game was going on. They did a twitter type of written description as the "action" unfolded. 

The English sports slang was about as easy to penetrate as the Pittsburgh Steeler's Steel Curtain defense.  But since my knowledge of Soccer would fit inside a thimble, with room to spare, this was about the only way I could get anything out of what was going on.

The Brit press seems to be befuddled.  They can't understand why their superior team played so poorly.  Um, how about the possibility that the US played some smothering defense? 

The star goaltender for the US, Tim Howard, was kicked in the chest by an English player.  It was feared he might miss the next game, but the latest reports are that he will be OK to play against Slovenia on Friday.

You can see the incident where he was kicked here:


Sports Illustrated has some good photos of the game and the crazy fans here:


{;-) Dan in (soccer happy) Miami



It's all because of a Canadian!

RidingFool's picture

Damn lingerie models to hell!


If the British tabs are to be believed, splitting with his Canadian girlfriend is the reason England’s goalie dropped the ball at the World Cup.

The papers are pointing to Elizabeth Minett, a leggy Toronto-area model as a possible reason for goalie Robert Green fumbling a routine catch that allowed the U.S. to tie the match on Saturday.

Minett is a 23-year-old lingerie model who was involved with Green, but split with the goalie before the World Cup.


Canadian Poontang transforms soccer ball into a boomerang

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

Maybe I could get a job writing headlines for one of those Brit tabloid newspapers.

{;-) Dan in Miami

PS:  The Brit goalkeeper Mr Green just needs to get his confidence up.  So to speak.


You see, this is why rugby is important...

TMundo's picture

Because in American football, you get 5 to 15 seconds of action and then 2 minutes of walking around while listening to announcers like John Madden tell us what we already know just happened.  We all saw it happen, you don't need to recap it because we were so desperate to see something happen.  Something, anything, just do something!

Then there's soccer, which has constant movement, but the constant movement is...well...meh.  And watching 'meh' is like watching reality TV without the confessions/interviews.  Well, it is to me at least.  A lot of mundane and mildly interesting stuff is constantly happening.

With rugby you get everything that's good about both sports.  The excitement of the action in football, doubled with the non-stoppedness (yes, I just made that up) of soccer.  You see, in rugby, when they guy wityh the ball is tackled, play never stops.  And that's where football looses me.  Why these guys don't use protective gear is unknown to me, because they definitely should.  Anyway, I was never so entertained watching a sport as I was during a game of rugby.  But a word to the wise, if your kids are thibnking of playing the sport in college than watch out, because I have NEVER seen binge drinking like I witnessed after a game of college rugby.  It was quite horrid, and yes, girls and guys participated in a duiscusting yet non-sexual way.

I always regretted never seeing my daughter play rugby

Coaster's picture

when she was in college.

Maybe that was a good thing.

Your daughter played rugby in college?

TMundo's picture

Ask her, "Did you ever shoot that boot?"

Should I ask her that?

Coaster's picture

It's bad enough that she was a "hooker."

Soccer fans and players are crazy

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

From US columnist David Brooks:


"..the rest of the world follows a sport [soccer] that rewards resilience and neuroticism. Soccer is a sport perfectly designed to reinforce a tragic view of the universe, because basically it is a long series of frustrations leading up to near certain heartbreak.

The author Nick Hornby once had the brains to turn around while at an Arsenal [soccer] match to watch the faces of the fans instead of the game. He observed that over the course of 15 minutes, the fans reflected frustration, rage, bitterness, despair, false hopes and discouragement. That’s because the players are perpetually pushing the ball forward, and it often looks like something is about to happen, but in reality it almost never does.

The goals are never scored.


{;-) Dan in Miami

PS:  Soccer is sort of like baseball except played in short pants.  Someone once described baseball as 6 months of heartbreak.

Australian rules football

RidingFool's picture

is not for pussies.

Rugby players eat their dead

Rajah's picture

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