Lessons for Team USA From 7 Soccer Films

Lots of lessons to be learned from Will Ferrell's coaching style
Lots of lessons to be learned from Will Ferrell's coaching style
Kicking and Screaming

Despite Ann Coulter's disapproval, the United States has World Cup fever and it's pretty awesome to experience. Across the country people are calling in sick to work and hitting the bars at ungodly hours just to watch some dudes kick around a ball. Whodathink it? I mean, besides the legions of soccer fans in this country.

But all good things must come to an end and that end has come for the American team. Sad. But now at least we can move on to other sports like... whatever other sports are going on right now. Baseball.

While I know nothing of soccer, I am familiar with a few movies about the subject and everyone in these films always seems to learn valuable lessons, not just about the sport but about life in general. Perhaps these films can offer some some guidance for future endeavors.

Shaolin Soccer

In

Shaolin Soccer

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a former monk uses magical, Superman-style martial arts on the soccer field. In the end, through the power of the shaolin, the good guys win, which in our case would be Team USA.

Lesson Learned: It's not cheating to use supernatural kung fu against your opponents. But, they are also able to use it on you.

Green Street Hooligans

Green Street Hooligans

is less about soccer than it is about beating the crap out of the opposing team's fans. Whether your actual team wins or loses is really of no consequence, except to dictate how badly you will beat the other team up.

Lesson learned: I think, really, we didn't have enough brawls going on after our soccer games. Next time around let's put beating each other up on the docket.

The Big Green

The Big Green

is one of those movies about a team of losers that eventually find their way through the help of one kid that happens to be amazing at the sport and brings them to the finals. This stock plot never seems very moral to me. So, basically the team can only do well when they have a star player. Even more unfortunate about this film is that the star player is Mexican. I think that's called a stereotype.

Lesson learned: Not a very good lesson learned from this movie - There is no "I" in team and there doesn't need to be because there is an "I" in Mexican.

Lesson Number 2: Steve Guttenberg.

The Game of Our Lives

The Game of Our Lives

is the true story of an unbelievable victory over England by Team USA in the 1950 World Cup. It was a huge upset for the UK and a wonderful underdog story.

Lesson Learned: Can Team USA figure out how those guys did it and just do that?   Kicking and Screaming

Yet another sports team comedy in which a pack of misfit kids are challenged to be better and learn valuable lessons. This one, though, focuses more on their dud of a coach, played by Will Ferrell, and his relationship with his overly-competitive pop. You've seen this plot 100 times. What's slightly different is that Ferrell takes on ex-football coach extraordinaire, Mike Ditka, as his second in command.

I met Mike Ditka once, which has nothing to do with anything about this movie or soccer.

Lesson Learned: Hey Team USA, football? Football coach? Why not see what Gary Kubiak (now with the Baltimore Ravens) is up to in his spare time these days?

She's The Man/Ladybugs

Both

She's The Man

and

Ladybugs

focus on cross dressing individuals who help bring their soccer teams to victory while learning the hardships of having to pee in the restroom of the opposite sex, which is hilarious!

Lesson Learned: A cross dressing player might be the way to go for Team USA. Not for nothing, but Hope Solo sounds like she is teetering on the edge of crazy, which she could bring to the field. Plus, she may soon need a job.   Bend It Like Beckham

Bend It Like Beckham

was a surprise hit when it was released in 2002; I guess people didn't think that a British movie about two girls playing soccer (football) could be funny and touching. The girls play some serious soccer and simultaneously fight over a guy. Hmm...

Lesson Learned: A few of the members of Team USA, past and present are married to supermodels, swimsuit supermodels. Clint Dempsey is married to one, as is Soccer Hall of Famer Brian McBride. Maybe we give our guys a little competitive edge by throwing some hot ladies in the winning pool? Or maybe in a literal pool. Is that totally sexist? Of course it is, but I can say these things because I am a woman.


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