Synopsis by Mark Deming
One young man's dream takes him on a remarkable journey in this sports-themed drama. Santiago Munez (Kuno Becker) was born in Mexico, and came to California with his family when he was just a boy. One of the few things Santiago brought with him was a love for soccer, and while he holds down two jobs -- working landscaping during the days with his father, Hernan (Tony Plana), and as a busboy at night -- he still dreams of playing the game professionally, and spends his precious spare time with an amateur team in Los Angeles. One day, Santiago is approached by Glen Foy (Stephen Dillane), a part-time scout for powerhouse British team Newcastle United; Glen has seen Santiago play and thinks he has talent, and can get him a tryout with Newcastle if he can make his way to England. While Hernan refuses to help Santiago pay for the trip, his grandmother (Miriam Colon) empties her savings to help him follow his dream. Santiago's first reserve game with the team happens during a typically British rainstorm, with Santiago suffering a mild asthma attack to boot; he doesn't play at his best and is turned away from the team, but he refuses to go home, determined to make good. After striking up a friendship with star kicker Gavin Harris (Alessandro Nivola) and demonstrating his mettle to coach Mal Braithwaite (Gary Lewis), Santiago earns a second chance to show Newcastle United what he can do and make his father proud of him. Goal! was a major international hit, and a sequel was already in production before the film opened in the United States in the spring of 2006.
soccer, aspiration, athlete, immigrant