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FOX SPORTS PREMIERES “PHENOMS” SOCCER DOCUMENTARY MINI-SERIES AT TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL®AHEAD OF NETWORK TV DEBUT…!
Network Television Premiere Set for May 25, on FOX
NEW YORK(SMI-WIRE,04.18-04.29.18)-During the Tribeca Film Festival, there were a great many movies, and some did cover sports, Phenoms was a bit different.
This is one of many installments out of tens of thousands of hours of film culled from a world wide effort. This installment had them considering the position of the Goalkeeper, the last line of defense. Those in the know are well aware that those who play that position are cut from a different cloth, Shep Messing, a New York native challenged a member of the NY Jets football team to a shot glass eating contest, Shep did eat his, the other did not. The great Rene Higuita of Colombia would make "scorpion kick" saves, putting himself fully horizontal, then kicking the ball with his heel away from the goal. The goalkeeper is last, he is on an island, there is no back up if he is beaten, just a goal for the opposition. If the goalkeeper does not play so well or is injured he does not slowiy get returned to the field if the replacement is doing well as a field player would, getting more and more time as the recovery is completed, he sits.
These players looked at were the top of their teams and at times their national teams. All younger players in a position where you really come into your own after the age of 30, they are almost a decade younger. One, from Russia had been with a top team there, Spartak Moscow as a teenager but let go, he linked up then with a far lower level team. He was highly disappointed as his father had sacrificed a great deal to get him to that point, feeling he had let him down. Following sometime with this lower level team, Spartak again summoned him up. He realized when they let him go before, it was a different time, he was a different player, a child. The hardest part of this upward move was the separation from his goalkeeper coach, a grizzled veteran and teacher of the position who had taken on an all but father role for the young player.
Another from Uruguay, playing for a big team there Penerol was sought after by a club from Europe, with far deeper pockets, a potential life changer for him and his family. Being fully aware of the painful fact that they had never successfully sold a goalkeeper to an European club he was frustrated. He had left home at a very young age to go train with Penerol. His mother who had missed him dearly never made mention of this to him so that he would not feel compelled to return, was so supportive of him throughout.
The subject from England had possibly the most compelling of stories. He wanted to play for a top team in England as well as the national team. He had fought hard to achieve both only to fracture his ankle. His struggle to rehab this injury as he is shown in therapy barely able to kick the ball with the effected leg, slowly getting better then back into shape to again join a club team and hopefully challenge for the national team once more.
This was a great movie high on substance as it showed them at the heights before packed stadiums doing what they love and the depths while awaiting transfer to Europe, being with a lower level team and the harsh reality of a serious injury. The players were depicted both at home dealing with the same things as the rest of us, the birth of a child, business transactions and the like. Most films of this sort or just the glitz and glamour of the professional athlete, not playing in the snow on frozen ground, thinking due to injury they may not make it back to the field.