Goal!(also known asGoal! The Dream Beginsin the United States ) is a 2005 film directed by Danny Cannon . This is the first installment of a trilogy namedGoal!. This film was made with full cooperation from FIFA , which is one of the reasons actual teams and players are used throughout the movie. The second installment,Goal! 2: Living the Dream..., was released in February 2007. The third installment,Goal! 3: Taking on the World, was released straight to DVD in June 2009.
Santiago Muñez, a skilled Association football player and enthusiast, is the son of a gardener, who lives in the Barrio section of Los Angeles, having illegally entered the USA from Mexico ten years earlier. Besides gardening with his father, he works as a bus boy in a Chinese restaurant. His ultimate dream is to play soccer professionally. Due to his poor life and the fact that he plays solely for a local club consisting of Hispanics who work in a Car wash, he feels it is unlikely. One day his skills are noticed by Glen Foy, a former Newcastle player and scout who works as a car mechanic. Glen manages to get him a tryout with Newcastle United, which has recently signed a new player, named Gavin Harris. Needing to get to England, Santiago starts to save his money which he stashes in an old shoe. Unfortunately, his father steals his savings to buy a Chevrolet truck, allowing them to work for themselves. His dream is not lost, though, when his grandmother, who loves soccer as much as he does, sells off some old jewelry and buys him his tickets.
Glen warmly welcomes Santiago to his house and takes him to his tryout. Unfortunately, he is unused to playing in England, and plays badly. Glen manages to convince the manager that Santiago needs a month's trial to show his full potential. Santiago does not tell the full truth to the club nurse, Roz Harmison, in his medical test and does not mention his asthma. After a month, in a reserve game, a jealous teammate crushes Santiago's inhaler. His asthma causes him to play badly, and his coach lets him go. On his way to the airport, though, Santiago meets Harris, Newcastle's new signee, who was late for training due to stolen car tires and needed the same taxi. Harris finds out what happened in the reserve game, and makes him explain it to the manager, who lets him stay, provided he gets treatment. Santiago manages to get a contract for the Reserves team and moves in with Gavin. He finally makes it into the first team, as a substitute in a match against Fulham. He manages to get a penalty for Newcastle, winning them the match. Unbeknownst to anyone else in his family, his father watches the match on TV in the USA, and after finally watching his son play, he leaves a proud father. Despite the victory, the manager informs Santiago that his weakness is that he does not pass the ball. That night, he and Harris go out partying, only for a picture of the two to wind up in the tabloid The Sun, causing anger from the manager. At the same time, Santiago's friend, Jamie, suffers a career-ending injury that only causes him additional grief.
Back in Los Angeles, Santiago's father dies of a heart attack. Devastated, Santiago plans to return home. While in the airport waiting for his flight back to Los Angeles, he decides not to return. Believing he may not play any longer, he goes to St. James' Park to feel what it's like there, and is informed by the manager that he is playing against Liverpool. On match day, Harris puts Newcastle into the lead. Before half-time, Liverpool makes a comeback with two goals, from Igor Bišćan and Milan Baroš. In the dying minutes of injury time, Santiago assists Harris in scoring the equaliser by finally passing the ball to him, to make it 2-2. However, a draw will not be enough to earn Newcastle a place in next season's UEFA Champions League. Mere minutes before the end of the game, Harris is tripped and Newcastle gain a wide free kick, which Harris gives to Santiago. Santiago, with the hopes and prayers of the whole city of Newcastle resting on his shoulders, scores, and Newcastle win 3-2. Glen reveals to Santiago that his grandmother is trying to call. She mentions that his father did watch his first match against Fulham, after learning this from a fellow supporter who happens to be Brian Johnson, lead singer from AC/DC, Newcastle born and bred. Santiago shouted to Glen that his father saw him play and was proud of him before he died, Glen replies: He's probably watching now. The film ends with Santiago shedding tears of joy while embracing his realized dream.