Loner Danny Hennessy (13) is convinced he’s the next international soccer star. Only problem. He has no team. In fact, he has no friends in his northern Idaho town... that hates soccer.
Stuck in a trailer park with a mother he blames for having no father and being poor, he spends every spare second practicing soccer tricks in an abandoned warehouse. At nights he watches Youtube videos of Mexican soccer stars, then annoys the town by pretending he’s Mexican and only speaking his self taught Spanish while he does soccer tricks down main street.
High School freshman Danny decides it’s time to leave and start his road to the pros by facing off with the number one ranked boy, Nick, in a Beverly Hills tournament. He bets the school board if he wins three games at the tournament, they will make a high school team.
Self appointed head coach Danny gets exactly 10 kids and trains his team, the Ball Busters, like bootcamp.
The writer hated soccer till he had the idea for the script and embedded himself with 3 youth soccer clubs for a season.
Writing from the angle of “soccer hater” gave the story an edge it wouldn’t have if written by a soccer fan.
The small Idaho town in this coming of age story represents the hater. The conflict and jokes poke fun of the giant U.S. being, in fact, a 3rd world country when it comes to soccer.
Also, since soccer is the world’s sport, THE SOCCER KID is geared for international appeal, which is a tough goal for most American comedies. This movie also sets itself up for a sequel/franchise, where the hero gets on a pro youth team he hates in another country, so he can search for his father...
This four quadrant movie doesn’t have to make the binary choice of jokes/characters aiming at adult vs. child, male vs. female, or soccer fan vs. soccer hater.
Men/boys can appreciate the jock edge of a testosterone filled team that constantly fights and insults each other. Guys will also latch onto bootcamp training scenes, as well as the complex depth of love/hate relationship children can have with parents.
Women will appreciate the co-lead MARY, who plays the thankless job of mother, and has to fight for a relationship with her son while fighting her own demons.
Young girls can revel in the midpoint where the Ball Busters lose to an all girls team, but more importantly will recognize the story for calling out the boys for their chauvinism.
The jokes in the story don’t take a dive down to a lowest common denominator, but connect with any age because they are based in the conflict.