UPDATE 6/18/2018: American Futbol is now a feature-length documentary. For a limited time during the World Cup in Russia, it will be streaming for free on the film’s website.
Back when this current World Cup tournament was just a twinkle of then-president Lula Da Silva’s eye, soccer-loving friends/journalists Pete Karl and Sam Mathius were trying to figure out how to connect their home country with the rest of the western hemisphere. The duo grew up in the land of gridiron football and wanted to show the rest of the world the great strides that association football had made in recent years in their home country. Plus, they wanted to give fans back home a local perspective on the sport south of them.
Thus, American Fútbol was born. The project currently a series of short films shared on YouTube that will eventually be edited together into a feature-length documentary. The duo, traveling with another pair of fanatics, started in Mexico and shot footage while passing through Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay with a final destination of Brazil, arriving right before the start of the World Cup.
The first video outlines the team’s project of exploring American football. American meaning ALL of the Americas and football meaning fútbol. We’re on the right foot y’all!!
The series then begins in Tijuana, a city they describe as “an infamous and misunderstood place.” Gringos, pay attention. These dudes get it! The Tijuana Xolos are the focus here and how it links north and south together with soccer.
The crew heads to Costa Rica where they learn about the history of club Herediano and how the team’s fans saved it from financial ruin.
A trip to Bogotá yields a day filled with rounds of blind soccer. The crew partake in a futsal match with players who are blind and who, despite their lack of one of the five senses, manage to humble their US opponents.
The script then flips over to Ecuador and the importance of the Chota Valley in the national team. They even get to play a match with living legend Ulises De La Cruz.
Finally, they arrive in Rio de Janeiro and right on time. What better way to start off their coverage of the World Cup than with a shot of Brazilians celebrating Neymar’s first goal of the tournament?
Then, a clip of U.S. fans who were watching the match from a gigantic screen on Rio’s Copacabana beach, losing their mind over John Brooks’ game-winning, last minute goal against Ghana.
Keep your eye on the American Fútbol website for video updates throughout the World Cup.