Sunday night's 2-2 tie in the World Cup match between the United States and Portugal was a nerve-racking nail biter — and now fans have to wait until Thursday (!) to find out if Team USA will advance to the Top 16. How to fill the hours of anxious anticipation? Kick back and check out these classic Hollywood takes on the game.
'Kicking & Screaming' (2005)
Here, Will Ferrell plays a vitamin-shop owner who takes over coaching his kid Sam's slumping soccer team. Thanks to the recruitment of two athletically gifted Italian boys and an uneasy alliance with a hated neighbor (former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka as himself), the team learns to work together — though Ferrell's late-in-the-game, caffeine-fueled personality switch nearly sinks them. Bonus: Look for a young Josh Hutcherson in one of his first big-screen roles.
'Bend It Like Beckham' (2002)
At 18, all Jesminder Bhamra wants to do is play soccer on her local team, West London's Hounslow Harriers (her hero is the titular David Beckham). Unfortunately, her traditional Indian parents aren't so hot on the idea, and Jess is forced to sneak around. Only when a college sports scholarship is suddenly in the offing does Jess discover a way to convince her parents that soccer is the right move for her.
'Gregory's Girl' (1981)
In this Scottish coming-of-age comedy, teenager Gregory is happy to have Dorothy, a young woman he fancies, join his school soccer team. His sexist coach isn't exactly on board, but Dorothy is too good a prospect to pass up. When the other players start developing feelings for Dorothy, Gregory has to work extra hard to catch her attention. Eventually he does — just not in the way he expects.
'Green Street Hooligans' (2005)
Before Elijah Wood was a Hobbit and Charlie Hunnam was a Son of Anarchy, the pair co-starred in a movie about one of British soccer's less savory aspects: hooligans. Fleeing a bogus drug charge that got him kicked out of Harvard, Wood ends up in the UK working for Hunnam, a Cockney who arranges fights after matches. Despite this seedy "study abroad" experience, Wood's character learns a few things about himself so he can return home and clear his name.
Sylvester Stallone was largely known for punching people out in "Rocky" when "Victory" came along, pairing him with screen greats such as Michael Caine and Max von Sydow, as well as pro soccer players like Pelé, to tell the story of World War II POWs who escaped following a game played against Germans. Though the film isn't based on historical fact — as was once believed — it's a compelling story of perseverance and grit.