MLS 30 For 30 Documentaries ESPN Should Make

mls 30 for 30

EDITORIAL – Major League Soccer has started its 26th season. During the past year, I’ve listened to the 25 Stories that Made MLS series and Grant Wahl’s American Prodigy podcast. I’ve been thinking about the “what if ESPN decided to do a 30 For 30 or several about MLS/American Soccer?” question for years. With MLS old enough to now deserve and need proper historian work, I feel its time to explore that question in more detail.

MLS 30 For 30 Documentaries ESPN Should Make

ESPN’s 30 For 30 series originally started as a celebration of ESPN’s 30th anniversary. The term 30 For 30 refers to the thirty documentaries for those thirty years. There have been 30 for 30s and shorts about soccer, but none have been about topics in North America. While MLS started in 1996, its origins predate that. Many would consider the 1994 World Cup the birth/arrival of modern American Soccer. So in picking out a few key stories from years prior to ’96, I’ve made up a 30 For 30 series rather than a 25 For 25.

The Criteria:

First off, I’m only picking stories that have come to a reasonable completion. Chris Wondolowski came back for this season, so his career and final goal tally are not finished. So the Wondo doc isn’t on here. Nor is anything on the recent success of the Seattle Sounders, Toronto FC, and Atlanta United. Sorry to fans of those teams. Win a few more trophies to become proper MLS dynasties and I’ll include you in the updated version of this article in a few years.

In general, I avoided Canadian storylines all together. ESPN’s an American company that primarily covers sports in American. TSN is welcome to start its own documentary series and have a season dedicated to Canadian Soccer. But those will technically not be 30 for 30s.

Next, I want compelling and comprehensive stories about American Soccer. While this list was inspired by MLS’s 25th season, MLS isn’t all of American Soccer. Volume 1 of the 30 For 30 series in 2009 was supposed to be 30 one hour films. So I’m picking stories that in 30 (ish) hours total give you a full and informed picture of American Soccer, including the women’s game, the national team(s), and the lower divisions. In that, I’ve mostly limited each MLS team to one documentary.

Lastly, there’s an element of “this story is so out there and important to the journey of American Soccer, more people need to know about this. Why doesn’t this documentary exist?” to this list. Soccer media in this country can be so MLS focused. Soccer media around the world can be so focused on the immediate headline of a star player, the dominant clubs, etc. I’ve intentionally researched a few stories that aren’t known in the greater American Soccer knowledgebase to educate the masses.

With that, here’s my list:

1989: The Shot Heard Round The World

Most American Soccer fans know the story of Paul Caliguiri’s goal and the USMNT making the World Cup for the first time in 40 years. The team crashed out of the Group Stage in Italy. But what about the previous games in qualification? Mexico was disqualified from the Pentagonal (there were five teams in the final stage, “the Hex” hadn’t become a thing yet). How did the USMNT qualifying for the 1990 World Cup set the country up to host and get out of the group in 1994? I want a detailed breakdown of Caliguiri’s goal, that game, and what lead up to it.

1990: Železná Americký (Czech for “Iron American”)

Steve Trittschuh might have the most bizarre Americans Abroad experience no one knows about. He’s probably the only member of the USMNT 1990 World Cup squad to have his club situation improve after that tournament. After the U.S. lost all three group games, he went behind the Iron Curtain to play for Sparta Prague. Before becoming an MLS OG in ’96, he played in the old NASL, the MISL, and the Netherlands.

From Trittschuh’s media interactions as a coach in the USL, he’s not the most excitable interview. But if you get him going on some stories from back in the day (with the help of a few beers), he’d have a bunch of crazy stuff to say about being the only American playing in the old Czechoslovakia. Find even the most grainy footage of that season and in the MISL and you’d have a great “nobody knew about this and a 30 For 30 made it common sports knowledge for the better.”

1991: The 91ers

Everybody knows the 99ers. They are not on this list cause there’s already a 30 For 30 about them. But they weren’t the first USWNT to win the World Cup, the ’91 team was. I’d know as much about the original Women’s Word Cup champions. That tournament was hosted by China and American Women’s Soccer was put on the map by the ’99 World Cup and that United States team. Furthermore, there’s only six players 99ers who were on that 1991 squad.

Michelle Akers was a boss in 1999, but I’d love to know more about the veterans who guided her eight years prior.
April Heinrichs scored a hattrick in the semifinals and retired from the national team later that year. What’s her story? I don’t even feel qualified to suggest a narrative or which players to focus on, that’s how little content exists on this team. All the more reason they deserve their own documentary as the OG USWNT World Cup champions.

1994: The Founding Fathers

I’m old enough to remember watching the 1994 World Cup. Hosting the World Cup helped soccer arrive in America and for many, the summer of 1994 was the (re-)birth of the sport in this country. But I don’t have a The Last Dance level memory of every game, the opponent, who scored, etc.

Most fans know about the win over Columbia and the infamous fallout from it. Most remember the USMNT giving Brazil a hard time in the Round of 16 even with the scary Tab Ramos injury. A comprehensive and canonical documentary on this team, the players, and what happens needs to exist.

There’s also a story to tell on how U.S. Soccer starting a first division professional league was a condition to the Word Cup bid being accepted. New/young fans should be educated on this team, the U.S. hosting a World Cup, and how it lead to MLS starting in 1996. The players are The Founding Fathers; so are the suits who made this tournament and this league happen. Plus, retro low resolution footage of Alexi Lalas in the denim kit.

1995: Beautiful Tears

Following up the 1994 World Cup, the USMNT was invited to the Copa America hosted by Uruguay. It started with a labor negotiation/strike on the flight there. It ended with an impressive fourth place finish after a 1-0 loss to Brazil (just like the World Cup) in the semifinals. Before that, they beat Mexico in penalties. But the most memorable game of their tournament was a 3-0 win against Argentina that won them the group.

After the game, players say Diego Maradona himself got into their locker room to congratulate them. He then started crying, supposedly saying “I’m not crying because Argentina lost. I’m crying because it was beautiful to watch the Americans play.”

What really went down with the wage dispute and a youth team almost replacing them? How’d they beat Argentina? Did that Maradona story really happen or was this U.S. Soccer myth making?

1996: El Pibe

Carlos Valderrama was one of the best original MLS international players. He was the star player for Tampa Bay Mutany and retired with the all-time assist record (114). Recognizable by his hair style and his passing skills, he’s one of the best players in league and Columbian history. But beyond the highlights and his role in Columbia’s failed 1994 World Cup, we don’t know his whole stateside story. I’d love to hear him tell stories about playing club football in Columbia, the decision to come to MLS, and his time here, including finishing top of the league in MLS’s inaugural season, retroactively winning the Supporters’ Shield which wasn’t created until a decade later.

1997: The Stands That Bounced (Series)

There’s a few stories here that deserve a documentary series. The is first Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium. It unquestionably had the best atmosphere in the MLS 1.0 Era. It has great non-soccer history in its own right. RFK in many ways is the spiritual home of U.S. Soccer in the last It hosted three MLS Cups in the neutral-site era of the final, starting in 1997.

The stands bounced. There were racoons in the bleachers, rats and leaky pipes in the hallways and offices. It witnessed the best and worst of the NASL, one of the most unique modular stadium designs, and the first dynasty of MLS. Take at least two episodes just to cover what D.C. United achieved in those early years, with a side bit about Jaime Moreno getting traded to New York then back to D.C.

Even towards the end when it was falling apart, it still had mystique. It’d be a great commentary on how to maintain and retire a stadium. With so many MLS original stadiums being phased out, RFK deserves to be remembered fondly.

1998: Project-40

Basically I want this article from Nick Firchau in movie form. Schedule two dozen interviews with former coaches, players who made it in MLS, players who didn’t, and get their stories. Edit them together into an anthology of crazy bus rides, playing in the A-League, and the trips abroad. Then document the successes, failures, and insanity that was Project-40. End with how it inspired the Generation Adidas program and the impact both have had on MLS.

1999: Cupset

The Rochester Raging Rhinos are the last non-MLS team to win the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, doing so in 1999. Then a member of the A-League, they beat four MLS teams to win the title. This included a 2-0 win over Colorado Rapids in the final at Columbus Crew Stadium. Since when was the USOC Final a neutral site game? Many of the players that played in that final didn’t go on to play in MLS. Was this the start of the trend of MLS teams not pursuing players in the lower divisions?

A lower division team hasn’t made it to the final since 2008. Only a handful have even made it to the semifinals since 1999. With the current disparity in spending between MLS and the lower divisions, a non-MLS USOC champions in the future seams impossible. How did Rochester beat four MLS teams? What was the Magic of the Cup like in those days? Also, the club’s gone downhill since then and hasn’t played a game since 2017. What the hell happened to the Rhinos and Rochester as a soccer city?

2000/2001: Uncle Phil’s Ranch

MLS could have folded after five years, with rumors and warning signs circulating in 2000. Prior to the January 2002 contraction of the two Florida teams, Phil Anschutz and Commissioner Don Garber scheduled a meeting at Anschutz’s ranch in Wyoming just north of the Colorado border. Bankruptcy lawyers were in attendance. Either the suits who had funded and built this league were going all-in, or professional soccer was going to fail again (and possibly for the final time) in America. This meeting led the first contraction in MLS history and also the birth of Soccer United Marketing (SUM). If the producers can get Phil Anschutz to show his face and talk about this, this could be the most informative sports business documentary out there.

2000/2001: The Indoor Game

Indoor Soccer in North America has as wild of a history as the outdoor game. The original iteration of the NPSL started the year the original NASL folded, 1984. It lasted until 2001, with the waring signs being there the year before. During that summer, the league disbanded and eight remaining clubs restarted the MISL, which folded in 2008. The original MISL operated from 1978-92.

There’s also to the PASL and MASL, which have existed in several forms. These leagues often co-operated and complemented their outdoor equivalents. Many USMNT player leading up to 1994 played indoor soccer. What were these leagues like? What went wrong? Do current indoor leagues have a future? What are some of the wild stories that made them memorable?

2002: Dos A Cero (Series)

USA vs. Mexico has become one of the most layered rivalries in international soccer. It came to a crescendo in 2002 when the two nations met in the knockout stages of the World Cup. Most fans of either national know about that game. Mapfre Stadium and Estadio Azteca have been fortresses for the home side, until the last decade with both teams getting wins on the road there. Rafa Marquez and Landon Donovan are heroes or villains in this derby depending on our allegiance.

Here’s a few facts most fans don’t know: The first Dos A Cero actually occurred in the 1991 Gold Cup semifinals. The USMNT won the first ever meeting then didn’t beat Mexico for almost 50 years.

When did this matchup start to feel like a rivalry? How do the dual nationals feel about the rivalry? How has Mexico won five of the six Gold Cup finals the two have played in? Was their meeting in the 2002 World Cup an inflection point? Why are Columbus, OH. and Mexico City fortresses? How has the geopolitics between the two nations created undertones between the fans? Did Landon Donovan really urinate on the pitch cause the grounds crew locked the bathrooms in Jalisco? I want five hours of story time and Concacafing highlights.

2003: Five Unanswered

The 2003 Conference Semifinals between San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy was the first MLS Cup Playoffs instant classic. The Galaxy won the first leg 2-0 and were up 2-0 (4-0 on aggregate) within 13 minutes of the second leg in San Jose. The Quakes went on to score five unanswered. Rodrigo Faria’s extra time golden goal flipped the tie from 4-0 to 5-4.

It set a tone for the California Clásico rivalry. Back-and-forth narratives, villains and heroes, late drama, and the unexpected. Many American Soccer fans are still too fresh to remember the state of the rivalry in 2012. This is an original MLS derby and the 2003 second leg playoff game deserved to be documented accordingly.

2004: Untapped Potential

Much like Grant Wahl, I want a Freddy Adu 30 For 30 to exist. Wahl took that desire so far in the past year that he produced American Prodigy, a documentary podcast series about Adu’s career, what went wrong, and why. This 30 For 30 was meant to fill a void that American Prodigy has partially filled. Adu’s time in MLS and Europe provide insightful perspective on American Soccer and the coverage, expectations, and fandom of it. All that, to say nothing of the person who lived and has come out the other sider relatively intact.

Podcasts are great, but a visual production with the audience reach of ESPN would be great. At this point, let Grant produce it and give him 10 x the budget he wanted for the podcast version.

2005: Chivas RIP

Chivas USA are the worst team to ever exist in MLS. They came into the league in 2005 and embodied all of MLS’s flaws in one team. The Mexican Mothership treated them like a reserve team. They were poorly funded and never got out of the shadow of the LA Galaxy or their stadium that they squatted at. Top it off with a bunch of losing and a discrimination lawsuit. I’m still surprised MLS decided to allow two more football group clubs (in New York of all places) after this dumpster fire was finally extinguished in 2014. I want this movie to basically be MLS’s Big Shot and Small Potatoes put together. Bring on all the ChivaFighter and Chelis memes.

2006: 134

MLS fans today know Chris Wondolowski and Landon Donovan. They’re aware Kei Kamara and Bradley Wright-Phillips have scored a bunch of goals. Atlanta fans probably think Josef Martinez is going to eventually be the all-time goal scorer in MLS by the time he retires. But for the longest time, Jeff Cunningham held the record with 134. He finished his MLS career in 2011, before a lot of fans were watching the league. New fans might not know his name.

I chose 2006 because that was the first of two years Cunningham won the Golden Boot. He scored regularly at Columbus, Colorado, RSL, and Dallas. The only MLS team he didn’t have elevate were expansion team Toronto FC. He was a complete striker at his peak. His longevity and ability to score for so many different clubs further proves his greatness as a forward. He deserves a well done biography so fans can know about the original goal scoring king of MLS.

2007: Five Falls in Foxborough

The MLS 2.0 New England Revolution are probably the best team to never win an MLS Cup. Taylor Twellman and Clint Dempsey up front. Shalrie Joseph and Jeff Larentowicz in the middle. Michael Parkhurst and Matt Reis at the back. This group had the talent to become a dynasty. Instead, they lost five finals from 2001-07, including three MLS Cup Finals in a row. Only one of those losses occurred in regular time.

This team was the Buffalo Bills of MLS, but were they chokers or just unlucky? They did win the 2007 U.S. Open Cup and the now defunct SuperLiga in 2008, so this movie does have a happy ending of sorts. Still, an MLS Cup has alluded the Revs to this day, having lost the 2014 final, in extra time. Twellman et al. discussing their failures and how they’ve made peace with them will be cathartic and relatable for most audiences.

2008: Blanco En Fuego

Cuauhtémoc Blanco became the second highest paid player in MLS in 2007 when he signed for the Chicago Fire. In his three years with the Fire, he made them more relevant and cool in a crowded Chicago sports market. Only Thierry Henry and David Beckham did more for their clubs as a DP in the MLS 2.0 period. He won Goal of the Year in 2007 and was twice an MVP finalist. His best year was 2008 when he played in all but three games, recording 7 goals and 11 assists. In all three seasons the Fire made it to the Conference Finals, coming just a goal short of playing in MLS Cup. He was one of the most entertaining players of the MLS 2.0 era.

2009: 48 Seconds

Ask an MLS fan outside the Pacific Northwest about Roger Levesque and they probably haven’t heard of him. Ask a soccer fan from Cascadia about him, and their reaction will immediately tell you whether they’re Sounders or Timbers. Levesque might be the first player in MLS history to be universally associated with one club and it’s biggest rivalry. His time with Seattle playing villain to Portland goes back to when both teams were in the USL. In 2009, Seattle’s MLS expansion year, he scored in the first minute (technically 45 seconds) of an Open Cup game against the Timbers. Levesque didn’t start one of the best rivalries in American Soccer, but he did turn it into a bonfire.

2010: The Script You Could Not Write

There is only one American Soccer story to pick for 2010. Everyone’s seen the highlight on Landon Donovan’s goal against Algeria a thousand times. I could probably tell you right now everything that will be said about qualification, Bob Bradley’s team building, the draws to England and Slovenia, and the Round of 16 loss to Ghana. I also could have told you every discussion topic The Last Dance brought up about the 1998 NBA Finals. This 30 For 30 still needs to exist for future fans to learn and fans who witnessed that game and that goal to be nostalgic.

2011: The Beckham Experiment (Series)

If any story in MLS has the content worthy of a proper MLS version of The Last Dance, it’s the 2007-2014 LA Galaxy. A cast of characters that includes David Beckham, Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane, and Bruce Arena could make for a 10 part 10-hour series. You could do a whole episode just on the Beckham announcement and the DP rule. Backstories on the trio, Arena, Omar Gonzalez, Mike Magee, and a smattering of role players from those years.

Go behind the scenes and breakdown the Ruud Gullit disaster, 2009 loss to RSL, the two Supporters’ Shields, and the MLS Cups in 2011, ’12, and ’14. Find a director who can get Landon and Becks to agree to sit in a room together and hash out their relationship and all the drama that happened. And just like The Last Dance with MJ, don’t mention Donovan’s two comebacks.

2012: I Hate Steven Lenhart

Basically, I want I Hate Christian Laettner, but with Lenhart. At his peak, he was the most universally hated player in MLS. He’s also one of the most misunderstood. He was a quiet good citizen off the pitch and a villain on it. Was this dude crazy? Bipolar? Concacaf-y?

Get a director who can ask questions to get in his head and have his Bash Brother Alan Gordon, Chris Wondolowski, and company share all their crazy stories, especially the 2021 Supporters’ Shield. In retirement, he’s been pretty camera/interview shy, so the biggest holdup to making this one would be convincing him to take part in it. But if he says yes, this could be as eye-opening and humanizing as American Prodigy was.

2013: Reborn In Blue Hell

Sporting KC provided the blueprint for MLS rebrands. That culminated in 2013 with the opening of Livestrong Sporting Park, now called Children’s Mercy Park. To this day, it’s one of the best atmospheres in MLS and for national team games. Throw in a cool new logo with local symbols and a name change away from Kansas City Wiz, you’ve got a hell of a makeover story.

Get an interview with the crew that did the new logo, the stadium architects, the club staff who oversaw the whole transition, and players who experienced the days of Arrowhead, playing in a minor league ballpark, and the first game at the shiny new soccer specific stadium.

2014: Sigi vs. Bruce

Sigi Schmid (rest in peace) and Bruce Arena. From their time at UCLA and UVA respectively to their matchups in MLS, it’s the best coaching rivalry in the history of American Soccer. Their Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy teams had so many classic and significant matches. Perhaps the climax of the rivalry was 2014 when they played each other in the final two games of the regular season. Seattle took four points from those games to win the Shield while LA beat them narrowly in the Conference Finals and went on to win MLS Cup.

Sigi produced more players for the national team. Bruce won more trophies and has the better head-to-head record. Who do their players, coaching staffs, and the pundits think was better or had a bigger impact on the sport? Let’s find out. This will be a sad one and incomplete given Sigi passed away 2018 and won’t be able to contribute.

2015: Why Did You Fire Petke?

In the most memorable supporters town hall in MLS history, the New York Red Bulls brass faced their understandably upset supporters in the aftermath of dismissing Mike Petke and appointing Jesse Marsh. This move was part of the RBNY transformation in 2015 that saw them go from aspiring super club to a cog in the German football group machine. All of this, especially the unfair dismissal of Petke, enraged fans. The town hall itself was riddled with talking points, repeated answers, and refusal to answer questions directly.

What prompted this by the people from behind the scenes? What’s Petke’s side of the story? Years later, how does everyone involve feel about the decision and change in direction of the club? Who is the guy that was yelling “why’d you fire Petke?” four minutes in? I want Ali Curtis and Petki beef out in the open.

2016: Enigma

Just like the World War II message encryption code device, Jürgen Klinsmann’s time as USMNT manager is an enigma. 2016 was a microcosm of this with a fourth placed finish in the Copa America followed by two losses to start the Hexagonal leading to his firing. With him, his staff, and players having a few years to look back at his time with the national team (2011-16), how do they make sense of it all?

What do he and Donovan have to say about their falling out and tension? Did his lofty big picture ideas imprint well on Sunil Gulati or the federation? What players he scorned are going to go off on the rift he created within the player pool?

Were all his successes just him lucking out despite having no consistent tactics? Does he deserve credit for saying for years that Americans need to be playing in Europe? Who still thinks he was just a gaslighting blowhard riding the coattails of his playing career?

2017: Save The Crew

In 2017, news broke that Anthony Precourt was looking to relocate the Columbus Crew to Austin, TX. At the top, the club was manipulating the finances of the club to make things look worse and taking action to further exacerbate the situation. Supporters rallied from around the league and MLS public opinion (outside ownership and the laissez-faire league) were very opposed to this.

In the end, the Nordecke and company rallied to save their club, with a local ownership group led by the Haslam family taking them off Precourt’s hands. They’re getting an MLS 3.0 caliber new stadium. They won MLS Cup last year. Precourt got his new team Austin. It’d be great if Precourt would agree to an interview to tell his untold side of the story. I’ll settle for the credits rolling with Lucas Zelarayan MLS Cup highlights and briefly acknowledging the 2021 rebrand and the backpedaling that hopefully saved the happy ending to this story.

2018: This Was The NASL

Yes, just like This Was The XFL. The second iteration of the North American Soccer League had so much intrigue, spectacular fails, lawsuits, and scandals, you’d think it was all made up. It all came crashing down in 2018 when U.S. Soccer denied them Division II status. A postponed season turned into a cancelled season. Legal battles turned to defeat and the four remaining teams splitting off to form NISA.

How did this league make so many bad financial decisions? How’d they go years getting a waver from U.S. Soccer to be second division despite never making any measurable progress to meet second division requirements? What dirt do current USL owners and front office staff want to share about their meetings with the league before choosing to join the USL? This cautionary tale must be told.

2019: USWNT vs. All

The United States Women’s National Team won the 2019 Women’s World Cup, its fourth overall and second in a row. They did so by blowing out weaker opposition and winning close games against quality competition. Lots of people were gunning for the confident defending champions. This was the most competitive WWC to date, with the U.S. meeting France in the Quarterfinals as many anticipated. The USWNT defeated them and won a tough game against the Three Lionesses before beating the Netherlands in the final.

Beyond that, the USWNT took a stand for equal pay and social social justice. All of this while emotional leader Megan Rapinoe argued with President Donald Trump through Twitter and the press. This team were champions on the field, and off the field for the causes they believed in.

2020: COVID-19

This is the one film I don’t have an obvious story to follow or a catchy title. Columbus Crew’s MLS Cup is covered by Save The Crew. Documenting the MLS is Back tournament and life in the bubble city would be unique. While it wouldn’t have a plot, the film makers could cobble together an anthology of interviews of players, coaches, team/league staff about getting through that year. It would be a great time capsule of what life in 2020 was like for future generations. Focus on FC Dallas and Nashville SC missing MiB, Colorado Rapids going a month without playing a game, and the Canadian teams living in a hotel the entire season.

Last Words: Snubs and Future Additions

There’s a few stories in here that I couldn’t properly fit into my list. MLS owes a lot of its growth to rivalries. A few derbies have enough history to deserve their own film at this point. The Cali Clásico, Atlantic Cup, and Cascadia Cup come to mind. Speaking of trophies created by supporters, the Supporters’ Shield could have been to the topic for 1999.

I felt bad snubbing the Chicago Fire’s double in 1998, as an expansion team no less. When you take a look at what Bob Bradley and that roster have gone on to do, that deserves documentation. I also had a hard time picking between the Goonies narrative of the Quakes Supporters’ Shield win and Lenhart specifically for 2012.  Lenny did invent the narrative, so the right director might produce the same film regardless of which prompt is the focus.

San Jose relocating for the 2006 season, rebranding as the Houston Dynamo, and then winning back-to-back MLS Cups isn’t explicitly covered in my list. It could be touched on in the Revolution documentary, but that’s not enough. With the Crew getting saved, no MLS team is relocating any time soon. An MLS team losing several finals over the course of a few years is. That’s why I went with the MLS equivalent of Four Falls of Buffalo rather than The Band That Wouldn’t Die.

The NWSL and USL deserve future spots on this list in some form. At present, they’re both less than a decade old in their current forms. The NWSL started playing in 2013, the USL rebranded for the 2014 season and only adopted its current three-tier structure in 2019.

In terms of individual people who didn’t come up on my list, there’s a few who deserve their own features at this point. Nick Rimando, Dwayne De Rosario, Chris Wondolowski, Diego Valeri, Chad Marshall, and Bob Bradley to name a few. Start production on the Josef Martinez doc the minute he breaks Wondo’s goal record.

Abby Wambach, Hope Solo, and Heather O’Reilly are the key women left out between the existing 30 for 30 on the 99ers and the two WWC films I’m proposing. Most USMNT figures will be covered at least one of the 1994, 2002, 2010, and 2017 films.

In terms of general national team stories, I didn’t fit in any of the Olympic Gold Medals the USWNT won. The 2015 WWC win isn’t getting a stand alone film.

On the USMNT side, the failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup is partially covered by the Klinsmann doc, but it could also serve as the first part of the film representing the year 2026 when hopefully the USMNT has a good tournament as hosts. I could have picked the USMNT World Cup failure of 1998, but American Fiasco already told that story really well.

What do you think of my list? What stories/people did I leave out? Are my titles cleaver or stupid? Who deserves their own MLS 30 for 30 in the years to come? Let me know in the comments.

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