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Rise & Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story (2011)

A documentary on the rise of professional soccer player Jay DeMerit from being overlooked in the U.S. to struggling in England to World Cup player recognition.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jay DeMerit ...
Subject of film
Karen DeMerit ...
Jay's Mother
Todd DeMerit ...
Jay's Brother
Michael J. Jameson ...
Jay's Track Coach & Family Friend
Kevin Phillips ...
Jay's Basketball Coach
Aldo Santagá ...
Jay's Soccer Coach
Mike Matkovich ...
Chicago Fire Assistant Coach
Brett Hall ...
Chicago PDL Coach
Keiron Keane ...
Jay's Friend (as Kieren Keane)
Brothers Grant ...
Jay's Childhood Friends
Dennis Bainborough ...
Southall Town FC Coach
Henry Weatherly ...
Former Arsenal FC & Fulham FC Scout
Jordan Keane ...
Jay's Former Housemate
Courtney Keane ...
Jay's Former Housemate
Ashley Keane ...
Jay's Former Housemate


Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story is the true story of a young American's impossible journey. After college, Jay's dream of playing pro soccer in Europe seemed unreachable. Sleeping in an attic, painting houses and eating beans and toast to survive, Jay took the most unlikely route to the top. After not making the professional leagues in the U.S., Jay left for Europe at the age of 21 without any professional experience - only a passport, $1800 and a backpack full of dreams. The film documents Jay's journey from the bottom - playing in Sunday park leagues and lower level division London clubs earning 40 pounds a week - to playing in the English Premier League - to starting in the world's greatest sports stage - the 2010 World Cup. The Jay DeMerit Story is a story of perseverance, hard work and a relentless belief in a dream...it is a story that needs to be told. Written by Anonymous

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The Fight For A Dream



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Release Date:

3 November 2011 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


This film raised over $223,000 on kickstarter.com, making it the most successful independent film via crowd funding. See more »


Subject of film: At the moment you're in the top thirty players in the whole of the country of - how many? - 300... 400 million people. You know, it's like when you think about what that means, and what that means to put on that shirt and... and to play against all the rest of the best of the other countries, you know, it really defines what this sport's all about.
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User Reviews

A story that embodies the fundamentals American was founded on and kicking doors open when all of them close
7 November 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I could probably re-iterate what the other reviews have already said about how impacting and empowering Jay's story is, and it really is, however; I will instead explain more why I'm even taking the time to write a review. It is true, Jay truly has a remarkable story, and it is one that people, soccer and non soccer fans alike can really enjoy, but why I find it so impacting is because Jay brings back to life the American spirit of working hard and fighting for a dream, and never because he felt entitled to have it.

During a time where we live in an America that feels entitled to what it has and have a generation that doesn't really grasp the fundamentals of what America was built upon, here you can re-live a story about a man who steps out of the box and his own comfort zone and works hard for what he wants at the high chance it may not happen, when all doors at one point seemed closed. He didn't sit and feel sorry for himself, didn't wait for something to happen because he felt he should earned it simply because he tried once, and didn't wait for a door to re-open when they all closed; he instead fought harder, continued to pursue what he wanted, and kicked a door back open. Now a days we have a youth that think they deserve a raise simply because they show up to work every day and never call out (like they're suppose to). That's what I love about this film and what I think people can benefit from; being Jay's attitude, positivity, and humbleness.

So sure, you can probably read about it and get the gist of his story as well, but what you don't get from reading and WILL get from watching this film is connecting with Jay and re-living his path to achieving his dream and success. It's like you were apart of it at the time it happened, and you really do feel motivated and inspired, a feeling we definitely could use right now during times like these.

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