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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

Worth the wait!
5 November 2011 | by (Dayton) – See all my reviews

My family had been looking forward to this film for a long time... It was worth the wait! Jay is truly an inspiration & an American icon!

The film follows Jay Demerit on his journey to soccer greatness: playing, at first, for free in Sunday Pub Leagues, working his way up, eventually playing at the highest level in England & in the World Cup. Jay shows that through hard work & determination, all things are possible. He also "keeps it real" and describes how difficult things were at times. Jay is a great roll model for today's youth, showing that hard work & perseverance are worth the effort!

Although this is a soccer story, it is also SO much more! This film will appeal to those who love documentaries, root for the underdog, love an inspirational story or anyone who believes that we should all follow our wildest dreams!!! Thank you Ranko, Nick, Jay & everyone else who made this documentary "the little film that could"! :)

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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