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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:
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: I've always been... interested in-in-in the adventure side of things - in taking chances, taking risks - because the bigger risk you take, the bigger incentive there is at the end. And for me, there was no bigger incentive than to play professional soccer in Europe, because I knew that I'd seen it on TV - I'd watched Man United; I'd watched Liverpool; I'd been to Europe; I'd seen games - and I just thought, "Well, if I can get to the pinnacle of my profession, it's gotta be in Europe, it's ...
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User Reviews

A great story about determination!!!
8 November 2011 | by (United States, NY) – See all my reviews

This movie shows everybody that anything is possible, if you just don't give up! The easiest thing to do is quit and Jay shows us that QUIT is not in his vocabulary. I saw Jay play against Arsenal and was lucky enough to read his story before that match, I was happy to hear it was being made into a documentary! A must see for not just soccer fans but any athlete that has dreams of going Pro. I was upset that not more people saw the advance screening at Stony Brook. The movie was well shot and had a great story line from his high school days all the way up to now. The movie has great stills from the EPL as well as great footage of his days in the Championship level for Watford. A true Must see.

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