ESPN will debut a documentary series on June 25 to coincide with the beginning of the Women’s World Cup soccer tournament in Germany.
Here’s the description:
The short films will offer in-depth profiles of FIFA Women’s World Cup players Marta (Brazil), Kelly Smith (England), and Lisa De Vanna (Australia); and highlight unique stories about a group of grandmothers and senior citizens on a team in Jerez, Spain, who continue to play into their 70s and 80s; a woman referee in the Republic of Congo who earned accolades from FIFA while working through the stress of abuse from fans; and a probation officer who uses soccer to steer troubled teens away from gangs in Central California.
The Films and Directors: (form the HERoics site)
Dois Riachos to Umeå (Adriana Yanez)
A profile of Brazil’s Marta Vieira da Silva, simply known as Marta, who has transcended her humble beginnings to become one of her country’s legendary one-name soccer stars. She is the current and record five-straight FIFA Player of the Year, a distinction no other male or female player has ever achieved.
El Chiquitín Fútbol Club (Sara Lozano)
In Spain, home of the FIFA World Cup champions and reigning European champions, arcane laws and old mores still pose strong barriers against women who seek to play the sport. Since 1995, the El Chiquitín Fútbol Club players, grandmothers and senior citizens in the old town of Jerez, suit up in the locker room, talk trash and play hard for their coach.
Kelly Smith (Hannah Storm)
A look at how the greatest female soccer player ever in the country that invented the sport has overcome her drinking problem and is poised to lead England to its best Women’s World Cup run ever.
The Save (Amanda Micheli)
Gina Castañeda, a deputy probation officer in Watsonville, Calif., is best known for coaching youth soccer to steer her players away from the rising gang turf wars among the largely Hispanic, immigrant population in her community.
L’ Arbitre (Ruhi Hamid)
Marie Agnès Makengi Kapinga, otherwise known as Mere Malou, was the first international female soccer referee in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In a 15-year refereeing career with numerous accolades from FIFA and CAF, Marie Agnès endured physical and verbal abuse from fans, but remains dedicated to passing the torch on to present and future generations of female referees.
Lisa De Vanna (Safina Oberoi)
Arguably one of Australia’s best female players, Lisa De Vanna is also the Matildas’ most troublesome — prone to fights with her teammates and opposing players. As the Matildas prepare for the Women’s World Cup, the tempestuous but generous player is set for a showcase on the sport’s biggest stage, or perhaps, a meltdown.