The Jay DeMerit Story
Rise & Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story is a true story of a young American’s impossible journey – a journey never experienced or heard of in the soccer world. When Jay DeMerit stepped onto the field to represent the United States at the 2010 World Cup it was truly an incredible moment. The film captures Jay’s journey and his impossible rise to the top of the soccer world. 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, $1500 and a backpack full of dreams. Sleeping on floors, painting houses, and eating beans and toast to survive, Jay took the most unlikely route to the top.
After scraping by for almost two years, Jay finally got his chance. Based on one tryout in the final preseason game, Jay signed a professional contract with Watford FC. Jay then helped his team earn promotion to the English Premier League by scoring the “40 million pound goal” and became an instant hero in England. Jay went from playing in front of 50 people to 50,000 almost overnight, guarding some of the best in the world including Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Wayne Rooney. Jay’s Cinderella story continued as he was named captain of his team. From there, at the age of 27 Jay was called up to the U.S. National team to represent his country.
From his small mid-western town to the streets of London and the English Premier League, follow Jay on to the greatest stage in sports. The film documents Jay’s journey to the World Cup, covering three continents and featuring game footage and interviews from Jay’s teammates and coaches (including U.S. National Team players such as Tim Howard and Landon Donovan), friends, family, and influences along the way. The Jay DeMerit Story is a universal story of perseverance, hard work and relentless belief in a dream…it is a story that needs to be told.