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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The 90th Minute


The 90th Minute is a documentary film that sheds light on problems that female athletes face in professional sports.

The half-hour film reflects on why professional women’s soccer struggles for survival while it is also one of the most popular sports among girls in the United States. The story is told through the lives of three athletes who are in the Women’s Professional Soccer League that started in 2009. They play for the top club team in the world called FC Gold Pride, with Olympic gold medalists, former World Cup competitors and Marta Vieira Da Silva - the best female soccer player in the world.

The main characters are Kim Yokers, a former University of California, Berkeley soccer star whose initial dream to play professionally was shattered when the first women’s professional league folded in 2003; Rosie Tantillo, a University of Southern California graduate and PAC-10 award winner who is a developmental player in the new league; and Ali Riley – a young and talented rookie who has a bright career in front of her. Despite their success, the three athletes face major obstacles in their careers that force them to think critically about how much they are willing to give up to play professional soccer.

The film looks back at the 1999 Women’s World Cup - when Mia Hamm empowered thousands of young girls to play soccer, Brandi Chastain fell to her knees in her sports bra after kicking the final game’s winning goal, and the U.S. National Team surprised the country with their athleticism, charisma and ability to win. The tournament was an iconic example of how far women had come in sports.

The 90th Minute gives a voice to female athletes who have yet to reach their potential because of continuing gender inequities in sports.

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