Third kits are often just a cash grab by clubs who know that supporters will shell out another hundred bucks to show that they support their chosen clubs. The major problem with the third kit is that they are often never worn in a competitive match and are very bland in design. That being said, French side Lyon and Adidas have been embarking on an interesting kit partnership over the last couple of years, it seems the French side has given Adidas’ budding fashionistas the all clear to go as abstract as possible on the clubs third kits (much like French Rugby side Stade Francais does on all their kits). The results have been some kits which you wouldn’t expect. The 2010 third kit resembled something which would be more at home on the inside of a finely tailored blazer from London’s famed Savile Row.
Lyon’s 2010-11 bespoke third kit offering
This season saw Lyon and Adidas come up with something which made the classy 2010 offering look positively pedestrian. A 3D kit, while not anywhere near as colourful as the Savile Row inspired offering the club can be applauded for thinking out of the box with their third kit because, well, it is in 3D. As I don’t own a 3D TV I haven’t been able to witness the finished product but Adidas did put out some comical promo packages featuring OL players being herded in to a media room and handed 3D glasses.
3D Kit: An interesting if somewhat gimmicky idea
This coming season will see Les Gones once again switch up the third kit. The city of Lyon is known for the Fête des Lumières, dating back to the 1640′s as a tribute to Mary for the city being spared from the plague. It is the Festival of Lights where the inspiration for the new OL kit is taken. Featuring a luminescent crest along with Adidas logos, the upcoming European kit
With inspiration from the city’s Festival of Lights, OL’s 2013 third kit will surely be a popular buy in Lyon.
After weeks of rain and flooding, I had every intention of posting something about dealing with muddy conditions, cleaning equipment, or strategy for keeping players game-day-ready despite not having a usable practice field. But, yesterday I had an experience on the soccer field that changed my plans.
Instead, I thought it might be a good idea to list my 5 things that can ruin your team’s day. Although it is from a coaches point of view, this is a list for players and possibly a good reminder for coaches. Think of it as a way to make your coach, your teammates, and your opposing team feel like you respect their efforts.
5. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted. This is a tough one. A distraction can come from almost anywhere. Maybe your friend wants to tell you about something that happened after school, or about a picture posted to Facebook. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in something other than preparing for your game. I’ve seen some very good players arrive for warm-ups talking about something planned for later in the day. They never get out of “social” mode and end up having horrible performances on the field. Don’t get me wrong, this is a small problem for most players and coaches. However, it can be a problem that transforms a potential win into a loss.
4. Approach game day like you would approach a test or attending school. If you arrive at a game or tournament not thinking about soccer it can be very difficult to perform at your highest level. What do I mean by “thinking about soccer”? That means remembering the work you and your teammate put in during practices over the past week or month. Maybe your coaches had you working on tightening the defense. Or you spent time hashing out corner kicks. If you aren’t thinking about those things, you aren’t ready to play.
See what other steps you can take to ensure you have a good match day after the break!
With this season’s biggest leagues all but decided, there is little question about who reigns supreme in Germany, Spain, Italy and England. The European Champions league is in the semi-final round and the cries of “Spain and Germany rule Europe!” are abundant. While Spain and Germany have proven their strength on the pitch, a paper comparison can show how the rest of the world stacks up against each other. World Soccer magazine developed a method of comparing and ranking the world’s professional leagues, and just released their 2013 rankings. The rankings from World Soccer compiled scores based on attendance, finances, goals, managers, players and stadiums to develop their ranking. Take a look at the top 5 as well as some surprises from the rankings below.
Brasil has always been more well known for their World Cup performances than their domestic league, but coming in at number 5 in the world is nothing to scoff at. It appears that the influx of stadiums from the upcoming World Cup as well as the diverse group of league winners in the past several years contributed to the high ranking for the Brasilerao. It is safe to assume that having one of the best up and coming players in the world with Neymar did little to hurt their ranking.
The Italian league is always mentioned with the biggest leagues in the world, and this ranking is no different. Attendance issues have plagued the league in recent times, which contributed to the fourth place ranking. It is tough to say what Italy must do to take over one of the big three, but a better showing in Champions league, as well as an increase in spending from smaller clubs ought to give them a fighting chance.
Keep reading beyond the break to see how the final three stack up
In a new series I call Beyond the Boots, I take a look at different ideas that are important to the soccer community. These posts may not always be boot related, but I hope they will provide any and all fans with an interesting read.
Tifo is a word that gets thrown around a lot in the soccer supporting community, often without explanation. It is entirely possible this is the first you have heard the word, but I assure you that even a casual observer of a game in Italy, Spain, or even the MLS have experienced the tifo phenomenon.
A quick background: The actual word tifo comes from the Italian word tifosi where it described the support of any sports team. The idea expanded outside of Italy, and tifo is now used world-wide to describe any choreographed event performed by fans in a stadium or arena. The most impressive choreographed event involves the use of colored paper held up in unison to display a name, word or number in support of the home club. Another common current example of involves a massive flag or picture that covers an entire section of fans. Take a look at the impressive example below where fans at Camp Nou used almost 10,000 pieces of paper to cheer on Barcelona.
Warrior Football have made more headlines this week with another high profile acquisition to their sponsorship ranks. Sunderland striker Danny Graham has signed a long term endorsement deal with Warrior that will see him sport their signature Skreamer boot in an official capacity.
For those of you who read my previous blog post regarding Warrior Sports, this new signing will come as no surprise as they have been hard at work in securing the signatures of big name players from across the English Premier League. Sunderland signed Graham for roughly 5,000,000 £ in January of this calendar year; impressed by the Englishman’s performance as Swansea’s top scorer in their maiden Premier League campaign last year, as well as his importance in the Welsh side’s run to the English League Cup Final this season at Wembley. The Black Cats striker lavished praise on his new sponsor, saying
“To be positioned, alongside players like Fellaini and Kompany – some of the game’s giants – is very exciting. Warrior is a brand that is clearly going places in football and I look forward to working with the team moving forward.”
See what Warrior have to say about their latest signing after the break! (more…)
From a consumer’s perspective, Soccer players are extremely lucky to have such a diverse range of boot and gear manufacturers to choose from. But what most fans of the game will tell you, is that the market is invariably dominated by what many players refer to as “The Big 3,” Adidas, Nike, and Puma respectively. Brands such as Umbro and Under Armour have made headway in the past few years, but have since lost considerable momentum in the proverbial arms race. (Though I suppose it would be a footrace, wouldn’t it?) Humor aside, most professionals can be spotted wearing a product from one of those three companies, and that has been the case for as long as I can remember. That being said, breaking into the boot market is not an easy feat by any stretch of the imagination, as it requires both a high quality product and substantial professional endorsement. Warrior Football has done an exceptional job of meeting those two criteria.
Started in 1992 by current company President and CEO David Morrow, Warrior Sports originally manufactured cleats and other gear for Lacrosse. The Michigan-based producer eventually moved on to Hockey and more recently, Football. In a brilliant display of what can only be described as aggressive marketing, Warrior has burst onto the gear scene in a matter of months, churning up some serious waves in the process.
I’m jumping from a rivalry in the relatively young MLS to one shared by two of the biggest national teams. The Argentina-England intercontinental rivalry! Most international feuds are shared between teams that are pretty close together, what makes this rivalry special is that England and Argentina are over 6,000 miles away! The rivalry also translates over to inter league play between the Premier League and Argentina Premira Division.
How it started.
Like in many other countries football was actually introduced to Argentina by England. For a while relations between the two teams was friendly, the teams met up for the first time in 1951 at Wembley stadium where England won 2-1 and in 1953 where Argentina won 3-1. However the next time they meet up the teams are under a lot more pressure and the situation is pretty sensitive to begin with!
Both teams met up the 1962 cup where England knocked Argentina out of the tournament in the Group Stage with a 3-1 victory. The game went as smoothly as a world cup game could go so that wasn’t what caused the initial friction between the two teams.
Now we fast forward to the quarter final World Cup match in 1966 which is where things really got started. The match was completely against the Argentine side with the captain Antonio Rattin getting sent off for “violence of the tongue” despite the fact the ref didn’t speak a lick of Spanish, the obviously biased ref also claimed that he didn’t like how the captain was looking at him. What Rattin was actually doing was asking for a translator so he could understand decisions the ref was making, the ref took advantage of this and sent him off unjustly. Rattin was so angered that after the 8 minute delay of game he made after refusing to leave the field he wrinkled and twisted the union jack on the corner flag on his way off. The England coach Ramsey didn’t let his players swap jerseys with their opposites on the Argentine side and went so far as to call them animals. Argentina ended up losing the game 1-0. This was the starting point of the Argentina/England rivalry.
That barely scratches the surface of this rivalry! Read more after the break!
One thing that every football lover lives to see is when two teams with conflict between them clash! Believe it or not the Real Madrid vs Barcelona rivalry isn’t the only rivalry out there! I will be going through some of the biggest rivalries in the football world, what started them and what is heating the flames. There is no shortage of these teams in contention, the list goes on for miles!
I’m starting off close to home with an MLS rivalry, it isn’t the biggest but for some fans it is! Arguably the biggest rivalry we have in the MLS is the one between Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers. On a side note I am kind of biased against the Sounders because I’ve had more interaction with some solid Portland fans and I enjoy watching the Timbers in action.
What Characterizes this Rivalry?
Like any rivalry there is some bad tempers on the field, fierce competition and plenty of drama. This also translates over to the fans who have a mutual dislike for each other that closely resembles the New York Yankee/Boston Red Sox rivalry. The friction between the fans reminds me of friction between rival fans in the English Premier league. Even off-season the competition between fans is fueled through blogs and online forums. Luckily there have been very few incidents where these passions have escalated into violence. Jimmy Conrad of KickTV took a trip down to a Timbers vs Seattle Sounders game and saw the rivalry from the side of the Timbers fans. Lets take a look at the Timbers Army.
*video contains some heated language and other content that may be offensive to some (Sounder fans be warned!)*
So where, when and how did this fierce rivalry get started? Lets take a look back to the start of it all and see how deep this feud goes! (more…)
After his performance in the 2012 UEFA Euros for the Spanish National team, Barcelona has signed the Valencia player Jordi Alba. This brings their squad up to eight Spanish National players who are on the main squad and twelve if you include their recent call ups and frequent players. Barcelona is entirely comprised of prominent international players, most of them being on Spain’s national team. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? What will come of having so many players mixing on another team with players from rival clubs?
How it can be good for Barcelona:
The players will have the benefit of going up against some of the best teams in the world internationally and gaining extra experience from doing so.
The more playing time they get with each other they will be as a team, the more challenging and difficult the play is the better they will be. Granted they are in one of the most challenging leagues to be in and they are also in the Uefa champions league so they already up against some heavy hitters but international play is a entirely different level of play.
Having a team stacked with players from a team of reigning World Cup Champions, and winners of the UEFA Euro Championships two years in a row has a bit of a psychological effect on opposing teams. Also having so many top notch nationals doesn’t hurt.
The Houston Dynamo have a new home: BBVA Compass Stadium. Check out this behind the scenes look at the new stadium, with a breakdown of the 7 things you NEED to know about this amazing stadium compliments of our favorite presenter, Jo Ankier. From efficient structural design to lavish club boxes, you’re sure to be impressed by what they’ve built in downtown Houston.