Monday, June 29, 2009

What do the Premier League and Serie A Have in Common?

Besides both losing two of the top soccer stars in the world to Real Madrid, both top leagues in Europe will be kicking the new Ascente Ball from Nike!

Nike Total 90 Ascente Premier League Soccer Ball

Nike Total90 Ascente Lega Calcio Soccer Ball (White/Varsity Red/Silver)

I'm not sure what 'ascente' means (maybe ascent in Italian or Portuguese, relating to the flight of the ball). Regardless, this ball will be flying all over England in 09/10 as it will be kicked by every Barclays Premier League player next season.

Some of the technical things that make this premium match ball worthwhile, besides having the PL and Nike logos

Geometric precision distributes pressure evenly across panels and around the ball for a consistent, accurate and powerful strike no matter where you strike it. Perfectly spherical for true flight.

COVER: Compressed polyethylene that absorbs energy and releases it at launch. Cross-linked nitrogen-expanded foam for exceptional shape retention. Polyester support fabric for durability.

BLADDER: Six-wing carbon latex for explosive acceleration. FIFA approved.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Man United 2009/2010 Home Soccer Jersey

It doesn't get much bigger than this, as the Premier League Champs the past three seasons finally reveal their new home shirt for the 09/10 campaign.

This awesome new jersey has a chevron chest with matching collar - a unique stylish touch for one of the true giants of World Soccer! The shirt features the embroidered Manchester United team badge over your heart, and Nike's swoosh logo at right chest; a tag at side seam reads "The Theatre of Dreams since 1910." Mesh panels also give the shirt added comfort. Finally, it's created with Nike’s advanced Dri-FIT® fabric, which keeps you drier, cooler and lighter by drawing sweat from the body to the fabric’s surface, while its three-dimensional construction gives more air space around the skin to reduce clinging.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Chelsea FC 09/10 Away Soccer Kit

This just in: The brand-spanking new Chelsea Football Club 09/10 Away Soccer Kits are here!

It's a SuperCool hooped dark navy & neon yellow shirt with a totally unique collar design. Includes embroidered Chelsea team badge over your heart, and adidas logo at center chest, with screened SAMSUNG sponsor logo at front; and yes, it's made with ClimaCool® adidas' advanced material engineered to reduce heat and moisture build-up, allowing increased comfort and performance, keeping you feeling fresh no matter how long the big Blues match goes on.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New Ajax 09/10 Home Soccer Jersey

I really don't like it much when shirts force me to do research, though the end result is enlightenment (and/or passing on useless trivia to the masses). In any case, I looked for the unique aspects of this shirt, as I compared The Ajax 09/10 Home Soccer Jersey to last season's Ajax Amsterdam home shirt. Ajax is one of those teams whose home jerseys are famous, which means they change little from season to season. Thus, besides the new V-neck, fold-over (polo-style) collar, the jersey is much like the previous one, including the well-known red strip down the center, with the same AEGON sponsor logo on the center. Now, here's the new and hence what required a little digging: on the upper back, the shirt features what I found out was the Amsterdam coat of arms, which I had an idea upon looking at it, as most coat of arms (why?) show fiery lions looking menacing. So, as promised, a few fun facts about fair Amsterdam's coat of arms:

The coat of arms of Amsterdam is the official symbol of the city of Amsterdam. It consists of a red shield and a black pale with three silver Saint Andrew's Crosses, the Imperial Crown of Austria, two golden lions, and the motto of Amsterdam. Several heraldic elements have their basis in the history of Amsterdam. The crosses and the crown can be found as decorations on different locations in the city. About the motto: During the 1941 February strike in Amsterdam, for the first time in Europe non-Jewish people protested against the prosecution of Jews by the Nazi regime. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands wanted to remember the role of the citizens of Amsterdam during World War II and created a motto consisting of the Dutch words "Heldhaftig, Vastberaden, Barmhartig", meaning "Valiant, Steadfast, Compassionate". On March 29, 1947, Wilhelmina presented the motto as part of the coat of arms of Amsterdam to the city government.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Aston Villa 09/10 Away Soccer Jersey

Your Villans are ready to hit the road for the 09/10 Premier League, FA Cup, Carling Cup and the new Europa League. And this snazzy white shirt is the one they'll be favoring.

Introducing the Aston Villa 09/10 Away Soccer Jersey from Nike.

From the first capped players in 1882 to other club legends like Peter Withe and Brian Little, Aston Villa have provided more England internationals than any other club. Thus Aston Villa and Nike drew inspiration from the archives about Villa’s contribution to international football for this new shirt. It features a 'football white' color with a 'Villan red' trim; the club's mantra 'Prepared' is engineered into the side-seam of the shirts while also being present on the Villa crest. Made of Nike's Dri-Fit, an innovative technology that draws sweat away from the body to the fabric's surface for fast drying, while its three-dimensional construction allows for more air space around the skin to reduce clinging, all of which enhances the performances of players by keeping them drier, cooler and lighter.

Looking to the future: Nike has used the latest sports apparel innovation and technology to help the current crop of players take their game to the next level. The visual design of the jersey is intended to reflect the personality and style of the current Villa team (which often fields nine English born players and currently has five regular England internationals) while respecting the history of the club.

Leo Sandino-Taylor, Nike UK Head of Corporate Communications said: "Aston Villa has some exciting English players in their squad who could make a real contribution to international football in the next few years. Their current success with the National team has provided the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to the club's England connections and create a technologically innovative kit that Villa fans and players will be proud to wear."

Monday, June 22, 2009

Real Madrid 09/10 Home Soccer Jersey

Unless you've been living in a cave for the past few weeks of the off or "silly season", you know that Real Madrid have broken the bank and have landed some of the biggest names in World Soccer, and are after even more. Therefore, this article is not so much about the super-cool new Merengues' jersey, but about the rich players who'll be wearing it in the upcoming season, for La Liga, and UEFA Champions League - 09/10. We know about Kaká and Crstiano Ronaldo, but there could be more added to the Bernabèu mix, names like Ribery and David Villa, could be donning this white shirt with sleek yellow shoulder lines, and the usual navy blue adidas sleeve stripes. No matter who else will wear it, they'll be staying dry and cool with the advanced ClimaCool® material from adidas, engineered to reduce heat and moisture build-up, allowing increased comfort and performance.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

West Ham 09/10 Away Soccer Jersey

The Hammers are ready to hit the road in the Barclays Premier League, Carling Cup and FA Cup during the 09/10 season; and when they do, the boys will be wearing their Official West Ham United Away Jersey.

This unique jersey features a striking modern design, that also respects the club's traditions by combining the popular dark blue that dates back to the Thames Ironworks, with a bold sky blue panel down the center. It features the embroidered team crest over your heart and Umbro logo on right chest. The new club sponsor is screened on center chest. This special shirt uses Umbro's innovative Climate Control technology, a state-of-the-art fabric, which enhances the movement of moisture away from the body, allowing for increased performance.

Monday, June 15, 2009

adidas Finale 9 Champions League Match Ball

Can't wait for the UEFA Champions League to get underway again? Neither can we! That's why we're excited to bring in the adidas Finale 9 Official UEFA Champions League Match Ball (Metallic White/Metallic Silver/Black/Red)

This is the ball the superstars, like the new Merengues Kaká and Ronaldo, as well as Fabregas, Torres, Lampard, and Messi, will be kicking around all over Europe for the 09/10 season.

Featuring the UEFA Champions League and adidas logos, this top quality, FIFA approved soccer ball also includes a seamless, thermally-bonded PU cover for a ball that flies exceptionally true with a latex bladder with Power-balance technology for air retention.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Confederations Cup for Dummies

We're not calling you dummies, just thought I'd get your attention. My colleague from our HQ in NC put together this super fantastic, highly-detailed report about the Confederations Cup. He did use much of the info from the BBC, thus I thought I would mention that, so as to appease our lawyers. I know this is unorthodox for our blog, yet that's what we're all about here: new and change. And no, I'm not trying to get out of actually writing a blog today.

All you ever wanted to know about the Confederations Cup but were afraid to ask

Confederations Cup 2009.

On Sunday, the eight-team Fifa Confederations Cup gets under way in South Africa when the host country take on Iraq in Johannesburg.

It is the eighth edition of a tournament that is still something of a mystery to many football fans around the globe.

So, what is the Confederations Cup? How did it start? And what do the home nations have to do if they want to get involved? Read BBC Sport's guide to Fifa's best-kept secret...


The competition began life in 1992 as the King Fahd Cup, the brainchild of the late Saudi Prince Faisal ibn Fahd.

The four-team tournament comprised Saudi Arabia, who were the 1988 Asian Cup winners, Argentina, the 1991 Copa America champions, 1991 Concacaf Gold Cup winners USA, and Ivory Coast, victors at the 1992 African Nations Cup.

1992: Argentina (Saudis)
1995: Denmark (Saudis)
1997: Brazil (Saudis)
1999: Mexico (Mexico)
2001: France (S Korea/Japan)
2003: France (France)
2005: Brazil (Germany)

Alfio Basile's Argentina triumphed, beating the Saudis 3-1 in the final in front of 75,000 fans thanks to goals from Leonardo Rodriguez, Claudio Caniggia and Diego Simeone.

The second edition also took place in Saudi Arabia in 1995, this time the hosts were joined by Argentina, Mexico, Japan, Nigeria and Denmark, who beat the 1992 champions 2-0 in the final.

It became known as the Confederations Cup in 1997 when Fifa took control of the competition. From then on it was staged every two years, with Brazil and France (twice each) and Mexico all triumphing.

From 2005, Fifa announced that the cup would be held every four years, one year before each finals tournament in the host country of the forthcoming World Cup.

Which means, with less than a year to go before the World Cup, it is the turn of South Africa.


Having started as a relatively small-time affair between the winners of four continental cups, the Confederations Cup is now of paramount importance.

This year's tournament, as it did for Germany in 2005 and Japan and South Korea in 2001, gives South Africa the perfect opportunity to fine-tune its hosting skills ahead of putting on one of sport's greatest events next year.

The state of their stadia, transport links, ticket sales, marketing campaigns - you name it, if it is on the agenda for the World Cup, it is almost certainly being tried out this time around.

Even South Africa's notorious crime rate will be monitored to see what measures can be put in place before the entire footballing planet descends on the southernmost corner of the continent in 2010.

About £1.2m has been spent on marketing the so-called 'Festival of champions' to try and generate interest in the host country, with ticket sales relatively slow.

"The campaign is good," said Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke. "It would be a shame if we don't have full stadia. It is a unique chance, it is something special."

On Friday, two days before the start of the tournament, organisers revealed all but 1,000 tickets has been sold for the opening match and 453,218 of the 640,000 tickets, or 71%, had been snapped up for the entire competition.

World Cup organising chief Danny Jordaan added: "We feel confident we are going to deliver a hugely successful Confederations Cup."

Fifa will be watching on with interest, president Sepp Blatter casting his eye over proceedings to make sure the South Africans can produce in 2010.

"It's definitely time to kick off now, not only in terms of the organisation, but in terms of making sure they can deliver and will deliver," said Blatter. "This cup, one year before the big event, is crucial."


There are eight teams participating in this edition, with South Africa taking their place as hosts and Italy as 2006 World Cup winners.

The following champions are also present: Spain (Euro 2008); USA (2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup); Brazil (Copa America 2007); Iraq (2007 AFC Asian Cup); Egypt (2008 African Cup of Nations) and New Zealand (2008 OFC Nations Cup).

If you thought some of the bigger teams participating would not take the competition seriously then think again - these squads are at virtually full strength.

1. Iker Casillas (Spain)
2. Daniel Alves (Brazil)
3. Fabio Grosso (Italy)
4. Carles Puyol (Spain)
5. Fabio Cannavaro (Italy)
6. Xavi (Spain)
7. Pirlo (Italy)
8. Kaka (Brazil)
9. David Villa (Spain)
10. Fernando Torres (Spain)
11. Steven Pienaar (South Africa)
Subs: Buffon, Maicon, Zambrotta, Fabregas, Dempsey, Toni, Pato

The only big names missing are Brazil's Ronaldinho and Spain's Andres Iniesta, the former dropped by coach Dunga and the latter missing through an injury he aggravated during the Champions League final.

But the cast list is still mighty impressive: Kaka, Robinho, Luis Fabiano, Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Pirlo, Luca Toni - not to mention Spanish sensations Iker Casillas, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas, David Villa, Fernando Torres et al.

Italy's World Cup winning-coach Marcello Lippi and Spain boss Vicente del Bosque both have their sights set on lifting the trophy in Johannesburg in a little over two weeks' time.

"The Confederations Cup will be an important test for us," said Lippi. "I want us to go all the way and I also want to recreate a team spirit similar to that of the World Cup."

Del Bosque added: "All the teams have their best squad. We are going with the squad which we feel is the best and are obligated to enhance the prestige of this cup."


Four World Cup venues will be hosting the Confederations Cup, all stadia that are due to hold matches at the 2010 tournament.

They are Ellis Park in Johannesburg, Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, Vodacom Park in Bloemfontein and Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.

Port Elizabeth's Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium was originally chosen as a venue, but it withdrew last July as it was not on course to meet the 30 March deadline for completion.

The opening match, between South Africa and Iraq on Sunday 14 June, and the final on Sunday 28 June, will both be played at Ellis Park.


For a tournament still in its infancy, the Confederations Cup seems to have had more than its fair share of dramatic moments.

In 1997, the awesome Brazilians put on a show of super football to demolish hapless Australia. The great strikers Ronaldo and Romario ran amok, scoring a hat-trick apiece in a 6-0 demolition.
Ronaldo (left) and Romario
Ronaldo and Romario fired Brazil to Confed Cup glory in 1997

Two years later, Brazil were foiled by Mexico in the final as they went down in a 4-3 thriller, Miguel Zepeda scoring twice for the hosts in front of 110,000 people in Mexico City.

The 2005 edition enjoyed a phenomenal finale too, as Brazil swept aside arch rivals Argentina 4-1, with a scintillating display of attacking football and goals from Adriano (two), Kaka and Ronaldinho.

But the overwhelming memory from past tournaments is one of tragedy, after the death of Cameroon midfielder Marc-Vivien Foe in 2003.

Foe, 28, suddenly collapsed in the 72nd minute of his team's semi-final against Colombia and died in the Stade de Gerland's medical centre of a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

He was decorated posthumously as commander of the national order of valour by Cameroon prime minister Peter Musonge at his state funeral in Yaounde.

After France defeated Cameroon in the final, two of Foe's team-mates held an enormous photo of him at the post-match ceremony and a runner-up medal was hung around it.

As long as the Confederations Cup is in existence, it will forever be remembered for the tragic loss of a talented young footballer in his prime.

Confederations Cup match schedule

Group A:
South Africa v Iraq (14 June, 1500 BST)
New Zealand v Spain (14 June, 1930 BST)
Spain v Iraq (17 June, 1500 BST)
South Africa v New Zealand (17 June, 1930 BST)
Iraq v New Zealand (20 June, 1930 BST)
Spain v South Africa (20 June, 1930 BST)

Group B:
Brazil v Egypt (15 June, 1500 BST)
USA v Italy (15 June, 1930 BST)
USA v Brazil (18 June, 1500 BST)
Egypt v Italy (18 June, 1930 BST)
Italy v Brazil (21 June, 1930 BST)
Egypt v USA (21 June, 1930 BST)

Winner Group A v Runner-up Group B (24 June, 1930 BST)
Winner Group B v Runner-up Group A (25 June, 1930 BST)

Third-placed play-off:
Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg (28 June, 1400 BST)

Confederations Cup final:
Ellis Park, Johannesburg (28 June, 1930 BST)


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rovers 09/10 Away Soccer Jersey

Planning on 'roving' with your Blackburn Rovers throughout the 09/10 season?

If you answered YES, then this is the Blackburn Rovers 09/10 Away Soccer Jersey for you.

The Rovers away shirt is white for the first time in their history! The team's crest is embroidered over your heart, with Umbro logo on right. Also includes the logo of sponsor Crown Paints: The company, based in Darwen, Lancashire, has signed a three year deal with Rovers. The shirt is made of a lightweight moisture-wicking fabric, which will keep you cool and comfortable no matter how long you're cheering on the Rovers to victory.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Philly Union Gear

So, there's another big thing happening in 2010 besides the World Cup. Yes, the Philadelphia Union - the expansion 16th team in Major League Soccer - will begin play next season.

We're hoping their fixtures don't conflict with the games in South Africa. Regardless, Sons of Ben will be there cheering, wearing gear like this.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Want to Play in Zhero Gravity?

Then check out the brand new Lotto Zhero Gravity Tre Soccer Shoes!

Back in World Cup 2006, the Zhero Gravity was the first laceless soccer boots. Now that everyone is doing laceless, Lotto has made the latest Zheros very lightweight, designed for high speed, and in particular, those super fast players who count on sprints and sudden changes of direction to make the play.

Tech Specs

The uppers are made of water-resistant microfiber with Pro-FIT insert, which gets rid of the laces for a perfect fit that molds to the shape of the foot offering maximum ball feel, also have a Dual Fit System with double set of removable insoles for customized cushioning, plus a Pebax external heel counter. The sole is composed of PU with mixed system of fixed and interchangeable studs for comfort on both muddy and dry surfaces, with Puntoflex technology for flexibility, and Pebax for support and performance on firm, natural surfaces. Weigh 8 ounces and are made in Italy.

Friday, June 5, 2009

New Sunderland Home Jersey

The Black Cats have the gear they need for the Stadium of Light in the Premier League, Carling Cup and FA Cup 09/10.

Official Umbro Sunderland 09/10 Home Soccer Jersey

The shirt bares the typical black and white stripes and has the same sponsor as last season.

There are a few changes from last season's shirt, like the white shield around the team crest over the heart, and a uniquely-styled collar. The jersey offers Climate Control for high-performance and moisture management.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New Arsenal 09/10 Away Polo (Jersey)

Take away the famous cannon over the heart and it looks like an ordinary polo-style shirt. But it's so much more.

The new Arsenal 09/10 Away Soccer Jersey is loaded with style and performance.

The team's official website did a marvelous job of putting together some very detailed info on this shirt, which I will henceforth paraphrase.

The design celebrates the sartorial excellence of the Club’s London birthplace; but that's not all - the design features the shirt embraces (i.e. photo blue pinstripes and tailored collar) were inspired by the shirts worn by the all conquering Gunners side of the 1930s.


Engineered into the side seam is a small blue label featuring two Arsenal cannons either side of the club motto: 'Victoria Concordia Crescit', meaning Victory through Harmony. Also made of Nike’s advanced Dri-FIT® fabric, which keeps you drier, cooler and lighter by drawing sweat from the body to the fabric’s surface, while its three-dimensional construction gives more air space around the skin to reduce clinging.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Italy 2009 Confederations Cup Gear

The FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 is almost here. This precursor to the FIFA World Cup 2010 has previous champions of all national soccer regional tournaments - Spain: European Championship, Brazil: Copa America, USA: Gold Cup, Egypt: African Cup of Nations, Iraq: AFC Asian Cup, New Zealand: OFC Nations Cup, the World Cup 2010 host nation, South Africa.

One more, and it's perhaps the biggest of all: the reigning FIFA World Cup Champions - Italy National Soccer Team.

That's why we not only have the home jersey, available in a youth version as well, plus the super exclusive goalkeeper, or Buffon Jersey!

Italy Confederations Cup Home Soccer Jersey

Italy will wear this super cool sky blue - special edition Italy National Team Confederations Cup 2009 Short Sleeve Soccer Jersey by PUMA jersey in the Confederations Cup! The fabric has an Italia/4-star pattern to commemorate Italy's success in the World Cup, and the right side has a special green, white and red thread detail.

Italy Confederations Cup Alternate Goalkeeper Jersey

This official PUMA Italy 'keeper jersey is a rare find due to its limited release worldwide.

Both jerseys are lightweight and it have ventilation panels for added airflow, and include the national team badge and PUMA logos embroidered on the chest.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Arrivals: Russia 09/10 Home Soccer Jersey

Back in September, fresh off their impressive Euro 2008 showing, the Russian Football Union changed kit provider to adidas until 2018. We've just received the jersey Arshavin, Pavlyuchenko and company will be donning for most matches until 2010.

Russia 09/10 Home Soccer Jersey.

The white shirt includes some sleek, epaulette-style trim, along with the ubiquitous
adidas three stripes and advanced ClimaCool® moisture-wicking fabric.