in review: campo retro’s brasil ’14 collection

the germany brasil ’14 shirt by campo.

World Cups have an uncanny tendency to bring out the patriot in us all.

Predictably, that has a knock on effect, impelling many of us to open our wallets to outfit (word choice?) ourselves in the latest team gear to show our allegiance. We wear them to show our patriotism, that we belong and that we’re united in the cause of supporting our boys.

But picking up the latest kit isn’t the only way to show that we care. Many pull out their old kits, too. For some, the old kits represent a hipster-ish desire to show how long they’ve been devoted to the cause. For others, and old shirt can represent a good luck charm, hearkening back to earlier moments of glory. And yet for others still, an old shirt might be their favorite look for their favorite team. Fashion, of course, is in play for many of us too… myself included.

Yet for those who want to rock a retro kit as a fashion statement — but lack one — options are often limited. Acquiring old shirts can be an expensive endeavor, not to mention the pickings are slim. So for those who want to go the retro route for representing their team, but don’t want to spend a fortune to do so, where should they look?

My good friends at Campo have come to the rescue once again, and they’ve done so this summer with an extra special line of retro shirts specifically for the World Cup.

The Brasil ’14 collection. Continue reading

About these ads

we’re bringing the world cup to fountain square

myself and the rest of the saints media team will be on hand for this summer's biggest soccer event in cincinnati.

myself and the rest of the saints media team will be on hand for this summer’s biggest soccer events in cincinnati.

The wait is finally over. 2014: the summer of the World Cup. We made it!

Well almost… though we are less than two months away from the big production kicking off in São Paulo on June 12th. So while the long wait for the return of the world’s single most popular sporting event is nearly up, the next question becomes: where are you going to watch it?

If you’re not lucky enough to count yourself among those who are heading to Brazil to catch the matches in person — sadly raises hand – finding a place to watch with your fellow fans is a near necessity. And for that reason, you might find it useful to take a look at the WSOTP Soccer Pub Atlas, which could help you to find the closest of 270+ soccer bars across the United States and Canada.

But if you happen to be anywhere remotely close to Cincinnati for any of the US Men’s National Team matches this June, you might want to clear your calendar…

WSOTP - Cincy Saints - Fountain Square Flyer WhiteWSOTP - Cincy Saints - Fountain Square Flyer Black

Alongside the Cincinnati Saints, 3CDC and Hoist Rapid Hydration, Wrong Side of the Pond is pleased to be hosting World Cup Watch Parties for all three of the US Men’s National Team’s first round matches on Cincinnati’s famous Fountain Square!

After some wrangling with FIFA and ESPN to gain approval, the Saints Media team are pleased to be bringing soccer to Fountain Square for the first time on a scale like never before! And hopefully soon you’ll start seeing the WSOTP-designed posters above popping up around town to remind you to come down this June.

So what can you expect from the events, aside from being able to watch the US side take on world powers Germany, Ghana and Portugal on the Square’s 627-inch — or a little over 52 feet – Fifth Third Video Screen? Beside taking in the matches with hundreds (thousands?) of your fellow soccer fans, you’ll find drinks from local breweries to cheers with after goals, food you can scarf down to calm your nerves, appearances from Saints players and staff, activities for the kids, gear giveaways, live recordings of the WSOTP Podcast and more! Further details will be announced as we get closer to the first of the three dates, so be sure to stay tuned.

While it’s an optimistic goal, I know we would love to make this the largest gathering of US supporters in the country during the World Cup this summer. So grab your closest friends and make the trek down to the city center and take in a match with the Cincinnati Saints, 3CDC, Hoist and Wrong Side of the Pond and maybe help us set a record or two!

Click here to peep the official press release from the club, and be sure to check out the video announcement — starring myself and my fellow Saints Media Team members — below!

i want: hurley phantom national team boardshorts

Hurley Phantom US National Team Boardshorts

With summer fast approaching, many here in the US are turning their thoughts to warmer summer activities: going to the beach, heading to the pool, or catching some waves. But for those of us who are a bit soccer obsessed, the imminent World Cup in Brazil will force us to put many of our summer plans for fun in the sun on hold for our love of football. However, surfwear company Hurley are trying their best to combine the best of both worlds.

Through a partnership with Nike, Hurley are dropping three pairs of their cutting edge Phantom boardshorts inspired by the soccer national team kits of three of the Big Swoosh’s most iconic sides: hosts Brazil, one-time winners France and of course, the US Men’s National Team. Accompanying shirts and hats will also debut with the rest of the collection on May 1, 2014. So whether you’ll be on the beaches of Rio this summer or rooting for your side from your favorite seaside tiki bar, you’ll still be able to support your national team in style.

CLICK HERE IF YOU WANT  |  hurley.com

an interview with professional goal guardian kofi sarkodie

Featured

Kofi Sarkodie Career ProgressionWhen it comes to interviews, if you look at my track record, it’s pretty clear that I’ll talk to just about anyone from the game of football.

And while I’m more than happy to talk to any player from the professional ranks about their experiences, I have a soft spot in particular for players who hail from the state of Ohio. After all, I’m from Ohio myself. And on top of that, a substantial number of my readers and followers call Ohio home, too. So helping to shed some more light on the lives of those who come from my own backyard seems as much a duty as it does a privilege.

Luckily, Ohio has a pretty deep pool of players that populate MLS rosters. And one of the brightest among those that call the Buckeye state home is Houston Dynamo right back, Kofi Sarkodie. A product of Huber Heights — a suburb of Dayton — Kofi has represented the US at the youth level, won a national championship with the Akron Zips and established himself as one of the league’s best up and coming young defenders.

So with the Dynamo off to a blazing start to the 2014 season, this seemed like the perfect time to talk with Kofi to talk about his younger days here in Ohio, the importance of his close relationships with his soccer-playing brothers, and his career to this point.

Continue reading

an interview with professional supporter massive city ffc

Massive City FFC (Photo Courtesy Manuel Zambrano)

Over the years, I’ve managed to arrange and conduct interviews with nearly the entire spectrum of people in the world of American soccer. From a number of players that entertain us on the pitch — including an Olympic gold medalist — to the club executives who run things behind the scenes to a guy who enables our social watching by running one of the country’s most recognizable soccer bars. These talks and discussions have given me lots of unique perspectives, shedding light on aspects of the game that I would have never thought about otherwise.

But as I was contemplating my next interviewee, I felt there was a glaring omission from across the spectrum of the American soccer experience: the fan.

Like all of the other important parties we’ve talked to above, the supporter is omnipresent within the sport. Soccer is dependent on its supporters to fuel its economy, whether directly through ticket or merchandise purchases or indirectly through television deals. We — myself included — are a vital cog in the world of football. And just like if you were to remove the players, the front offices or means by which we watched our teams play, if you removed the fans, the sport would quickly die.

But I knew I couldn’t interview just any supporter. It had to be someone who his peers could look up to, be inspired by, or strive to emulate. This fan would need to be a supporter that adds to and improves the experience of those who have the privilege of taking in the match with him.

Luckily, I just so happen to know one.

Allow me to introduce you to Justin Bell, better known by his online pseudonym @MassiveCityFFC. The founder of Massive City Football Fan Corps, Justin is hands down one of the most vocal supporters of the Columbus Crew. From writing and talking on the Massive Report, to leading cheers in Crew Stadium’s Nordecke to designing supporter gear, popular club imagery and tifos — including the spectacular “HOME” banner at the last Dos A Cero – Justin has played a significant role in creating the pop culture that surrounds and supports the Crew in Columbus and beyond.

And even more lucky, Justin was so kind to sit down with me to talk about his work, his time supporting the Crew, and his thoughts on the club’s future.

Continue reading

pic of the week 2/3-2/9

Image

A pitch invader gets a very Brazilian celebration

Like the increasing trend of students rushing the court in college basketball, invading the pitch is becoming incredibly cliché. It used to be a unique event, but it happens so often anymore it hardly warrants attention. No longer reserved for just the obnoxiously inebriated supporter — though those guys still show up on occasion — we’ve seen pitch invaders ranging from political activists to thrill seeking streakers in recent years. And when it comes to celebrating supporters rushing out en masse, it sure seems like the standard for justifying the rushing the playing surface has diluted tremendously. The television cameras at the stadium have even been instructed to ignore them, so as to not promote more banal tomfoolery.

But last week, one pitch invader managed to transcend the cliché nature of the action and captured the world’s attention in the process. Seven year old Ayo Dosumu slipped away from his father and down onto the field in the immediate aftermath of the Brazil’s 5-0 dismantling of hosts South Africa. But before security was able to whisk him away, hat-trick hero Neymar scooped up the youngster, carried him over to his teammates who then proceeded to hoist the youngster up on their shoulders. And the world ate it up, despite the fact that little guy totally broke a bunch of rules in the process.

Cuteness counts for something, right? Let’s just hope this doesn’t provoke a rash of pitch invasions this summer with fans from around the world trying to recreate Ayo’s picturesque moment for themselves.

one small step for man, one giant leap for WSOTP

Wrong Side of the Pond... commentating a game near you.

Looking back over what has become a nearly been a five year endeavor, Wrong Side of the Pond has come a long way from its humble beginnings.

Originally, it was nothing more than a way for me to pass the time while living in a new town. And I can easily say that I would have never imagined at the time that my blog would grow to have well over a thousand Twitter followers or nearly five hundred Facebook likes. And to see it evolve to become a resource for people to find a place to watch and share beers with fellow supporters, have it gain me media credentials at MLS stadiums around the country, or co-host a weekly podcast? Well, that’s just mind-blowing.

However I’d also be lying if I said that, deep down, I didn’t have dreams of it some day becoming more.

I’ve always had a desire to somehow stay involved with the game I grew up with and that gave so much to me. Yeah, I still play regularly. But as my fitness and athleticism fade with age, sharing all of the knowledge I’ve picked up over the years of playing and studying soccer seemed like the logical next step. There have definitely been some lucky breaks here and there, too. Bundle all of that with a desire to create and share, and maybe the blog and its growth makes a bit more sense after all.

So with all of that in mind, today, I’m pleased to announce the next very exciting stage in the site’s evolution…

WSOTP - Blog - Cincy Saints Announcement 2.fw

Wrong Side of the Pond will be partnering with the Cincinnati Saints for the upcoming National Premier Soccer League season and beyond!

Specifically, my fellow WSOTP Podcast co-host Jeremy Lance and I will provide the official live match commentary for all home broadcasts for the Saints’ 2014 NPSL campaign. In addition to calling the matches at Over-the-Rhine’s Stargel Stadium, we’ll also provide pre-game, half time and post-match analysis and content alongside sideline reporter Amy Hellkamp. More information about broadcast availability will be forthcoming, but for the time being, every home match will at least be available via a free live stream on YouTube — which I’ll be adding as a link in the sidebar prior to the season.

Furthermore, we will also be working together on a number of marketing endeavors to help further exposure of both the Saints and WSOTP. Exciting things are already in the works, so keep your eyes on this space for further updates in the weeks to come.

In short, I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity and I know we’re all excited to see where things go from here. Many thanks to everyone who’s supported us along the way, and we look forward to cheering on the Saints with you in the summer!

MORE ABOUT THE CINCINNATI SAINTS
The Saints will be embarking on their inaugural season in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), a semi-professional soccer league in the fourth tier of the American soccer pyramid. Founded in 2009, the Saints organization also features a men’s indoor side — competing tomorrow in the Professional American Soccer League (PASL) playoffs — as well as women’s indoor and outdoor sides, too. For outdoor matches, the black and blue will call Taft High School’s Stargel Stadium near downtown Cincinnati home. The first home match of the season will kick off at 7:30pm on Friday, May 23rd. Click here to see a schedule of matches.

If you want to read the full press announcement on the Cincinnati Saints’ website, feel free to click here.

i want: adidas samba primeknit

Image

adidas Samba primeknit

Every so often, a new type of boot comes along an blows the lid off of the way everyone thinks about soccer boots. And the adidas Samba primeknit is just that type of boot. Billed as the “world’s first knitted football boot” — though I recall a pair of woven-Kevlar Fila’s back in the late 1990′s that might object to that claim — the primeknit is said to offer unparalleled comfort, fit and flexibility thanks to the specially coated knit yarn design. Adidas even went as far as to say that it offers a “bespoke” fit; impressive if true, though that likely means they’ll be a bit pricey. And given that the new boot will be dawned by stars such as Luis Suárez, you can imagine they must be worth the added expense.

Whether these boots will be able to stand the average wear and tear of a normal player’s weekly football routine, that’s a question for another day. But in the mean time, I’ll just admire them for their sexy aesthetic.

CLICK HERE IF YOU WANT  |  adidas.com/football

spread the love

Columbus Crew Cincinnati Cleveland

while the crew would do well to make sure their new crest represents columbus, there are other cities the club can look to connect with potential fans, too.

There’s a quiet revolution happening in Columbus, Ohio. Despite years of near anonymity and near afterthought status, the city’s soccer franchise may finally be entering a renaissance of sorts. Under the guidance of new owner Anthony Precourt, the Crew are slowly starting to show signs of life after years of stagnation under the former ownership of the Hunt Sports Group.

Long-needed improvements to the stadium — including an updated jumbotron, speakers and upgraded “premier seating” on the stadium’s east side — should help to improve a match day experience that’s grown stale.

A partnership with USLPRO side Dayton Dutch Lions brings them in line with the league-wide development requirement and may pay dividends down the road.

Plus, the technical and playing staff assembled under the newly installed head coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter are making some intriguing moves to improve the team’s on-pitch results in the near future.

But the work of Precourt’s making the most waves, at least in the press and on social media, is the Crew’s intentions to revamp their outdated branding. The now quasi-iconic crest featuring three helmeted construction workers — the only untouched original logo to survive since MLS’ inception in 1996 — will finally get an overhaul. And the following quote in a recent interview on mlssoccer.com on the subject was particularly interesting.

“We want to be representative. We don’t see Columbus in the [current] crest. There are many things we can do to represent the capital city better. It’s not a blue-collar, manufacturing, industrial town. It’s a smart, young, progressive university… town. We want it to represent the Columbus we’ve come to know.”

- ANTHONY PRECOURT, COLUMBUS CREW INVESTOR-OPERATOR

And he’s right: their current logo doesn’t even feature the name of the city they call home. That seems almost traitorous. But it’s not just about where their from, but also representing their existing and potential fans.

When I think of Columbus, I think of a city rejuvenated, reborn. Think of the German Village and Short North areas, each seeing an influx of new restaurants, shops and galleries over the last five to ten years. These redevelopments have helped to attract new residents back to the city, which in itself helps to spurn further investment.

And though it shouldn’t matter as much as it does, the Crew conveying themselves as something that many of the city’s young residents are trying to separate themselves from — the proletariat blue-collar workers staring cross-armed from the Crew’s logo — might well be enough to turn off potential fans. So alongside the improvements to the stadium and playing staff mentioned above, Precourt and president Mark McCullers believe that aligning the brand with Columbus and it’s growing young professional demographic will help to put more butts in Crew Stadium seats.

the old “blue collar” logo won’t be phased out until 2015.

Personally, I can’t believe it took the Crew so long to focus on this segment of the fan base. Even under the prior regime of the Hunts, it seemed fairly obvious. All you had to do was look at those packing the house each time the national team came to town. Though the traditionally-targeted “soccer mom” and “entertaining professional” segments were still represented, most of those in attendance were 20 and 30 somethings. The same can be said of the growing crowds filling American pubs for Premier League fixtures each weekend.

And while I agree that putting emphasis on the “Columbus” in Columbus Crew is rightly needed, I think the Precourt and company would be wise to not limit their thoughts to just Ohio’s capital city when trying to reach new fans.

Mr. Precourt: please don’t forget about Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, Toledo and the rest of Ohio when trying to grow the club’s support.

As much as the Hunts neglected to invest in the club and it’s infrastructure, efforts to market the team outside the city have received just as little attention. Columbus isn’t an island after all; a good chunk of Ohio’s population is within a reasonable drive.

But driving distance alone isn’t the only reason why the rest of Ohio is important to the Crew. Cincinnati and Cleveland in particular have seen similar revivals to Columbus, especially when looking at their near-downtown districts of Over-the-Rhine and Ohio City. Already existing pockets of Crew supporters at the opposite ends of the state are there to build upon. You’ll find young professionals packing their bars Saturday and Sunday mornings to watch the European football, too. The traditional youth soccer target markets in those and other large Ohio cities are bountiful as well. And that’s not even mentioning the fact that much of the state is already pre-disposed to driving to Columbus to support some other sport’s team.

And yet outside of youth clubs partnering with the academy or the occasional Frankie Hejduk sighting, there have been practically zero attempts by the Crew to reach out to the rest of Ohio.

I live directly off of and commute on the I-71 corridor here in Cincinnati — a highway that literally leads directly to Crew Stadium — every single day. And yet in all my time living in this city, I can’t recall ever seeing a Columbus Crew billboard or advert. Three years spent living in Dayton went the same way. And friends in Cleveland and Toledo confirmed a similar dearth of Crew presence in their cities.

Perhaps we’ll see them reaching out to those of us outside Columbus, but signs of that kind of that haven’t really yet appeared as the upcoming MLS season fast-approaches. The closest I’ve seen to any hints of this kind of effort was in the announcement of the partnership with the Dayton Dutch Lions, which included a few vague statements on marketing cooperation.

Talk of the Crew investigating putting their own USLPRO side in either Cincinnati or Cleveland also shows they’re at least thinking about this subject, but they needn’t go that far to recruit fans to the capital. A cheaper option might be to throw some extra marketing dollars at a few strategically placed billboards and/or commercials in the state’s bigger cities. Additional club outreach — whether the popular “Find Frankie”, player appearances or just further TV/radio spots — might help to remind fans a little further from home base that there’s a professional team just a few hours away. Or if they’re feeling particularly benevolent, maybe throw the entire state a bone in the design of the new crest. That may be a bit much to ask for, but I’d think there’s merit to at least consider it.

It may take some experimentation to find out what’s effective, but it’s a risk worth taking. Just like there are fans that already supporters that come from all across Ohio, the Crew would be wise to attempt to speak to those that they’ve missed in pockets outside of Columbus.

So as Precourt, McCullers and the rest of the Crew front office look to choose a new image to make themselves in, let’s just hope they don’t forget that while Columbus should remain the primary inspiration, taking into account those on the outer fringes of their market deserve and need attention too.

i want: FOSU premier league cap

Image

FOSU Premier League Caps

As a bit of a cap connoisseur, I’ve always been disappointed with the dearth of hat options for soccer fans. Outside of the standard hats offered in most club shops and online retailers, the selection of premium Premier League caps is dire. I’m talking about stylish caps, like the ones popular here in the States for MLB and NFL. But the folks over at FOSU are trying to change that with their new line of snapbacks and beanies. And they’re certainly checking all the right boxes with designs reminiscent of the Starter and Sof Bill script hats that were popular in the 90′s and now making a retro return.

FOSU’s current offering provides hats for Arsenal, Barcelona, Chelsea, City, Liverpool, Real Madrid and United in a wide array of colors. And with Spurs and other club’s designs promised to be in the works, I’m anxiously looking forward to ordering one of my own.

FOSU have provided you WSOTP readers an exclusive 10% discount if you use the code “wsotp10″ at checkout… so hit the link below to order your’s now!

CLICK HERE IF YOU WANT   |   fosuwear.it