i want: #pondcast holiday gift guide

WSOTP - Blog - Holiday Gift Guide

Normally, the “I Want” series I run on the blog catalogs a list of the items throughout the course of the year I personally want. And judging at the cost, diversity and frequency of the items I identified in 2015, it’s clear I’m a very greedy person.

But with us up to our necks in the annual holiday season, my WSOTP Podcast co-host Jeremy Lance, reminded me that we should probably be a little more outwardly focused. And as such, we shared our ideas on the last podcast about what we would suggest — and maybe not suggest, too — to get for your soccer loving friends this year. If you want to listen in to the full audio for the segment, forward ahead the 25:10 mark to hear our full explanations for our inclusions in this year’s list.

GIFTS WE WOULD ACTUALLY WANT
SHIRTS BY WORLD FC
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DJ: Ohio is not only home to great soccer writing, but also some pretty fresh soccer clothing, too. Case in point: the Columbus-based World FC make an excellent collection of original tee designs for a plethora of European clubs, from my Spurs to Jeremy’s Chelsea, Barcelona, Juventus and more.
CLICK IF YOU WANT WORLD FC
MATCHDAY PROGRAM SUBSCRIPTIONSWSOTP - Blog - Match Programs.fwJEREMY: Many of us on this side of the pond have a European team that we passionately follow, but few of us get to experience the perks of actually crossing the pond to watch our team in person. But you can get a piece of the typical fan experience shipped directly to your home — albeit a few weeks later — by subscribing to your favorite team’s matchday programs. Many English teams offer it as a service, and they offer a unique look at each club from an insider’s perspective.
CLICK IF YOU WANT MATCH PROGRAMS FOR
CHELSEA, LIVERPOOL OR TOTTENHAM
SOCCER PERIODICAL SUBSCRIPTIONS
WSOTP - Blog - Magazine Subscriptions.fwDJ: There are lots of great places to read about soccer online (ahem). But if you’re not reading some of the stuff available in print, you’re missing out. Subscriptions to quarterlies like the American-based Howler or 8×8 are great options. If you’re looking for some international flair, try out the always excellent Blizzard. Each offers long form writing, incredible works of art, and delvings into the corners of our soccer world that rarely get the limelight they deserve.
CLICK IF YOU WANT HOWLER OR EIGHT BY EIGHT
ANYTHING FROM ART OF FOOTBALL
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JEREMY: Whether you’re looking to add a unique piece of soccer clothing to your wardrobe, or a sharp looking piece of soccer art to hang on the wall outside your wardrobe, Art of Football has you covered. They create beautiful prints and t-shirts of iconic football moments.
CLICK IF YOU WANT ART OF FOOTBALL
PRINTS BY STEVE WELSH 
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DJ: Having been commissioned by the likes of Adidas, FIFA and even the FA, English artist Steve Welsh has long been one of my favorite soccer-focused artists. Much of his work can be found on shirts, but I’ve been eyeing this “S is for Socrates” print from his F is for Football series on Miniboro.com site for my home office for ages. 
CLICK IF YOU WANT MINIBORO PRINTS
SOCCER PLAYING CARDS
WSOTP - Blog - Magazine Subscriptions.fwNot all soccer gifts need be expensive, and there’s nothing better to stuff in a soccer fan’s stocking than playing cards. If you want to go the more traditional route for most of the world, you can get Panini stickers and fill up collection albums. However, if you want to stick to more American traditions, Topps makes sets just like they do for Major League Baseball. 
CLICK IF YOU WANT TOPPS OR PANINI

Most of the gifts below aren’t so awful, but you would definitely laugh at a friend or colleague if they received any of them. And as such, you probably shouldn’t want any of these.

GIFTS THAT SHOULD ONLY BE USED FOR WHITE ELEPHANT EXCHANGES
UGLY SOCCER CHRISTMAS SWEATERS
WSOTP - Blog - Ugly Christmas Sweaters.fwDJ: Ugly Christmas sweater parties are pervasive during the holiday season these days, but don’t be tempted to take the easy way out by buying one of those printed t-shirt/sweatshirt versions that are popping up all over the place. Why? 1) It’s cheating and 2) they’re really not that ironic anymore. I’ve even seen a few clubs starting to hawk their own printed ugly christmas shirts, and when you see them doing something so trendy… you know a trend is a bit past it.
CLICK IF YOU WANT UGLY SOCCER SWEATERS
JOSÉ MOURINHO MASK
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JEREMY: Amazingly still available for purchase in the Chelsea Mega Store when we recorded the podcast last Monday, with Mourinho sacked this week, they finally took it down by the time I got around to publishing this today. Luckily, if you want to have your Mourinho Mask ready ahead of the next job he inevitably takes, I was able to find it on an alternative website.
CLICK IF YOU WANT MOURINHO MASK 
WALLBANGERS
WSOTP - Blog - Wallbangers.fw
DJ: If you grew up watching Fox Soccer Channel during its heyday, you’ll remember Wallbangers as the life-size player and team logo posters that ran as every third commercial for on the now defunct channel. I’m not sure they even really make these anymore for pro players, but you can totally order custom ones for yourself. And that’s a million times more dorky than the originals.
CLICK TO BUY WALLBANGERS 
LUIS SUÁREZ PILLOW
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JEREMY: You know what really helps me to relax while I’m sitting around on the couch or laying in bed? Resting my head down on a pillow featuring the toothy mug of the soccer world’s most prominent vampire, Luis Suarez. No word on whether it will leave any teeth marks on you, though.
CLICK IF YOU WANT SUAREZ PILLOW
VARDY CRISPS
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DJ: I’m a big fan of chips. Like an addict, even. I’m also a pretty big fan of soccer, and the Premier League in particular. But there is no part of me that wants to try “Vardy Salted” chips. There’s no part of me that doesn’t think the salt is scraped off of Vardy after every performance.
BUY THEM IN A STORE IN THE UK
CRYSTAL PALACE EAGLE PERFUME
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JEREMY: Have you ever wanted to smell like Alan Pardew does after a day at the office? Now you can, thanks to Eagle Perfume available in the Crystal Palace team store. It may or may not be made with the musk of the actual eagle that is flown around Selhurst Park before every home match.

CLICK IF YOU WANT EAGLE PERFUME

 

i want: nike free flyknit mercurial

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nike-free-flyknit-mercurial-fall-2015-1

If you’ve followed my I Want series for any length of time, you’re probably well aware that I have what you might call a shoe addiction. In fact 5 of the twenty-five posts I’ve made in the series so far have been some sort of shoe — be it boots to be worn on the pitch, or sneakers to wear off it — far more than any other category of things I want. And the latest pair to get added to that list is the fire that is the Nike Free Flyknit Mercurial.

Fusing the DynamicFit sock-like neck, Flywire and leather upper inspired by soccer’s Mercurial Superfly with the uber-comfortable Nike Free running shoe outsole, these stylish mids would look great when paired with the jeans, khakis or joggers of your choice this fall. And since they apparently come in not only the “dark grey” beauts above, but also wolf, platinum and volt (from last summer!?!?) colorways too, there’s a pair for everyone. Of course, that’s presuming you’re willing to drop some coin. Though they show as “COMING SOON” on Nike’s site under “Flyknit” shoes for $200, the item page itself says the shoe is “no longer available”. And scouring the likes of eBay or Amazon, you can expect to drop anywhere from $250 to north of a $800.

CLICK HERE IF YOU WANT  |  ebay.com

i want: crew sc new era cap by undefeated

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Crew SC Undefeated New Era Hat.fw

I’ve been a Columbus Crew SC supporter since the dawn of MLS twenty years ago. I’ve been a hat enthusiast for even longer. But despite my love for both caps and the Crew, and two decades of time to produce one, I’ve never once managed to find a headpiece that’s married the two together in a way that’s deserving of gracing the top of my (large) head. That is until now. Designer James Bond — best known for his brand UNDEFEATED — partnered with MLS to release a limited edition capsule of hats to celebrate the league’s 20th season. I was insanely jealous when Bond released a hat just for the Galaxy last year, so to say I was stoked to see this all black everything snap-back for my own Crew SC is understatement. Though admittedly, the rest of the line is pretty sick, too.

CLICK HERE IF YOU WANT  |  mlsstore.com 

i want: nike elastico superfly ic

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WSOTP - Blog - Nike Elastico IC SE

Since the advent and widespread adoption of long-bladed synthetic turf, I haven’t had much of a need for new “indoor” shoes in quite some time. All my local indoor facilities use it, meaning I’m able to trot out in my firm ground boots whenever I play. However, now that the opportunities to play futsal in my neck of the woods are expanding — particularly on harder courts — my need for some flat-soled shoes to kick around in is growing again. As such, I’ve been keeping an eye open for one of the major players to put out a pair that tickle my fancy.

And I think my good friends at Nike have won my admiration yet again… feast on their Elastico Superfly IC SE. The latest iteration of the Swoosh’s elite indoor/futsal boots take their inspiration from the Mercurial Superfly outdoors, but feature some key improvements for harder, flat surfaces. Those include a new rubber variant in the lower profile soles that’s specifically tuned for hard floors, as well as an extra layer of the NIKESKIN last in key areas to improve durability. And with this version of the Elasticos sporting the jet black colorway from Ronaldo’s CR7 Suprerfly’s, it’s almost not even a choice that I get them… it’s a necessity.

You can cop your own pair in Europe and Asia today, and they’ll be available in the US starting January 10th.

CLICK HERE IF YOU WANT  |  nikesoccer.com

i want: the secret footballer’s guide to the modern game

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WSOTP - Blog - Secret Footballer I Want.fw

Believe it or not, I don’t do all of my reading on the internet. Yes, from time to time, I still pick up and read timeless paper-bound words. Though normally it’s still soccer related as well. And the next book I’d like to mark down on my list of reads is the latest from The Secret Footballer. Not familiar with TSF? An author of a weekly column the Guardian that is purportedly a current Premier League player — either that or we’re all victims of an incredibly slick bit of marketing — The Secret Footballer dishes “insider” information on the professional game thanks to the safety of the protective pseudonym. There’s an entire website devoted to uncovering his identity, though nothing has been confirmed to this point.

Anyway, the first two books from The Secret Footballer — I Am the Secret Footballer and Tales From the Secret Footballer — were incredibly fun and relatively easy reads that shed a lot of insight into the professional game. And as such, I’m eagerly looking forward to reading his latest effort: The Secret Footballer’s Guide to the Modern Game. It doesn’t help that I’m already a sucker for tactics reading. And if this one is anything like the last two, I’ll finish it in a couple of days.

And to be clear… yes Mom, this is something I’d like for Christmas.

CLICK HERE IF YOU WANT  |  amazon.com

i want: world f.c. shirts

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World F.C. Champions Collection

If you’ve been around these parts any amount of time, you probably already know of my obsession with soccer tees. My shirt preference is usually to buy from the small-shop designers too, instead of the ones coming from the big boys. That helps to explain why I have a closet teeming with shirts from the likes of Bumpy Pitch, 3nil, Copa, Who Are Ya Designs and of course my own original WSOTP Shop tees. So I feel downright shameful that I haven’t yet picked up a shirt from fellow Ohio-based outfit World F.C. And with their new “Champions Collection” dropping soon, this seems like the perfect time to add to my own collection.

World F.C.’s new collection adds seven new shirts “featuring iconic design elements from the champions of yesterday and today”. I particularly fancy the Boca Juniors and PSG designs from this set, but any of the shirts in the line-up are worth a punt. I’ve been eyeing this Spurs shirt from their other shirts for a while now, too.

Anyway, pre-orders on the new Champions Collection are going on now and will begin shipping soon, so make sure to get your order in soon.

CLICK HERE IF YOU WANT  |  worldfootballclothing.com

i want: adidas predator instinct 94

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Adidas Predator Instinct 94

Back in 1994, twelve-year-old me was fascinated with all things World Cup. My parents were awesome throughout the tournament: driving us up north from Ohio to Detroit, purchasing tickets to the games, letting me watch way more TV than I was normally allowed so I could watch the others we didn’t attend. They were even cool enough to purchase me the now infamous denim kit so I could look like my hero Cobi Jones. The one thing they refused to spoil me? The amazingly futuristic boots that had their own tent at the games and were being trod about on the pitch by some of the game’s biggest names: the original Adidas Predators. And rightly so, as no 12-year-old needed a pair of boots that cost $150 — which in 2014 dollars is a now “normal” $240. But that didn’t change the fact I wanted them, and badly.

Fast forward to 2014 though, and the folks at Adidas have given me a chance fulfill my childhood dream by releasing the Predator Instinct 94. One of three retro-inspired boots released by the German athletic giants to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Predator line, all of are built on the line’s latest incarnation, the Predator Instinct. I like them all, but these stand out from the pack if for no other reason than my inner 12-year-old is screaming at me to pick them up.

CLICK HERE IF YOU WANT  |  soccer.com

i want: hurley phantom national team boardshorts

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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

i want: adidas samba primeknit

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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

i want: FOSU premier league cap

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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