Wednesday, August 17, 2011

MLS New rule to attract younger talent...

MLS unveiled a new type of DP mechanism that is projected to bring in a new crop of young international stars to the league.
Beginning in 2012, teams can acquire Designated Players based overseas who are 20 years of age or younger for a budget charge of only $150,000, while Designated Players between the ages of 21 and 23 will count just $200,000 against a team’s salary budget. Current DPs represent a $335,000 hit to a club’s player budget of $2,675,000, regardless of their age.
“If you look at it, our Designated Players are anywhere from mid to late 20s to early 30s,” said MLS executive vice president of competition and player relations, Todd Durbin, on a media teleconference call. “We’re getting good players, veteran players and players with experience but we’ve been out of the market for young, promising players in this area.
“We’re hoping with this rule change we’ll tear down this last barrier of entry and bring in quality players at every place in their career and truly have the ability to get into the market of young players to be able to bring in and grow stars of the future for Major League Soccer.”

Manchester City and Tottenham agree on season long loan for Emmanuel Adebayor?

The Daily Mail is reporting that Tottenham Hotspur are poised to complete the signing of Emmanuel Adebayor on a season-long loan from Manchester City before the game against Manchester United on Monday. Adebayor, 27, earns £170,000 a week at Eastlands and his huge wages were a stumbling block to completing the deal, but sources close claim a breakthrough had been made and Tottenham were confident of completing a deal before the end of the week.

EA Sports FIFA Streets First Look...

“Electronic Arts Inc. announced today that EA SPORTS is developing an authentic street soccer game that will replicate the way the game is played by street players all over the world. From the creators of the award-winning EA SPORTS FIFA Soccer franchise at EA Canada, and inspired by street soccer styles and stars from around the world, EA SPORTS FIFA Street will be built to the level of quality and depth that millions of FIFA fans have come to expect from the EA SPORTS FIFA development team. The game will be available for the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360 videogame and entertainment system in early 2012.”
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Brazil vs Egypt Friendly Cancelled; Brazil vs Ghana Scheduled Instead

The five-time World Cup winners were due to play Egypt in Cairo on September 6 but have cancelled the match because of continuing security concerns in the north African country. However, Ghana have stepped in as replacements and are expected to be confirmed as Brazil’s opponents in a match which should take place at Fulham’s Craven Cottage stadium on Monday September 5.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

If you can see this, then you might need a Flash Player upgrade or you need to install Flash Player if it's missing. Get Flash Player from Adobe.’s Jackie Pickering and Jonah Freedman take a tour at EA Canada, meet the creators of EA Sport’s Fifa game, and find out a whole lot about the FIFA franchise.

Is Inter Milan's Samuel Eto'o about to become the highest paid athletein the history of sports?

If the rumors and reports are true, he will be. It is all over the interwebs, and the rumors go like this … if Inter Milan and Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala can reach an agreement over his transfer fee, Anzhi has offered the 30-year-old Cameroonian forward a three-year deal worth $25.5 million per year after tax. Income tax brackets vary, but for comparisons sake, it would cost a club in a big European league or a club in the United States between $50 million and $57 million per season to match the Russian club’s offer.
“Negotiations are ongoing,” Eto’o said Saturday at the opening of a new hospital in Douala, Cameroon. “It’s possible that I could go [to Anzhi] and it’s possible that I could stay.”
Media reports in Italy suggest that Anzhi has offered $35 million as a transfer fee and Inter is holding out for $42 million, but there’s a strong chance the two sides could meet halfway this week.
Its interesting to note, that if Eto’o moves to Anzhi Makhachkala, he wouldn’t actually be moving to Makhachkala. He would be moving to Moscow. Because the club is located in Dagestan, which is politically unstable and possibly unappealing to wealthy athletes, the players live and train in Moscow during the week and fly about 1,000 miles to appear in home matches.

***Blognote*** Its a good week to be Samuel Eto’o …. you know… if you are cool with living in Russia and all.

UEFA re-distributes revenue for Champions League and Europa League Participants 2010/11

Today UEFA released the financial prize payouts from the 2010-11 Champions Leauge and Europa League seasons… Manchester United was the big winner. UEFA said it distributed $1.09 billion among 32 clubs involved in the group stage of the Champions League.
Manchester United earned the biggest share of Champions League prize money last season with $76.7 million despite losing in the final, according to figures. Champions League winner Barcelona earned $73.5 million because broadcast deals which weigh into calculations were worth less in Spain than England.
Chelsea received $64.1 million, semifinalist Schalke made $57.3 million and Real Madrid’s share was $56.6 million.
MSK Zilina from Slovakia, which lost all six group matches, received $10.7 million.
A further $180 million was shared among national associations and clubs which played in the qualifying rounds.
Europa League
UEFA distributed $217 million among 56 teams which played in the group and knockout stages of the second-tier Europa League.
Beaten finalist Braga earned $6.5 million after joining in the last-32 round, in addition to $17 million from its Champions League group.
Europa League winner FC Porto got $11.3 million but was not the biggest earner because Portuguese television deals were not so lucrative.
Spain’s Villarreal, which lost to Porto in the semifinals, collected just over $13 million

Adidas Iconic...

Sergio Aguero Makes Scoring Debut in Puma v1.11

Sergio Aguero could quite easily the signing of the summer. The ex-Atletico Madrid star is a proven goal scorer and think Manchester City have landed a great player. Aguero’s summer has been littered with different boots as ‘Kun’ turned out in AdiPures during the Copa America before returning to his usual Nike Superfly III or Tiempo Legend boots. Earlier this week however Aguero was spotted training in Puma V1.11 after having been spotted in V1.11SL before the Community Shield.
Some bad blistering due to the chopping and changing of boots meant Kun had to sit out the Community Shield but he certainly came in with a bang last night when he made his debut against Swansea City. Kun came off the bench in a pair of blacked-out Puma V1.11 boots and quickly grabbed a brace as City romped to a 4-0 win.
Who knows what Sergio Aguero will end up in but, having added the likes of Barton, Henry, Etherington and possibly De Jong, Puma are certainly on a roll at the moment and the singing of Aguero would be the biggest scoop yet. (It is also nice to see that unlike his Argentinean teammate Carlos Tevez, Kun seems to like life in Manchester.)

Monday, August 15, 2011

FC Barcelona-Cesc Fabregas

The new Barça number 4 said in his presentation that the club "has made my dream possible" and stressed that he’s fully prepared to "take on whatever role I’m given”.

There was maximum excitement in the Sala Paris. The return of Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona is not just any homecoming. Eight years after leaving for London, Cesc has come home to fulfill a dream.
Before starting to talk and answer the relevant questions, Cesc stared open-mouthed at the images being projected. A video showing images of Fabregas in the youth teams. "Watching these images it‘s like I’d never left," he said.
Thanks to the Club
2011-08-15_CESC_38.JPGThe effort made by Barça to sign him hasn’t gone unnoticed by Fabregas, who wanted to give his thanks to everybody concerned. "I want to thank all the people involved, from President Sandro Rosell, to Josep Guardiola, who has been very important to me" Cesc recognised. He also wanted to thank Thiago Alcantara who has given up the number 4 shirt, in a gesture which, according to Cesc, "honours him".
He also stressed that "it’s not easy to have confidence again in someone who left the club at youth level", referring to him going to England when he was 16.
The biggest challenge
"I'm ready to take on whatever role I’m given. I’ve chosen the harder path, but the most rewarding for me" said a Cesc Fabregas with very clear ideas. He also explained that coming to Barça, and weighing up the other options, "is the toughest challenge of my life". His initial goal, however, is "to improve a little what is already the best team in the world".
The new Barça number 4 made it very clear that he’ll give "up to my last drop of sweat for Barça" and that never, even being far away, "have I stopped loving Barça".
A summer dream
" 2011-08-15_CESC_50.JPGBarça have made my dream come true and I just hope that no one ever regrets it" said Fabregas adding that, today, "a great weight off my mind" has been lifted, signing for Barca. He also added: "You can tell by my face how happy I am”, even though he’s aware that some people will “demand twice as much from me".
Arsene Wegner, like a father
"Wegner has a negative image here, but it’s not true, I can assure you," said Cesc. For Fabregas the French manager "is really special and a second father to me, because he’s given me everything in the world of football". He also said that if today he’s a Barça first team player "it’s also thanks to Wenger".

Alexis Sanchez: "I'm very happy with my debut"

Alexis Sánchez played his first game for the first team on Sunday night in the Spanish Supercup against Real Madrid. The Chilean was delighted with his debut.

Alexis Sánchez: “I’m very happy with my debut”

Alexis played all 90 minutes at the Santiago Bernabéu, but claims he can do better in future matches.

He also revealed the advice he received from his new coach. “Guardiola told me to play the way I know to help the team”, he said.

The following are some of the comments made by other players.

“It wasn’t a bad result. We knew how difficult this would be to prepare for”
“It isn’t easy, but I think our attitude was right, we got a good result”

“The team generally had a good game”
“Villa was great last season, he scored important and decisive goals, he’s here because he’s one of the very best strikers”
“At last Fàbregas is coming and we’re delighted, as we’ve said so many times. I hope it isn’t long before he’s helping us”

“There’s a lot of merit in that game, we were coming into this game with players that haven’t had a preseason. We played a great game and are coming away from here with a great result”
“Alexis had a great game”
“I want to welcome Cesc, we are very happy because he wanted to come here so much”.

Boot Spotting 13-14 August...

The Premier League returned this weekend and that means the return of our boot spottings. We love keeping an eye on who is wearing what and TRW once again bring you some great boot spots from the opening weekend of the Premier League. (Interestingly our first boot spot of the season has a rather distinct Puma feel to it.)
Puma have been on the shadow of Adidas and Nike for the last few years but with the release of some excellent boots, have begun to claw their way back into the limelight. One of the boots which have helped them to achieve this is the V1.11 SL. Newcastle’s Joey Barton grabbed the headlines for all the wrong reasons (as usual) against Arsenal but caught our eye in a pair of White/Black/Blue V1.11 SL boots. Barton ended last season in Adidas AdiPower Predators but seems to have made the switch to Puma over the summer.
Stoke City’s Matthew Etherington is another player who seems to have left Adidas for Puma. Etherington was a AdiZero wearer last season but wore the Flo Green/White/Navy Puma V1.11 in Stoke’s opening game against Chelsea. Etherington was unfortunately injured during the game so it may be a few weeks before we see him back in the V1.11 boots.
Manchester United got off to a winning start on Sunday but not before West Bromwich gave them a few scares. New signing Shane Long scored on his Premier League debut for the Baggies in a pair of White/Black/Blue Puma V1.11 – which we thought matched his West Brom kit perfectly.
Our final Puma spot comes from Aston Villa’s opening fixture against Fulham. Shay Given was rated one of the best keepers in the Premier League but a move to Manchester City saw his stocks fall when Joe Hart was made number 1. His arrival at Aston Villa could reignite his career and he started life as Villa’s number with a clean sheet wearing Puma’s latest Black/White/Fluo Orange PowerCat colourway.
Liverpool have had a busy time in the transfer market as they attempt to return to the top of the Premier League. Jordan Henderson is one of their new recruits. Henderson is also the poster boy for the recently released Umbro Geometra Pro boots and Premier League fans got to see them for the first time in action during Liverpool’s draw with Sunderland on Saturday.
Wolves, along with Bolton and Manchester United were the only team to record a win on the opening weekend. Their first goal came thanks to a superb cross by Matt Jarvis. The England winger wore Nike’s new Tiempo Legend IV but opted for the standard version over the Elite version – perhaps because he prefers the White/Blue/Silver colourway.
One player who did opt for the Elite version was QPR star Adel Taarabt. The ex-Spurs player was instrumental in helping QPR to promotion last year but did that wearing CTR360 boots. It looks however as though the Moroccan has decided to switch over to the new Timepos.
Our final boot spotting is a man who is no stranger to out boot spotting articles and we thought we had to include him our opening spot of the season. We expect to see Wigan forward Hugo Rodallega in a variety of boots this season but he started the new campaign in a pair of Granite/Purple/White/Red Nike Superfly III boots but we look forward to seeing what other boots and colourways he pulls out as the season progresses.

Adidas Adizero Prime - Blue/White/Slime

With a new season comes new boots and just when we thought the brands were done releasing their newest colourways Adidas slipped one more into the mix. The Adidas AdiZero changed the boot industry when they were introduced. Their lightweight upper and unique outsole make the AdiZero Prime the lightest production boot on the market and with colourway like this, they are one of the most eye-catching.
The new Blue/White/Slim colourway will be available across the full AdiZero range – Prime, Standard and Leather and is expected to be available from October. The Adizero Primes weigh just 145grams thanks to a new thinner, lighter synthetic upper called adiLite Twin. The TPU Bottom Frame on the Prime offers lateral stability and support. Adidas’ revolutionary SprintFrame outsole and Traxion stud configuration gives the boot much needed stability and strength while remaining flexible and light.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Adidas Chelsea Third Kit

Chelsea Football Club and adidas today unveiled the new third shirt for the 2011/12 season. Adidas have certainly produced some different designs for Chelsea this season. The ‘grid’ pattern away shirt is now joined by this sleek and stylish white shirt which features bold colour blocking in navy and yellow on the upper chest. The navy and yellow blocks may not be particularly Chelsea-esque but there is n doubt that the players will stand out on the pitch.
adidas Chelsea FC 3rd Kit
The playing shirt features adidas TechFit™ technology which will help improve speed, increase endurance capabilities and enhance awareness. This works by stabilising and focusing muscle energy to generate explosive acceleration and deliver maximum power output. The replica shirt incorporates adidas Climacool™ technology, a mixture of heat and moisture controlling materials, ventilation channels and 3D fabrics which improve air flow to the skin in the key heat zones.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Umbro Archive Research Project - Designed by Aitor Throup

“Umbro dipped into their archives of English football tailoring heritage to build a seven piece lifestyle collection designed by Aitor Throup. Throup used the shape of a body in motion as his inspiration for the collection, creating each style on a bust form in a running position. All of the performance elements the brand is known for are kept firmly intact. There are seven pieces: the 1966 Jacket, Aztex Jersey, Diamond Tape Track Jacket, 1970 World Cup Jersey, Drill Top, Drill Pant and ‘Barcelona’ Short.”

Monday, August 8, 2011

Nike Inter Milan Away Kit

The 2011/2012 Away Jersey – made from innovative recycled polyester – which rounds out Nike’s exclusive collection for FC International was introduced today in Beijing, on the eve of the Supercoppa Tim final. The kit is inspired by the historic Inter jersey worn during the victorious 1964-65 season: a season full of memorable wins including the national championship, the first Champions Cup and the first Intercontinental Cup of the team’s glorious history.
The body of the jersey is white with a black and blue diagonal band and two blue stripes on the sides. The diagonal band actually first appeared on an Inter kit in the 1950s; however, in the minds of the fans, it is identified with the Club’s extraordinary successes of the 1960s.
The away jersey unites the Club’s tradition with a particularly elegant, classic men’s clothing line. Even the jersey’s expert tailoring harkens back to that of the original: black fabric collar with blue along the lower edge, two buttons at the neck, drop seam at the shoulder, and a deep cuff at the sleeve. “Inter” is written under the collar on the back of the jersey: inside the collar – a red cross on a white background – the symbol of the city of Milan.
The matching shorts are white with a blue stripe up the sides; the socks are all white with “Inter” written on the back of each calf.
The new kit (jersey and shorts) is 100% made from Nike’s innovative recycled polyester: each one obtained from 14 plastic bottles. Also, thanks to the Nike Dri-FIT fabric, the kit plays an active role in regulating the athlete’s body temperature on the field. The jersey features a new, more pronounced streamlined fit, with 17% more elasticity than the previous jersey. In addition to game wear, this year the training and lifestyle collection has been unveiled for the first time.
Made with hi-tech fabrics, the Training line is designed for improved training in almost any weather condition. The collection is rounded out by the Express line of lifestyle clothing; this line is dedicated to supporters who, in their free time, want to show off their passion for the black and blue with style and elegance.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Puma Confirm Thierry Henry Signing

PUMA announced today a multi-year partnership agreement with international football legend and current MLS New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry. Henry has chosen the sportslifestyle brand as his performance and lifestyle footwear and apparel sponsor, both on and off the pitch. Henry made his worldwide debut in PUMA boots Wednesday as he took to his home field in New York at the AT&T 2011 Major League Soccer All-Star Game against Manchester United FC. And this weekend, the legendary athlete returns to his former battleground in England – this time, with PUMA on his side (and on his feet!) – to lead the New York Red Bulls against his former team, Arsenal Football Club, in a pre-season friendly.
Known for his finesse, speed and impeccable ball control on the field, Thierry Henry has made waves since coming to the United States to play, quickly becoming one of the Major League Soccer’s top goal scorers. The 33-year old French powerhouse forward, who was nominated for the FIFA World Player of the Year twice, will also serve as a key brand ambassador for PUMA and a mentor to PUMA’s young football talent in Europe. He joins the brand’s all-star portfolio of football players that includes Samuel Eto’o, Gigi Buffon, John Mensah and Marta, to name a few. PUMA is considered one of the world’s top soccer brands, known for their love of the game, high-quality, technologically advanced performance product and fan wear. Henry will participate in a wide variety of PUMA’s consumer and trade programs throughout the partnership, working together to help grow the sport of football (soccer) in the United States.
“Thierry Henry’s reputation in the football world is legendary. He plays with his heart and exudes a love of the game that is inherent to PUMA’s DNA. Off the pitch, his sense of style, laid-back attitude and, of course, his love for sneakers, make him a great partner for us,” said Jay Piccola, President and General Manager of PUMA North America. “Football is a priority for PUMA. As a sportlifestyle brand with deep roots in soccer, there’s no better way for us to make a statement than with one of the most credible, talented and well-known players in the world. I’m ecstatic to have Thierry join our team.”
“Not only am I excited to be playing here in New York and all around the United States, but I am thrilled to have PUMA by my side as a partner and a supporter,” said Henry. “I have always loved PUMA for their unique, fun and authentic love of the game, and for the sheer joy that the brand brings to their fans. I’m excited to represent PUMA on the pitch – my new PUMAs performed exceptionally for me in yesterday’s game – I have always been a PUMA sneaker fan and now, I can’t wait to get my hands on the insider stuff.”
Henry joined Major League Soccer as a forward for the New York Red Bulls in July 2010, and this season he leads the MLS scoring charts with 11 goals in 18 games. Prior to joining the Red Bulls, Henry was considered one of the top strikers the English Premier League has ever seen, winning the Premier League title twice and FA Cup three times for Arsenal FC, becoming the Gunner’s top scorer of all time with 226 goals in 370 games. Moving to FC Barcelona in 2007, Henry won La Liga twice and the top trophy in European football the UEFA Champions League in 2009, going on to win the FIFA Club World Cup in the same year.
On the international stage, Henry helped France to win the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 1998, and the European Championships in 2000, going on to captain Les Blues and ending his international career as the all-time leading scorer for France with 51 goals. He was named PFA Player’s Player of the year twice in England, the EPL golden boot winner 4 times, French player of the year 5 times and named in the UEFA Team of the Year 5 times – in one of the most glittering football careers of all time.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Thierry Henry in Puma King Finale Switch

Thierry Henry sprung a surprise on the boot world earlier this week when he was spotted training in a pair of Puma King Finale football boots. The ex-Arsenal, Barcelona and France star started his career in Adidas boots before controversially leaving Nike in 2006 to sign for Reebok and has been instrumental in developing some of their most successful boots like the SprintFit and Instante Pro.
Henry was spotted training in a pair of White/Black/Team Gold King Finale boots on Tuesday ahead of the MLS All Star game against Manchester United. We were waiting in anticipation then to see what the New York Redbull forward would turn out in for fixture last night’s fixture.
Henry chose to wear the newest Puma King Finale colourway – Black/White/Puma Red – which matched the Adidas MLS All Star kit perfectly. There is no word from Puma yet confirming the signing of Thierry Henry. However, seeing as the Frenchman has worn two colourways without blacking them out, we assume confirmation isn’t too far away.

Boot Spoting...

For players pre-season is all about getting fit and ready for the upcoming season. For the fans it is all about transfers, new kits and of course, new boots. We love a good boot test and this week we got a peak at the up-coming Nike T90 Laser IV thanks to Inter Milan start Wesley Sneijder.
The Dutch ace is one of the most talked about and wanted midfielders at the moment with the likes of Manchester United and City chasing his signature. We have spotted Sneijder in the new T90s before but it was against City that we got some great images of the new boots which feature a newly designed ‘Shot-Shield’ – which Nike have renamed the ‘Adaptive Shield’.
Another interesting boot spot from the Dublin Super Cup was Man City midfielder Nigel De Jong. De Jong wore adiPURE III and blacked-out adiPURE IV last season but was spotted wearing Puma King Finale boots. Puma announced the signing of Thierry Henry last week and we wonder whether he will soon be official joined by De Jong.

Umbro England Away Collection

Umbro fuses football smartness with modern tailoring to create the new England Away kit in a classic navy colour
Umbro has combined English smartness with modern football tailoring to create the new England Away kit in a classic navy suiting colour. The new Away kit will be worn by the England senior squad for the first time against Holland on August 10th, sees a return to blue – a colour which is synonymous with England and was first worn by the England team in the 1930s. Inspiration for the new shirt was taken from the blue caps given to England players as well as the original British passports, which were navy in colour. Similar to the design of the 2009 England Home shirt, the new away kit features a smart regatta blue pop out collar, detail inherent in Umbro football tailoring, whilst combining the performance elements required for the modern game.
Lightweight and breathable, the shirt uses mesh technology to increase the air flow to the body, updating a style that was first introduced in 1970 for the Mexico World Cup. The shirt is made using full polyester on the inside to help draw sweat away from the body and features a cotton outer to provide a smart appearance. Featuring a Raglan sleeve and darting over the top edge of the shoulder, the navy shirt maintains its shape whilst allowing freedom across the body.
“Myself and the England lads can’t wait to pull the new England Away kit on for the first time against Holland. Representing your country is one of the greatest honours for a player. Looking good gives you confidence on the pitch and it is great to have a new look with the navy blue,” commented England captain John Terry.
The shorts, in a lighter, blue regatta colouring, feature a side stretch mesh panel to aid ventilation. The short is straightened off to allow easy movement of the upper leg. The socks combine the blue of the shirt and short to complete the smart kit.
England manager Fabio Capello commented: “Blue is a strong colour and one which is part of the history and future of the England team. We face many difficult fixtures away from home this year and it is important for the team to look smart on and off the pitch.”
The new Away goalkeeper’s shirt (which we profiled here) references the strong graphical formations used on previous England kits and carries a formation of interlocking crosses which represent the flag of St George. The shirt is built from the latest in fabric technology in order to provide goalkeepers like Joe Hart with the best possible help on the pitch. With a simple, comfortable collar, the goalkeeper shirt is crafted from a special cotton fabric with panels built for stretch and movement, whilst the arms feature the same 360º pivot armhole to offer keepers maximum movement. The lower part of the arm on the shirt offers a tight fit offering articulation and compatibility with goalkeeping gloves.
England goalkeeper Joe Hart said: “The new goalie Away shirt is lively but I really like it and am looking forward to wearing it against Holland. The strip fits really well and it reminds me of some of the goalkeeper kits I used to see on my heroes when I was a kid.”
The wider on-pitch range will include two new Umbro anthem jackets – regatta blue for coaching staff and navy for players – which will be worn when they walk out onto the pitch. Tailored to compliment the kit and provide comfort for the players, the anthem jacket stays in line with the sense of smartness provided by the new kit.

In keeping with its tailoring heritage, Umbro has continued to provide shirts in chest sizes so that each England fan can experience a tailored fit. The kit will be worn by every level of the England team from juniors to seniors including the women’s team.