With 20 for 15, we sit down with young MLS players that have very bright futures. In addition to being extrembly talented on the field, they all have unique perspectives and interesting stories that we want to share.
In Part One with the LA Galaxy's Jose Villareal, he talked about what it means to play professionally for his hometown club and the influence that guys like Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan have had on him. In Part Two, Jose talks about his roots in Inglewood and how that has helped to shape him as a player and influenced his desire to win.
As soccer continues to evolve, the brands that we see in the marketplace edbb and flow with the sport. Some brands that were highly present in the sport only a number of years ago seem to be fading away. New brands are popping up and trying to compete in a very competitive market. And then there are the few that control the overwhelming majority of the sport. The big brands that invest heavily across all aspects of the sport and really drive it forward.
We wanted to take a look back at some brands that were popular in the sport but have since faded out somewhat. We’re starting with the brand at times have presence in the sport.
Mitre has a history in soccer and sports in general, unlike any other. First of all, it is the oldest sports brand in the world having been founded in 1817. It also happens to be the world’s oldest supplier of soccer balls. It was founded almost 200 years ago in England, and it remains a British brand to this day.
Benjamin Crook was the founder of the company and it was named after him until it changed to Mitre in 1949. In 1964 Mitre signed Manchester United legend Denis Law as the first official spokesperson for the brand. A couple years later Mitre started supplying the English Football Association with balls. The FA Cup Final match ball was supplied by Mitre for the next 40 years. That’s a long run at the top flight of the game.
Mitre was heavy in the sport. Supplying balls to the FA, sponsoring players like Denis Law and being in the footwear as well as football business.
Even Muhammad Ali wore Mitre in his fight against Leon Spinks.
In 1992 Mitre became the official ball supplier for the newly formed Premier League and the brand was booming.
They were even in on MLS business early on by being the official ball of the league. They supplied the official MLS match ball from 1996-2000. I remember this ball pretty well.
Dunny ~~ These balls were (and maybe still are) the BEST balls that I have ever played with…. You felt like you could hit the *ish out of these things, whether lacing one on goal or hitting the big 50 yard switch to break out on the counter. One of my biggest regrets (and there are many) was that I didn’t grab more of these before they stopped making them. I took a couple of them back to California one off-season and the crew grabbed them and wouldn’t let me take them home after training…. ‘Get more for us when you go back’ seemed to be the constant theme.
They have done so much for the sport over the years. It’s difficult to think about how much this 200 year old company has actually given to the sport. It’s rich in history and tradition and has helped drive the sport, especially the soccer ball side of the sport, for longer than most of us can imagine.
But Mitre has certainly feel off the map compared to the previous visibility they had in the sport. These days their profile is much lower, as are the areas of the game they are involved with. They are still around and playing their trade, but their profile in the sport is not what it used to be. With the history and heritage that the brand has in the sport, it would be cool to see them tap into that and have a bigger presence in the sport.
This video is a reminder of what Mitre has meant to the sport. It touches on its history and the advancements it has ushered into the sport in its long and illustrious history.
* This video is outstanding. I could go on a big rant about it, but I will leave these words that were given by a friend on the BP_TOW fam when he watch it and gave us the heads up:
“Maybe it’s because I have two daughters, maybe it’s because it’s about the sport that touches so many but I challenge anybody to watch this short segment on #FOXSPORTS and not tear up…a true look into how so many young girls are not afforded opportunities they should be. Need more stories like this!!”
If there is one thing you do today, make sure you set aside 10 minutes and watch this.
Then, make sure you set aside another 5 minutes to think about what you just watched.
There has been a ton of great content this World Cup cycle, but this is hands down the best piece.
* Side note *
Nazanin Boniadi, the person who narrates this is the great actress on Homeland, just in case you were wondering.
Stephen Colbert has been slowly getting himself back in to the game – his hiatus being because he’s taking Lettermans time slot – putting out some stuff on social media and the youtube but this takes the cake.
He stops by and hosts a public access show. Its a random town (no disrespect) in Michigan. Interviews the regular hosts, which is effing fantastic, and then brings on Eminem.
The Pit Bull stuff. The hoodie stuff. HVAC. Featured on somebody. The trailer. Jake is jacked by the way. #Hilarious. The community calendar.
“Set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac, Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint an intimate portrait of the brilliant man at its epicenter.”
Take it. Take my money now.
* Here is my list of greatest actors today:
Leo Di Caprio
and my buddy Wes.
Thats it. That’s the list.
Not particularly in that order.
And, I will watch anything that Aaron Sorkin does.
Speed in sports is being constantly pushed. Soccer players are faster, the pace of games is quicker and technology keeps advancing to help both players and the game continue to become faster.
Nike has launched a global campaign called “Find Your Fast” that challenges people to run their fastest time this summer. That may mean training to run your fastest time for one mile or a personal record for something longer. Nike is challenging people to push themselves to get faster.
Neal Brennan, co-creator of the Chappelle Show, collaborated with Nike on the direction of the campaign’s anthem piece, “Find Your Fast.” Quick highlights include a fast cameo from one of the world’s fastest men, Michael Johnson; the world’s fastest woman, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce; the world’s fastest commercial starring Kobe Bryant and world famous magician David Blaine; the infamously fast Road Runner cartoon and a nod to one of Nike’s speediest running shoes, the Nike Air Zoom Elite 8.
“Fast can be about beating the defender to a spot, or not letting the offensive player get to his spot,” explains Kobe Bryant about the importance of fast on the basketball court.
Part of the campaign is centered around the Nike Air Zoom Elite 8 sneaker.
Many of these athletes train or compete in shoes with Nike Zoom Air technology. The Nike Zoom Air Elite, a favorite amongst many top runners, plays a star role in the ad. Whether quickly moving from shot to shot during a fast paced tennis match, speedy lateral changes in a football game or quick bursts of speed on the basketball court, Zoom allows athletes of every caliber can optimize their quest for speed.
And this is a good looking training sneaker.
Wayne Rooney got in on the action as well.
Six Nike Master Trainers are joining forces this summer to launch a 12-week fitness challenge for the Nike+ Training Club (NTC) App. The Find Your Fast NTC Challenge is specifically designed to improve speed, power, and agility through a diverse set of daily workouts.
The Challenge starts July 6 and the first Master Trainer workout — Marie Purvis’s Ready, Set, Zoom workout — debuts July 7. After that, a new workout headlined by a different Nike Master Trainer will launch every two weeks, highlighting different types of training to help you feel faster, such as high intensity training, yoga, strength training and barre.
On August 30, you will be challenged to run your fastest mile alongside the Nike+Run Club and the elites speeding towards victory in Beijing. Stay up to date with the Find Your Fast NTC Challenge by following the Nike Sport Feed in the NTC App.
I think I’m going to have to get involved and challenge myself with this program. My new soccer season starts next weekend, so the timing on this works out nicely. Who’s down for the challenge?
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