Nike Sportswear recently unveiled their new tech pack with a variety of athletes, including US Women’s National Team striker, Sydney Leroux. The photo shoot took place in Pasadena, California which served up a pretty good dose of nostalgia for Leroux: “This is where the US won the World Championships in 1999. That was a huge day for me, and I think for a lot of girls.” The video then follows Leroux to a tattoo parlor where she reveals that she’s been getting tattoos since she was fourteen.
Leroux reveals that she moved to the US from Canada when she was a young player in order to try and play for “the best team in the World.” Her opportunity came when she played in the Olympics in London two years ago and scored a goal:
“It was pretty simple, just a long ball over the top, and I kind of sprinted onto it, and I was looking to my right and I saw Abby [Wambach]. It was just me and the goalie and I was a little nervous, so I looked at Abby and Abby’s pointing like, Take the shot. I shot it and it kind of went underneath and went through her legs and dipped, and all I saw was the back of the net just kind of ripple with the ball hitting it. I’ll remember that forever.”
For a team of dwarves, this has to be one of the best team names ever: The Gigantes do Norte (Giants of the North). The team is far from a joke though. They play 40 minute matches against top youth teams in Belem, Para State, North Brazil. The matches are played on full size fields with full size goals, and these players are definitely not lacking in skills. Their coach even claims that some would be professionals if they were a little bit taller. The average height of the team is about four feet, and they are allowed to carry a teammate on their shoulders when defending against free-kicks.
Three American friends who met at Emerson College in Boston, Mass., Pete, Sam and Peter, are embarking on a journey to the World Cup in Brazil and documenting every step of the way in order to increase the popularity of soccer in the US: “By traveling through Central & South American en route to Brazil for the World Cup, they hope to bridge the gap between the US and the ‘fútbol’-loving nations that impact the ever-growing Latin-flavor of our soccer nation.” Their first stop is over the border into Tijuana, Mexico. Follow their journey to the World Cup here.
Going Pro: American Soccer is a documentary that follows the players of the Brooklyn Knights during their 2012 season of the Premier Development League, which is known as the 4th division in the US soccer pyramid. All of these players have one goal in mind: to make it to the MLS. The film gives an insider’s look at the determination and commitment of these players, as they struggle to overcome the obstacles of trying to make it as a professional while also supporting their lives outside of soccer. The documentary is available to rent/buy now.
“Next Goal Wins” is a documentary about the American Somoa National Soccer team, which holds the record for the largest defeat in an international match where they lost 31-0 to Australia. The film depicts their journey in an effort to improve their rank as one of the worst international teams with Thomas Rongen as their head coach, who joined the association in 2011. Rongen is a former D.C. United and Chivas USA head coach, and looks to be putting in quite the effort at American Somoa. Even with their poor record, the spirit of the team is still high and it looks like a pretty entertaining doc.
“Kings of the New City” is a Kickstarter documentary project about the story of an American, Nick Pugliese, who moved to Afghanistan for a job with a Telecom company and ended up quitting to play professional soccer with a Kabul-based club. He documented his journey on his blog, and decided to start filming when some of his teammates were willing to share their remarkable stories. The Kickstarter campaign is about $1,500 short of reaching its funding goal with a week left to go.
Pepsi recently launched their “Art of Football” campaign for the lead up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The striking campaign combines photography and street art with some of the top footballers in the world. The world-renowned photographer, Danny Clinch, photographed Leo Messi, Robin van Persie, Jack Wilshere, David Luiz, Sergio Aguero and Sergio Ramos. The photographs were then blown up into 10 x 10 canvases for six leading street artists to paint over. The passion that these artists have for their work is powerfully displayed on these canvases, matching the level of dedication and passion that these soccer players bring to the pitch. This is a truly awesome campaign, especially since the World Cup is being held in a country where the history and spirit of soccer is so vibrant.