Considering how big a fan the entire footballing world has always been of the adiPure range from adidas, every incarnation of the boot has large shoes to fill. Although a good boot, the original 11Pro left many longtime fans of the adiPure range unsatisfied and became one of the few boots to see professionals actively leaving the silo for other boots. With the newest release, adidas will be looking to improve the 11Pro while attempting to bring back old fans and bring in new fans. Did they succeed?
After nearly 2 weeks with most of the Samba collection, we are not yet prepared to offer our full verdict on the new adidas boots, but we are ready to let everyone know what to expect with these new releases and share our initial thoughts of the boot range. First up, the 11Pro II:
The first thing to note for anyone hoping to bring in the new 11Pro would be the sizing. Although the final review will also mention this, going a half size down in this range offered a perfect fit. Especially considering the fact that any natural leather will stretch a bit, ordering your normal size will probably result in an awkward fit and will prevent you from enjoying the boot properly.
The second thing about this 11Pro has to be the inclusion of more leather, more stitching, and memory foam inserts around the primary use areas of the boot. The addition of the leather where the last 11Pro had a very plastic feeling band around the midfoot has been a massive improvement. For 99% of players, we love stroking around pass with the instep of the boot and the leather on this boot allows you to make those passes with ease. The extra stitching seems to be primarily for the inclusion of the memory foam in the upper, both of which seem to make for a much more cushioned area on the toe box. Although I expect this area of the boot to continue to soften with use, much like a higher quality leather, the initial softness is very impressive.
The new soleplate seems like a step back towards the original adiZero soleplate with a slightly wider base. Gone are the conical studs, replaced by the almost-triangular studs that adidas has been fiddling with for several boot incarnations. With the new F50 studs being a completely new set-up, it seems like adidas might have made a good choice with the 11Pro II, but to claim it as new technology seems a bit of a stretch.
Keep an eye out for the full review within the next few weeks, but the new 11Pro definitely seems like a better mixture of past, present, and future than the original 11Pro. Although the bright purple color may not suit the average footballer, the boot beneath the paint job is certainly worth your time.
Shortly after the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers romped to a close last night, the official US Soccer website put out a picture with the hashtag “YoureWelcomeMexico” as the USA rubbed salt into the Mexican wounds.
Make no mistake about it, Mexico got extremely lucky last night. El Tri were as listless and limp as ever as they succumbed to a 2-1 loss in Costa Rica to a Ticos side who had already qualified for the Mundial. Seemingly no one knows what to do to rectify the situation for El Tri…
Even the Mexican federation had little faith in their team, why else would they launch an early release of the new 2014 World Cup Mexico Jerseys? Way ahead of any other World Cup teams? Way ahead of the original set schedule?
What needs to happen? As blase as it sounds, Mexico needs to get Carlos Vela in there somehow…is he Leo Messi? No. But Mexico is an altogether different prospect when he’s in there with Gio and Chicharito. The team needs something to bring back the swagger of ages past and getting mad at the growth of major rivals USA is a great way to inject some anger into the team.
Beyond that…who knows? The two legged playoff versus New Zealand will be no joke, the All-Whites are a dangerous side who Mexico will do well to be wary of, El Tri is in for a fist-fight and that anger needs to be well in place before that playoff starts or NZ will ensure Mexico doesn’t appear at the World Cup in Brazil and that would be sad. Now there is talk of replacing Vucetich with Miguel Herrera as coach of the team…that would make four coaches in one month…not good at all.
While a player is on the ground after an obvious dive, waving frivolously for the stretcher…we forget about why we watch football. When a football powerhouse steals a young starlet away from his hometown club and ends up ruining his career…we forget about why we watch football. But, as soon Eric Abidal started warming up on the sideline to come in and play for Barcelona during a 5-0 win, our love of football came flooding back.
For those of you that do not know about the French defender, Abidal has already had one miraculous recovery under his belt and he fought cancer for several months. After the cancer had finally gone in remission, he was told that it would be a long time before he was able to play top level football again. However, three months later, he was on the pitch for Barcelona as they took home the Champions League title at Wembley Stadium.
As if his story was not inspiring enough, the tale does not end there. In March of 2012, Abidal was told that his liver issues had worsened and that he would need a liver transplant to live out a full life. At the time, his ability to ever return to the game he loved seemed like impossibility and his story seemed destined to have a slightly sour ending.
But, if there was anything that we had learned about Abidal, it was that he should never be counted out. After receiving a liver transplant from his cousin, Abidal began the recovery process. Of course, despite the fact that this man had to recover from MAJOR SURGERY, he is now back in the fold at Barcelona. Not to be redundant, but it is not like Adibal recovered enough to play charity matches in France with local intermediate players. Abidal is playing for a team that is largely considered to be one of the best club teams of all time.
So, the next time there is a player waving the fake yellow card at the referee. Or, the next time that a coach pitches a toddler-esque fit on the side of the pitch. Or, whenever any black spot tries to take away the joy that we all get from the beautiful game, remember the amazing journey that Eric Abidal has been on and remember why we keep tuning in every weekend
Written by: Andrew McCole, Soccerprose.com
Although the matches that happen today might see Madrid march on and BVB end Malaga’s Cinderella run, the Champions League matches from yesterday have left no doubt that Bayern Munich is now the favorite to make it back into the Champions League final and seems the likeliest team to emerge victorious. A 2-0 victory by the soon-to-be German champions against Italian giants Juventus was impressive enough, but the fact that Barcelona stooped to a 2-2 draw against PSG translates into the Bayern club becoming the Champions League favorite.
Although this writer proclaimed the Munich club to be the favorite from the beginning of the competition, a recent stumble against Arsenal had many jumping off the Bayern bandwagon. Despite dismantling the London club when they visited Munich’s home fortress, Arsenal made it a very interesting affair when Munich played the second leg at the Emirates. Then, as if in response to that stumble, Munich went out and made Juventus look second-rate.
Although a second leg will have to be taken into account, Munich seems to be one of the strongest in every area of the pitch of the teams remaining. Barcelona has an immaculate attack force but their defense is typically poor, Madrid can’t seem to string two positive results together, BVB has a questionable midfield, and Juve has already fallen prey to the Bayern machine. Bayern has one of the best defenses in the world, their midfield is filled with international powerhouse players, and their attack is as deep as any other club in the world, making them the deadliest team remaining in the competition.
Remember, Juve knocked out last season’s champions Chelsea and they have looked very impressive throughout the Champions League campaign. PSG looked like they deserved to be on the field with Barcelona, but Munich makes teams look like they have no right to be a part of any competition that Bayern is involved in (including Juventus).
If Ribery, Schweinsteiger, Neur, and Lahm are involved, the German giants have to be considered as the favorite against any other club. Lahm has shown that he is the best outside defender on the planet and Schweinsteiger can control the pace of any match that he is involved with. If any of these players accrue yellow cards or injuries, the tide may turn, but until that happens then it seems that no one should really have a chance against Bayern. If they aren’t already the heavy favorites for most betting companies, then they need to be.
Written by: Andrew McCole, contirbutor, soccerprose.com
The United States Men’s National Team will play Mexico Tuesday at Estadio Azteca. The U.S. national team is currently in second in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. The team lost it’s first hexagonal match 2-1 to Honduras, but bounced back and beat Costa Rica 1-0 in snowy conditions. This leaves the U.S. national team with three points from two games. However, Costa Rica is hoping to replay it’s game against the U.S. due to the poor weather conditions.
“We can confirm that FIFA has received a letter from the Costa Rica FA regarding last Friday’s FIFA World Cup qualifier. FIFA will now analyze the content of the letter and next steps will be determined in due course,” according to ESPNFC.
Costa Rican Football Federation Treasurer Rolando Villalobos also showed his anger at the decision to let the game be played.
“What happened…has no precedents, since it not only went against the sporting spectacle, but also against the physical integrity of the officials and players. You couldn’t see the pitch markings and that is not allowed under the FIFA regulations,” Villalobos said according to ESPNFC.
Sidenote: If you were able to see the players through all the snow Friday, what did you think about the new United States centennial jerseys?
Mexico comes into it’s match against the United States in fourth place, drawing both of their games. However, when it comes to USA vs. Mexico at Mexico, the results have not been favorable for the United States. According to American Soccer Now, “Against the U.S., Mexico has tasted much more success than failure over the years, especially in Mexico, where a friendly loss last August was the only defeat El Tri has suffered at home against its northern neighbors. In World Cup qualifying, the U.S. has but one point to show for all its visits to El Azteca.”
Tuesday’s match should be an exciting one. The U.S. vs. Mexico rivalry has always been intense and with a trip to the 2014 World Cup on the line, both teams will come out focused and intense. The United States needs to keep getting positive results, while Mexico will be looking for it’s first win during the final round of World Cup qualifying to come at home in front of it’s fans
Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com
Nike have just released the first update to their Nike5 line combining births colors and new technology to create some the sharpest and most advanced soccer shoes on the market today. The first one of the sick new pairs of boot worth a look is the new Nike5 Elastico.
At the highest level, the Nike Elastico Finale II features a brand new upper material, called Nike Skin, which follows the shapes and contours of your foot as you move, and features dimpling to maximize surface area when striking the ball. It also fits like a dream, and has to be the thinnest Nike synthetic upper ever released. In terms of looks, the bright green tonal base color with and black and pink speckled swoosh will definitely get you noticed, but not be for everyone.
The Nike Bomba Finale II is another top end model, build for turf surfaces, and featuring a black and orange color scheme. Its upper is also made from Nike Skin and is sure to make a statemtn for the coming season.
The biggest change, integrating some of Nike’s running technology and a new leather, has to be the Lunar Gato. This pair of indoor soccer boots features goat leather, which feel like a dream, and LaunrLon to keep your feet cushioned in any street game.
Overall, this is a sweet new offering from Nike, and we can’t wait to try them out.
Adidas have just released more apparel for all your Galalcticos fans out there and we’ve been lucky enough to get first hand look at one piece of it, the Real Madrid Anthem jacket. Now this jacket is inspired by the colors and designs that are important to the club and its history, namely, white and light blue. And that what really sets this jacket apart from you typical Real Madrid jersey, its bright blue with with a navy band across the chest and white shoulder stripes. For my part, I love the look of this jacket. The navy strip across the center of the chest on this jacket really makes the look of the piece. It sets off the lighter, shimmering blue on the rest of the coat, and with the thin white stripe running through the center it really brings things to life.
The white adidas stripes running down the shoulders and sleeves also look gorgeous, and give this jacket an authentic feel. However, what really makes it a Real Madrid jacket is the embroidered crest on the left breast. It doesn’t get lost against the lighter blue background, and combined with the v-neck style collar makes this a fashionable bit of kit you wear out to the pubs or around the town.
The jacket itself is made out of polyester, so don;t get near any open flames, and will keep out the wind fairly well but will not protect you from rain or a truly wintery chill. Other than that, it fits true to size, so if you own a medium jersey, you’ll need a medium jacket, and they run $76 to $84 dollars depending on where you shop for them.
As you may have seen earlier today, Nike has released a brand new jersey to celebrate 100 years of U.S. soccer. In addition to the jersey, Nike has also released some other great looking products as part of its USA Centennial Collection. Since we’ve already taken a look at the jersey, we are now going to take a look at two other great products: the Nike USA authentic N98 jacket and the Nike5 Gato USA 100 leather indoor soccer shoe.
The Nike USA authentic N98 jacket looks spectacular and is comfortable as well. This jacket is perfect to keep you warm while still remaining stylish. It is predominantly navy blue with a single red stripe going down each arm to tie in the country’s colors. Subtle vertical stripes also run up the front of the jacket to provide a little more style instead of plain navy. It’s a minor detail but it looks awesome.
Since this jacket is part of the Centennial Collection, it features the Centennial crest on the left chest. The Centennial crest, unlike the modern USA crest, has thirteen stars and stripes to represent the original 13 colonies. It is a great looking crest and, in my opinion, should become the regular crest on all USA soccer gear. It is simplistic but looks fantastic. Finally, we move to the back of the jacket where we see “USA” pressed on so everyone can see where your support lies.
This jacket is a cotton/polyester mix, which is very comfortable. It is also fairly thick to provide enough protection from the wintery weather to keep you warm. The neck of the jacket goes a little higher than most jackets. It almost provides a turtleneck look, which is nice to keep wind out and provides warmth.
Even though there are currently some cool looking USA jackets, this is my favorite. I like the combination of red and blue and the Centennial crest. The combination of great design and comfort make this jacket the perfect option for any USA fan.
SoccerPro does not normally carry shoes; therefore, Soccerprose does not normally look at too many shoes. However, as part of the Centennial Collection Nike released a pair of great looking shoes.
The Nike5 Gato USA 100 leather indoor shoes are off-white/cream, which should help make them a little easier to keep clean than pure white shoes. These shoes also feature navy blue to tie in the national colors in the design while also maintaining a stylish look. The shoes tongue features the Centennial crest above the laces to show that these are part of the Centennial Collection. However, the coolest part of these shoes is the outsole. The outsole has stars and stripes to, once again, tie in the United States flag. It looks awesome and is a nice touch by Nike.
As the name suggests, the upper is made of leather to make these extremely durable since they are built for indoor soccer. With durability in mind, these shoes also have toe and medial overlay to help keep the toe from tearing up with tough indoor surfaces.
Not only do these look great and provide great durability, they are also very comfortable. These shoes feature soccer specific Cushlon technology that helps with cushioning and stability. Style isn’t the only nice thing about these Gato’s. These shoes have an articulated gum rubber outsole, which is non-marking but also provides great traction on indoor surfaces.
Even though these are called indoor soccer shoes, they don’t have to be. These shoes are stylish and comfortable enough to wear with jeans while you are hanging out with friends or whenever you cheer the United States on in soccer. You can now be dressed from head to toe with great USA soccer gear.
Of course, these two products and the jersey mentioned already are not the only products available with the Centennial Collection. A retro jersey, t-shirts, shorts, socks and soccer ball are all available. These products were just two of my favorites that I wanted to share. The jacket and shoes look amazing and are a stylish way to support the U.S. soccer teams. You can find the other gear at SoccerPro.com.
Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com