Nike and US Soccer have just launched the new US Centennial soccer jersey and its a stylish mix of classic style and modern attitude. The jersey, which is a celebration of the U.S. Soccer Federation’s 100th year, is designed to pay tribute to a century of American soccer by including several classic elements.
The first one of these elements featured on the kit is the original US Soccer crest. It looks like Capetian America’s original shield, from the 1940′s and 50′s, and is a stunning departure from the anemic modern crest that has sullied to surface of recent US soccer jerseys. The majority of the kit is a classic white design, with this sharp crest on the left breast and the Nike logo opposite. It also features navy trim around the collar and end of the sleeves, with room for official numbering and name sets on the center front and across the back shoulders.
Its constructed from the same Nike Dri-Fit material you’ll see in any other current soccer jersey, and should wick away sweat and moisture from your body. This fabric is also stain resistant, and fits true to size. So if you are a large in a t-shirt, then you’ll need a large one of these kits. The short, socks, and shoes in the rest of this collection look stunning as well, and you can get them all now for 10% off at our favorite partner, SoccerPro.com
Barcelona traveled to the San Siro Wednesday, where they were stunned by AC Milan. AC Milan took the lead in the 56th minute after a Kevin-Prince Boateng goal. Milan then secured the win in the 81st minute when Sulley Muntari scored to give the home side a 2-0 lead heading into the second leg at the Camp Nou.
AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri was happy with his team’s performance after the match.
“The lads played well in defensive terms and didn’t let them near our penalty area. We know Barcelona kept possession for about 65 percent of the time, but we had five or six very favorable situations where we got the final pass wrong,” Allegri said.
It was actually 72 percent possession for Barcelona according to ESPNFC’s match stats. However, despite all the possession, AC Milan actually had more scoring chances in the game, and capitalized on them. Milan outshot Barcelona 8-7 in total shots and 3-1 in shots on goal.
Barcelona interim coach Jordi Roura said the poor playing conditions contributed to the team’s loss.
“They defended with a lot of organization. It was difficult to play, they stuck lots of players close together, the pitch was like a potato-field, not right for a match like this, which made it difficult for us,” Roura said.
If Roura thought Milan defended with a lot of players in this game, he should wait for the second leg at the Camp Nou. With a two goal lead and playing away from home, you can expect AC Milan to pack it in a try to maintain their two goal lead in order to move on. Milan could surprise everyone and come out attacking, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
“At the Camp Nou they will sit back, we need to go at them and hope we have better luck than here,” Barcelona midfielder Pedro said.
The second leg may not be very exciting if Milan try to hold on to their lead by playing 11 in the box, however, it will certainly garner interest. The way Barcelona have cruised through La Liga and drawing AC Milan in the Champions League, many thought Barcelona could cruise through the Champions League this season. Barcelona have not been knocked out of the competition yet, but it will be a difficult task to move on with a 2-0 deficit.
Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com
The ultrabright red and white colors on the instep and outstep of these boots are stunning. Adidas haven’t done a bright red and white F50 in years, and the three stripes design looks aggressive and interesting in white and red when set against the opposite color on the upper. They also feature Messi’s new log on the top of the tongue, also in red against a white tongue.The soccer shoes feature the same material on the upper, a Sprint Web, that allows for quicker cuts and better stability. Keep in mind, these shoes are built for a speedy striker, and have a foot area built for high-speed dribbling. An internal SprintWeb also gives increased support to the upper, meaning it won’t flex or stretch too far despite being ultrathin when you make a quick turn off the ball. The upper also offers decent ball feel, and while it may not the best after a season, its far more durable than any other speed boots on the market.
The outsole of these Messi F50 adizeros is the same TRAXION™ 2.0 stud configuration you’ll see on the other Adizeros. Its designed for maximum energy return and easy release through the flexibility of the sprint frame construction, and the triangular stud offers decent traction in the wet and the dry. These boots are adidas miCoach compatible, which means you can stick this little device goes into the sole of your left cleat and look at acceleration, top speed, and distance traveled by you post-match.
Overall, they’re a stunning pair of soccer shoes and well worth a look at our favorite partner site, SoccerPro.com.
With only 16 teams remaining in the Champions League, any team realistically has a chance. So let’s take a look at some of the results from this week. We have already recapped the Manchester United v. Real Madrid match, so it will not be included in this post.
Let’s first take a look at Paris Saint-Germain. The French leaders beat Valencia Tuesday 2-1 away from home. Now PSG will play the second leg at the Parc de Princes. However, they will be without striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was sent off in stoppage time. Also, according to ESPNFC, “UEFA’s disciplinary panel will meet at the end of February to decide whether PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic should be banned for an extra game.” If he is suspended an extra match, that could hurt PSG if they are to advance to the quarterfinals.
Despite an away win for PSG, Juventus claims the best week in the Champions League. Juventus beat Celtic 3-0 away from home, which pretty much puts them in the quarterfinals unless Celtic has a miracle up their sleeve. Celtic manager Neil Lennon was not too pleased with the referee’s performance in the match.
“I thought he was very poor. I thought he was very pro-Juventus. I was disappointed with his performance to say the least,” Lennon said according to ESPNFC. “They were being fouled, manhandled. Every time one of my players tried to move he was held. He should have given a penalty on at least two occasions.”
The final game of the week featured Shakhtar Donetsk v. Borussia Dortmund. This game ended 2-2, with everything to play for in the second leg.
The Champions League always presents exciting matchups and games and this week was no exception. Other than Celtic, every team has a reasonable chance of advancing to the next round, which will set up for an exciting round of second leg matches. Let us know whom you think will advance to the quarterfinals and predictions for what team will win the Champions League this season.
Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com
Manchester United was able to secure a vital away goal at the Bernabeu Wednesday. The match between Manchester United and Real Madrid ended in a 1-1 draw, which will ensure an exciting second leg match at Old Trafford. Following the match, Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho said Manchester United did not play to win, a statement many have made of Mourinho’s teams when they face Barcelona.
“They came here to defend well,” Mourinho said according to ESPNFC. “They came here to not concede space and goals, and they did not play to win. But they know they have in attack very important players with great potential that out of nothing can create chances and score goals.”
Real Madrid dominated United statistically outshooting United 28 to 13 in total shots and eight to six in shots on goal. Madrid also out possessed United 61 percent to 39 percent. However, at the end of the day, the result of the game is all that matters. And the final result has United manager Sir Alex Ferguson feeling confident about their chances of moving on to the next stage of the Champions League.
“All in all we created a lot of chances in the match and played some good attacking football at times. I’ve got to be pleased, they’ve dug in to take us back to Old Trafford with a chance. We’ve got a big task but its within our grasps,” Ferguson said according to ESPNFC.
Another big storyline with this game was Cristiano Ronaldo facing his old manager and club. Ronaldo was able to make an impact against his former side, scoring a fantastic header to tie the match and give Madrid a chance in the second leg. Despite scoring, Ronaldo said he did not want to celebrate the goal against his former club.
“I did not want to celebrate the goal out of respect, as I played there for six years. I grew up there, and I have a special affection [for Manchester United],” Ronaldo said according to ESPNFC.
If Real Madrid is knocked out of the Champions League at this stage, it will be a major disappointment to add to their disappointing season in La Liga. There are already questions regarding Mourinho’s possible departure after the season. One of the main reasons Mourinho was brought in at Madrid was to win the Champions League and end the clubs drought in the competition. If he fails to win, you have to wonder if an early Champions League exit will be the deciding factor in his departure from the club after the season.
Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com
For anyone that was lucky enough to see the Champions League match between Manchester United and Real Madrid, there may never be another occasion where the ball is launched at the goal as much as it was during this particular span of 90 minutes. Madrid spent the entirety of the game seemingly intent on testing Davi De Gea and the United defense while United managed to create shots out of very little actual attacking impetus. All of this resulted in an amazing match that saw a set-up being created for a titanic match when the two teams go to Old Trafford.
The only player wearing a Manchester United kit that will believe his performance was worthy of such an important game should be De Gea. The young shot-stopper was called upon constantly throughout the game and he is the main reason United still have a chance of getting through to the next round. Fabio Coentrao could have easily made the game 1-0 in favor of Madrid extremely early in the game if De Gea had not pulled off a finger-tip save and pushed the ball onto the post. Although his proficiency at crosses is still in question, the way that he caught extremely hard shots instead of having to punch or parry them away proves that his pure shot-stopping ability may be top-5 in the world (and he’s only 19).
United will need to place more emphasis on their defense and in the center of midfield once the tie at Old Trafford takes place. Although many were pleased that Sir Alex had chosen such an attacking line-up for the trip to Spain, United seemed constantly outnumbered in the midfield and they were only allowed a few actual sequences where they were able to build into the attack. In fact, most of United’s actual chances were from an occasional defensive lapse or a quick counter attack.
Although United will hope to finish off the tie at home, they should realize that if Angel Di Maria stays on the post during corner kicks, they would not have scored. Considering how many attack-minded players they had on the field, this is somewhat discouraging. Although the score ended in a draw, Madrid will certainly feel that they have the upper hand going forward. Considering that a large contingent of the team has either played at Old Trafford or in other English football stadiums before, home-field advantage may not be enough for Rooney and co. to progress this season.
Written by: Andrew McCole, soccerprose.com
The English Premier League continues to grow in strength throughout their table. Where a few seasons ago any light follower of the EPL could predict places 1-7 as soon as the first ball was kicked in the season, the EPL now has the talent pool and the coaching talent to provide shocks, surprises, and quality play from top to bottom. With the way the EPL is growing, will the battle for Europa League spots become as heated as making the top-four once was?
This year, if we have a situation like last season where top four clubs win the continental club cups, the Europa League spots will be fought over by six to seven clubs. Although either Tottenham or Arsenal will probably end up in the top four when the final game is over, the teams that will be in the hunt for the Europa spots include Everton, Liverpool, Swansea, West Brom, and Stoke City. Considering teams like West Brom and Swansea have rarely ever been in a situation to be involved in European competition, this is making for a fascinating race.
European competition adds serious money to any team’s coffers. Although you will only be making a fraction that the Champions League provides, entry into the Europa League still provides your squad with a definite addition to your bankroll. Teams like Everton and Liverpool would prefer to be in the Champions League, but their coaches and players will start to look towards the Europa league once they realize that CL qualification is out of their reach.
Swansea is definitely a club that would be great to see in European competition. Their nickname of Swansea-lona is very apt and their passing would provide some fantastic football for the entirety of Europe to enjoy. Swansea may also find their qualification route through winning the League Cup, so they definitely have the most likely pathway of the smaller clubs.
West Brom has started to fall off their early season hot-streak that saw them sitting in the top four for a large portion of the season, and a fixture against Liverpool will definitely define the direction that the rest of their season will be heading in. Steve Clarke has done wonders with the club, and Europa qualification would be a dream-realized for a club the size of West Brom.
Liverpool and Everton will both want Europa qualification merely so that they can hold it over the head of their rival. Although Everton have been consistent this season, they are experiencing a similar situation to West Brom and the nagging injury that star-man Fellaini continues to play with may end up costing them in the long run. Liverpool, however, have shown that they are coming back to prominence by collecting draws against Arsenal and Manchester City.
Although this will definitely take a better shape in the next few weeks, the depth of the EPL is providing excitement across the entirety of the table. For all we know, the battle for Europa qualification may soon become something that clubs start to target at the beginning of a campaign. All I know is, I am loving this!
Written by: Andrew McCole, soccerprose.com
The tie of the Round of 16 has to be the match between Manchester United and Real Madrid. Although the tie would typically garner a ton of respect and TV viewers just because of the history that these two teams possess, this tie gets the added benefit of seeing one of the world’s greatest players going up against the club that he became a household name with. Cristiano Ronaldo will be going up against a United team that houses many of the players that were with him as he burst onto the world scene.
Manchester United will have the most complete scouting report available when it comes to CR7. Most of the players that will be on the pitch for Manchester will have spent a significant amount of time with the Portuguese playmaker and they will be completely aware of the danger he possesses. However, CR7 is never the same player from year to year and his talent continues to grow as he gets older. If United hope to keep Ronaldo at bay, a combo of Valencia and Raphael would probably be the best method that United have. Both are fast and can perform relatively thorough defensive duties, but even that might not be enough to hold CR7.
The worst news for United is that Ronaldo is in a deep vein of scoring form. A hat-trick against Sevilla in his last match will mean that United will face Ronaldo at a level befitting a player of his potential. The worst part is that the more focus Ronaldo is able to garner and the more United have to focus on the Portuguese winger, the more likely one of the other Madrid stars is to pop up and snag a goal for the Spanish giants.
On the flip-side, the men in Manchester United jerseys are dominating in their domestic league and they are showing all the signs of a truly dominant United squad. In their most recent fixture against Everton, Rooney looked great attacking and defending, De Gea was stopping anything and everything, and Robin Van Persie still seems to be scoring at the slightest chance.
Although I’ve never been one to grasp at phrases, we definitely seem like we are about to witness two immovable objects crashing against each other. For United, a victory over Madrid would only solidify their success this season. For Madrid, continued success in the Champions League would be the only thing to have their season be seen as a success. One thing is for certain, this titanic tie will provide some fantastic football…make sure you are watching.
Written by: Andrew McCole, guest contributor, SoccerProse.com