First, thank you to everyone that reaches out asking us to evaluate their products from the big guys like Concave and Adidas to the specialty guys like LiveBreatheFutboll and ThreeFourThree FC.
In the spirit of a little fun, a little humor and throwing some last minute things out there. A concise holiday gift guide. Drop your ideas in the commentary as well.
• The USA Throwback
But your best option here for both relevancy and some authenticity, grab the jersey on the right (worn in qualification for the Yanks in the lead-up to 2002) and pick your favorite retiree (Brian McBride) or present day champ (Frankie Hedjuk). (You could go with the original here; or you could use that scratch to pay for 50-yard-lines for the Gold Cup Final (for two).)
I guarantee no matter what MLS team you follow, you head to the rivals stadium and you’ll still get street cred….or rather the person you bought it for will.
• Top Cleat: The Adidas Predator
First, let me get this off my chest–sniffle–I could never wear Copa’s…my foot was just too, well, fat for the narrow fit of them.
But the Adidas Predator? Hands down the best cleat that I’ve worn. Endorsed for both soccer and ultimate frisbee folks.
Why? First, it’s probably the most comfortable cleat going. Second, it balances weight with “substance” near perfectly. Most of the Nike cleats I’ve tried eschew substance (and corresponding strength) in favor lightness, bad move. Too flimsy unless you weigh 90lbs or something.
The Predator’s are expensive, but you can always go get last year’s models on Zappos and other places. As note, don’t go for the synthetic, stick with the leather. (I prefer kangaroo leather, but I know some folks take issue with this.)
Ever go to the beach in the summer and think…you know I don’t want to throw around a pigskin, I want to kick a soccer ball. You break out your favorite field soccer ball and then realize, “If I kick this thing without a cleat on, I’m going to need Metatarsal surgery or something.”
Enter the sand soccer ball. Big difference, more accurate on the grains and a unique gift. Plus, if you’re heading to World Cup 2014, you better get your sand game going.
• For Your Buddy Recovering from an ACL Tear: The Mini Trampoline
Raise your hand if you’ve torn your ACL. (I would have three hands raised). Raised your hand if you know someone who’s torn their ACL.
Pretty much everyone is raising their hands right now.
Best therapy beyond the cute PT chick that just graduated two years ago from Arizona State and mixes triathalons in on the weekend? (I digressed). A mini trapoline. Knee bends while watching a USMNT game or Champ’s League. Great therapy.
• For the guy that drives you to practice: Victory
Pele…and Sly Stallone star in this one game for freedom. Classic, sort of. The 1981 flick, a cheap, but effective present.
Tons of great shirts out there, including the following faves:
• For that White Elephant Party…
You can’t go wrong with this. (Cheerleaders not included. 22 emails per week? Maybe.)
• And finally, a gift not to get…
This probably won’t go over well.
All yours and not just for a limited time only!
As the tagline says, “Become your favorite Team USA Hero!”
An official product of Nike and US Soccer National Soccer Team.
Only $92 and 44 meager cents.
No discount, no coupon. No….really. The 2010-11 Eddie Johnson Away Soccer Jersey.
Hotcakes I’m telling you. Hotcakes.
And some other ideas:
» Need team kits. Choose Soccerpro.com, good guys.
» Books? Filip Bondy’s Chasing the Game, Jonathan Wilson’s Inverting the Pyramid and Franklin Foer’s How Soccer Explains The World.