Your Last Minute Quick Soccer Gift Guide

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.

Can't go wrong with a "McBride" kit...especially from 2002.

• The USA Throwback

Lots of different options here. You could always go with the denim kit from 1994 or this one right here says, “Hey Nike, if you won’t give us a red jersey we’ll go retro and get this one.”

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.

Well done Adidas...

• 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.)

• Sand Soccer Ball

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

I still use this...

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.

• T-Shirting…

Tons of great shirts out there, including the following faves:

The Cantona, from Live Breath Futbol (available soon), ↓ the Formation, from Three Four Three FC and the Kaiser Chiefs Amokhosi Supporter shirt from Objectivo.


For that White Elephant Party…

You can’t go wrong with this. (Cheerleaders not included. 22 emails per week? Maybe.)

Your White Elephant gift....

• 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, good guys.

» Books? Filip Bondy’s Chasing the Game, Jonathan Wilson’s Inverting the Pyramid and Franklin Foer’s How Soccer Explains The World.

12 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dth on 2010/12/19 at 3:14 PM

    Still a fan of these guys for USMNT jerseys:

    I’d purchase one RIGHT NOW if I could find one on sale.


  2. The US Jersey in the picture is the one they wore for the 2000/01 International Calendars, and maybe a little of 2002. The true 2002 jersey is the one they sported during the WC in Korea/Japan.


  3. […] today’s Soccer Holiday Gift Guide by The Shinguardian our formation tee makes the cut as a go to gift. Thanks to The Shinguardian for giving us a great […]


  4. I might be a bit biased, but the Free Beer Movement t-shirt also makes a great stocking stuffer:


  5. Posted by Chris on 2010/12/19 at 10:42 PM

    That beach soccer ball was discontinued, I think.


  6. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/12/20 at 9:31 AM

    Or you could buy your friends who watch non-MLS sawker on the box, but don’t attend MLS games a couple of tickets for 2011 season…


  7. Posted by Paddycass on 2010/12/20 at 9:39 AM

    that denim USMNT shirt is so…. so….. Earnie Stewart? His and his alone.


  8. Posted by Russ on 2010/12/20 at 4:09 PM

    Just be careful with the ’00-’01 USMNT shirt if anyone decides to splurge. The colors fade quickly.

    I really really regret not taking better care of my 2002 World Cup #10 Reyna shirt after seeing the unreal price tag on that one webstie. The #1 peeled off the back. Shoddy craftsmanship, Nike. Shoddy!


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