FEMALE IS FOOTBALL: MAXINE GOYNES

For Maxine Goynes, sports were part of her DNA. With her mother hailing from the UK while having a love for athletics and football (soccer) heritage and her Father playing American football at UCLA, Max was almost destined to be on a field or track. Maxine takes us through her story from growing up in and around the Bay area, to playing college soccer, to moving to LA to pursue a career in acting, fitness, and modeling. Check out our conversation with Maxine as well as the Photoshoot and BTS video. 

Thanks to Nike for providing a few NSW pieces for the shoot.

Follow Maxine: @maxinegoynes

Visit: @NikeLosAngeles

Photos: @richimpossible

So to start things off could you give me your background,  where you’re from grew up and how you got connected with the sport of soccer.

I am originally from Modesto, which is in the Central Valley of Northern California. I considered the Bay Area as a second home as I would commute from Modesto to Pleasanton and play on the club soccer team there. My classes would finish early in high school and then I would commute to practice with the hope of having more opportunity and exposure to continue playing. I earned a scholarship to play soccer at Santa Clara University. I also played in the Olympic development program and was fortunate enough to travel a bit.

My parents met through sports. My mother is British, from Salisbury in the UK and my father actually played American football for UCLA.  After winning the Rose Bowl UCLA decided to send several players over to the UK to teach people how to play American football. My mother was overseeing Sports Promotion for the county Department of Parks and Recreation and one of the facilities happened to be where my father was visiting. Reluctantly, my mom was given the duty to give him a tour and happened to quickly appreciate his sensibility, integrity, and charisma. It reminds me that the universe works in miraculous ways and you never know when you will meet the love of your life. They stayed in contact back and forth after my father left.  Eventually, my father went back to the UK where he and my mother got married and had my older sister Danielle. They moved back to the USA and that was that!  I like to say, soccer and sport especially became part of my DNA.

So there is something really powerful about sport, based on the story of your parents, I would assume you would agree?

Yeah, you really realize the power of athletics.  My parents would have never met, let alone started an interracial relationship at that time had it not been for sport. You have two people from completely different sides of the world with completely different upbringings, but they understood each other.

So do you have siblings? And if so did they play soccer as well?

Yes, I have three sisters and I am the second oldest. We all played soccer. I truly feel that my older sister was probably the best soccer player out of all of us. She actually broke her ankle playing competitively, so it wasn’t really something that she continued to pursue after the injury.  We all had very different temperaments and personalities. Sasha my younger sister  very much the girl picking flowers, wanting everyone to get along, my baby Erica was the strategist and I was always just very intense; a run and gun type. My father coached our teams  and I always subconsciously thought of it as an opportunity to prove to him having daughters wasn’t a consultation of any kind. It was our chance to prove to him that,having athletic daughters was a big WIN. We really tried to play very strong and I think my mother in fact  the foundation of us being strong women.

I always felt at a crossroads because I  wanted to cheerlead & dance. My parents wanted us to be able to play a sport that they felt was gonna would give us permission to take up space in an aggressive manner. Not to say you can’t do those things within the arts, but soccer is just different. Now I can appreciate that as it was very forward for women’s empowerment. I did always try to find a way to marry those two things; femininity & masculinity.  I was a player that was very assertive but I wore a ribbon in my hair while doing so. I always wanted both and I think that soccer was a way that you can still explore femininity and masculinity. That’s really cool. That’s really the way I kind of put it into perspective.

So can you talk a little about your transition from playing in college to moving into things and career off the field?

I played in college and then while I was in college, the league for women at the time both opened up and also folded. So this was a time where you knew there may be potential to play and then quickly also realized that it may be fragile.

Looking back I definitely start to recognize how fear and a  scarcity mindset can start to affect your decision making. I knew how much my family had sacrificed for me to get an education and wanted to know that I would be able to support myself financially immediately following school.  That can be intimidating, most of us had dedicated our whole life to playing.  Emotionally I decided regardless of pay I was ready to leave playing the game. I was ready to use everything that soccer taught me off the field with new challenges.  I very much recognize that there were women that I played with and I grew up playing with such as Julie Ertz, Christen Press, Kelly O’ Hara and Alex Morgan,  all women who are on the full (USWNT) team that were hungry to play. When I could witness the level of commitment that they had, I had so much respect for it, but I also knew that it was not for me to continue playing. The plan was to use the sport as a foundation and a stepping stone to build character & relationships. I left soccer in a way that respected, the sport and respected everybody that was still playing.

 So what did you study and get your degree in and how did that lead you to where you are and what you are doing today?

So when I was in school, I studied communication.  I was always interested in business but I actually started to take a communication major because we had a family friend at the time who had a very successful family company and they shared with me how the most difficult thing for them in the hiring process was finding people that really had the social skills to connect with other people. Following soccer,  I earned an internship in the spring of my senior year. IMG was a huge talent firm in sports & hospitality in San Francisco.

And while I was in school, I was asked to be in the NCAA commercial on behalf of women’s soccer. This was the first time that I was working in film and I was in my full kit, but I had hair and makeup on. I was like, what is this? What is this world? What is this about? At the time, I thought I was interested in commentating and hosting. I love film and people but wasn’t sure how I would combine the two interests.

 I will never forget, I had a meeting with Ted Griggs the now president of Comcast Sports Bay area.

He asks me, “Okay, you wake up one Sunday morning and there’s a sports section open of the newspaper and on the table next to it there’s a Vanity Fair. Which one do you pick up first? ” I didn’t even have to answer. I knew and he knew. Sports weren’t really what I wanted to do. He looked at me and said, “Go to LA, you love film, you love people, you have the tools to be successful at anything you do but sports in this capacity isn’t for you. Carry it with you, it’s a part of you but not ALL of you.”  So I left and I moved to LA. I’m so grateful for that conversation. I moved to LA, to pursue entertainment and film, and I started my first job with a modeling agency shooting lifestyle and fitness shoots while working as a remote recruiter for visual artists.

How have you seen the industry change since moving to LA as well as what have you seen change in women’s soccer since you stopped playing?

I think that technology, in general, has allowed athletes, specifically female athletes to connect to an audience and allows us as an audience to see how complex, dynamic and layered the women are.

 It’s been beautiful because we would all tune in and watch the World Cup or watch the game and we knew a player for their position. But we didn’t know their position in life. We didn’t know she was a mother, girlfriend, sister, thought leader, and advocate for things that she’s passionate about in society. I feel like it has really allowed us to see the holistic transparent beauty in a human being. It’s moving when you can know anyone’s backstory. When you know a little bit more about what moves them in the world or what fear/concern they have outside of being on the field then you become invested in them even more so.  Yes, people are more connected to their individuality, but I think that also can create a community. I think that when we can collectively appreciate individuals, it strengthens the community.

Do you see elements like players loving sneakers helping the popularity of the game grow?

I think that sneakers allow people to have conversations that maybe they wouldn’t have otherwise. Sneakers act as an ice breaker. They allow us to connect with someone that didn’t come from the same walk of life. When I see someone in this sneaker and now that allows me to have a conversation with her, to feel like she understands different parts of culture outside of her own, and vice versa that’s special.  I feel that seeing women able to show and express themselves through their sneakers can be something very intimate. This is something that we use as a tool to physically move through the world. And so I think it’s just something beautiful no matter if she’s the type of player that wants to keep her classic sneaker on her or she’s wearing something that’s like a collab or whatever it may be. She has one and there’s a story behind why she wears what she wears and what she’s drawn to. And it’s something that allows us to start to explore and be curious about each other.

To stay on the topic of sneakers, what’s your favorite to wear?

Anything that’s a knit material I really love. But also my view has changed a little bit. My father, in 2017, passed away from cancer and it changed the way I see the world. Now when I think about my favorite sneakers and I think about a classic sneaker like low top forces. For me, I’m really drawn to minimalism and focusing on less being more. How I can wear that sneaker in a versatile way is something that I really appreciate. I think that a lot of that has been shaped by life experience and for me.

That is so great, and I have to ask, on the fashion side of things what designer are you rocking the most lately?

I love Jerry Lorenzo and everything he does with Fear of God. When I see his shoes as I’m like,” Oh my goodness!” I am truly moved. What a beautiful way to merge high fashion with streetwear and make it in a timeless kind of look and style with earth tones and color palettes. I really respect that approach of mixing the minimalism and the contemporary. I love it.

Switching gears a little bit, I wanted to ask what are your about your thoughts on the importance of making the game of soccer more accessible to more communites that might have not expereinced the game before?

I think that any time you can bring a more diverse group of people together and that might mean diverse in perspective, culture, race, socioeconomic group, spirituality,  any time we can do THAT,  I find advantages to us all evolving and growing as people. I went to Santa Clara University, which is a private Jesuit university. It’s an expensive university and a beautiful one. There were not many women on the team that looked like me. I remember playing in games and having, little girls come up wanting to get my autograph and what it meant for them to be able to see me on that team.

Wherever there’s a team and a potential for resources, for finances to be made through sport, it means that those people have more opportunity, not only for them being an athlete but for them as a person. So I absolutely do feel that one of the beautiful things about soccer is that it is the biggest and most global sport and you can go to any other country and see people playing, even with a beaten up ball, on dirt fields. In comparison to other sports like wakeboarding or snowboarding or something of this nature, that requires a lot of expensive tools and equipment, soccer is accessible. I do think that is what’s so beautiful about this sport and so many people of different backgrounds are connected to it.

The more diversity that we can get to the sport, the better.  It’s also important because the conversations that happen amongst teammates and in the locker room trickle into our lives. There were times that I would have a teammate that grew up in an area where she wasn’t used to being around women that came from my culture but she and I, we loved each other. We were in the fields fighting for each other.  We had an appreciation for each other and that trickled into our friendships and to our families and it seeps into the world. There’s this beautiful flowing, essentially like a union that happens through the sport that can be continued into how we treat each other in the world.

Last questionnow that you have been away from the sport as a player for a bit—how do you see soccer having a role in your life going forward?

I personal train women that work in the creative space and want to use my background in storytelling and film to create space for us together. I am focused on MG METHOD which will be a lifestyle brand and extension of my private clientele. I’m not physically playing soccer anymore,  but missed most of all the sisterhood and being able to encourage somebody through adversity and triumph. I enjoy that. Working with the private client whether it be in training or media allows me to do that with women and still remain a teammate and supporter. I’m a system for them to have success in their life.

I also am still very much involved in acting and film. I’ll always find ways to do that. I  have been creating original content most recently and know in my heart I will continue to act. For the last couple of months, we have been training for a feature film directed by R.L. Scott, where we have action choreography. My trainer for this movie, Chyna McCoy was the body double for Morpheus in the Matrix. The interesting thing is that this has been really fascinating to also be able to use my body in new ways. I was a former Division One athlete. I can do this. I have so much respect for how movement, with regard to film and choreography,  is VERY different. I feel like a child in the sense that I am completely starting over and it’s been very new, but I am also looking forward to the potential of doing any sort of action in a movie.

WSS x KTTP PRESENTS | SHIRTS AND SKINS: DANNY WILLIAMS

For this episode of Shirts and Skins, presented by World Soccer Shop, we feature Danny Williams. The German American midfielder has featrured for the US Men’s National team, played in the bundesliga and the Premiere league and is currently playing for Pafos in the Cypriot first division, the top divison in Cyprus. His journey is documented and commemorated in his tattoos. We get to know Danny through his ink, from what it was like growing up German American to his mom battling cancer to playing across Europe and the UK to overcomming injuries and setbacks to making a comback and achieving his dream of playing in the Premeire League.

Check out the full interview and photoset below and Be sure to follow Danny on instagram @chilliams23

THE LIONS IN HARLEM: A LOOK INTO FC HARLEM W/ CHARCOAL PITCH FC

Harlem World is in the house, and this time it isn’t for how to fly and dapper someone from the neighborhood is, but instead, it’s because of its new renaissance that begins with the global sport of football. 

If you haven’t heard, there has been a movement in the neighborhood that is dedicated to using the game of soccer to provide positive impact and solutions for youth in the inner city. That movement is called F.C Harlem, led by Irv Smalls.

Irv serves as the Executive Director of the F.C Harlem L.I.O.N.S (Leaders In Our Neighborhoods), but his roots didn’t start with the sport and neither did his love for it. Irv grew up in Hershey, PA with his family where the cultural differences were undeniable. Irv grew up very active as he played various sports including soccer, baseball, and tennis, but those never really stuck out as much as the game of American football. 

“I played soccer for a little bit, it didn’t register for me, I picked it up as just something that you do instead of seeing it as something you do long term”

As he believed to have found his athletic niche, he stuck with American football throughout high school and that led him to play at the collegiate level for Penn State, a school well-known for its rich winning history and the players that the program produced that went pro.  

Smalls didn’t go on to the NFL though, instead he continued on with his education as a law student at Dickinson Law School. He then served as a victim court advocate in South Philly where a glimpse of what he would be advocating for today, was presented to him through an encounter with a student.

“And I remember I met this one brother who, you know, ran into a little altercation with some other kids at school, but like, he saw my Penn state ring and he wanted to play football. And so I just turned, we just had a  good conversation and just kind of saw the power of sports or just giving engagement today to these guys and try to inspire them to be better “

Smalls truly saw the power that sports can play so much so that he decided to start working on the business side of sports and understand what that business could do for a community. 

As he searched for jobs, he found an opening with at the time, a very young Major League Soccer (MLS) in New York. 

“I remember I saw there was a position in the legal department at Major League Soccer, and I mean it’s interesting because I still remember to this day my response, I was like, Oh my gosh, I don’t like soccer at all” 

He started working in the legal department by getting involved with contracts for players like Freddie Adu and other projects, which help him become a converted football fan. It was the 2002 World Cup that made it all make sense for him. It just happened to be a game where people that look like him were presented a platform and in that moment he realized how the sport he once didn’t care for much, could connect to his passion of working with inner city youth. 

“I was thinking about it through the lens of, you know, my passion obviously is working with inner-city kids, giving more opportunities to black and brown youth, empowering them. And I said you know what? Sports is such a powerful skill and I think this sport right here, it looks more like life than any other sport.”

The once Penn State American Football player knew that this was a goal he would have to take a shot at in order to bring forth change. As time went on Irv made contact with Ruston Harris who was running Harlem Youth Soccer, whose offices were right next door to MLS, where he started getting involved.

“I started volunteering, leveraging some of the relationships that I had at Major League Soccer, you know, for the community, for the program. And then there was a point where we were kind of thinking about, what’s the next step for it? “

Irv realized that there was a need for a promising program that would provide opportunities to the youth in Harlem for educational and professional development. After a little bit of time and a lot of research, he decided to dedicate all of his efforts to Harlem and its youth and leave MLS.

It was time for him to apply all that he had learned to his dream and connect the dots. The task was about bringing the global game to Harlem and gain both black and brown fans. The question wass how do you do that in a place where the rich culture is heavily rooted in other things?

Fast forward to the present day in the neighborhood that houses FC Harlem and that wouldn’t be the first question that comes to mind. The club has built a reputation for developing talent and providing opportunities to black and brown student-athletes. It doesn’t just stop there though, the FC Harlem Lions have formed a very strong partnership with Chelsea F.C which has also led to a featured collaboration for a white kit with Nike that is flawless. 

“And like these kids are important to me. So my approach always has been, I want the best. I don’t want hand me downs. I don’t want your shoes, I want brand new shoes. I want the nicest uniforms.I want the biggest clubs. And yeah, I’ve had a lot of people craning that can look at me like who do you think you are? Somebody that knows my value and knows my community’s value and know-how you will potentially benefit down the road. So you need to put more in. You know what I mean?”  

Exciting things are happening through FC Harlem and the stats also show how amazing the sport has been, so far 97% of all high school participants graduated, 80% of those graduates have gone to college, and since the year 2006 FC Harlem has served more than 7,000 youth across all programs, and to pay it forward to their community, all the players dedicate a minimum of 25 hours of volunteer service annually.

This is an organization truly instilling value back into the community and its people, so much so that investing in these youth isn’t a fairytale, if you don’t believe it, ask former FC Harlem Player Joseph Koroma.

Koroma now a sophomore at Manhattan College and is a Harlem native with direct roots from Sierra Leone. He has been part of FC Harlem since he was 8 years old and has developed and grown as a player and member of his community. Joseph who is now getting closer to his pro football dreams has truly shown a path of constant progression. The Harlem native was being recruited by top academies across the country, which led him to attend US Soccer Developmental Academy where he exceeded 30 goals in 40 matches and was invited into the NYCFC academy after just two seasons.

In the time spent at FC Harlem Joseph has learned about what it takes, especially when you don’t come from a background where a quick phone call to a coach lands you a spot on the roster without a trial. He has been a prime example of what dedication and also his time spent volunteering in his community can provide. He is part of something bigger than himself and that opportunity to represent his neighborhood and his people provides a huge source of motivation.

Harlem is a neighborhood full of culture, history, heritage, and known for the great people who have cultivated the great elements that have now been passed down to be nurtured.

When thinking about the history of Harlem, a few words that you can attach to it are renaissance, innovation, and hustle. Many have been drawn by the creativity and energy of this neighborhood. It continues to birth ideas, ways of life, and now solutions through sport.

“If you commit when you work in our community, that’s how your brand grows. It doesn’t grow just because you said this is who you are. So part of it was constantly like, you know what? I’m a person who’s always believed in giving youth the best that you can give them.” 

So when Irv Smalls speaks about the vision of expanding the FC Harlem blueprint from coast to coast, understand that the purpose is unique, but not unfamiliar to many inner-city youth across the country who have been left behind due to a pay to play system that steers away the love for a global sport that could change multiple lives. 

The challenge isn’t getting in touch with football legends like David Beckham or Thierry Henry, to come and get involved and inspire the youth, it is instead breaking the barriers and myths around the beautiful game that has afforded many with the opportunities to learn, travel, and give back. However, FC Harlem provides opportunities and proof of being the solution to it all, because if a place like Harlem where history runs rampant from block to block can embrace the game of football, then the world should prepare to receive newborn legends from the Black Mecca to rule the pitch and be LI.O.N.s in there own neighborhoods.

CUSTOM SOCCER KITS W/ ICARUS FC

We’ve all been there; The endless scrolling through those dull-as-brick kit templates for your Sunday League team. The same plain designs in about five colors with nothing adventurous about them. Ever wondered how you could fit your whole team with some custom threads instead? We did too. That’s how we wound up talking to Robby Smukler, the founder of Icarus Football, a custom kit design service based out of Philadelphia, USA.

Like many authentic artists, Robby gave up his 9-5 job  to pursue his passion, namely kit design. He was always interested in football, geography, and history, spending much of his youth doodling imaginary logos of cities that fascinated him. Even the origin of the company name came from Robby’s love for Greek Mythology.

Robby gives this explanation for the name:

“I thought that this crazy idea of creating custom kits would get me flying so high that eventually I would singe my wings and drown in the sea, much like the namesake Greek counterpart. And that it just sounds badass!”

Originally from Princeton, New Jersey, Robby pursued a career in politics and a job opportunity brought him to Philadelphia. When he initially arrived, he noticed most teams only had kit templates of teams that already existed. 

“There was no originality, no real identity with all these teams in a city that possesses such a vibrant football culture. It’s a tight-knit football community, and I saw and heard that there was a demand for better jerseys from other players, so I thought I’d do something about it.”

This league in question is CASA, which is the local amateur football league, is the biggest in the country featuring men’s, women’s, and co-ed teams with over 300 teams and over 10,000 players. 

Robby started with a few mock-ups for some teams in the league, found a supplier with quality materials and started to make more kits for more teams. Eventually, he invested more time into Icarus opening up the business to teams near the end of 2016. Like many artistic-endeavors-turned-businesses, he never thought to turn this passion into a legitimate career until realizing there was a real market for it. The demand was prevalent, and around January 2019, he started to receive numerous orders, to the point where he quit his day job to run Icarus full time.

“About half of my work is for clients that already have a design in mind, and my role is to make that vision come to reality. The other half is clients that have a rough idea of what they want and ask for some design input. That’s when I produce mock-ups, ranging from the conservative to absolutely wild. I prefer the latter.”

Like all startups, there were initial speed bumps that had to be smoothed out. 

“In the beginning, we sourced fabrics from different factories to see which would be best for playing. Most importantly for me, they needed to be comfortable. The first fabrics we used were comfortable but didn’t have enough ventilation, so players would sweat into the shirt and it would retain all the sweat. So I went back to the drawing board and ended on the fabric I have today, which is a 100% polyester that has micro ventilation holes for moisture release.”

Other features of the shirts include standard micro-ribbing at the sleeve cuffs and crewneck, V-Neck, Polo, and Henley collars as the standard collars for the shirts, with a drawstring or wide-spread Cuban collars coming at a premium cost. The only thing off-limits is possible trademark and copyright infringements, for example, a three-stripe design on a shirt, but everything else is fair game because he wants his clients to have exactly what they want on their kits.

“When designing for a team, I take into account the club’s colors, name, history and geography, and I aim to incorporate all of those aspects into the design of the kit. That way the kit tells the story of the club.”

The future is bright for Icarus Football, as they are the preferred uniform supplier for the aforementioned amateur league CASA, supplying kits to over twenty teams in the league. They’ve also set their sights on national dominance, aiming to make deals with teams countrywide, as well as breaking into women’s and youth teams.

The name Icarus may foreshadow an imminent doom with the melting of his wings, but at this rate it seems that Robby is destined to keep flying high as the sun allows him. Godspeed.

Photos By: @trey.madara

A FOREST STORY: A PITCH TURNED INTO NATURAL ART

A tree grows in Austria. With the imagination of artist Max Peinter used as blueprint, a team led by organizer Klaus Littman brought the eerie pencil drawing, “The Unending Attraction of Nature”,  into physical form.  FOR FOREST serves as a warning wrought in the middle of a football pitch and will only run for a few more days.  

The striking visual of FOR FOREST includes 300 trees, each weighing around six tons standing, swaying at center pitch of the Wörthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt, Austria. This exhibition is Austria’s largest. As in the original drawing, it’s curious how the trees hold an eerie reign over the pitch, reminding the viewer of a time looming, as Littman puts it, “that one day the naturalness of nature could be admired in its specially assigned vessels, as is already the case today with animals in zoos.” 

When asked about the installation’s purpose or intended commentary Littman stated, 

“It is an invitation to reflect.”

There is indeed a reverence present amidst the trees—a quiet that pervades a space artificially bustling with life.

The original piece is a thought experiment that brings questions of sustainability and spectacle to the forefront: What if forests weren’t accessible anymore? Once the rise of industry and pollution has removed nature from its natural state, where do the trees go? Where do we go to see them? For all the excruciating detail brought to life, Littman’s 2019 exhibition does not seek an answer. Instead, he is content in adding dimension to the original questions asked.

It should be noted that inside the exhibition grounds, football appears not as the focal point, but as coincidence—the matter of fact around the spectacle. It acts as a shield with its modern metal columns and stadium beams as a skeleton for nature on life support. Littman commented as much, “The architecture of the stadium offers the ideal conditions for this and emphasizes the dignity of the object. It strongly emphasizes the contrast between artificial and natural: on one side the man-made stadium with its steel, glass and concrete, and on the other the colourful and living forest.” 

For all the complaints about modern football, FOR FOREST paves ample runway for grievances even more severe. Here, football plays equal parts protector, captor and museum archiver with the joys of nature doled out in 90 min increments to the select few. There is some grand parallel about the joy of football being as vital as the joy of life itself, but we’d be better served contemplating how to stop burning the trees, lest the modernization of the football turn into the very least of our concerns.


The warning persists until the end of the month. FOR FOREST is open to the public through the end of October.

IT’S IN THE MUSIC: BEHIND THE SOUNDTRACK OF EA SPORTS FIFA

“How do you find your music?”

When asked this simple, unassuming question, many of us find ourselves lost in the plethora of selection we have today: Streaming services, impromptu gigs, radio (yes that still exists). We here at KTTP have two sources to curate our musical libraries: FIFA soundtracks and everything else.

To appreciate just how far the FIFA soundtracks have come, we go back to the game’s first ever tracklist from FIFA: Road to World Cup 98: Composed of six songs, four of them by The Crytsal Method. Compare that to the most recently launch ensemble featuring 41 artists from 17 different countries, spanning from indie gems to certified stars.

The musical roots of the original soundtracks were based in electronic and punk rock in the forms of Fatboy Slim and Blur. Over time, the progression of new and alternative genres in mainstream music has led to the soundtrack to include hip-hop, rock, house music, and Latin tunes. But it’s not just that the FIFA soundtrack seems to catch music trends at the most opportunistic times, it seems like they find musicians right as they are about to elevate their careers, like featuring Madeon in FIFA 13 right as he was starting to be invited to play at Ultra Music Festival, Coachella, Lollapalooza and Electric Daisy Carnival.

The music’s importance to the game is unparalleled. It is public knowledge that any self-respecting FIFA player spends just as much time selecting a team, negotiating transfers, and tinkering formations as actually playing the game. The tunes that we hear while enjoying this clinical work are imperative to keep us sharp while chasing Champions League glory in Career Mode at 3AM in the morning. How many times have we woken up our roommates with cheers of delight when we complete the purchase of a U19 player with 90 rated potential?

Each song is carefully curated so that it puts you in an absolute mood when you’re sorting through menu interfaces and instructing wingers to cut inside in your lineups. Before long you’ll find yourself humming along to tunes you’ve never heard before and whip out your phone to Shazam the track.

So many artists both big and small have benefitted greatly from being included in this annual celebration of lyrical indulgence, and the legacy of the soundtrack will continue to grow. As long as FIFA players have menus to navigate and teams lineups to format, the soundtrack will enhance, nay, become the focal point, of the electronic football experience.

To celebrate the launch of FIFA 20, we have selected our top 20 tracks of all time from the game’s legendary melodies. May they ring loud and true during your Wednesday night FIFA tournaments:

  1. Andreya Triana – Beautiful People
  2. Billie Eilish – you should see me in a crown
  3. BØRNS – Faded Heart
  4. Lorde – Supercut
  5. Disclosure – Omen feat. Sam Smith
  6. Icona Pop – Emergency
  7. AVICII – The Nights
  8. Kygo – Raging feat. Kodaline
  9. Smallpools – Dreaming
  10. The 1975 – The City
  11. Fitz And The Tantrums – Spark
  12. Youngblood Hawke – We Come Running
  13. Chromeo – Don’t Turn The Lights On
  14. The Naked & Famous – Punching In A Dream
  15. Duffy – Mercy
  16. MGMT – Kids
  17. Peter Bjorn and John – Young Folks
  18. Jamiroquai – Feels Just Like it Should
  19. A-Trak – Push (Featuring Andrew Wyatt)
  20. Sante Les Amis – Brasil