UNDFTD’S TRIBUTE TO BRIANA SCURRY

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Briana Scurry paved the way for future generations of African American talent on the USWNT. The starting goaltender for the 1999 World Cup U.S. Women’s National Team is not only the first African-American woman in the National Soccer Hall of Fame, not only the first female goalie chosen for the Hall but also the first woman to be featured on UNDFTD’s billboard on La Brea.

Beginning her soccer career at the age of 12 in Dayton, Minnesota, Scurry was already breaking barriers then, being the only African-American and the only girl on the team. Her coach at the time, placed her in goal to avoid her getting hurt by the other boys. After that, she took that spot and ran with it. She continued to play at the varsity level at Anoka High School and was a scholarship athlete for the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. And it was in 1993, that the U.S. women’s national team coach, Tony DiCicco, called her in about playing goalkeeper for the team.

Fast forward to 1999, when women’s soccer in the U.S. started reaching peak levels with a record 90,000 spectators filling the Rose Bowl to watch the U.S. take on China in a World Cup match that some will never forget. During that match, Scurry is most remembered for her cross-net deflection of China’s Liu Ying’s spot kick that set up Brandi Chastain’s game-winning penalty-kick-to-shirtless-slide succession.

Twenty years later, that same heart and passion got Briana on an iconic billboard, on one of the busiest streets in Los Angeles with a little help from UNDFTD. We talked to Evelynn Escobar-Thomas, the Social Media Manager at UNDFTD on their thoughts behind the billboard.

 

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 07: World Cup champion Briana Scurry of the 1999 United States Women's National Team makes a halftime appearance during the game against Belgium at Banc of California Stadium on April 07, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Denise:

You mentioned hearing stories about your uncle playing for the Guatemalan national team. How strong was your connection to the sport before this and what did your family say when they heard you were working on the project?

Evelynn:

I’ve always viewed it from the outside, I never actually played the sport but being involved with this project, my cousins were always in the back of my head. As this was unfolding, I definitely texted them saying, “Omg! Guess what happened?” So, it was cool to do something meaningful for a community I’ve always admired.

Denise:

You’re half Guatemalan-half African American. How do interject both cultures in your role?

Evelynn:

I feel like it drives everything. Being from two communities who are historically marginalized, I’ve always challenged myself to push boundaries and tell stories that aren’t commonly told.

Denise:

And that same heart, that same mentality brought us the billboard. Talk to us about that story and your role behind it.

PASADENA, : US goalkeeper Briana Scurry (L) lunges as she stops the penalty kick by Liu Ying of the Chinese soccer team in a shoot-out at the end of their game in the finals of the Women’s World Cup at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California 10 July 1999. The US team scored all of their five penalty shots to win the game. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO/HECTOR MATA (Photo credit should read HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images)

Evelynn:

We had the opportunity because of the 2019 World Cup. Nike wanted us to activate as a brand around it in a larger way and one of those components they asked us if we could use the [UNDFTD] billboard to help tell a story. Initially that was met with a lot of reservations because the UNDFTD billboard is such an iconic landmark for the brand. There’s never any marketing on it. It’s always an artistic take [on it]. It’s always a take on what’s happening in society right now. So, when they asked us that, at first, it was met with shock value to the team because it sounded like a big marketing plan. But, I’ve always had that vision and said we do artful takes on a number of things and there’s no reason we can’t do an artful take on this. There are so many big stories in women’s soccer that haven’t been told or put in a mainstream light. So, the lightbulb went on for me and I said we have to do this because it would be so meaningful. After that, I took it upon myself to get inspiration images to send over and get the ball rolling. From those, I had a photo of the 99ers, with the whole team, a photo of Michelle Akers, Mia Hamm, the classic Brandi Chastain sports bra photo, and a photo of Briana Scurry saving the goal in that same game [against China’s Liu Ying]. Obviously knowing my background, I wanted to get Briana from the get-go. For me it was operation: Get Briana On That Billboard. Just because she has insane talent, an incredible story, and the fact that it hasn’t been told in a bigger way. Growing up, I looked up to Mia Hamm but had I been presented with Briana Scurry in that same light, who knows what that would’ve done for me. So I had that responsibility. Obviously this was going to be big period because we haven’t had a female athlete on the billboard but I can really push the envelope and make sure that we blow it out of the park.

Denise:

Wow. That’s beautiful and so inspiring. What was the battle you were fighting when really leading with Briana during all these conversations?

Evelynn:

I think, leading with the fact that she was the first black woman inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame, I think that really made it click with everyone. After I presented the images I pulled up, they had to go through approval and one of our owners, James Bond, he narrowed it down to Brandy [Chastain] and Briana [Scurry] but he proposed the photo that is now on the billboard that’s the one he came back and said, “hey, let’s do this.” After that, I was so happy and taken aback because I didn’t think that they would want to have a big, prominent image like that on the billboard concerning this ask [by Nike], so I was super happy and down for that image change. But obviously, we had two options, and for me, had we presented the Brandy Chastain photo to Nike and Briana Scurry photo, they were going to go with Brandy because it’s the most commercial, safe and commonly known pic so I told them we can’t even give [Nike] that option. We can only give them Briana and if they come back, then we have another option but we’re not leading with two. We’re just going to give them Briana and tell them, “this is what it is” and hopefully it goes through and thankfully it did. But even then, I heard that there was a little questioning on [Nike’s] side, saying well is this what we should be going with but everything said and done, we got her up there and it was amazing. I knew there was potential for some trouble getting it up there because even though she has an amazing story, there’s still those things that we have to fight today about being commercial and being this and being that.

Denise:

I love that you used your platform and your voice for something bigger! What’s been the feedback you’ve received from people about the billboard?

Evelynn:

The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, a lot of gratitude around it. I knew how big it would be to get her on the billboard from the get-go but I didn’t really know the gravity of how huge and how much it would affect other people. So that was overwhelming in the best possible way. At the end of the day, this really has nothing to do with me. I’m just thankful that I was able to use my voice and fight for something that I knew was important and that mattered and to be able to have actually done that. This really is about her story. It’s about inspiring the next generation. It’s specifically about inspiring young women of color and even more specifically about inspiring young Black girls to be able to see someone in such a prominent space like the La Brea billboard and say “I can do that too” or “I want to be like Briana Scurry.” You never know who’s going to see that and internalize it and go off and do great things in the world with it. And other people shared the same sentiment too like Union for instance through a ton of support behind it. And also see to brands like Kicks To The Pitch who are prominent in the soccer community give recognition. That was really cool and I’m just thankful I could play a role in getting it done.

Denise:

I gotta ask, have you had a chance to meet Briana or have you heard her say anything about it?

Evelynn:

Yes! It was a super overwhelming moment in the best way possible. I went to the USA vs Belgium friendly that they had here, I saw you there! You remember how Nike had the whole little thing and walk right over? So I got there really late with a group of friends and we hadn’t eaten and we heard there was food inside but they were kicking everyone out. We went against their wishes and went inside and then when I went inside I see one of our counterparts from Nike and she comes up to me, it was Rachel who by the way also had a huge hand in helping getting this up on the billboard. She definitely fought on her end, I fought on my end and we made sure we got it up there. But she was actually with Briana and tells me “hey Evelynn, I actually want you to meet someone” and then here it is — Briana Scurry. I was so taken back and totally caught off guard. And so then we had a whole conversation and she also had that same sentiment about the billboard. She said “thank you, thank you for telling my story. This is a huge deal when it comes to showing the younger generation what’s possible and on the role model front, this is major.” So the fact that we both felt it on a deeper level, for me that just sealed the deal. For one, being proud to have a role in it but two for knowing that the meaning was not lost. Even Briana herself felt it and knew what this meant and that was just amazing.

So, in closing, when you think of legendary women’s soccer players, Briana Scurry is one of the names you have to put on the list first. The way she played exudes excellence, and her excellence inspired a nation. Follow Evelynn at @Evemeetswest

ART TO THE PITCH W/ STEPH MORRIS

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Steph Morris is an artist from Manchester currently living in London. Using the traditional combination of pencil on paper, her work showcases the perfect union of skill and heart to create timeless classics. Her love for football and sneakers started when she was a kid and she tells about how the football classics are part of her work today.

Follow Steph @stephfmorris

Can you tell us a little about who you are and where you are from?

My name is Steph Morris and I am an artist from a small place called Chorley, just outside Manchester. To be honest, I never really took drawing very seriously as a young child growing up. It was mostly just something I did as a hobby. Of course I enjoyed it. It was fun for me, it was a way to release, but yeah, it was all very accidental how I got into it. 

I was kind of stuck around my 20s, didn’t really know what to do with my life. So I nearly dropped out of uni, but one of my tutors asked me ‘Why don’t you try drawing? Because we can see, you know, that you are interested in that’. So I was like, I’ll give it a go, see what happens. And that really sparked the idea that I could maybe do this for a living. 

Before that time I had no idea that you can actually make money from drawing, which is crazy. Lots and lots of young people don’t know that and I think that’s really sad. So I’d love to go and visit some local schools and talk about career pathways as it’s such a shame that young people who are creative and love drawing think that they need to give up on that dream. I’m quite passionate about that. 

When you started what were you drawing?

It wasn’t sneakers. I started drawing portraits and really weird things like messed up teeth and  injuries on hands. It was always very detailed though, so that was always my style. I’d love to capture as much detail as possible. Through that process I kind of learned how to make something come to life on the page. It was through that process of hours and hours of practice and drawing that helped me learn and develop my own style. And that’s pretty how I got to where I am now.

When was your first published work? 

Oh, good question. After I graduated from uni, I graduated within a graphic design course, I started working at size? at their head office doing graphic design work. They knew I could draw because when I had the interview, I supported my application with the drawing side. They had me do an illustrated campaign for Reebok. That was my first major gig and I was so excited about that. I think I ended up doing four drawings for them in the campaign that supported the release of the shoes. So yeah, I was really stoked about that. They supported me in that aspect. They always allowed me to explore my illustration side so that was really cool of them.

 

Such a great story so far, really nice to hear how you got started. So how did your connection to football start?

I actually love football. I used to play for the Blackburn Rovers girls when I was younger, so I would always be playing matches every Sunday. and kicking a ball around with the boys. I think football and football culture has had an influence on my work as well. 

How would you describe that? 

It’s all about the fans, the people who are so passionate about their team. There’s a huge nod towards fashion within football as well. And that nostalgic feeling that you get with football and following a team. That’s something that I always try to tap in on really. 

I love looking back and remembering iconic moments in football that takes me back to being a child. That’s why I drew the 98 World Cup jersey from David Beckham, because I remember that like it was yesterday. I think that football has the power to do that… it can connect an audience as well, because it’s a great conversational starter and everyone appreciates those iconic moments in football. So I think it’s a really special sport. It’s why it’s definitely my favorite sport. 

What inspires your style when it comes to football? Or is it tied to to those big football moments like England playing the Euro’s?

I think it’s more to do with looking back, because I unfortunately can’t play football anymore. I’ve had many knee surgeries, so I stopped. But when I think back to playing football I just feel this nostalgia about my worn out World Cup series boots that I used to wear. I remember the shin pads and the battered up goalie gloves. You know, the kind of things that you can almost smell. It’s the memory that sparks when you see something visual and that’s what I try and tap into. And that’s why I love to draw special objects that you will look at and think, oh wow, I remember that.

Which players and maybe his style was remarkable to you? 

Good question. I think one of the biggest is probably David Beckham. I was always a massive fan of classic iconic players really, not just English. I admired Henry, Zidane, Ronaldo. Those players kind of molded my memories of football and I always remember admiring their fancy footwork on TV. And obviously David Beckham is a huge, huge style icon, even today.

Who are your favorite teams? 

Uh, well, my team is Blackburn Rovers. Been supporting them since I was a kid. I also have a massive soft spot for Arsenal. I always liked watching players such as Bergkamp and Thierry Henry. Great and classic players who I used to admire back in the days.

When did your love for sneakers begin?

I mean that’s always been there to be honest. When I was a kid, probably around 10. I used to get pocket money which I would save up and buy trainers with. And you know, I wasn’t interested in magazines and makeup, like all the girls were. I would just go into sport shops and see all the sneakers and think ‘Oh, wow, that’s such a cool pair, I’m gonna buy them next’. It kinda started from there really. I’ve always kept hold of sneakers and my collection is pretty big now. It’s what makes me happy. Just happiness. That’s it.

Maybe it all started with David Beckham and now we are in 2019. How do you feel that football, streetwear and style are connected?

I think roughly everything is interlinked, and I think that that has made its way into streetwear as well. The high-tech/high performance category has taken influence massively. It’s a new kind of product that we’re looking at. The old clunky form has made way for super sleek. I have drawn quite a few football boots and looking at the modern day football boots compared to the more classic football boots, there’s such a huge difference. And I think that represents how time has moved along.

How do you see yourself going from here? Or maybe what’s your dream when it comes to your work?

I’m actually planning a series on iconic football shirts. I’m going to be producing some of the most iconic football shirts and in color and life size as well. So pretty big. What I always try and achieve with my work is a connection. Obviously football is a huge sport, so many people who are passionate about it will have stories to tell. I just want to get that across in my work. A pair of beaten up football boots or a shirt that looks a bit tatty and worn, for me that tells such a cool story. It’s super interesting and people can relate to the work. So I’m definitely going to explore that going forward.

How do you feel that the women’s game evolved? 

I mean, obviously I’m a huge advocate for women’s football and I think it’s great. It’s absolutely fantastic. I still don’t think we need to call it ‘Women’s football’, just football. I’ve been to see lots of women’s games myself and the quality is fantastic. It’s something that is becoming much more accepted which is great. Even the difference from when I used to play until now is massive. It’s amazing that we now have positive role models such as Steph Houghton and Toni Duggan who young girls can look up to. I still think there’s a long way to go in terms of pay and equality, but at least it’s improving.

Anything you would like to add to your story?

Like I tell the students, just believe in yourself. Just be confident, go out there and grab whatever dream you have. And believe me, it is possible. Because five years ago, I was that kid who had dreams of doing what I’m doing now and I’m actually doing it. So I think the most important thing is to work hard, keep your head down and just stay in your lane and anything is achievable.

Rapid Fire Questions:

Top 3 sneakers 

• Travis Scott ‘Cactus Jack’

• Parra AM1

• Sean Wotherspoon AM1/95

Sneaker shop

• SNS

Clothing

• Oi Polloi or END

Food

• Padella, THE best pasta!

WSS x KTTP PRESENTS | SHIRTS AND SKINS: DEANDRE YEDLIN

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For the premiere of Shirts and Skins we sit down with Deandre Yedlin of the US Men’s National Team and the Premier League’s Newcastle United. DeAndre takes us through his tattoo journey from his first tattoo to the one he regrets the most and caps it off with giving us his three favorite pieces. We explore the inspiration and the stories behind the art. Check out the episode and photoset below.

SPECIAL REPORT: SOCCER IN THE “A”

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In this three-part special report, we delve into what’s happening with soccer in Atlanta. We take a look at the game in the A through the eye of influential people in the worlds of sneakers, art, music, and fashion. Soccer is reaching into areas in Atlanta that it never has before, and the culture that is growing in the city is something different than what has been seen up until this point in the US.

When you see soccer pitches at the metro station, hip-hop icons in the stands, 70,000+ fans in those stands, and a fan base that reflects what is arguably the “blackest city in America”; the soccer culture on and off the pitch in ATL is unique to the Dirty South. It is only fitting that the team took care of business and brought home the cup.

Special thanks to Wish ATL(Pat), Vera Zeigler, Mo Hairston Waka Flocka, Whoo Kid for taking the time to chat.

PART 1


 

PART 2


 

PART 3


WATCH 5 CREATIVES UNITE UNDER THEIR LOVE FOR SOCCER

Soccer, football, the beautiful game – whatever you want to call it – yet again unites those with a passion towards the sport outside of the game itself. Creators of the Game is an ongoing mini-series presented by Red Bull that sees soccer bringing together five different artists, each with their own unique background and style. Featured in the above episode is LA-based artist Joshua Vides, top U.S. soccer freestyler Indi Cowie, Miami hip-hop artist Twelve’len, street photographer Jenny Abrams, and street artist ABSTRK, all of which share in-depth their own personal stories and experience surrounding the game. Hit play to watch the seven and a half minute-long video, then be sure to keep tabs on the channel for more episodes to come.

OG GRAFFITI LEGEND SABER TALKS ART AND SOCCER

Art and soccer go hand-in-hand – that’s obvious. We see the marriage displayed on our favorite soccer jerseys, we see it on posters, campaigns, and art projects from a novice fan to a recognized artist… there’s art even found in how the beautiful game is even played – many argue that soccer itself is a form of artistic dance. Does it lie in the beauty of art though? Or in the beauty of the game? Perhaps both! Either way, it’s a marriage we always enjoy, no matter the genre, so when we heard OG graffiti legend Saber was involved in adidas Football’s recent Energy Mode X18 event here in Los Angeles, we jumped at the chance to speak with the man to get his thoughts on the relationship between art and soccer, as well as how and why he’s particularly involved, where he would like to see the shared cultures going in the future, and much more.


So, to start, what’s your relationship with soccer?
The first thing I can say is that I played soccer when I was about five… I don’t know shit. I know nothing. World Cup? WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? I don’t know what it is. Football… Futbol? Okay… I’ve always appreciated the sport, but then I get sucked into this gig and I’m like okay cool, let’s go! So then I start researching – I didn’t really know much about ‘street league,’ I don’t know about a Tango League – I didn’t know anything about this… But I start seeing videos, I start seeing what these kids are doing and the energy, the technical aspects of how talented these kids are, and I thought it was really cool, man. There’s a lot of energy behind it and I thought that was really moving. When I saw the momentum and saw the energy, I thought that was really cool. It seems like something that’s very positive. I like that it’s aggressive. I also like that it can get aggressive, that it’s pretty hardcore. It can get pretty intense. With street soccer and graffiti, we’re all kind part of being born out of concrete to a certain degree, and I think the competitive spirit might be similar. I don’t do graffiti much anymore – I’m too old and have kids and shit like that, but back in the day we were always are unstoppable.

That’s how people are describing soccer players now: as being “unstoppable.”
Yeah, I was unstoppable back then!. Nothing could stop me, nothing!

So back then, did you see any sort of marriage between the street art/graffiti world and soccer? Do you see it happening now?
Well honestly, for me those worlds didn’t even combine. They didn’t even exist together. So I think adidas, with their efforts and the Tango league and street soccer aspect, it’s nice to see adidas sponsoring these things and making these things happen. It’s only going to grow, and these kids are very competitive! So yeah, clearly they’re going to grow the sport and grow it into something bigger and maybe America will embrace “football” as opposed to [American] “football.” I don’t even watch it. I like violence, so I like watching jujitsu and people killing each other. Other than that, I don’t follow sports and I don’t have time… I’m too caught up with other stuff. But still, I think the energy is very similar and I think what translates that energy is when you have the fashion, you have the momentum of it. You have that action, and I think there are similarities between soccer and art with that.

You can look at other countries where it’s easier to see both cultures of street soccer and graffiti side-by-side – both born from the streets. I mean, you go to a place like Brazil and you’ll have a pickup game on the streets amidst a whole bunch of graffiti, some kids partaking in both. Is that something you’d like to see more of in America?
Absolutely. I would love to see that. That seems to be a more healthy environment. We were born out of the gang mentality. So we didn’t really want to open up to anybody, you know? We kept to ourselves. I think this could be a good bridge – a cultural bridge – between the two worlds and more: music, skateboarding, streetwear… anything really!

RICH THE KID, SABER & MORE AT ADIDAS’ X18+ WC EVENT IN LA

While the world is aware that brands like to put in money and effort into their campaign events, it’s safe to say that as of late adidas has risen the bar, especially with what they’ve done out here in Los Angeles – their 747 event for basketball back in February being a prime example. Last week the sportswear giant went at it again for its soccer division to celebrate its latest innovation for the sport, coinciding of course with the 2018 World Cup. If you’ve been following us – and any other soccer-orientated platform for that matter – you’ll already be well aware of adidas Soccer’s X18+ silhouette, a slim and sleek, laceless offering that focuses on the power of speed. It’s been dubbed “the fastest and lightest laceless boot available.”

Highlighting its release, the X18+ Energy Mode event brought in crowds to experience a live customization of adidas soccer kits, enjoy the open bars and food courtesy of Sweet Chick, and to witness a live Tango League with an MVP to be chosen to win a trip to Russia to compete in the global Tango League final. Rolling up to the event, which took place at adidas’ The Base location in Los Angeles – yup, the same as where we hold our The Association game nights – we were set loose to enjoy all the aforementioned happenings and then some.

While soccer was very much the main focus of the day, adidas managed to mix in music and art with the beautiful game by inviting OG Graffiti legend Saber, who conducted a live art installment that saw him spray painting over a wall of soccer balls, each being handed out to the public along with a Saber signature. The main event, however, was when adidas brought out Queens-native Rich the Kid who got the crowd into a frenzy. To cap the night off, a squad of motorbike riders tore up the cement outside – from wheelies to donuts – all in a bid to create some near-deafening noise to celebrate the Tango League MVP winner: Melvyn Owen Perez Cortez – congrats, kid!

While we managed to enjoy ourselves at the event, if there’s a work opportunity, you know we’ll take it, so we asked adidas if they could sit us down with its soccer division’s merchandising manager Joseph Sleven to talk all things X18+, as well as his thoughts on the current landscape of soccer culture. Check out the interview below, as well as our official visual recap of the event throughout.



To start, can you summarize adidas’ new X18 Energy Mode pack for those that are still unfamiliar with the innovation?
Put it frankly, the thought process behind the design of the shoe was to build something for the fastest player possible, down to the look, down to the field, down to the weight. Everything about it is supposed to enable our most explosive – our fastest players – to perform at their top level.

So there’s obviously a lot of aspects when it comes to playing soccer in terms of product design. Why focus on speed for this release?
When we create the range, and when we look at our footwear, there’s any number of players that take part or participate in the game. So for us, the predator is that person who controls the game, they dictate the tempo, their touch, their field or class… everything they do can kind of permeate throughout the team. X players are extremely explosive with getting to the end of the pitch and putting the ball in the back of the net. Nemesis is for those agility players who are really unpredictable – they don’t really fit into a box. Maybe they’re floating around the field but they have these moments of magic that you can’t recreate. And then the Copa is the boot. It’s the soccer player… It’s almost your favorite player’s favorite boot. So everything within that portfolio speaks to different players of the game recognizing that no two players are the same.

Can you speak about the thoughts behind the X18+’s colorway and the overall aesthetics of the shoe?
Well, first and foremost it needed to look fast and speak specifically to that speed player. So you look at its sleek minimalistic design and all these elements which are kind of pulling back and giving it that almost movement visual – even when it’s stagnant it looks like it’s moving. That’s what we want for the speed silo. When we talk about the flash you have these iridescent parts at the branding, as well as on the sole of the shoe. When we talk about colorway, again when you’re on the field you want it to pop. You want something that really jumps out. So this blue is really shocking, it kind of jumps out at you and it really speaks to this silo because it’s like nothing else within the footwear family right now. When we talk about being fashion-forward, with bringing it on to the street or into the cage, the fact that it’s laceless for us is our top technology. We wanted that to be something that also lent itself to being worn with shorts or as you can see in the cage. It doesn’t just necessarily have performance tooling only. There’s a lot of, I would say, fashionable detailing in there, whether it be raises where there would be lasing, or for that speed look, we’ve given it that see-through aesthetic on the upper, or even the flash on the bottom. So a lot of things come from just thinking through the 365 of what our players’ day looks like.

Moving on from the X18+, with you coming from adidas, how aware are you with the way that soccer is going on a cultural standpoint, or what it looks like when it comes to say fashion, music, or art? Is that something that adidas is very much up to date with?
Absolutely. I think that’s really what they look at when they’re putting everything together. So even beyond cleats, take for instance jerseys, we look at that and recognize that these aren’t just specific to playing on the pitch. We’re looking at the hem line, looking at shoulder drop lines, the technology, and those tech details, or even call outs for that country specifically, those are things that we feel lives on the pitch as well as off the pitch. So it’s recognizing that again, soccer is 365 for people who live, breathe, eat, and sleep the sport. And beyond that, when you look at what we’re offering, it’s not just cleats, it’s not just performance jerseys. We have seasonal specialty product that is bespoke to Argentina or Mexico, but it’s really for the street specifically. Maybe not for an avid consumer, but somebody who recognizes that they are a casual fan of this club and that they can wear that shirt, they can wear the pants or the woven shorts, creating a whole offering across every federation, across every club that allows you to rep no matter the circumstances – after, before, or during a game. We’re looking at product holistically now through that lens of the entire year and day.

Last question: speaking of repping, with the World Cup underway, do you have a country that you’re rooting for?
For me specifically, I mean I would love to see Messi get one, right! But honestly, as a fan of the sport, I just want good games. I want to see just incredible moments, the ones that give you chills and that keep you wanting more, and I think when you put the best countries in the world together, you’re going to get those moments inevitably. So I’m just really looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds.

Images by Ben Higginbotham.

SOCCER IS A CREATIVE TOOL, LET’S USE IT

The 2026 FIFA World Cup vote declared a join hosting effort between the US, Mexico and Canada. This has provided a major opportunity for the North American soccer scene to cultivate not only future national team stars, but a bustling creative scene offering a special dimension to the World’s biggest game.

adidas has revealed a content piece aiming to inspire a young and creative generation to embrace the opportunity that has risen with North America getting the 2026 World Cup. The film was created in Los Angeles and highlights that adidas look to collaborate with local artists and storytellers.

But what does the mean for the game itself? Soccer is much more than just what occurs on the pitch, it’s a culture and a lifestyle that many live through on a daily basis. And this is what adidas is looking to capture during this film, showing that is a tool that can be used to enhance the lives of young talented creators who want to find a route into the game they love.

The new campaign focused on the North America World Cup is a brand extension of adidas’ Creativity is the Answer, which calls filmmakers, photographers, artists and more from major cities around the world to co-create and shape the brand narrative.

Giovanni Reyna told adidas, “being creative on the field helps the rest of the country want to play the game and want to enjoy the game.” A resonating statement from the young NYCFC player because adidas is calling to embrace the creativity and if you do, it inspires others to create themselves.

“I think creativity is a way to connect to other people, it allows people to connect to each other and how can we push each other to be creative, says local artist Geoff Gouveia and this seems to be what adidas’ are tapping in to, to show that a wave of creativity in various sectors can develop the effort on the pitch for the national sides.

Soccer is synonymous with art. It’s a beautiful form of self-expression and creativity allowing you to provide an image that represents yourself, a brand or a cause. And this needs to be capitalised on more from global brands. There is a major opportunity for young creators to provide something special for the World Cup, showcasing what North America has to offer creatively and using this flow can really draw on the emotions of the nations’ soccer teams to really enhance belief and performance.

This creative movement that adidas’ is looking to kick-start is something that can inspire a younger generation of soccer players themselves. Not only are they calling for artists, filmmakers and other creative professions, but for the player themselves to get creative. Play with freedom. Play with belief. Play with creativity. And using a creative revolution like they are, a forceful effort can be employed to inspire the players and improve the talent generated.

For more information visit http://www.adidas.com/us/soccer and join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram with #HereToCreate.

YOU NEED TO EAT AT PUMA & BVB’S FOOD TRUCK

Bridging the gap between soccer, art, and food, sportswear giant PUMA teams up with German football club Borussia Dortmund – or BVB for short – and Foodbeast to create a unique food truck that serves reimagined German street food with a Los Angeles twist. Dubbed the BVB Food Truck, the collaboration will be running the streets of LA for a limited time only that’s well worth seeking out.

Why, you ask? Because you’ll be able to order insanely scrumptious sounding dishes like currywurst burritos, curry chicken grilled cheese sandwiches, schnitzel sandwich, and curry cheese fries to name a few. You’d be insane not to try everything at least five times. The truck itself comes courtesy of local LA food truck, The Berlin Truck, which has been completely redesigned on its facade by OG street artist DEFER.

Showcasing the BVB Food Truck at its wurst behavior is yours truly in conjunction with our good friends Foodbeast, a food and drinks website that you should also be following. We’ve put together a quick video that highlights the elements behind PUMA and BVB’s effort, giving you a visual taste of what you’ll be getting when you visit the truck at one of its many stops around the City of Angels. The BVB Food Truck will only be spinning its wheels for one week, so make sure you check out its location schedule below to ensure you hit each and every stop.


May 18
Time: 12am – 12pm
Place: Common Space LA
Address: 3411 W. El segundo Blvd., Hawthorne CA 90250

May 19
Time: 11-1:00p
Place: S.S. Lane Victory
Address: 1945 Merchant Marine Ship, Berth 49, 3600 Miner Street, San Pedro

TIme: 4:30-10:00P
Place: 10 Mile Brewery Address:1136 E Willow st, Signal Hill, 90755

May 21
Time: 11-1:30
Place: Ocean & 31st
Address: 2929 31st St., Santa Monica, CA 90405

2:30 – 4pm
Place: Niky’s Sports
Address: 11807 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

May 22
Time: 11-2pm
Place: Tri Centre Food Trucks
Address: 650 E Hospitality Ln, San Bernardino

Time: 5 – 10pm
Place: GAME
Address: 3939 Figueroa St, Los Angeles CA 90037 (Parking Lot Across the Figueroa st Entrance Banc of California Stadium)

May 23
Time: 11-2pm
Place: Heritage Corporate Center
Address: 10350 Heritage Park Dr, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670

Time: 4-10p
Place: Common Space LA
Address: 3411 W. El segundo Blvd., Hawthorne CA 90250


FLOWERS & FOOTBALL – A MATCH MADE IN ARTISTIC HEAVEN

To commemorate adidas Football’s release of the international away kits in March, Kicks to the Pitch mixed foreign with familiar.

As the Los Angeles flower market is a staple to locals, fashionable kits are a statement in soccer. To honor the tradition of each, the jerseys were paired with flowers to highlight the unique colors and designs featured from each country. Arguably the best designs in the entire drop are featured below, including Argentina, Colombia, Japan, Germany, Mexico, Russia and Spain. The colors are vibrant and bold, fresh and unexpected from adidas, with eye-catching designs that complement the traditional three stripes from the brand. The subtle details and patterns on each jersey blossomed into something beautiful with each as unique and tasteful as the last. The integrity of the kits remains the same – the country’s crest on one side and adidas’ distinguished logo on the other. The jerseys will make their appearance at the World Cup this year, which kicks off June 14th in Russia.

Check out the photos by Emily Acosta below: