THE ASSOCIATION SEASON 2 | FUTSAL MEETS LIFESTYLE

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We live in a beautiful time where soccer and culture are overlapping more than ever. The unique ethos of the beautiful game and everything that surrounds it continues to evolve with people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives shaping its culture and helping it grow. 

There is no better example of the collision of soccer and culture than the Los Angeles based soccer league, The Association. Born out of a desire to grow the sport through culture, The Association blends the best of music, art, and fashion with some of LA’s best brands and most influential social media personalities.

Started in 2018, the goal of The Association was to create the most dynamic and interesting soccer league in the United States. A league that wasn’t based solely on the competitiveness on the pitch but the culture and the people vying to make soccer more than just a game but a culturally diverse movement. The Association has become a hub for LA’s creative community that also happens to have a deep love for the beautiful game.

In the second installment of the league, The Association has brought back six original teams from season one (Beats by Dre, Complex, SpaceX, 424 on Fairfax, Niky’s Sports and Dash Radio) and added two new teams for season two (ShoeSurgeon and Guess). These brands represent some of the best that LA has to offer in terms of tech, fashion, media, music, and retail. And as diverse as the teams are, each of them shares a deep love for soccer, the culture and they all have a desire to help grow the sport not only in Los Angeles but across the US.

Each team in the league is given the opportunity to flex their creative muscles and design one of a kind kits that can only be seen on Association game nights—custom made kits by SpaceX, The Shoe Surgeon, 424, Guess and other paragons in their fields. These uniforms have helped drive the story around creativity within the league and pushed the boundaries of what a soccer league looks like.

The Association is truly an example of “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” The teams, players and kits are just a part of the story. Each game night is designed to give fans and players an experience that goes above and beyond the games. Through partners adidas, el Jimador, and Kona fans are treated to the incredible music from resident DJ Kappa as well as free tacos, tequila, and beer.

For more hands-on experiences, FutPool provides a novel soccer-meets-billiards competition. There are also FIFA video game stations onsite.

In addition to the music, the food, and the drinks, each game night features a unique activation. In the spirit of competition, season two includes a number of exclusive battles including a live art battle curated by Secret Walls, a barber battle featuring some of LA’s flyest barber shops, and a B-Boy battle that brought back serious 1980s breakdancing vibes. With three weeks left of season two and the playoffs beginning this week, The Association team has a few more tricks up its sleeves for the final activations.

The Association is a celebration of soccer and the culture that it inspires. The goal of the league has always been to elevate the sport for existing fans and use culture as a bridge to new fans.

Season two of The Association has three weeks left. If you are in Los Angeles on a Thursday night between now and June 13th, stop by for a drink. Eat a taco. Watch some incredible games and connect with the beautiful community that we are all a part of.

The Association

Thursday nights from 8pm-11pm The Base LA

352 N. Ave 21

Los Angeles, CA 90032

Entry is free and The Association is open to all ages.

KTTP RADIO EP. 56 | REDRIBBONRECON, PORT X LA GALAXY, WC18

With World Cup action only a few days away, Drew connects with sneaker artisan, fashion and soccer junkie Red Ribbon Recon. The guys debate their favorite kit releases for the cup this year, who is going to take it all, and their opinion on who is truly the “group of death”. They discuss how they feel about some recent product drops spanning all aspects of the game, including some serious critiques, and their thoughts on what it takes to release a culturally sound product in today’s soccer market.

Drew also talks to his old cohost Anthony about the Port Long Beach and LA Galaxy collaboration. The teaser video was released online for the Capsule Collection and Anthony talks about the process behind it and the upcoming block party to celebrate its release. Drew praises the collaboration for it’s beautiful simplicity and homage to the roots of original soccer gear.

Laslty, Drew recaps Open Cup action and the current status of the MLS across the country including who is killing it and who is getting killed.

Check it out below:

WE TALK TO OLA KAMARA ABOUT ADIDAS X PARLEY & MORE

Although Earth Day has now passed – why isn’t every day Earth Day, we wonder… – we’re doing our little bit to keep the “movement” ongoing by highlighting the efforts adidas and Parley for the Oceans, a creative initiative focused on ending marine plastic pollution, have been doing this month. If you’ve been following either platforms or our Instagram stories, you’re already in the know about their ongoing collaboration’s latest campaign that brings Major League Soccer back into the mix, which ties perfectly with its “MLS WORKS Greener Goals” initiative.

officially dubbed “Earth Day Kits,” the three-way collab steps it up a notch from last year’s effort that picked only four clubs to create jerseys for. This year we saw the inclusion of MLS’ full roster of 23 clubs, each receiving a unique jersey constructed out of “upcycled plastic waste intercepted on beaches and in coastal communities.” As for our own efforts, we brought in the help of Norweigan-born pro soccer player Ola Kamara, who recently joined LA Galaxy, to model his new club’s adidas x Parley kits.

In addition to the photo editorial, we sat the man down to ask him about his new move to LA Galaxy as well as Los Angeles, the city he now calls home, what he thinks about the adidas x Parley x MLS kits, the brands’ environmental efforts as a whole, his personal opinions on saving the planet – seeing as Norway is pretty hands-on with ocean clean up, and more. Check out our interview with Ola below:


From our own research, Norway, which of course sits be the Norweigan Sea, does a lot in terms of cleaning up the ocean, so we can only imagine that it’s something you were conscious of growing up. Are you still aware of its current environmental efforts?

Coming from Norway, I think we’re doing a lot; there are not that many cars anymore. They’re actually pushing to get electric cars in and stuff like that, so hopefully it’s still getting cleaner. For me, thinking about the environment, even with clothing now, it’s a new step and it’s good innovation. As a [soccer] player, I think you always have to be creative and take that creativity to these types of efforts. adidas has been doing this for a while with their products, and it turns out that people are in fact interested in these kinds of the products and the thought and messages around them.

What about specifically what adidas, Parley and the MLS are doing with the eco-friendly kit campaign?

Well, my new teammates and I really like all the stuff adidas and Parley have been doing. We actually talk a lot about the environment and I think this initiative is all about that – getting the conversation going and being a positive effect on the community. I think that’s the thing that makes you proud of being a professional athlete, to be in a position where you can help promote action like that. It’s incredible that [adidas, Parley, and the MLS] are putting that effort out there for this particular cause. We’re all of the age now where we can think of the future, we can think of what our kids are going to be living in.

Aside from being eco-friendly, adidas and Parley have always been very conscious of the actual design of their products. It’s great that they’re using recycled waste to make the jersey’s but from what we’ve already seen of the kits, the design is on point – and always has been with the ongoing collab. Are you about the aesthetics of it all yourself?

To be honest I think the designs are fantastic, and really everything to do with the branding behind the whole recycling project. I was at adidas’ 747 event here in LA, and the build-out for Parley and how we got to see the whole construction process for the shoes was incredible! So yeah, of course the stuff looks good and it’s supposed to. When I go in to buy stuff from adidas, I’m looking at stuff that looks cool. The fact that the Parley stuff has that initiative that’s positive for the environment is just a bonus! The fact that they can make it look that good is fantastic.

What are you main comments on the Jerseys themselves?

Oh man, I’m excited about the Jerseys! They feel good. The one I have on now feels like I’m able to score some goals in it, so that’s always good!

Speaking of goals and soccer, can you bring us back to that first moment when you heard the news that LA Galaxy wanted you? Can you walk us through what was going on in your head?

Honestly, it was actually a long process. I think the moment it was clear that it was happening, it was amazing, but it was almost like I wanted the process to be over and I can actually get started being out here with LA Galaxy. When I actually got here in LA, that was when it was more like a game changer for me. like, I’m actually here and I’m going to play for LA Galaxy!

So how’s everything been since arriving here in LA?

It’s been busy the first couple of months, especially with needing to go back to Europe for the green card, and then only one week later back to playing with the national team, and then trying to find a place here in LA… It’s a lot of stuff that’s happening, but now I’m kind of settling in and my body is starting to feel a little bit better, so hopefully now it’s all about playing good, performing well and then also hopefully scoring goals! Outside of soccer though, it’s been amazing.

What about you and getting familiarized with the LA Galaxy team. How’s the rapport going? Are you fitting in with everyone?

I really like the guys! It’s been a lot of fun. Right now the team is in second place, and I don’t even think we’ve reached our full potential yet.

To get to know you personally a little better, what kind of things are interested in outside of soccer?

I’m big into hip hop right now. I think hip hop culture has a way of influencing you in terms of style and swag and everything. But I’m also a father, so you have to think about how you act and how you come across while enjoying all these things. And that actually ties back into the whole Parley thing, you know? I’m at a point where I’m thinking about what the next generation are going think. That being said, my son is only 2 years old, so all this stuff like hip hop and of course the soccer style and the sporty side of me is still all there – I’ve always been an active kind of guy. I love sports.

Well now that you’re living here in LA, which has a long history of hip hop, is there anything or anyone that you’re looking forward to seeing?

Hopefully I can see Kendrick Lamar! Maybe at their Champions Tour… So I’m looking forward to that, and then you actually have Nico and Vinz out here. The “Am I wrong” guys. So I guess you have some kind of Norwegian hip hop out here in LA!

Lastly, I wanted to ask if there’s anything going on in your life that you wanted to talk about perhaps a message to share with our readers. Anything at all.

Think about the environment, work hard, and enjoy life.

Photos by Brandon Ferlin

SCOUTING REPORT: ZLATAN THE TAEKWONDO MASTER

We’re all used to it by now. We’ve seen it a countless number of times from the Swedish giant Zlatan Ibrahimovic dominating the soccer pitch week in, week out. What makes him so great is not solely because of the number of goals he’s scored, nor because he’s won league titles in every league he has played in with the exception of the EPL. He is recognized as a one of a kind because of the manner in which he has done everything from day one of his career. He is probably one of the few players – minus Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar – to have so many goals that are just jaw-dropping. He’s done it so many times that you expect nothing less from him, but still, when they happen again, it never ceases to amaze you. With all that said, did you know that behind his worldly talent in soccer, Zlatan earned a black-belt in taekwondo as a 17-year-old in his hometown of Malmö? And to further his credibility, he’s even received an honorary black-belt from the Italian national taekwondo team in 2010. Putting the two pieces together, I think it’s safe to assume that his outrageous acrobatic goals can be credited to his background in the ancient Korean martial art.

This week’s Scouting Report will cover the latest “Taekwondo FC” tee collection by Nivelcrack, one of our favorite soccer streetwear brands from Korea, recognizing the taekwondo-soccer master himself: Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Overall Design: This isn’t the first time Nivelcrack has released a “Taekwondo FC” tee. Their first release was based on the time when Diego Maradona faced Korea at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, and the Koreans used their taekwondo skills to stop him from his domination. This new collection takes the same approach and illustrates Zlatan doing a jumping taekwondo kick on the soccer field during his time at Manchester. The collection comes in two colorways of blue and red. The meat of the design is on the back of the shirt, while the front of the shirt simply reads “Taekwondo Futbol Club.” Overall I think the design is cool and the colorways are dope.

Score: 4/5


Functionality: I own these myself and can safely say that they’re of great quality. You don’t have to worry about them fading away like some of the 100% cotton tees out there.

Score: 4/5

Wearability: It was a perfect time for Nivelcrack to release this collection as for the past couple weeks Zlatan has been grabbing all headlines in soccer through his move to the MLS with LA Galaxy. His debut goals to snatch a comeback win in their first ever LA derby against LAFC brought more spotlight his way, and he’s also been making some appearances on very popular shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live. Summer is upon us here in LA, and it’s only going to get hotter. It’s perfect to match the heat with this refreshing design of a T-shirt. The pieces will definitely turn heads if you wear it to an LA Galaxy home match or anywhere in LA where Zlatan has been the focus of the city for that matter!

Score: 4/5


Details: Without the number of details on the design, it would be difficult to tell which player the T-shirt is recognizing as the main drawing can easily be seen as just an outline of a person. However, Nivelcrack has done a good job of maintaining some key features of Zlatan so that any true fan will be able to immediately point out that it’s the lion himself.

Score: 4/5

Technology and Innovation: Not much innovation here in terms of design as it is a traced sketch of an actual photo, and also the fact that its a continuous release of the “Taekwondo FC” tee collection, but the overall concept of these are great and fresh.

Score: 3/5

You can now purchase the Taekwondo FC tee collection by Nivelcrack from RBC.

KTTP RADIO EP. 52 WITH TENS CLUB FOUNDER LUCAS SHANKS

This week Drew, Rich and Alex chatted with founder Lucas Shanks about the vision and inspiration behind his brand, TENS CLUB, born from the culture surrounding the No. 10 in football and in life.

Lucas has opened the organic doors of design, drawing concepts from players who wore the number and expanding beyond that to players Shanks liked, and those who went against the grain. Running with a list of topics and things they want to create, the brand releases one item on the tenth of every month, highlighting the overarching theme they felt passionate about.

Check out what Lucas had to say and the rest of the show below, including the LAFC vs. Galaxy recap and Champions League as it stands today. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes and Soundcloud so you don’t miss a beat.