Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 World cup - Pikachu

 version #1
version #2

Pokemon's 2014 Pikachu holofoil promo cards distributed to elementary school kids who participated in the 2014 J-League games during April and May of 2014
"Pokemon the Movie XY" imprinted on the card

2014 Adidas promo card distributed in special locations to Japanese soccer supporters watching the 2014 World Cup Games in June. The card features the official Japan Football Association and Adidas logos...

I know it's not related to American soccer, but I appreciate the support between the Pokemon universe and the World Cup...

Saturday, December 27, 2014

US Women's National Team cards

Brandi Chastain (signed)

Mia Hamm

Pick these cards up recently, do not know anything about them, still doing the research.....
The back have the Nike logo and a player bio. Size is 5x7. Issued 1999 or later based on the jersey being worn...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

USWNT 1999 Victory Tour

Mini poster for the US Women's National team Victory Tour following their Gold Medal performance at the FIFA World Cup tournament. The women's team made a 12-city victory tour playing exhibition indoor matches against a team of international stars. The two-month tour was sponsored by Toys R Us, with games in Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, East Rutherford NJ, Philadelphia, Washington, Raleigh NC, Anaheim, San Jose Tacoma and Portland...

signed by Tiffany Roberts, US National Team 1994-2003
Carolina Courage WUSA 2001-2003
1996 Atlanta - Olympic Gold Medal
1995 FIFA Women's World cup - Bronze Medal
1999 FIFA Women's World Cup - Gold Medal
2003 FIFA Women's World Cup - Bronze Medal

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Luis Robles bobblehead

2014.10.19 Red Bull Arena

Red Bull and AT&T are giving away 5,000 Luis Robles bobbleheads as part of their Supporters Day celebration when they face the Columbus Crew at Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ.

The bobbleheads are available at the AT&T booth located on the Bullevard in the pre-game activities area outside of the stadium...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Cosmos advertisement 1977

Aug-Sept 1977

Half-page advertisement in DC Comics promoting Pele and Giorgio Chinaglia at the Meadowlands...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

2014 Topps MLS Chrome

2014 Topps Chrome wrapper

Conor Casey autograph (sticker)

Bill Hamid base card

Bill Hamid X-fractor

Purple variant

Eddie Johnson - orange (retail) variant # 21/75

Chris Wondolowski footballers mini

Chicharito - Mexican National Team

I was never a big fan of the Chrome variant Topps trading cards, but I picked up a retail box at the local store because it was there and I had to take a look. The standard set offers 10 cards per pack, the chrome cards offer 4 cards per pack. The chrome base set contains 95 cards, while the standrad set contains 200 base cards.  The set includes autographs, color and refractor variants, mini cards, Mexican Nationals (not sure why the Mexican team is highlighted, but I like them and I pulled a Chicharito card so I can't complain).  One-Two insert card (looks like it should be a relic card but is not, so which I don't understand its purpose)...

Bradley - Defoe 
One-Two Insert card

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Anna Liffey's Irish Pub, Fairfield, Ct

2014.08.31 Anna Liffey's Fairfield, Ct

Saw this banner as I drove through Fairfield, Ct looking for a place to eat.  Stopped in to some excellent food and decor. An Irish pub - Anna Liffey's - Liverpool and Chelsea scarfs hanging by the bar. But the 1994 World Cup banner with Tab Ramos' image was the draw!!!

The food was excellent - cheddar biscuits and sausage gravy for a late breakfast!!!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Liverpool FC Tour 2014

Tour 2014 program cover

The Liverpool program for the 2014 tour of the US. Includes features on each of the teams they are facing (Manchester City, AS Roma, Olympiacos and AC Milan) the cities they are playing in (New York, Chicago, Boston and Charlotte).

An Interview with Brad Friedel, the first American to play for the Reds. Stories on three Liverpool players who came to the US to play "They Crossed the Pond" - Steve Heighway, Kevin Kewley and Steve Nicol. Past tours of North America - 1946, 1948, 1953, 1964, 2004 and 2012.

Player profiles, very nicely done with a small photo and paragraph on each (6 to a page). Stories on Brendan Rodgers and the city of Liverpool. A very nicely done souvenir program for the US tour....

2014 - International Champions Cup

Liverpool FC v Manchester City 2014.07.30 Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
Both teams played an exciting game trading goals to reach a 2-2 tie. With seconds remaining it appeared that Liverpool would win when Sterling placed the ball in the top corner, only to be called offsides. 

Liverpool would win on penalty kicks, when the first 3 players could not find the net. Kolarov (MC) missed the net, Sturridge (LCF) missed the net, Yaya Toure's (MC) shot is saved by Mignolet. Emre Can (LFC) hits the first for Liverpool. Navas (MC) hits the equalizer. Henderson (LFC) scores. Iheanacho (MC) scores. Lucas (LFC) scores the winning shot...

My first visit to the new Yankee Stadium. Very impressive from the outside and yet it still holds the memories of all the past Yankee memories. Excellent crowd, very much a Liverpool crowd. Stood for the entire game with many fans from England singing and cheering on Liverpool...

The International Champions Cup returns for a second year, with a two groups of four in a round-robin format played in 12 cities across the US and Canada.

Jul 24 - AC Milan 0 - Olympiacos 3 - BMO Field, Toronto (originally scheduled for Citi Field, NY)
Jul 26 - AS Roma 2 - Manchester United 3 - Sports Authority Field, Denver, Co
Jul 26 - Inter Milan 1 - Real Madrid 1 (Inter 3-2 PK)- Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, Ca
Ju 27 - Manchester City 5 - AC Milan 1 - Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pa
Jul 27 - Liverpool FC 1 - Olympiacos 0 - Soldier Field, Chicago, Il
Jul 29 - Inter Milan 0 - Manchester United 0 (ManU 5-3 PK)- FedEx Field, Washington DC
Jul 29 - AS Roma 1 - Real Madrid 0 - Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Tx
Jul 30 - Manchester City 2 - Liverpool FC 2 (Liverpool 3-1 PK)- Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
Aug 2 - AS Roma 0 - Inter Milan 2 - Lincoln Field, Philadelphia, Pa
Aug 2 - Manchester City 2 - Olympiacos 2 (Olymp 5-4 PK) - TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Mn
Aug 2 - Real Madrid 1 - Manchester United 3 - Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Mi
Aug 2 - Liverpool FC 2 - AC Milan 0 - Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Final -
Aug 4 - Liverpool FC 1 - Manchester United 3 - Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Fl

The Aug 2 game in Michigan set a US record for attendance with 109,318 fans watching Real Madrid and Manchester United

Again there are a number of international friendlies, which is great for the American audience:
Jul 19, 2014
 - Tottenham Hotspurs 3 at Seattle Sounders 3
Jul 23, 2014
 - Liverpool FC 0 -  AS Roma 1 - Fenway Park, Boston, Ma
 - Tottenham Hotspurs 3 at Toronto FC 2
 - Crystal Palace 2 at Columbus Crew 2
 - Manchester City 4 at Sporting KC 1
 - Aston Villa 2 at FC Dallas 0
 - Manchester United 7 at LA Galaxy 0
Jul 25, 2014
 - Crystal Palace 1 at Philadelphia Union 0
Jul 26, 2014
 - Arsenal 0 at NY Red Bull 1 - 2014 NY Cup
 - Fulham 3 at DC United 0
 - Tottenham Hotspurs 2 at Chicago Fire 0
 - Aston Villa 1 at Houston Dynamo 0
Jul 27, 2014
 - Atletico Madrid 0 at San Jose Earthquakes 0 (Atletico 4-3 PK)
Jul 31, 2014
 - Bayern Munich 1 - Chivas Guadalajara 0  - 2014 Audi Football Summit, Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ
Aug 6, 2014
 - Bayren Munich 1 at MLS All-Stars 2 - Portland, Ore
Aug 12, 2014
 - Club Tijuana 1 at Real Salt Lake 1

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

1996 Bandai MLS Figures

1996 - Bandai Tab Ramos
Image taken from Dash Action Figures

Bandai produced several figures for the MLS in conjunction with it's inaugural season. Each figure came packed with an Upper Deck trading card. The cards have an action shot on the front and a head shot and bio on the back.

Players issued:
Cobi Jones, LA Galaxy
Tab Ramos, MetroStars
Carlos Valderrama, Tampa Bay Mutiny
Alexi Lalas, NE Revolution
Frank Klopas, KC Wizards
Hugo Sanchez, Dallas Burn
Doctor Kumalo, Columbus Crew
John Harkes, DC United
Marcello Balboa, Colorado Rapids
Eric Wynalda, San Jose Clash

I finally picked up a Tab Ramos, which I had kept putting off for another time. The back of the package shows all of the MLS figures as well as their 2" keychain counterparts.

The full figure is 4" tall with a green base, although the images on the back of the package show a white base. My figure still has the original $5.99 price sticker...

updated 2014.07.26

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

2012 Franz Bread - Timbers and Sounders

Franz Bread, which has provided trading cards in their packaging for the Mariners, Seahawks and Trailblazers, also included the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders. I love the regional issues over Topps or Upper Deck, they have a connection to the team...

I have only come across a few of these cards, running from $3-5.00 on ebay.

Cards I am aware of include:
Portland - Darlington Nagbe, Kris Boyd, Troy Perkins, Diego Chara, Jack Jewsbury, Jake gleeson, Brent Richards, Franck Songo'o, Eric Brunner, Kalif Alhassan, Eric Alexander, John Spencer

Seattle - David Estrada, Mauro Morales, David Gspurning, Steve Zakuani, Freddy Montero, Osvaldo Alonzo, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Eddie Johnson, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez,

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cereal boxes

After Post Cereals issued cereal boxes with Alex Morgan and Omar Gonzalez, I decided to do some research on older cereal boxes that may have been issued.
1998 Kellogg's - Alexi Lalas and Tab Ramos
sold on ebay for $10.00

In 1996 Kellogg's featured several players for the inaugural season and continued to do so over several years. In 2002 Kellogg launched a special edition of it's Frosted Flakes cereal featuring the Kansas City Wizards following their 2000 MLS Cup Championship and the San Jose Earthquakes following their 2001 MLS Cup championship..

In 1999 Wheaties, famous for all of the athletes they feature on their boxes joined the women's soccer craze honoring members of the US Women's National team following the  US Women's World Cup held in the US in 1999. Brandi Chastain, Brianna Scurry and Christine Lily were each featured individually

2004 Taylor Twellman - Waffle Crisp

In 2004 Post issued 4 boxes featuring Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution), Landon Donovan (San Jose Earthquakes), Chris Armas (Chicago Fire) and Freddy Adu (DC United) on boxes of Alpha-bits, Waffle Crisp, Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Pebbles, Honeycomb, Strawberry Blast Honeycomb, Oreo O's, Golden Crisp and Marshmallow Alpha-bits. Each box offered a free footbag (hacky sack) with the MLS logo.  Post is a product of Kraft foods, which became an official sponsor of the MLS in 2004.

2012 Quaker's Life cereal box featured Chicago Fire's Austin Berry. As sponsor of the Chicago Fire Quaker took it upon themselves to help promote Berry as the selection for 2012 MLS Rookie of the Year, which he was awarded...

1999 Quaker - US Soccer Golden Goals, featuring the 1999 US Women's World Championship team.
updated 2014.12.23

Friday, July 11, 2014

Nabisco - US Soccer = Pass the Love

Clint Dempsey - Pass the Love

Additional promotional packaging from Nabisco. Side panel from Nabisco 12-pack of mini Oreo cookies. The same image was featured on other 12-pack minis, such as Teddy Graham crackers.

Walking through my local Target, I came across this from a box of Nabisco Honey Maid Grahamfuls.
OMar Gonzalez, Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey and DaMarcus Beasley
updated 2014.07.27

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Post Cereals - Alex Morgan & Omar Gonzalez

Just as the World cup starts, Post cereal featured Alex Morgan of the Portland Thorns and USNT, and Omar Gonzalez of the LA Galaxy and the USNT, as part of their team. In the past Post has featured wrestler John Cena and basketball player Kyrie Irving and are well known for their baseball cards issued on the back of boxes in the 1960s through the 1990s.

The promotion is part of a competition to see which of the Pebbles brands is more popular.  Part of the promotion encourages fans to go online at TeamPebbles where they can play minigames, download apps and become eligible to win prizes included Morgan and Gonzalez signed merchandise. 

The back of the boxes feature a mini-poster to cut out and collect. In my opinion the design could have been much nicer, it is too much of an advertisement...

Friday, June 6, 2014

Ritz Crackers - US Soccer

2013.10 - Mondelez International Inc signed a sponsorship deal as the official snack partner of US Soccer. US National Team members Alex Morgan, Omar Gonzalez and Clint Dempsey will help to market products which include Oreos, Trident gum, Sour Patch Kids and other snack foods...

Omar Gonzalez is currently featured on the back of the Ritz Cracker soccer package. Gonzalez was drafted by the LA Galaxy in 2009, earning Rookie of the Year title after starting all 30 regular season games...

US National debut was against Brazil in 2010. Gonzalez was selected to the US National team for the upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil...

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Coca-Cola promotions

Coca-Cola glass 8oz 2014 FIFA World Cup commemorative bottle. A nice little green and yellow World Cup trophy imprinted on the bottle. The carrying case has a different design on each side. the side not shown features a red soccer ball Coke label amidst smiling green and yellow faces.

2014 FIFA World Cup Brasil
label form the 20oz coke plastic bottle

2012 Summer Olympics - Coca-Cola has released a set of 8 commemorative cans from the design studio Tucker Duckworth. The cans feature the silhouettes of 8 American athletes - Alex Morgan - Soccer, Henry Cejudo - wrestling, David Boudia - diving, Marlen Esparza - boxing, John Isner - tennis, Shawn Johnson - gymnastics, David Oliver - track, Jessica Long - swimming.

A new can design will hit the markets every 2 weeks, with the design also being used on bottle labels..

Coca-Cola has been issuing promotional cans for soccer and various other sports issued from various countries for many years. Coke BR News blog has an excellent display of these items...

2010 FIFA World Cup... not one of their better designs.....

originally published 2012.06.20

Monday, May 19, 2014

Grateful Dead soccer

Issued in 1998 by Mongolia, the American rock band the Grateful Dead's dancing bear mascot was pictured participating in several sports, one of which was soccer. Although I don't know if any of the members of the Dead have an interest in soccer, they have supported the 1990 Lithuanian Olympic Basketball team, including their wearing tie-dyed jerseys.

Several members have also sang the national anthem at San Francisco Giants games..

Countries like Mongolia often issue stamps not for their postal validity, but to bring in revenue from collectors...

Saturday, May 17, 2014

American Soccer Knowledge

I just came across this comic on Folly and Innovation a web-strip from Tom Sexton.
He is probably not far form the truth... 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Colorado Rapids - Caribou


In an April Fool's prank the Colorado Rapids announced they would wear uniforms from the NASL team Caribou of Colorado. The uniforms were found at the Caribou Ranch owned by the Guercio Family, owners of the Caribou team and lent to the Rapids for the joke. The notice was posted on the team's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages...

The Rapids recognize the important role the Caribou played in the history of soccer in Colorado. The Caribou played in the NASL in 1978 finishing their only season with a 8-22 record. Games were played at Mile High Stadium. The Caribou uniform is believed to be the only soccer kit to feature western fringe...

Monday, April 7, 2014

Philadelphia Union - Amobi Okugo Bobblehead

2014.03.29 Philadelphia Union v Montreal Impact
Amobi Okugo Mini Bobblehead (5.5" tall) presented to the first 5,000 fans.
Presented by PPL Energy Plus...

Saw three posted on e-bay from $10 - 35.00...

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hillsborough 96 Commemorative patch


To help mark the 25th anniversary of Hillsborough, Liverpool FC is launching the official commemorative iron-on patch, available to fans all over the world.

On Sunday April 13, 2014 Liverpool players will wear the patch against Manchester City and for the final three home games of the season. Fans are encouraged to purchased the patch which costs about $3US. The patch measures 2' in diameter, ships very quickly and comes with instructions for ironing. The patch is not embroidered.

All profits from the sale of the patch will be donated to the Hillsborough families...

Liverpool FC

2014.04.17 update - Throughout the English Premier League, teams paid tribute to the Hillsborough Disaster. Rivalries are put aside to remember the fans. Outside of the league the fans of Borussia Dortumnd sang You'll Never Walk Alone in tribute.

The Philadelphia Union and their supporters the Sons of Ben paid tribute to the memory of the 96 fans who lost their lives in the Hillsborough tragedy. During the 7th minute of their April 12 game against Real Salt Lake the game was stopped for a moment of silence. The names of the 96 were scrolled across the PPL park video board in the north end of the stadium...

Never Forget

Sunday, March 16, 2014

2014 Red Bull Home Opener

2014.03.15 Red Bull v Colorado Rapids
Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ

Another season starts. Mike is home on spring break while the Red Bulls play their home opener against the Rapids. Colorado started off slowly, not getting aggressive until after Thierry Henry made a beautiful diving header for the first goal of the game. Shortly after Colorado was awarded a penalty kick on a soft fall in the box, when Jamison Olave bumped Marvin Chavez from behind. Vicente Sanchez easily scored on the PK, to tie the game, to end the first half.

The second half again saw the Red Bulls as the aggressor, with several good chances at the end of the game. However neither team would be able to put the game away with a winning goal. The final 1-1 score tells the score of a rather uninspired game. 

Luis Robles made some nice saves to keep Colorado off the score board...

It was a beautiful afternoon, which was a nice change from all the snow and frigid weather we have been experiencing. Red Bull usually sets up a street of activities before the game for the fans. In the past there were demonstrations from their drift car and motorcycle drivers. There was none of that this year. Now named the BULLevard, as you entered guests were asked to register to participate in the activities.  Being the kind of person who goes against the grain, I did not register. Red Bull already has my life data on file since I buy my tickets online. We walked down the BULLevard to see the activities. There were demonstrations from the Red Bull street team, the Red Bull Academy booth (where they try to sign your kid up for summer camps) kids 3v3 soccer (always a big attraction), have your picture taken with the Supporters Shield. That was it...

Mike, who is a supporter of Liverpool FC, will always argue that the Supporters Shield is meaningless and the MLS cup is the true prize of the league. He could not see the value of the shield and was even more down on the prize as the supporters club raised a huge banner with Coach Mike Petke holding the Shield. 

We had expected Red Bull to start the game in their usual fashion of parachuting the game ball in, however this year they went with a different approach. A young woman, I believe to be Angela Eiter a free climber, climbed the rafters of the stadium to reach the game ball which was hanging over the supporters clubs. When she reached the ball and dislodged it, they were both lowered to the playing surface. A banner proclaiming the Red Bull Supporters Shield was also unveiled...