Kits, Shoes, Tactics and Team of the Tournament (World Cup 2002) Part 2

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Kits

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The big performance feature of the tournament was a mesh panel over a sewn in base layer. Adidas went for contrasting colors on some shirts which worked with most jerseys except for the white ones, with France and China coming to mind. Nike’s template saw an angled chest section accented with several different features: contrasting colored triangles at the collarbone and rib cage panels, raglan sleeves and a mixture of collars.

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Of course the most unique kit had to have been Cameroon, which saw sleeves sewn into a tank top designed kit in order to meet FIFA regulations. Germany wore the same kit (white shirt, black shorts, white socks) in every match. I owned the Nigeria home shirt from this competition for while but eventually got rid of it. My post on the shirt and the Super Eagles tournament can be found here.

For full pics, please check out Historical Football Kits World Cup 2002 page and, for informed analysis on kit design, listen to the Football Attic Kit podcast dedicated to the tournament.

Shoes

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On the shoe front adidas had recently released the Predator Mania ahead of the tournament. The shoe was much less stylized than the previous versions and didn’t have the fins. A traditional looking boot, the tongue was held in place with an elastic band that went under the shoe, and blades rather than studs were used and the shoe featured a heel cup.

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Nike continued on with their Mercurial Vapor line and launched it with the famous Secret Tournament campaign. Focusing on making the lightest boot possible, the outsole was made of a synthetic material called Nike Skin. The shoe also contained an external heel counter and a “glass” filled outsole called NikeFrame.

Tactics

I couldn’t find much in the way of tactical innovations so I focused on the US v Mexico Round of 16 game and the winners of the tournament.

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I had it stuck in my brain that Claudio Reyna played some sort of RBW/RM but didn’t know if that was right or why one of the most technical players in the US Soccer history was manning the channels. Research proved that I remember correctly and this position was the result of squad changes. Bruce Arena rolled out a 3-5-2 against their CONCACAF rivals. Friedel was between the sticks with Berhalter, Pope and Sanneh in a three man back line with Mastroeni back in the squad to help clog the middle. Lewis and Reyna played wing back to provide defensive cover and O’Brien and Donovan started and linked the attack, which was led by Wolff and McBride. The US gave up possession but kept Mexico at arm’s length, only giving up one shot. An early goal from McBride allowed a dogged organization to take over and the United States saw off Mexico. This tactical tweak secured the result for the Stars and Stripes and added another Dos a Cero to the rivalry.

(Thanks to MLS Soccer and US Soccer for resources.)

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As for Brazil, everyone remembers an awesome attack of the three R’s but the midfield corps was disrupted by an injury to Emerson before the tournament and a change by Scolari in the knockout stages. Michael Cox of Zonal Marking examined the team and saw the Seleccao move from a midfield of Emerson and Juninho Paulista to a midfield of Gilberto Silva and Juninho Paulista, who was then replaced by Kleberson. The result was a 3-4-1-2 with a back three of Lucio, Edmilson and Roque Juinor and Cafu and Roberto Carlos as wingbacks. Ronaldinho took the ball off the back line and got it up to Rivaldo and Ronaldo. Not really a tactical innovation by Scolari but one that got Brazil’s World Cup Qualification back on track, maximized his player pool and captured the country’s fifth title.

Team of the Tournament

Reviewing the Team of the Tournament, the memories came flooding back. Kahn was a beast but had an unfortunate moment in the Final. Rustu would get a cup of coffee at Barcelona but spent most of his career in Turkey. Hong Myung Bo was a rock in the back for the hosts. The three R’ed attack of Brazil was a sight to behold. I loved Hasan Sas and actually created a player based on him for a FIFA game. And of course who could forget El Hadji Diouf. The Senegalese striker had a great summer but a series of terrible spells followed in England afterwards.

Goalkeepers: Oliver Kahn (Germany); Rustu Recber (Turkey)

Defenders: Roberto Carlos (Brazil); Sol Campbell (England); Hong Myung Bo (South Korea); Alpay Ozalan (Turkey); Fernando Hierro (Spain)

Midfielders: Rivaldo, Ronaldinho (Brazil); Claudio Reyna (United States); Michael Ballack (Germany); Yoo Sang Chul (South Korea)

Forwards: Ronaldo (Brazil); El Hadji Diouf (Senegal); Hasan Sas (Turkey); Miroslav Klose (Germany)

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All in all, a strange tournament due to the timing and multiple locations but one that I will remember for the United States’ fine performance and exposure to new teams like Senegal, Turkey and South Korea. Kit game wasn’t that strong but some of the goals were quite tasty.

Read Part 1 here and check out more posts on my trips, research and memories on the MatchDay Memories page.

Soccer Trips 2017

2017 promises to be another great year for American soccer, and this year is particularly special because Atlanta United kicks off their first ever MLS campaign. But soccer happens all over this country at all levels and my goal each year is touch base at each level.

This year began with Atlanta United friendlies. First up was the quick drive up to Chattanooga for the game against Chattanooga FC. The Chattahooligans were great hosts, providing space at First Tennessee Pavilion and a huge breakfast buffet spread. Besides getting to meet fans from Atlanta and Chattanooga, I ran into Dennis Crowley, founder of Kingston Stockade FC of the NPSL. He came in from New York to check out the scene and we had a quick chat. Read my recap for Terminus Legion.

The following weekend was the opening match of the Carolina Challenge Cup. Atlanta United fans descended on Charleston to watch the Five Stripes face off against Columbus Crew SC. All four Atlanta United Supporter Groups did a shared tailgate, which was awesome. Returning to Charleston was great as well as the housing at Camp Cheek.  Read my recap for Terminus Legion and listen to my interviews with Atlanta United fans on the Terminus Legion podcast.

I went to the first ever Atlanta United game. The club kicked off at Bobby Dodd Stadium and it was awesome evening. Tailgate, march, tifo, great match. As a season ticket holder, I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. Here’s the Terminus Legion podcast from the tailgate.

 

Here is my proposed schedule for the rest of 2017.

  • April 28 Little Rock Rangers Soccer Club at Memphis City FC. NPSL/I-40 Cup
  • May 6 Birmingham Hammers at Atlanta Silverbacks. NPSL
  • May 13 Myrtle Beach Mutiny at Tormenta FC. PDL
  • June 6 Nashville Soccer Club at Peachtree City MOBA. PDL
  • August 6 Atlanta United at Sporting Kansas City. MLS
  • September 15 Bethlehem Steel FC at Louisville City FC. USL
  • September 16 New York Red Bulls II at Cincinnati FC. USL

Here are some of my previous trips.

You want to join me on a road trip? Comment below or hit me up on twitter @austinlong1974.

And check out Steven Bernasconi’s project, The Soccer Tour. He has put together an amazing 2017 and can’t wait to learn more about his adventures.

Bad Hair, a Historic Run, Crazy Fans and Bad Refereeing (World Cup 2002) Part 1

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Four years on from France 98 and I was ready. Having been completely consumed by Euro 2000, I looked forward to the World Cup in Japan and South Korea. With the help of the internet I was able to learn more and more about the teams and stay up to date on the most recent results.

The tournament started earlier than usual due to the rainy season and, due to the time difference, games kicked off in the middle of the night here in the United States. The United States had qualified (including the first Dos a Cero in Columbus) and opened up against a Portugal team led by their Golden Generation (Vitor Baia, Sérgio Conceição, Jorge Costa, Rui Costa, Fernando Couto, Luís Figo, Nuno Gomes, João Pinto, etc.), who had made the semis of Euro 2000.

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The night before the game I had a strange dream, a dream in which the United States thrashed the Portuguese in a stunning upset. Quite the premonition but complicated by the fact that I had slept through the match, missing the Stars and Stripes stunning achievement. I awoke in the early hours and drove to a friend’s house where local coaches were assembling to watch the match, and, as the memorable first half unfolded, my dream was becoming a reality. Portugal fought back and nearly saved a point, but the US held on and set the stage for a historic tournament, in which they reached the Quarter Finals.

This tournament was memorable for several reasons. Recently wed, my wife and I had rented the upstairs of a house and were starting our lives together. Our house didn’t have air conditioning, so I was sweating in the heat even at 2am. I was able to get out of the house to watch the morning matches, as a local bar hosted watch parties for the US games. It was my first taste of communal watching with US fans and not just ex-pats watching EPL and FA Cup games.

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Referees were in the news due to several key decisions: Italy falling to South Korea, partly due to some dubious decisions; Spain also losing to the hosts and some even more questionable calls (ball not going out of bounds, phantom whistles, etc); and the no handball call in the Germany/USA game. Frings  stopped the shot on the line and nothing was called.

Average goals continued to decline for the third straight competition but there were some amazing strikes (apologies for the awful music). Uruguay produced two great goals, one by Darío Rodríguez  against Denmark and another by Forlan against Senegal. Edmilson hit a half bike against Costa Rica, there was Torrado’s laser against Ecuador, and Japan’s interplay for the single goal against Russia was fantastic. Dynamic free kicks were also on show with Roberto Carlos against China, Raouf Bouzaiene for Tunisia against Belgium, and Johan Walem for Belgium against Russia. The champions produced two wonderful goals, with Ronaldinho torturing Cole before laying off for Rivaldo and their second against Germany in the Final.

YOKOHAMA - JUNE 30: Ronaldo of Brazil lines up before the World Cup Final match between Germany and Brazil played at the International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan on June 30, 2002. Brazil won the match 2-0. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

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Defending champions France were absolutely abysmal, going home with only one point and no goals scored. Brazil made the Final but not before Rivaldo had a shameful dive against Turkey in the Group Stage. Unfortunately Ronaldo unleashed a horrible haircut on the world as well. But one of the lasting memories of the tournament was the noise of the South Korean fans. Watching them support one of the surprise packages of the tournament was a joy. This summary from the Guardian team really captures the highlights (and lowlights) of the tournament.

World Cup 2002 Film

World Cup 2002 Final highlights

Manchester United Change/Third Shirts 2001/02

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Manchester United entered the 2001/02 season as the three time defending Premier League Champions but Sir Alex was already in the process of building his next team. The club added Ruud van Nistelrooy, who scored 36 goals in his first season and would go on to even bigger things the following year, Juan Sebastián Verón and Laurent Blanc with Jaap Stam leaving during the summer and Jesper Blomqvist, Denis Irwin, Ronny Johnsen, Raimond van der Gouw, Dwight Yorke, and Andy Cole gone from the club by the following season.

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Another league title was not on the cards as poor results in November and December saw the Red Devils in ninth. Results would turn around but Arsenal would eventually win the league and the Double with Manchester United finishing third behind Liverpool.

Bayer Laverkusen's Oliver Neuville

No joy was found in the cups either as Manchester United lost to Arsenal in the Third Round of the League Cup and to Middlesbrough in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. Bayer Leverkusen knocked out Sir Alex’s men in the Semi-Finals of the Champions League on away goals.

Of note this season were two notable comebacks.

Manchester United overturned a 3-0 deficit away at Spurs in the league.

The Red Devils also rescued a Third Round FA Cup tie at Villa Park with a remarkable three goals in the final 15 minutes to advance 3-2.

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The change and third shirts for this season produced an interesting choice from kit manufacturers Umbro. Per Historical Football Kits:

United were one of the leading clubs that attracted considerable criticism for exploiting the replica kit market and in 2001, Umbro came up wih a novel response, creating the first reversible shirt. These were white on one side and metallic gold when turned inside out, so supporters had both away and third shirts in one purchase. The players had separate white and gold sets which were not reversible.

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The change shirt saw a white chest with black sleeves and panels down the torso. Narrow white trim accent the sleeve from the armpit to the cuff. The shirt used a V neck with a collar, and gold trim was used on the collar and chest. White shorts and socks were used when needed and kept the design element around the rib cage going down most of the shorts.

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Gold had not used for Manchester United’s kits previously and has not used since, with the yellow shirts of the early 70s being the closest in color. The gold change shirt was in essence a reversed out version of the white shirt, with the same collar, a narrow black band on the sleeves going all the way to the collar, and the black shorts and socks were the same as the change strip. This kit was only worn three times during the season, twice at Arsenal and for United’s away game to Olympiakos in the Champions League.

Besides the design, there are also little touches all over the shirt. Let’s start with the badge, with black replacing the red background of the standard badge and gold instead of yellow for the lettering and trim.

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Above the badge is the commemorative mark for the 100th anniversary of the name change from Newton Heath to Manchester United.

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The inside neck has another mark to celebrate 100 years along with the Umbro wordmark.

centenary-screen-printOn the front of the shirt is hologram which signifies the authenticity of the shirt, while on the back hem of the change shirt is an element that Umbro used during the early 2000s–the kit life span.

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(images courtesy of pryoboy blog)

Everything on the white side is embroidered while the gold side uses screen printing.
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While the shirt is heavy due to it being reversible, this is one of my favorites, particularly the white change shirt. The celebratory basis for the shirt is significant as well and glad I pulled the trigger on the long sleeve version all those years ago.

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Resources for this post:

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Check out more posts on kits from clubs and countries around the world on the Strip Club page. And yes. It’s safe for work.

Major League Soccer (MLS) Acronyms

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The 2017 Major League Soccer season continues a pattern of slow, steady growth for the league. As the league evolves, leadership has created and shaped the rules that govern the league. Here’s a quick recap so that you are ready for the upcoming season.

GAM General Allocation Money. A mechanism created by MLS to help teams improve their rosters by reducing hits to the salary cap or acquire players by signing or transfer. Dirty South Soccer breaks it down here.

CAM Center Attacking Mid, your team’s #10, your team’s most creative player. . . unless you’re the Montreal Impact and you put him on the left.

W(H)AM George Michael tribute patch to be worn for the 2017 MLS season at the edge of the hem opposite of the jock tag.

whamSAM Sick Ass Move, like some of these.

TAM Targeted Allocation Money. A mechanism created by MLS to help teams improve their rosters below the Designated Player level or reducing the DP hits to the salary cap. Dirty South Soccer breaks it down here.

DAM(N) son. When Giovinco does THIS to your team.

PAM Pissed Away Allocation Money. Pretty much any money spent on Branco, Lothar Matthäus, Shaun Maloney, and Rais Mbolhi. Feel free to insert your team’s horrible transfer below.

lothar-mattheusFAM As in the family discount against the salary cap that can be invoked when a coach’s son plays for the team. This fictional mechanism hasn’t been used since Michael Bradley played for his father Bob with the MetroStars but GMs around the league are keeping an eye on a possible John/Ian Harkes option in the near future.

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LAM Another term for the invisibility cloak, as in on the lam, as in the player is not impacting the game at all. See Alejandro Bedoya in most USMNT games.

BAM Beating down your opponent. You know like the Red Bulls against NYCFC last season or the Chicago Fire crushing the Kansas City Wizards 7-0 in 2001 or the LA Galaxy destroying the Dallas Burn 8-1 in 1998.

(no) MA(‘A)M That moment when your goalie saves your team like Stefan Frei in MLS Cup 2016 or pretty much any PK taken against Nick Rimando.

IAM I am the best player in league history. Love him or hate him, it’s LandyCakes.

CARSON, CA - December 1, 2012: LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan (10) celebrating their victory after the LA Galaxy vs the Houston Dynamo for the 2012 MLS Cup at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. Final score LA Galaxy 3, Houston Dynamo 1.

Would love to hear comments and ideas from MLS fans below.

Follow me on twitter @AustinLong1974 and check out the rest of the SoccerNomad blog for posts on kits, memories and more. And don’t forget the SoccerNomad podcast, which features Atlanta Supporter Groups, kit design and more

History of Bayern Munich home shirts

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If I had to do life over again, I may have followed the Bundesliga instead of the EPL. Doesn’t address supporting my own domestic league, but that’s a discussion for a different day. Incredible teams, passionate fan support and amazing players. Historically Bayern Munich are the top dogs and from what I knew, they had always worn red home shirts, hence the name Die Roten. But one day I read this post from Museum of Jerseys, clicked on a link and my mind was blown.

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Fußball-Club Bayern München started with a sky blue shirt and white shorts. Think about that. Sky blue. A post from Bundesliga Fanatic mentions:

. . . “in the club constitution a genuine Bavarian color scheme was mandated. The founders of Bayern settled on white shirts & blue shorts. The only problem: It was impossible to purchase blue shorts during the early 1900s, therefore Bayern was forced to wear black shorts which they called “darkblue.””

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After two seasons the Bavarians changed to a white shirt with black shorts, and following a merger with Münchner Sport-Club (MSC) in 1906, the club changed to a strip of a white shirt and maroon shorts and this combo lasted until 1927 except for a short interval featuring a shirt with light blue and maroon stripes from 1909 to 1912.

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The 1927/28 season saw the introduction of a white and maroon striped shirt with maroon shorts which morphed into a white shirt with maroon sleeves and maroon shorts that was worn from 1931 to 1955. Looks fantastic. A kit of a maroon shirt and black shorts took over for two seasons before 1957/58 saw the return of white, with either a mostly white shirt or a white shirt with maroon sleeves, both worn with maroon shorts.

In 1968 everything changed. For one season the German club wore blue and red vertical stripes with blue shorts. It was an echo of the kits used from 1909 to 1912 and very similar to Barca’s strip. The following seasons of 1969-1973 saw a red and white shirt with red shorts (white shorts in 1970/71). The trefoil and three stripes of adidas were added to the shorts in 1971. Another one off shirt was worn in 1973/74 as the Reds wore a white shirt with a thin horizontal stripe of red and blue opposite the club badge with white shorts.

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In 1974 the club adopted the rich red shirt that I associate with the club. That year also saw the adidas logo appear on the shirt with the wordmark across the chest, the trefoil opposite the club badge, and the three stripes down the sleeves. As far as I can tell adidas and Bayern Munich have the longest running partnership between manufacturer and club, and adidas even picked up a small percentage of shares in the club in 2002.

An all red strip with varying design elements was worn until 1991 with an all white strip in 1977/78 being the outlier. 1991 saw the emergence of the adidas Equipment branding and the use of blue on Bayern shirts for the first time in 20 years. Three diagonal bars were seen on the shoulder opposite the crest and on the shorts. For the 1993/94 and 1994/95 season, things went one step further with the same template and the addition of blue sleeves. In 1995, the red/blue vertical stripes re-appeared with a white collar. 1997 saw the first predominantly blue jersey since the original days of the club and in a much darker hue. Big red bands broke up the navy blue diamond shadow pattern.

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Images via Die Grosse Fussball Sammelalben

The 1999/00 season saw red return as the main color, although the shirts for the 2001/02 and 2002/03 seasons were more of the historic maroon with charcoal sleeves and shorts. Horizontal red and white stripes got a look from 2007 to 2009. The stripes went vertical for the 2010/11 season in homage to shirts from the early 70s.

1999-2001-h2001-2001-h2003-2004-h2005-2006-h2007-2008-h2009-2010-h

Images via Die Grosse Fussball Sammelalben

For the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons, Die Roten wore an all red kit with gold trim. This looks really good and is one of favorites. White replaced gold the following season and adidas added a diamond shadow print, similar to the crest in the body of the shirt for another really nice design. The 2014/15 campaign saw the return of the blue and red vertical stripes. White was used as the accent color on the ring collar, stripes on the shoulders, cuffs and down the torso.

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An all red kit was present for the 2015/16 season as adidas used a darker red on the collar, brand markings, cuffs and waist to complement the traditional red. The 2016/17 shirt is all red with horizontal stripes of a very subtle contrasting red, a full collar with red buttons on a white plaquet.

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Where the club and adidas go from here is anyone’s guess. I would love to see the white shirt with either maroon trim or sleeves. Thinking Arsenal’s away shirt from 2007/08. Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed this look at Bayern Munich home shirts. I learned a lot about the club and found some really interesting designs.

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Resources for this post:

Special thanks to Denis Hurley of Museum of Jerseys for his help on this project.

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Read the rest of my Strip Club posts here and follow me on twitter @austinlong1974.

Walking Through the Storm

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Walking Through the Storm

Liverpool fan Ken Kendra came back on the SoccerNomad pod to update listeners on his book Walking Through the Storm, which chronicles the 2015-2016 season for the Reds.

Learn more about his project at his website and facebook and follow him on twitter @walking_storm. Check out the LFC Raleigh website and on twitter @LFCRaleigh. LFC Atlanta is online and on twitter @LFCAtlanta.

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Thanks for listening! You can also subscribe via iTunes and please leave a rating and review. Follow me on twitter @austinlong1974.