Vivica A. Fox speaks about her Detroit-made films including Golden Shoes and her upcoming role on Empire. Read interview.
We want to thank everyone for attending the Golden Shoes Red Carpet movie event. It was a great turnout! We also appreciated all of the favorable comments after the movie screening. The movie is now available on Pay-Per-View, On Demand, as well as Walmart and Amazon for those who were unable to join us at the movie premiere.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, set to take place from June 12th – July 13th, has an incredible 12 host cities making it one of the largest World Cups on the books. These 12 cities are spread throughout the entire country, with most of them (eight in total) lining the eastern South Atlantic Ocean coastline of Brazil. This map (credit to FIFA.com) shows where all 12 of the cities are located in Brazil.
With the distance between the cities, teams will be required to travel farther than any other World Cup in history. The United States World Cup team in particular will travel a whopping 9,000 miles – More than any other country in the tournament. One thing is for certain, fans that are attending the World Cup this year are sure to get a nice tour of the Brazilian country side!
Six of these host cities have built brand new stadiums specifically for the 2014 World Cup, the remaining six all made significant upgrades to existing structures to facilitate the events. The 12 Host Cities for the World Cup are: Manaus, Fortaleza, Natal, Recife, Salvador, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Belo Horizonte, Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Curitiba, and Porto Alegre. Each of the 12 cities have something unique to offer:
Nestled quietly in the Amazon Jungle lies Manaus, the capital city of the Amazonas state. The city of Manaus has a population of 1.5 million, and is really only accessible by boat or airplane. As you would expect for a city located deep in the heart of the Amazon jungle, the climate is quite hot and humid! One of the most unique features of this Amazonian city is the convergence of the Rio Negro and Solimoes rivers. The two rivers run for almost 4 miles without mixing waters. The two rivers meet and form the mouth of the Amazon River, which is the second longest river in the world and the largest in terms of water flow.
Hovering just south of the Equator sits Fortaleza, the Capital city of Ceara and the 2nd city on our list of 2014 FIFA World Cup Host Cities. Fortaleza is the fifth largest city in Brazil with a population of 2.55 million people. Located on the Atlantic Ocean and known for it’s strong winds Fortaleza is one of Brazil’s premier surfing locations. Culturally it is the center of forro, a type of Brazilian music that encompasses a variety of dance styles and musical beats. Luckily for those attending the World Cup, the city of Fortaleza will be in the height of it’s June festivities allowing visitors to be completely immersed in the city’s quite unique culture.
Known for its warm waters, sand dunes, and sprawling beaches the 3rd city on our list is Natal. Located in Rio Grande do Norte, Natal is the capital city and has a population of approximately 950,000. It is often praised as the safest capital city in Brazil and has the Via Costeria (Or Coastal Highway) to thank for it’s strong tourism industry. Perhaps one of the most interesting attractions in Natal is the Maior cajueiro do mundo, the world’s largest cashew tree. The picture to the left shows how immense the tree is taking up approximately 90,000 square feet and producing more than 60,000 fruits each year. The tree is estimated to be more than 1,000 years old.
The 4th city on our list of World Cup Host Cities is Recife, capital city of Pernambuco. It is the 5th largest metropolitan area in Brazil with approximately 3.7 Million people and a serves as a major port city for Brazil on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s name is derived from the Portuguese word for reef and has some of the most scenic coral reefs in all of Brazil. The Zona Sul (Or South Zone) of the city is where the most picturesque reefs reside. The Boa Viagem Beach, rich with pristine white sands, is the longest urbanized stretch of beach in Brazil and is protected by a coral reef wall.
We hope you enjoyed reading Part 1 of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Host cities, Stay posted for Part 2 which will cover Salvador, Brasilia, Cuiaba, and Belo Horizonte.
The United States Soccer Team Home jerseys for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil were released earlier this month. The World Cup jerseys were designed by Nike, and are a bit of a departure from the jerseys worn in the last World Cup by the United States. The new home jerseys for this year are almost solid white aside from the US Soccer and Nike logos on the front. The new home jersey is a collared shirt that has red trim along the collar and sleeves. The shorts and socks are also completely white. The exact same uniform design will be used for both the Men’s and Women’s United States World Cup jerseys. They were showcased on March 5th, 2014 in a exhibition game Vs Ukraine in Larnaca, Cyprus.
The creative director for Nike, Martin Lotti, said the following about the new United States World Cup Jerseys “The new kit clearly showcases the USA’s national pride and distinct sense of style, while also capturing the nations eternal optimism”. To further spotlight the United States’ national pride the phrase “One Nation. One Team.” is overlayed into the back lettering of the jersey in the players last name. However, this phrase is only visible when exposed to UV light, so this is not going to be a very eye catching feature of the new uniform for the 2014 World Cup.
Clint Dempsey, the team captain of the United States National Team, is excited to be wearing the new jersey. When asked about the new home jersey he had the following to say “It’s always an honor to wear the colors of your country, and this summer we will be hard to miss in an all-white look.”
Along with the Home jerseys for the 2014 World Cup, the Away jerseys have also been released. The away kit is much more more visually appealing with a solid blue collar area, a white strip around the chest (on the front only) and the bottom of the jersey is all red. The back of the jersey will be all solid red. On the front the white stripe will have the players number placed in the center. Unlike the Home kit, the away jersey will be collarless.
All in all, the 2014 United States World Cup jerseys are rather plain, but still manage to be quite attractive. We can’t wait to see them on the pitch in the upcoming World Cup in Brazil!
One of the biggest topics of debate in the soccer world right now is who the best soccer player in the world is. There are two more popular schools of thought when it comes to this heated topic, and most refuse to waver in their allegiances. No matter who your favorite or who you think is the best soccer player in the world, we found some interesting statistics and wanted to show you exactly how close these two soccer greats are to each other. These statistics are compiled since the 2009-10 season and combine league and champions league stats.
|Who is the Greatest? Lionel Messi Vs. Cristiano Ronaldo
|League & Champions League Since 2009-10
The numbers are way too close to provide a definitive answer as to who is currently the best soccer player in the world. Despite the lack of a clear winner there is one thing that all soccer & sports fans alike can agree on – This is an incredible time to be a fan of soccer! Never before have we had a battle of two great soccer players quite like the one that we are experiencing right now. Furthermore, you will be hard pressed to find another pair of dueling sportsmen throughout history in any sport quite as entertaining to watch. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo both provide some of the most entertaining moments in soccer history, and we get to see the extraordinary highlights from both of them day in and day out.
Throw your allegiances aside and take a moment to appreciate the amazing soccer that we all get to see from two of the most talented individuals to ever play the game. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have certainly graced the soccer world with their presence and as lucky fans, we will continue to reap the rewards in the form of pure athletic bliss.
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored an incredible Hat Trick Vs. Sweden in a match on 11/19/2013. Cristiano Ronaldo scored all three of the goals against Sweden occuring at 50′ 77′ and 79′. Winning this game qualified Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
On October 20th, 2013 Midfielder Tim Cahill, #17 of the New York Red Bulls, scored the fastest goal in Major League Soccer league history against the Houston Dynamos. After only 8 seconds into the game, Tim Cahill scored the first and deciding goal of the match, leading the New York Red Bulls to a 3 – 0 victory against the Houston Dynamos. The assist came from Dax McCarty off of the opening kick off and set the tone for the game. Cahill executed a perfect run down the right wing of the field, received the long ball from his defender, and beat the Houston Dynamo keeper with a beautiful right footed shot to the right side netting from about 22 yards out. This was such a well executed goal, that it would have been one of the highlights of the season even if it hadn’t taken place after only 8 seconds. Cahill will certainly be a player to keep your eye on in the upcoming 2013 MLS playoffs.
In the History of Soccer Cleats – Part 1 we discussed the evolution of soccer cleats from the very first design all the way to the shoes of the 1960’s. We will now take a look at the history of soccer cleats from the 1970’s to today.
The 1970’s ushered in a new era in the world of soccer. Not only were manufacturers getting better at producing soccer cleats, but for the first time ever players began to be sponsored by individual companies. For the first time ever, players were paid by manufacturers to sport their soccer cleats and/or accessories while playing.
In the 70’s the materials that were used to produce soccer cleats also started to evolve. No longer was regular leather the only choice for making soccer shoes. Synthetic materials allowed for cleats to be lighter and stronger and improved traction. These new materials also meant that soccer cleats could now be produced in a variety of colors, even white! Adidas came out with their world famous Copa Mundial in 1979. These cleats were made from kangaroo leather which provided speed and versatility that was unmatched. The Copa Mundial soccer cleat is still available for purchase at the time of this writing. One of the more notable contemporary soccer cleat manufacturers, Diadora, was founded in Italy in 1977.
More and more manufacturers began to emerge during the 1980’s. Some of these manufacturers included Lotto & Kelme during 1982, and Umbro during 1985. Like the 70’s, newfangled technologies that emerged in the 1980’s allowed for even more performance increases. Placement of the studs on the cleats improved traction between the soccer shoe and the ground and improved materials allowed for players to have even more power and control of the soccer ball. Manufacturers began to place power & swerve zones on soccer shoes. Think of these as the “Sweet Spots” on the soccer shoes that when struck properly would inflict greater power and or swerve (curve) on a shot.
In 1994 Adidas released the Predator soccer shoe, which was designed by Craig Johnston during the 80’s. The unique style and unprecedented technology of the Predator made it an instant hit for Adidas. The predator soccer cleat would continue to evolve throughout the 90’s ultimately allowing for a more flexible sole and a “bladed” design for the studs on the bottom of the cleat. During the 1990’s soccer was extremely popular and more and more manufacturers joined the industry, most notably Nike. One of Nike’s very first designs was the Mercurial in 1998, making it one of the lightest soccer cleats on the market weighing in at only 200g.
As technology continues to advance, the design and performance of soccer cleats will continue to improve. Although there are lots of smaller companies that make cleats, the most popular companies are still Adidas and Puma, followed by Nike. Manufacturers no longer must choose between protection, performance or style – They are able to provide all three in the same design. As long as there is soccer, there will be a need for a soccer shoe. Just like any other industry, manufacturers of soccer shoes will always be looking for new ways to make a faster, lighter and stronger soccer cleat, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with!
Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, and has been played in almost every country across many generations. Even though the game of soccer is thought to date all the way back to the 2nd and 3rd century BC, the first soccer shoes or soccer cleats were thought to have originated sometime around the 1500’s. King Henry VIII is credited as having the first pair of soccer cleats and they were likely made by the Shoemaker Cornelius Johnson around 1525. Although these were technically soccer cleats, they differed greatly from the soccer shoes that we have come to know. King Henry’s soccer cleats were ankle high and were made of rigid leather that was much heavier than the material used for making normal shoes of the time.
Prior to King Henry VIII’s soccer cleats, players would use their hard, leather work boots that usually had a steel toe-cap. As you can imagine, these were not the ideal shoe to wear for playing soccer! To gain more traction, the players started to hammer metal studs to the bottom of their shoes. As the game evolved and become more popular in the late 1800’s the demand for better soccer shoes began to increase. It was then that the shift from wearing soccer “boots” to the more traditional “slipper” style happened. Players wanted a soccer shoe that was better designed and more comfortable.
As the game began to develop and become more organized rules about what were acceptable soccer cleats did as well. The old metal studs that players pounded into the bottom of their soccer shoes now had to be rounded to prevent injuries. These cleats typically had 6 studs, were made of leather, and had a tendency to become very heavy during rain. These 6 studded, heavy leather cleats remained relatively unchanged the mid 1900’s.
Soccer cleat manufacturers such as Gola, Valsport and Hummel began to produce soccer shoes starting in the early 1900’s. Around 1925 the Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory), led by two German brothers Adolf & Rudolf, produced the first soccer cleats with interchangeable studs. These interchangeable studs allowed players to adjust to different field conditions without having to purchase multiple pairs of cleats.
The next big evolution in soccer cleats happened from 1940 – 1960. In the post-World War II era manufacturing became stronger than ever before. Air travel also became much more affordable and more and more international matches began to be played. The increase in international play began to highlight the incredible skill that players all around the world had. Both of these factors influenced the next innovation of soccer shoes. Manufacturers began to producer lighter cleats that allowed players to focus on kicking and controlling the soccer ball on a mass scale. Soccer cleats began to focus on ability to enhance a player’s skill, not just on protective qualities.
During the early 1940’s the Dassler Brothers, Adolf & Rudolf, dissolved the Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik shoe company. Adolf formed Adidas out of the original factory, and Rudolf ended up forming Puma a few years later in 1948. Puma began to produce the Puma Atom, which had the first interchangeable studs that were constructed of plastic or rubber instead of metal. Later in the 1960’s Puma designed a cleat to be worn by the soccer legend, Pelé. The 60’s also gave birth to several other soccer cleat manufacturers including Mitre, Asics and Joma.
Want to learn more about the history of soccer shoes? Keep reading in The History of Soccer Cleats – Part 2
In Part 1 and Part 2 of our list of the best soccer movies of all time we have covered some fantastic films about soccer including Fever Pitch, Mean Machine, Escape to Victory, Bend It Like Beckham, Goal! The Dream Begins, and United. In Part 3 of the best soccer movies of all time we will continue to discuss the films that have shaped and inspired the soccer world for years to come.
The Damned United (2009)
This film is based off of the 2006 book The Damned Utd written by David Peace. This story follows Brian Clough and his brief career as the manager of the 1974 Leeds United A.F.C. soccer club. Clough was the former manager of the Derby County, who had a long time beef with the physical style of play that former Leeds manager Don Revie taught to his squad. Clough accepts a job offer to manage the Leeds soccer club, and parts ways with his former assistant coach, Peter Taylor.
The first day on the job as manager of the Leeds United A.F.C soccer club is quite a dramatic one. Clough tells the players that they can throw away any awards they won, because they never won any of them fairly. This instills feelings of tension and contempt into the players towards their new coach. Leeds’s first match with Clough at the helm ends in mayhem as their team captain, Billy Bremner, gets into a fight and is ejected from the match. The fight ultimately leads to a 2 month suspension for Bremner. With their captain suspended, the season gets off to an absolutely dismal start. The players ultimately air their grievances to the board members of the Leeds United A.F.C. in regard to Clough as the manager, and he is terminated.
After hearing of the termination, Yorkshire Television asks Clough for an interview where he is confronted by former Leeds United manager, Don Revie. Clough accuses Revie of being fundamentally dishonest. In the end Clough’s ability to maintain his set of high morals land him the title of ‘The best manager that the English national side never had’ making The Damned United an easy pick for our list of the best soccer movies of all time.
The Football Factory (2004)
Making it into our list of the Best Soccer Movies of all time is the 2004 film, The Football Factory. Loosely based off of the 1997 novel of the same name written by John King, The Football Factory is Rockstar Games’ first venture into the film making world as executive producers. This film takes a look at the English obsession with violence in soccer, focusing on a small group of friends that are part of a violent fan club for the Chelsea FC soccer club, known as a hooligan firm. Tommy Johnson, the main character, is accompanied by his friends, Rod King, Billy Bright, Zeberdee & Raf. During a violent outburst with another hooligan firm that supports Tottenham, Tommy begins to question the path that he is on after him and his friends are all arrested. Ultimately tommy secures his place within the hooligan firm despite several events that make him question if it’s really worth it.
This extreme fanaticism that can be seen throughout the movie is what lands it on our list of the best soccer movies. There are few other sports with fans as committed and dedicated to supporting their teams as soccer fans are. Despite the violence associated with the group, fans are arguably the most important part of any soccer club, and organized sport would not be what it is today without the support of the fans.
That brings Part 3 of the best soccer movies of all time to a close, make sure you stay tuned for part 4 of our list of the best soccer movies!