The beginning of the Premier League season is always a buzz with excitement, and a great deal of anticipation for the release and debut of new kits. Some shirts have already been “leaked” & released for months, while others have kept their shirts hush-hush only recently revealing them before the August 8th BPL kickoff. Well there is no hiding them now, the kits have hit the pitch and our grades are in…
Arsenal: Something about the hue of this red is quite obnoxious, just seems a bit off. Luckily the white sleeves do a fair job of pulling attention away from the harshness of the red jersey. Subtle striping makes the shirt a hint more interesting, and the simple text for the sponsor makes it much more palatable than many others in the league. Clean and classic Gunners, not a bad effort.
Aston Villa: Well there’s lots of stripes… Macron has not produced the most appealing kits in the last few seasons but they have taken a solid stab at this one. Maroon base and sky blue sleeves tackle the classic Villain colors, and the thin deep maroon horizontal stripes help mix up the monotony of solid colors. It is the sleeves and collar where I have to question the restraint of design. Three maroon stripes on the sleeves and color seems like a bit much. Even just two stripes I feel would have made the shirt look less busy. It is difficult to ignore the fact that there is a lot of text on this shirt, unlike Puma, Nike, or Adidas who have an emblems, Macron is text logo. Combine that with the other large sponsored text, and add the lines from the sleeves and color and it becomes a lot to look at. Sometimes less is more, and the appeal of this kit gets lost somewhere along the way.
AFC Bournemouth: There are a lot of firsts for Bournemouth here. Not only is this their Premier League debut, their shirts are the first to ever feature JD Sports on a football kit, and they are the first EPL club to have black and red stripes as their primary color scheme. Honestly with colors like black and red, it should be pretty difficult to mess up. There is so much potential for Bournemouth to have an insanely good kit, and this is their EPL first impression might as well try to impress… but it doesn’t. Okay JD Sports we get it, why put three logos on the shirt? (front & both sleeves). The vertical stripes are thick and boring, and the black part at the top seems out of place or the wrong size. What is it doing there? I will say it looks better on than it does in flat photos but overall the kit is, meh.
Chelsea: I’m gonna go right out and say it, the collar on this shirt is weird. I don’t get it. I think I would like it more if there wasn’t a button, the button looks useless and out of place. Also why is there red accents on this shirt? This shirt is okay. Nothing to write home about, and honestly very forgetful in the bunch, but enough to get by.
Crystal Palace: Why do I feel like I have seen this kit before? Oh because it looks like a knock off Barcelona jersey that they couldn’t get the colors quite right on. If we were looking at Away shirts I’d be able to give a little bit of extra credit, but on Home shirt alone this design is tiresome. It just looks like something that has been done some many times before that it could pass as the shirt for a number of teams which is not a good thing.
Everton: There are few clubs whose sponsor image actually adds to the appeal of the shirt, this is one of them. Not only is the Chang logo fairly aesthetically pleasing, especially compared to some other league sponsors (see Mansion logo on Crystal Palace) the sizing of the logo is perfectly done and doesn’t completely envelop the shirt. The color adds a tiny bit of uniqueness to the otherwise extremely classic design. Simple but clean blue and white make this shirt timeless Everton, proving less can certainly be more.
Leicester City: Though we are only taking a look at the home shirts for each team, hats off to Puma, the entire Leicester City kit series including the goalkeeper kits are solid work. The home shirt looks clean and effortless, makes a statement without being loud. Not particularly exciting (though the away jersey is), but I will trade excitement for a simple solid design any day.
Liverpool: Something is missing. The shirt looks fine, but tomorrow I will have forgotten what it looks like completely; besides the obvious fact that it is incredibly red. If it is any consolation it’s not terrible, but it’s also not great… it just is.
Manchester City: Google search football shirt and here it is. Dare I say this shirt is sexy. The collar is class, the white details add just enough, and the black sponsor text is not distracting. Everything looks like it is supposed to be there. Nike has truly outdone themselves and the City should be nothing short of thrilled with this sensational kit.
Manchester United: Perhaps the most overhyped kit of the 15/16 season, literally everyone saw this coming. The fact that Man United’s kit was one of the first leaked kind of made us lose our excitement for it once it hit the pitch. It good (better than the away). Traditional color scheme, classic Adidas three stripes down the sleeves, and nice thick white cuffs and collar make up a good looking shirt. We’d expect nothing less.
Newcastle: I like that Newcastle has pulled the blue from the crest to accent this shirt, but with such a large bold blue sponsor the extra diagonal lines cutting through the thick, black, vertical bars looks forced. I get the idea and it isn’t a complete miss, the nothingness of the shirts back however really seems to miss the mark. We’ll give the front a B-, the back a D+ and average the two out to a C.
Norwich City: I’m not sure where to even begin to describe my destane for this shirt. As if nauseating yellow teamed up with the toad green wasn't bad enough, Norwich City thought itself clever to conjure up two other kits with the exact same color scheme. I feel like someone, somewhere along the shirt development line should have raised the question of what happens when they play a team with a yellow and green kit? But regardless of the hideousness of the entire collection, this shirt can stand alone in its grotesque geometric glory.
Southampton: I like that Adidas put their logo in the middle of this shirt. I know it’s such a stupid minor detail but had it been on the right breast this shirt would have been awkwardly semetical. I’m also grateful that the vertical stripes run consistently on from and back, and that the sleeves have a blockier (is that even a word?) bit of red to break up the repetitiveness of the stripes. The shirt overall is pretty basic, but pretty good. A solid, non-offensive footballer kit.
Stroke City: Remember what I said about Southampton’s kit? Pretty much everything I said; the logo in the center, breaking up the vertical stripes, too much symmetry??? Take a look at Stroke City’s Home shirt for exhibit A of all those points. It looks like a Halloween referee shirt what was misprinted in red.
Sunderland: Mesh? I can’t recall the last time that mesh was used for anything more than the inner lining of some athletic shorts. Adding it to the sleeves, collar, and trim of this shirt really cheapens the shirt in my opinion. I do not think that adding black details was a bad call, but I think it has been some years since mesh and classy or cool found themselves in the same sentence.
Swansea City: Pulling off a predominantly white kit is a difficult task. Too little accents and the shirt looks dull, too much and it looks awkward and busy. So to attempt a predominantly white kit with an equally bold accent color such as copper is without a doubt a gutsy move. It nothing else, extra credit is awarded here for bravery. It certainly takes confidence to go for this one. The design itself is decent, and at the very least they its unique.
Tottenham: Is this a beauty pageant that no one told us about? What the hell is up with all the sashes this season? Or are they seatbelts in case you crash and burn like your shirt design? Of the seatbelt/sash designs this year, I would say the Spurs’ shirt is the best of the bad, but that doesn’t make it good.
Watford: Excited to rejoin the ranks of the Premier League elite, Watford has a lot to say and prove. Their kit should reflect pride and confidence and I guess in a way it does. After all they are the Hornets and their shirts very confidently portray a bee like vibe. If this was an attempt at satire, it isn’t very funny. We all hoped for so much more.
West Bromwich: Adidas, STOP. No. No mesh.
West Ham: Umbro had big shoes to fill after signing on to a five year contract replacing Adidas as West Ham’s kit provider. Luckily for the Hammers Umbro totally came through! It is helpful that claret and sky blue are a striking color combination in and of themselves, but with such contrasting colors it could be easy to get carried away. This kit shows great restraint, and eye for detail. The skyblue hoop around the color perfectly sets off the neckline, and muted club crest in neutral colors makes for a super crisp looking shirt.
We wanna know where you are supporting! Submit a fun or creative photo of you wearing WhoAreYa Designs and tell us #WhereAreYa to automatically win a FREE WAYD t-shirt! The top 5 entrants will also win an Ultimate Supporters WhoAreYa Prize Package!!! Contest ends August 21st, so hurry and tell us #WhereAreYa
Who Are Ya Designs has brought you some awesome fantasy team designs in the past. Though these teams will never actually see the pitch we were curious who you'd be supporting if these fantasy football teams were around. To help you decide we made a little quiz to match you up with your dream team.
It is a well known fact that football is, without a doubt, the most popular sport in the world. Played by hundreds of millions of athletes in countries all across the globe and watched by billions more, it’s arguable no other sport can even compete with football’s popularity. That being said, it would seem there must be a team for everyone, even the least likely of supporters. Here’s a few individuals you might be surprised to know are supporters of the beautiful game.
LeBron James: Best known as a basketball superstar, LeBron James is one of the most recognizable athletes in America. Standing at 6’8 I guess he’s hard to miss, but regardless of stature, his talent and long list of career accomplishments have kept him well lit in fame’s spotlight. Basketball obviously takes top priority in James’ life, but in 2011 part of a deal with Fenway Sports Group made him a minority owner of Liverpool FC. Since acquiring stake in the team, James has made the journey over seas on multiple occasions to pay visit to Anfield and cheer on his boys. He even has his own custom LEBRON Liverpool jersey.
Sir Elton John: If there ever was a real life Renaissance man, look no further than the one and only Sir Elton John. Over the course of a five decade long career, Sir Elton as seen phenomenal success, including seven consecutive No.1 US albums, dozens of top 40 hits, and the best selling single of all time. Singer, activist, pianist, songwriter, producer, actor, composer… he has done it all. The man has been knighted for goodness sake! I suppose it should come as no surprise that he has also owned a football club. From 1976-1987 Sir Elton was owner and head chairman of Watford FC and, though he has since given up ownership, still resides currently as the club’s active president. Despite outward appearances, Sir Elton is easily the biggest football enthusiast on our list. On multiple occasions he has expressed his deep connection with the sport and commented on how the Hornets have impacted his life. There is no doubt he is ecstatic to see Watford’s return to First Division status rejoining the Premier League after a tough 8 year lull.
Mike Tyson: In spite of his successful boxing career, Mike Tyson is arguably more famous for his outrageous behavior and controversies outside of the ring than victories within. At this point I guess no one should really be surprised by anything that former undisputed heavyweight champion does, says, or likes. So if the man says he likes, soccer, well okay then. Though we aren’t entirely sure which club he favors (not sure he has even worked that bit out), he has been spotted on numerous occasions sporting various clubs including Argentina’s National Team jersey and Peterborough United FC. He even reportedly sent over an autographed pair of boxing gloves to soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
Katy Perry: The American popstar best known for her “bubblegum” lyrics and over the top outfits is definitely not who most people would picture when asked to think of a typical soccer fan, but what’s a typical soccer fan anyway? Though her fandom was sparked by her ex-husband Russell Brand, a known supporter of West Ham, it’s never too late to find your team. How you ignite your supporter passion is not the important bit, it’s what you do once the flame is lit. Since jumping on the West Ham United bandwagon, Perry has even taken her love for the Hammers center-stage donning a provocative West Ham colored corset complete with team crests across her chest while hosting the MTV EU Music Awards.
Jackie Chan: Martial artist Jackie Chan is most known for his work in countless kung-fu classics, but few know that he is also a recently recruited Manchester City supporter. After meeting players from the team in Beijing in 2012, Chan publicly pledged his allegiance to The City and hasn’t looked back. Though martial arts and soccer are essentially opposites in nature, Chan admires athleticism involved in the game’s play and the hard working fighting spirit in Manchester City.
This weekend draws the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. It has been a gut wrenching journey of both triumph and heartache. A victor will soon be crowned and the cup will find its way either returning to Japan with the reigning champions, or back into the waiting arms of the Americans who have longed to be reunited for sixteen years. But despite the fact that only one team will emerge triumphant over the lot of 24, this World Cup has already boasted some pretty incredible victories for the game and the women playing it.
The 2015 WWC has been a tournament of first for several nations. Seven different teams have made their Women’s World Cup debut; Spain, Ivory Coast, Thailand, Cameroon, Ecuador, Switzerland, and Costa Rica. Switzerland and Cameroon advancing out of their group to compete in the elimination round of 16. Though none of the newcomers advanced beyond the round of 16, the expansion of the tournament from 16 teams in 2011 to 24 in 2015 has diversified the competition. In the future these additional teams are likely to shake up the group stage brackets, dismantling a common complaint that the Women’s competition is too predictable, and making the entire tournament more legitimate. That sounds like a win to me.
Other World Cup victories can be seen off the pitch this year. Even during group stage, very early in the tournament, television ratings began to set records. The 2015 WWC has drawn in more viewers than any women’s tournament in history and the two biggest matches have yet to be played. FOX Sports reported that the audience for the USA-Germany semifinal match peaked at over 12 million, making USAvGER the most watched semifinal match, male or female, of all time in the US.
Though global television ratings for the Women’s Cup have not caught up with the numbers posted by the men’s tournament, the gap is narrowing. The rating prove that viewer perspective is changing, and the negative stigma that has stifled growth of women’s athletics is at the very least headed in the right direction. That alone is a huge win for the beautiful game and all athletes, male or female, that play it.
It's hard to believe that the first ever Women's World Cup was 24 years ago. It seems like only yesterday that the USA raised the inaugural trophy. Personally I was five years old and actually remember bits and pieces, but even for a huge soccer fan such as myself, it's easy to forget what happened after that inaugural tournament and who else in the world ended up challenging the USA in the years following.
Let's start with 1991 in China, the first time the tournament was held. The USA was lead by Michelle Akers, a player who many of the youngsters these days don't know a whole lot about, but one thing is for sure...Akers was a beast. That year she led the team with a whopping 39 goals (including non-World Cup play) and won Athlete of the Year honors. The USWNT would end up facing Norway in the World Cup Final and as mentioned before, they went on to win the inaugural Women's World Cup with a 2-1 final score. Sweden rounded out the top three that year after beating Germany 4-0 in the third place match.
Four years later the tournament was held in Sweden. Although Sweden had a decent outing in the previous World Cup, they would find themselves completely off the podium in their home country. Instead, their Scandinavian neighbors from Norway would get to the final once again where they would win their first championship in a 2-0 match against Germany. The USA finished third that year as they beat China 2-0 in their conciliation match.
The third Women's World Cup in 1999 was held in the USA and would be the first in back to back tournaments held in the USA. 1999 would be the year when the women of Brazil would finally make some waves in the World Cup, although they did fall just short of the final, settling for a third place finish over reigning champs, Norway. The USA made full use of their home field advantage and found themselves once again in the final, but this time against China. In an absolutely thrilling final that went to penalties, the USA would be triumphant thanks to goalkeeper, Brianna Scurry who managed to save a penalty from Liu Ying. Pretty sure most of you who follow soccer also remember a certain celebration that year from Brandi Chastain.
In 2003 the World Cup was once again held in the USA due to a SARS outbreak in China (who was originally picked to host again), but this time the Americans were unable to make the final, falling to Germany 3-0 in the semifinals. The USA were forced to once again play for third, but this time to a surging Canadian team. The USA would win that match 3-1 and make the podium for the fourth time in as many tournaments. Sweden returned to the championship match in 2003, but it would be the Germans who finally claimed the ultimate prize with a 2-1 win.
Four years later, China was able to get the SARS virus mostly under control and were finally able to hold the tournament once again. Despite their previous success though, the Chinese wouldn't even make the semifinals, instead making way for the Americans, Germans, Norwegians and Brazilians. The USA faced Brazil in the semis, while the Germans faced the Norwegians. The US would end up being decimated by the Brazilians, losing their semifinal match 4-0, while the Germans would have a similar result against the Norwegians beating them 3-0. For the fifth time in a row, the Americans still managed a podium finish with a 4-1 win over the Norwegians, but it would be the Germans who would become the first country in Women's World Cup history to win back to back World Cups.
And so that brings us to the most recent tournament in 2011 held in Germany. Call it a curse, but the back to back champs from Germany were kept from the semifinals in their homeland after losing to a Japanese squad in the quarterfinals who had their eyes firmly on the prize. Japan would end up going all the way to the finals to face...who else? The Americans. In what was one of the most exciting finals, not just in Women's World Cup, but in soccer history, the Americans and the Japanese would end up tied 2-2 after regulation and needed extra time to decide the champion. The score remained 2-2 at the end of extra time and would head to penalties. After a crazy seesaw battle, the Americans would eventually fall to the Japanese who would lift their first Women's World Cup.
Now here we are in 2015 and we get to see our neighbors to the north give hosting a try. After an exciting and controversial (to some) 2012 Olympic semifinal match between the Canadians and Americans, it would certainly be exciting to see a rematch. That said, there are plenty of other story lines that will make this tournament special, I am certain of that.
Here's to an amazing 2015 Women's World Cup! May the best team win.
It seems like it was just yesterday that we were cheering on Clint Dempsey and the gang as they took on the Group of Death in Brazil. Fast forward a year later and it's World Cup time once again...only this time we'll be cheering on Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and company.
Obviously you know where to get your Team USA gear (nudge nudge wink wink, you're kind of here already) and so now that we got that plug taken care of....how about some predictions?
Alright, so let's just stick with the group stages for this blog entry, no reason to get ahead of ourselves right?
GROUP A: Canada, China PR, New Zealand, Netherlands
It shouldn't come as a surprise that Canada is my favorite to win this group. With memories of the last Olympics still fresh in their minds, they are going to be chomping at the bit for another go at their neighbors to the South. The question is.....who joins them? This group is actually a pretty decent group when it all comes down to it, so I think it's a bit of a tossup considering New Zealand's grittiness and China's history in the tournament, but at the end of the day, I am taking the Netherlands to move on with the Canadians.
Advancing: Canada and Netherlands
Group B: Germany, Ivory Coast, Norway, Thailand
Although Thailand is in shouting distance....mind you a very LOUD shout of Germany and Norway, I don't think Thailand or Ivory Coast will pose much of a threat at all to Germany and Norway advancing. If it went any other way, I personally feel it would be a HUGE upset.
Advancing: Germany and Norway
Group C: Japan, Switzerland, Cameroon, Ecuador
Once again there are two EASY favorites in this group, as Japan and Switzerland seem to be light years ahead of Cameroon and Ecuador. However, although Japan are certainly the favorites in this group, I am actually going with Switzerland to win the group. I feel like the Japanese may struggle a little early and the Swiss will have a chance to capitalize on that.
Advancing: Switzerland and Japan
Group D: USA, Australia, Sweden, Nigeria
Here is where I call my first upset. This could actually be one of the more entertaining groups and not just because the USA is in it. All of these teams could cause some trouble, even the Nigerians who are definitely the underdogs. Sweden and the USA are both ranked in the Top 5 in the world, but I am actually going to pick the Aussies to move on with the Americans in what could be a crazy group. The Americans haven't been quite as dominant as of late, much of this has to do with the rest of the world catching up. The Australians have a load of talent and I feel like they could really turn some heads.
Advancing: USA and Australia
Group E: Brazil, Korea Republic, Spain, Costa Rica
Group E proves to be interesting as well. Brazil and Spain are the favorites, but I am kind of liking the Koreans as well. I think they'll make it interesting, but in the end, I am going to stick with the favorites.
Advancing: Brazil and Spain
Group F:France, England, Colombia, Mexico
F is for France and I believe they will easily win this Group. England won't have much trouble beating Colombia and Mexico, but I still feel they'll get killed by the French. Looking into the future of the tournament, I actually see France going pretty far. Definitely one of my favorite teams.
Advancing: France and England
Well there you have it, my predictions for the Group Stages of the 2015 Women's World Cup. I have to say, I am extremely excited for it to start and I hope all of you are as well. Please comment with your predictions below!