Category Archives: Unusual, Interesting

Survey says: most U.K. pro soccer players go broke.

XPro, a charity that helps former professional footballers in the UK and Ireland, has found that a majority of top-division players go broke within five years of ending their careers.

Premier League

Research by XPro showed that three in five players encountered major financial difficulties despite the average Premier League wage being £30,000 ($45,000 U.S.) per week.

XPro chief executive Geoff Scott, an ex-Leicester and Stoke player, told the Sun on Sunday: “Our database shows three in five players go bankrupt within five years, and that coincides with one in three getting divorced within 12 months [of the end of a playing career].

“Often they are advised by the wrong people and, before they know it, their assets have disappeared. Even if they manage careers in the media or on the after-dinner circuit, some aren’t aware they need to put money away for the taxman. It might sound incredible to normal fans – but it can and does happen.”

The charity is assisting former Aston Villa star Lee Hendrie, who has been declared bankrupt.

Mark Sands, of bankruptcy specialists RSM Tenon, told the paper many footballers encountered problems after “developing expensive tastes and making risky investments”.

“When their playing career came to an end, they had no second income and their earnings dropped rapidly,” he explained. “And as their earnings dropped, their expenditure did not.” Read more here from XPro’s latest news section.

 

Seattle Sounders on precipice of breaking Cosmos' attendance record.

Seattle Sounders soccer pinsBack in the day–defined, in this case, as circa 1977-1981–the New York Cosmos played before 30,000+ fans for 70 consecutive home matches. Since midway through their inaugural 2009 season, the Seattle Sounders have tallied 61 consecutive matches drawing crowds of 30,000+ fans. (When their stadium first opened, it was limited to a seating capacity of 29,000.)

If things continue as such, their streak will reach 70 at a July 20 game against Colorado and then 71 at a July 28 game against Chivas.

Pretty impressive stuff. For more Sounders-vs-Cosmos attendance facts and figures, check out Roger Allaway’s full blog post. If you’d like to simply pick up a Seattle Sounders pin or pin of any MLS soccer team, well, just click the link!

Fifa 13 continues to drive interest in soccer nationwide.

FIFA 13 soccer video gameSocial scientist Rich Luker attributes the popularity of soccer to many things, including the quantity of world-class soccer available to Americans on cable television, the Internet, and via teams from England and Spain traveling across the continent to brand-build during preseason.

Of all his findings, one caught Luker by surprise: the role soccer video games have played in stimulating a passion for the real thing. “For the longest time, I believed video games and fandom of sport were not connected,” he said. “But games like FIFA have done more to advance the popularity of soccer than I have seen with any other sport.”

Check out the full story for more on FIFA 13 and its impact on the beautiful game.

 

William, Kate open new English soccer center.

Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney (and his new hair) met the royal couple earlier this week.

As part of its quest to win back the World Cup, England opened its “football centre of excellence” earlier this week with a special visit from Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge. The $200+ million (U.S.) facility will be the training base for all 24 England teams from junior to senior levels.

Check out more of the story including pix of the royal couple mingling with England’s famous footballers. By the way, only 610 more days (give or take) until the next World Cup!

Should heading be banned in girls' soccer?

Soccer Player Kicking Soccer Ball

Girls' soccer is having a concussion crisis.

A new report from NBC Rock Center’s Kate Snow suggests maybe so.

With the steady popularity of youth soccer, there are more female youth soccer players than ever, with girls making up 48 percent of the more than 3 million kids registered in US Youth Soccer leagues. Some experts have said the country is in the midst of “a concussion crisis” and that studies show girls are reporting nearly twice as many concussions as boys in the sports they both play.

You can read more of the story, and tune in to NBC tonight, May 9, at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT for the report.

Soccer Ball Lost in Japan Tsunami Surfaces in Alaska.

Soccer Ball Lost in Japan Tsunami Surfaces in Alaska

David Baxter and his Japanese wife, Yumi, pose with the soccer ball and volleyball lost in last year's Japanese tsunami.

While roaming the beach on Alaska’s barren, largely uninhabited Middleton Island, radar station technician David Baxter noticed a soccer ball floating off the shore. But it wasn’t until he fished it out that Baxter realized how far the ball had traveled: some 3,000 miles, from its home in Japan, where a disastrous tsunami killed 19,000 people and poured the belongings of thousands of others into the ocean more than a year ago.

Check out the rest of the story surrounding the ball’s amazing journey.

Soccer team adds Twitter handles on jerseys.

Twitter handle on soccer jerseyMexican first division soccer team Jaguares de Chiapas has a reputation for being a forward-thinking, innovative club. That makes sense, since the club has only been in existence since 2002.

Its latest bold move takes the social media craze right onto the playing field. Jaguares recently unveiled new jerseys that replace the names on the backs with a player’s Twitter handle.

“Conscious of the age we live in, where we can all stay in touch through the Internet without regard to distance, Jaguares launched a campaign and realized various activities linked to Twitter,” the club said on its website.

It’s believed to be the first time a professional sports team has officially used Twitter handles on jerseys. The uniforms also feature the Twitter handle of club sponsor Cerveza Sol.

In related news: Our company car is so cool it has its own Twitter account @SoccerBallCar  Follow away!Code Four Soccer Ball Car

Miracle League is a hit.

Miracle League of SeattleFor several years now, we have created baseball shirts and caps for a local Pacific Northwest ‘division’ of The Miracle League, a wonderful organization that offers people with disabilities the opportunity to play our national pastime. There are currently more than 200 Miracle Leagues across the country.

Here in the Seattle area, The Miracle League is supported in part by The Employee Recycling Fund, a non-profit organization supported entirely by money from private contributions and recyclables, such as aluminum cans and newspapers. All the money it raises from recycled pop cans and plastic bottles goes to provide equipment and uniforms to people with disabilities for sports training. Since its founding in 1974, it has raised well over $1 million.

A couple years back a local TV station did a nice story on the Miracle League in our backyard. Take 4 minutes of your day to find out more about this great program.

The grassroots of giving, soccer style.

Give N Go Soccer PlayersThe Give N Go Project believes that soccer has the capacity to transcend socioeconomic status and serve as the universal language around the world to galvanize communities. As such, their mission is to provide relief to the underprivileged by giving donated soccer equipment to orphanages in developing countries, as well as to the needy in inner cities in the United States. Give N Go Soccer Players on Soccer Field

The group’s emphasis is to distribute gear and provide mentorship, as well as give professional soccer training to kids around the world…in effect, creating a family and team atmosphere for children who do not have families.

Soccer HugPreviously the group has completed mission trips to Costa Rica, Colombia and the Bahamas. In January of this year, volunteers visited Haiti and helped out an amputee soccer team directly affected by the earthquake, five teams of underprivileged kids, and a couple orphanages in Port Au Prince. Upcoming sheduled mission trips include Miami, Los Angeles and Jamaica.