Where Do You New Yorkers Play Pickup?


Brooklyn Technical High School, in Fort Greene

Upper 90 has a super blog post titled “The 25+ Best Places to Play Pickup Soccer in New York City“. No explanation needed.

These days you can catch most of the Home & Away Register’s masthead playing at Brooklyn Bridge Park and Cadman Plaza, where you’ll notice we’re the group with the crazy cleats and no game to match.

Where do you guys go for a kickaround?


What Do We Name our New NIKEiDs?

Nike has taken a wee bit more blog space here than we first imagined but at least we’ve got some self-effacing ideas for a forthcoming post about brand whoredom. We may also have to include some sort of disclaimer with all posts disclosing our label lust at some point if we don’t start mixing things up.

But really, who wants to talk about editorial integrity when we’ve got new cleats in the mail? We’ve discussed neon fatigue here before but since we’re a bunch of DOERS we decided to design our own neon-free shoes on NIKEiD’s website.


Top l., top r., bottom r. belong to Home & Away’s editor. Bottom r. belongs to one of our contributing reporters.

The final products ended up looking far more luxurious and well-made. As far as playing performance, well the Home & Away strikeforce that’ll be wearing these will debut these on the training ground in two weeks. Watch this space for our review of the Nike Tiempo Legacy ID.

Brooklyn, NY … Soccertown, USA?


Upper 90’s Brooklyn outpost on Atlantic Avenue

Ask a foreigner about how they view soccer in the U.S. and somewhere in their initial response will lie some reference to the suburbs and moms and minivans driven by suburban moms. Well, Nike had other images in mind. They were thinking concrete, travel by foot, train and bus and downtown Brooklyn.

Last month, Nike released the kits the U.S. team would be wearing at this summer’s World Cup and they chose local outfitter Upper 90’s Brooklyn store as a debut site. Actually, Nike kinda took over in serious style.

photo (1)

A Song NYCFC Supporters Can Get Behind?


NYCFC’s cantor-in-chief?

Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough” really has nothing to do with Uruguay. Or football. So, how does it become attached to the Premier League’s best and recently most controversial striker? Because throwing Luis Suarez’ name into the song somehow sounds great to Liverpool supporters.

Now that we’ve established the scant requirements needed to affix a song to a cherished player or soccer club, we can help New York’s newest MLS franchise, NYCFC, come up with a tune we’d like to hear from the stands.

Our blog’s founding members had a days-long email chain about this and we came up with Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me”. Withers’ version lends itself to warmth and support but for NYCFC’s purposes we prefer the defiant, gospel-like tone set by Morgan Freeman and Sandra Reaves-Phillips in this version from the film with the same name. It wouldn’t be so strange. According to terrace song database FanChants, Watford FC tried the tune out but it never hit the heights. Hopefully, New Yorkers inspired by Morgan Freeman’s role as a bat-wielding school principal can change the song’s soccer-related success.

Our second choice, “Fair Eastside”, also comes from the film.

Let us know what you think about our suggestions and if you have one of your own!

And they said “Lean on Me” (the film) was all about test scores. Hmph!


About Those Neons…

Nike must have read our inaugural post and acted quickly last week because look what they just dropped (images via Nike Football on Instagram).


A limited edition Mercurial colorway to commemorate Cristiano Ronaldo’s Balon d’Or win this year.



A black-out farewell color scheme for the CTR360.

Dearly Departed Neons

“Neo lime”, “solar zest”, “fluro peach” and their day-glo cousins have had their time in the football boot spotlight for a while. It was nearly six years ago when Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner put Dinamo Kiev to the pink sword , scoring a crucial, late goal in a pair of flamingo-hued Nikes.

TGSTEL: "What global economic crisis?"

TGSTEL: “What worldwide economic meltdown?”

You would’ve thought that in the wake of a global financial crisis, restraint would’ve been the order of the day. No. Soccer fandom is aspirational. We wanted to see athletes defy conventionalism and tell the world that even though subprime mortgages and sad labor statistics were breaking our backs, nobody was going to take the delight of seeing an overpriced, underachieving Danish footballer nance about in pink boots away from us.  The unwritten code of conduct previously afforded only top players the freedom to wear lavish cleats. Bendtner, or B52, or TGSTEL (The Greatest Striker That Ever Lived) was and is anything but top despite the winner he scored against Kiev. He gave us gasoline and we set that rulebook ablaze.

Here in Brooklyn, roll out of bed on a Sunday morning, head to any field to watch a pickup game and take a look at the boots on show. You can easily see the trickle-down effect TGSTEL (and the countless overweight Brazilians before him) has had on us (full disclosure: in the past few years, I’ve purchased cleats accented with ‘bright mango’, ‘safari’, et al). It doesn’t matter if you’re watching some former college players at Bushwick Inlet Park or a group of older Bulgarians at Cadman Plaza, it’s Carnaval for the feet. Coincidentally, Adidas has recently released its “Carnaval Pack” ahead of this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

Some will naturally take longer than the rest to accede, but the color bug will strike down some of your most conservative teammates. The problem now is that when you decide to turn on the Christmas lights, buy your first pair of electric blue kicks and show up to play that first game in them, your typically bland-footed buddy shows up in a “lion dog robot” design.

My advice for this spring is to give the eyes a break, open up your wallet and buy an eggshell white or jet black pair of cleats. You’ll really stand out. Trust me, I just designed and ordered these on NIKEiD:

The author's response to a world of neon.

A response to a world of neon.