Monday, April 16

Stories Of the Day: Health Triumph & Jerseys

A bit of good news followed by mixed reviews...

Good Health News: After a number of unfortunate health stories in the past few weeks – Fabrice Muamba’s cardiac arrest in England and the passing of Livorno player Piermario Morosini in Serie B this week – there is finally a triumphant story in the medical department of the sport. Paraguayan international Salvador Cabanas returned to competitive play for the first time since being shot in the head.

Cabanas, playing for Club America in Mexico at the time, was shot in January of 2010 during an argument in a Mexico City bar. For his new return, he called upon his first professional team, Club 12 de Octoubre of Paraguay’s third division.

Red Stripes: No, not a six-pack of the Jamaican beer. The US Soccer Federation and Nike unveiled the new unified national team jersey designs that will be worn by both the men’s and women’s programs. The new jersey design featuring solid red hoops in one afternoon is quickly getting mixed reviews and interesting comments, such as Where’s Waldo jokes and comparisons, not surprisingly, to the kit of FC Dallas.

At the end of the day, it is difficult to judge the jerseys without seeing them in action – I don’t know why they never bother to have a select bunch produced and filmed in a secret training session for a launch video. There have been a number of designs over the years I thought would look bad, but changed my mind after seeing them on the pitch. My biggest complaint about these; and all the rest really, is that they change them so dramatically far too often.

I know the federation may be searching for an identity that resonates – and it never hurts the balance sheet to make fans buy the new shirts, - but sooner or later it makes a better visual if the fans in the stands have a unified look instead of being a smattering of white, red, blue, grey and gold around the stadium. Plus it wouldn’t hurt for fans and media around the world to see a clip of our teams in action and know right away by the jerseys who they are. When you see the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Holland and the like, you know exactly who they are in seconds.

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