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      Smack Zone — Soccer

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      USA vs The World (Cup)

      USA vs The World (Cup)

      At Smack Apparel we pride ourselves on being an “everything sports” company. With the World Cup coming up next week we wanted to make sure our Smack Fam is ready for some office talk around the water cooler.

      Here are some quick facts about USA Soccer that will have you going from clueless to sounding like Ted Lasso.

      Youthful Energy

      This year USA will feature the youngest team in the entire tournament but don’t let their age fool you, these kids can ball. While we may be young, this is the first time in the history of USA;s men's soccer that the roster consists of players who are playing in the four biggest leagues in the world.

      Here to Play

      Not to get too technical but this year’s team is going to showcase a total philosophical change in the way US Soccer goes about their business. In years past the US soccer model was to play really structured defense and hope they could score a goal on a corner kick, a free kick or on a counter attack. This new USA has other plans. Expect to watch a team that isn’t afraid to take risks (for better or for worse) and wants to have possession of the ball more than they want to defend.

      This new philosophy is more in line with how the rest of the world plays and the US is making a conscious effort to adapt to the world’s game.

      Matt Turner

      There’s a new man in goal for the US Soccer team and his name is Matt Turner. Turner has an incredible story as his rise to the number one goalkeeper in this country was anything but traditional. Turner didn’t start playing soccer until the age of 16 and only started playing so he could stay in shape for other sports. He was a quick study and decided to fully commit to soccer when he walked on to the soccer team at Fairfield University. Turner had a solid collegiate career which awarded him a try out with the New England Revolution in Major League Soccer.

      Turner made the team, eventually won the starting job and since then his career has taken off like a rocket ship. Turner made the move to England this summer and is the number two goalkeeper for Arsenal in the English Premier League. He is capable of making big time saves which is important because he will have to stand on his head if the US has any chance of making a run

      Gio Reyna, Christian Pulisic

      Here are two names to jot to memory as we think these are the most important players on the roster. Gio Reyna (son of former US National team player Claudio Reyna) is arguably the best player that US Soccer has ever rostered. His name isn’t in the headlines as much because he has dealt with a rash of injuries but when he is on the field he is a complete difference maker.

      Christian Pulisic aka Captain America is a name that should sound familiar to even the least knowledgeable sports fans out there. He was the first US Soccer player of this new generation to make the leap overseas straight out of highschool and has been playing in the spotlight for nearly six years now. Pulisic is the face and heartbeat of this team and this opportunity is one he personally has been waiting for a long time after missing out in 2018. We fully expect Pulisic to stand out and have a hell of a tournament.

      Should We Believe?!

      You're damn right we should! While we may be young the US soccer team has a swagger about them we haven’t seen in a long time. These kids go up against the best players in the world on a weekly basis when they are playing for their club teams and show zero fear when they all get together and represent our country.

      Of course USA winning a World Cup is a long shot but crazy things in sports happen all the time and this year's team might just be crazy enough to pull off the miracle!

      Welcome to Cristiano World: the Most Ludicrous Place on Earth

      OK, it’s soccer. It’s the MLS. WHO CARES, right? Well, if Orlando City owner Flavio Augusto Da Silva has his way, a great many humans will care a great deal soon. A very great many humans. And a very great deal. Mr. Da Silva told the Spanish-language, Real Madrid-focused publication Marca that … (Hang on. Bear with us. This is tough to even think about, let alone write. It’s so damn ludicrous.) Da Silva, who already signed Brazilian semi-retiree Kaka this past season, now has his sights set on … (No, really. We thought this was from Onion Sports when we saw it. It’s THAT freaking ridiculous.) Cristiano Ronaldo. [caption id="attachment_1195" align="aligncenter" width="474"]I am Cristiano. Everybody who is not Cristiano sucks. That is right. You, too. Yes, you. You suck. Because you are not Cristiano. I am Cristiano. Everybody who is not Cristiano sucks. That is right. You, too. Yes, you. You suck. Because you are not Cristiano. Only I am Cristiano.[/caption] “Hopefully, we can sign him for this upcoming season,” Da Silva told Marca. “We’ve always heard that he’d like to come to the United States to play.” In other transfer news, we’re hearing the Laredo Lemurs, defending champions of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, are trying to work a deal for Mike Trout. [caption id="attachment_1196" align="alignleft" width="261"]Where else are you going to see a Laredo Lemurs logo today? And it's on a post about Cristiano Ronaldo. Life, man. You just never know. Where else are you going to see a Laredo Lemurs logo today? And it's on a post about Cristiano Ronaldo. Life, man. You just never know.[/caption] Also? The CFL’s Montreal Alouettes are all hot-n-bothered with Tom Brady and will submit a transfer bid to New England in January. Oh, and the Manchester Magic of the English Professional Basketball League? Yep. They want Lebron. All right. Let’s say Da Silva isn’t living in a dream world. After all, David Beckham came to America and blah blah blah. It’s SOCCER! WHO CARES?? WHY ARE WE EVEN WRITING THIS?? Still, though. What if Da Silva really believes what he’s saying and he’s not just having a go at the good people of Madrid? Let’s figure out what it might take to get the best soccer player of the 21st century into Orlando City purple next season. A cash bid would start – start – at $100 million. That’s just to buy the right to negotiate a contract with Ronaldo. That’s pocket change for Real Madrid, which splashed out far more than that for former Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale two years ago. But, as we say, $100 million is just a start. We’re thinking Da Silva will need to sweeten the deal. Let’s throw in, we don’t know … lifetime passes to Walt Disney World for every Real Madrid season ticket holder? Oh, and instead of Orlando City, the team will now be called Ronaldo City. In fact, the city of Orlando will now be called the city of Ronaldo. OK, that’s the transfer fee settled. Now, about Cristiano’s salary … NOPE. That’s all we’re writing about soccer for today. What time do Pittsburgh and Baltimore kick off?