CHICAGO (June 6, 2014) – In celebration of the U.S. Men’s National Team competing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, renowned graffiti-style artist Futura, U.S. Soccer’s Art Director for the World Cup, designed limited-edition Kayo skate decks.
Embracing the “One Nation. One Team.” motto, Futura’s original artwork was painted onto the world’s highest quality wood to create a one-of-a-kind Kayo deck that intertwines soccer and the skateboard cultures. Established in 2002, The Kayo Corp is one of skateboarding's premier manufacturers.
All 23 players on the U.S. Men’s National Team received an exclusive Futura-designed Kayo deck as part of the World Cup package provided by Nike, which includes clothes, luggage and sneakers. The deck was a surprise gift for the players, who found them in their hotel rooms on Wednesday in Jacksonville, Fla., where the team is preparing to take on Nigeria in the final Send-Off Series match on June 7 at Everbank Field.
The decks are one of a number of Futura’s collectibles the renowned artist has created for U.S. Soccer in the lead-up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which includes a unique redesign of the U.S. Soccer jersey and crest , two “live” works, and the official poster which will be launched next week. The first live design was created in Times Square during Lupe Fiasco’s performance on Fan Appreciation Day on May 30, and another will take place at U.S. Soccer Fan Fest in Chicago on June 16, the day of the USA’s Group G opener against Ghana.
"It has been an absolute honor to be involved creatively with our U.S. Men’s National Team on the world’s biggest stage," said Futura.
Two hundred additional Futura-designed Kayo boards were produced for this unique collaboration and information will be provided in the future on how to possibly attain the limited-edition item.
“It has been an absolute honor to be involved creatively with our U.S. Men's National Team on the world’s biggest stage.”
"This entire event is exciting and rare,” said Kayo Corp CEO Troy Morgan. “It’s an honor to be able to work with Futura to produce a skateboard deck that will remain timeless in history for each player on the Men’s National Team."
The Kayo Corp’s mission is to supply the skateboard community with top grade products while supporting skateboarding on all levels. Kayo serves as the home of DGK, Expedition-One, Organika, and Gold Wheel Co. Each brand has a different messages, but they all share the common thread of being rooted in the core of skateboarding's culture.The U.S. MNT caps off its three-game Send-Off Series on Saturday, June 7, with an international friendly against Nigeria at 6 p.m. ET at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida [TICKETS]. The game will be broadcast on ESPN, WatchESPN, Univision and ESPN Deportes Radio. Fans can also follow live on Twitter @ussoccer.
On Feb. 9, 2013, the U.S. Women’s National Team kicked off the new year with a 4-1 victory against Scotland in Jacksonville, Florida. Christen Press, then 24-years-old, was responsible for two goals that day, scoring in the 13th minute and adding another in the 32nd to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead at halftime.
The early goal was Press’ first for the USA, coming in a match that was also her first cap.
Becky Sauerbrunn hugs Christen Press in the aftermath of Press scoring on her WNT debut.
Earning that first cap is special for any player, but a debut and a goal in the same game? That’s a rare feat. In the 30+ year history of the U.S. WNT 21 players have scored in their first caps.
NOTHING TO LOSE
Press’ path to that first game three years ago was an interesting one. In early 2012, she made the decision to move to Sweden after U.S.-based Women’s Professional Soccer folded. Press thought leaving the country might negatively impact her hopeful National Team career, but little did she know, it was only just beginning.
“I think just because I always thought that the National Teams would be watching the American league, I thought that going abroad was kind of like saying goodbye to my dream of playing for the National Team,” recalled Press. “I left around this time, in February, and I thought I would not get a call, I sort of thought that I would fall out of U.S. Soccer’s radar.”
As it turns out, head coach Pia Sundhage kept tabs on players in Europe, especially in her native land of Sweden. Press got off to a hot start with her new club, and it wasn’t long before she was on her way back home.
Press returned to the U.S. and joined the WNT in Florida in April during the final stretch of what had been an intense fitness camp. She kept to herself and tried to quickly learn as much as possible despite only being there for five days.
“I had nothing to lose,” she said. “It was my first camp, it was warm and I was so happy. I don’t think I spoke to anybody. I was not nervous, I was just happy to be in Florida and my dream was coming true. I’m always quiet when I don’t know my surroundings, so I just kept to myself trying to learn the rules, how to behave; it was all so quick.”
That short stint turned out to be the only one for Press before she was named an Olympic alternate in 2012. The following February, Tom Sermanni took over as WNT head coach, and it was then Press learned she would start against Scotland. Her chance had arrived.
“I went on the field, the crowd was so much bigger than I’d ever played in front of, and for me it was so much bigger than life,” said Press. “But I kept telling myself, ‘I’m not nervous, I’m confident, I’m a good player and I believe in myself.’”
Years and multiple goals later, plus one Women’s World Cup title to her name, the dream is alive and well for Press.
Press celebrates scoring her first World Cup goal against Australia in the USA's opening match of the 2015 Women's World Cup