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.
Despite being North American neighbors, the first meeting between the United States and Mexico actually took place on the other side of the Atlantic. Played on May 24, 1934 in Rome, the game was a one-off match – essentially the USA’s first World Cup qualifier – for the right to play in the second FIFA World Cup, which was set to kick off days later in venues across Italy.
Playing in front of 10,000 spectators, including Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, the Americans rode a four-goal performance from Aldo “Buff” Donelli to defeat Mexico 4-2 and earn a place in the 16-team field at the 1934 FIFA World Cup.
You would hope the 11 players that came away victorious that day cherished the memory in Rome, because as big as the result was, it would take another 46 years before the USA would defeat Mexico again.
Though 17 of those 24 matches were played on Mexican soil, that winless streak against our neighbors to the south is by far the longest against any one opponent in team history, both in terms of number of games and years,. It fortunately ended on Nov. 23, 1980, when the U.S. used a pair of goals from Steve Moyers to defeat Mexico 2-1 in another Qualifying match, this time for the 1982 FIFA World Cup.
With Mexico already booking its ticket to the next round of Qualifying and the USA already eliminated, from a competitive standpoint, the match was meaningless. However, whether or not they realized it, the 2,126 fans in attendance at Fort Lauderdale’s Lockhart Stadium witnessed history that night, and to this day are among the few Americans that saw the USA’s 43-year winless streak against Mexico come to an end.
Though the USA and Mexico met only once more during the decade, the dam had been cracked. With 1990 marking the MNT’s first appearance in the World Cup in 40 years, the 1980s also served as a transitional phase in the rivalry with Mexico as a new generation of American players began to reap the benefits of greater emphasis on the game here at home to lay the foundation for future triumphs.
The first in a series of successes came during the semifinals of the 1991 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Led by former Mexico head coach Bora Milutinovic, the USA used second-half strikes from John Doyle and Peter Vermes to stun El Tri 2-0 in front of a pro-Mexico crowd of 41,103 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and went on to win the tournament’s inaugural title.
WATCH: USA Defeats Mexico 2-0 in 1991 CONCACAF Gold Cup SemifinalRead more