The Different Types Of Soccer Cleat Patterns

Soccer shoes may not improve your playing skills, but they definitely ensure that you put your best foot forward and give the best performance. There are so many brands offering all kinds of cleats. The most striking thing about the modern cleats is that they tend to be very colorful and appealing. But apart from looking at the colors and beautiful designs, you should ensure that you select the perfect pattern to match that play surface or ground.

Wearing the wrong type of cleat will not only make your play uncomfortable and minimize your chances of giving your best but you could also end up injuring yourself. Below are the different patterns you will find to make it easy for you to select the most suitable pair for your play.

Cleats for firm ground – Cleat patterns created for firm ground cover any field type that is generally dry in all climates where there are less rainy days. They are the standard cleats that you find in shoe stores and are accompanied by letters FG. In this category you will find long, narrow bladed studs and rounded studs. The rounded ones make better choices for damp ground, whereas the blades are best for dryer surfaces and offer overall stability. These cleats may also be referred to as hard ground cleats.

Cleats for soft ground – The cleats usually feature rounded metal studs with few contact points with the ground. They are best for wet surfaces and suitable for areas that receive lots of rain. The designs are done in such a way that the cleats, cut through the mud and offer reliable grip even under the wet conditions. The metallic cleats are however not a preference for many coaches because of the possible damage they risk when they meet the other players’ legs. You might want to check with your coach before selecting them.

Cleats for indoor courts – They are for smaller soccer games and designed for the artificial materials in the indoor courts. They feature a flat bottom and flex points or fins that run across the bottom part of the short so they remain comfortable and flexible. They do not only work well for indoor soccer, but also other indoor activities and can be just right for firm ground uses too even though they may not be recommended for those.

Cleats for turf surfaces – Astroturf is a material created to mimic a natural grass playfield and there are cleats intended for such. These soccer shoes will usually come with plenty of short stubby studs all over the bottom part so they are able to offer proper traction of the face grass surfaces. They come with an extra layer of lacquer that protects them from the artificial grass that can be abrasive; they are therefore glossier in appearance.

You can easily tell the cleats apart by the initials they are displayed with denoting the surfaces they are made for. You can also use reviews and guides to select the most suitable sports cleats for your use.

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The Amazing And Often Strange Coffee News Highlights Of 2014

2014 was an exciting year for our beloved coffee, some good, some bad, some strange. As we approach the end of the year we’ve taken a look at some of the more notable stories of 2014.

December: A Time For Giving… But Probably Not Cocaine.

December, time for giving and the warm feeling when we see others open their presents. These acts of generosity were put to the test in Berlin when a local coffee roaster opened up their latest shipment of coffee from Brazil, to find it contained 33 kilos of cocaine! We’re unsure whether they had a hearty Christmas smile on their face, but we’re presuming confusion and fear was a more likely response. They reported the «shipment» to the police and Santa.

November: Peak Coffee Prices

Coffee prices reached their peak in 2.5 years during November. The dry weather in Brazil that has affected much of their yearly crop played a significant role in the increase. Much of the speculation now is how this year’s drought will affect the crop in 2015. Although there have been rains over recent months, the question still remains as to how this will impact the flowering of new plants over 2015.

Many are predicting that if the weather returns to a semblance of normality, then the crop should be roughly the same as 2014. If weather continues to become more extreme then production would fall below the levels of 2014.

October: Cup North

A little closer to home we saw the inaugural «Cup North», a coffee party for all coffee lovers in the north of England. Put together by the local coffee community it was a chance for the spotlight to shine on the culinary and coffee developments outside of London.

While the focus was on coffee, the 2-day event also promoted beer, chocolates and some of the exciting «foodie» developments in and around Manchester. Let’s hope it continues for 2015.

September: Coffee & Biofuels

There are many known alternative uses for leftover coffee ranging from an effective compost, to being used an odour remover for whiffy socks. One of the most exciting developments of 2014 was the new company Bio-Bean.

Set-up in January by Arthur Kay, the company takes the used coffee grounds from London coffee shops and turns the waste into an advanced bio-fuel. In September they received a €500,000 grant from the Dutch Lottery.

Although widely suspected as a bribe with which to increase their scores from the UK during EuroVision (OK I made that bit up), the money will help the environmentally green Bio-Bean expand their operations and build a plant large enough to handle the processing of the collected coffee grounds. One gold star for Bio-Bean. A great idea and good luck for 2015.

August: Coffee Theme Park Given To Green Light

If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting a theme park with a giant caffeinated mouse, then August may have been the month for you. Funding was granted to develop a 64 acre coffee theme park in the Gangwon Province in South Korea.

The area has seen lot of development ever since the announcement that the 2018 winter Olympics were going to be held in the area. Designed as an environmentally friendly family theme park, the location will also house a production, roasting and distribution facility. Presumably the latter won’t be of interest to the kids. A distribution roller coaster with embossed livery on the side doesn’t really appeal to children.

The project will however create over a thousand jobs for the local community and feature a resort and coffee museum.

July: Fresh vs. Instant

In July the Euromonitor International Study published their latest research highlighting the continuing growth of instant coffee in countries that historically were associated with tea drinkers, namely China, Turkey and India. Almost half the world prefers instant coffee to freshly ground coffee.

In the UK, although the coffee market maturing and we’re seeing a greater understanding of fresh and gourmet coffee products, the instant coffee market continued the gain strength especially when being consumed at home. Quite surprisingly in the UK us Brits are responsible for over a third of all instant coffee sold in Western Europe.

While it’s still often viewed as unacceptable to offer instant coffee in many social or business situations, when at home these malleable rules seem to go out of the window. Convenience in many situations wins over quality.

Part of the growth was attributed to the marketing of instant coffee, many of the words traditionally reserved for fresh coffee were finding their way onto packets, jars and bags in the supermarket. One product describes itself as the world first «whole bean instant»… we still have no idea what that means!

June: World Championships

June saw the winner of the 2014 World Barista Championships. The title eventually went to Hidenori Izaki of Maruyama Coffee Company, Japan. The judges awarding him the prize after evaluating all contestants on a selection of criteria including their cleanliness, creativity, technical skills and presentation.

Hidenori was the 15th winner of the competition, produced and held by the World Coffee Event (WCE). The annual championship was held in Rimini, Italy and was the culmination of many local and regional finals throughout the world.

Congratulations to all participants especially Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood from the UK who eventually came in 5th, yes we are showing geographical bias.

Final Standings

Champion: Hidenori Izaki, Japan

2nd: Kapo Chiu, Hong Kong

3rd: Christos Loukakis, Greece

4th: Craig Simon, Australia

5th: Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood, United Kingdom

6th: William Hernandez, El Salvador

May: Coffee & Cows

It seems that used coffee grounds can be used for almost anything! Starbucks partnered with a Japanese manufacturer of contacts lenses in the hope of turning leftover coffee grounds into a viable and environmentally friendly livestock feed for the Tokyo dairy market.

The fermented grounds were removed from the stores at Starbucks and incorporated into the food for cattle. The process has been tried before but the results showed that the coffee acted as a diuretic among the cattle and the high salt content was a concern. Apparently the new process includes lactic acid fermentation that ensures the feed produced became a viable option. Again, we have no idea how this works, but it sounds very impressive.

April: UK Barista Championships

If you mentioned the World Championships during April most people (probably tea drinkers) would immediately think of the F1 Grand Prix in China, or the start of the Snooker World Championships with its whispering and dapper waistcoats. To the creative coffee folk of the UK, April could only mean one thing; the build up to the Barista World Championships had begun.

Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood who took home his second title ultimately won the regional UK Barista Championships, held during the London Coffee Festival. Congratulations to Maxwell. With the award firmly tucked under his arm he would travel to Italy to compete in the World Championships in June. Flying the flag for the UK… probably without a waistcoat.

Feb/March: The Football World Cup

Much of the speculation during February and March was around the football world cup and how the Brazilians passion for their national sport would affect the coffee industry.

With around a third of all coffee coming from Brazil, the concerns were that the games held in Rio De Janeiro would disrupt the production, delivery and overall infrastructure of the coffee industry. At the risk of sounding anti-climatic it all worked out OK, even if it didn’t for the Brazilian football team.

January: Myth Busted

We’ve probably all heard the old wives tale that coffee causes dehydration. We’re told that we should drink a glass of water for every cup of coffee we consume. Where this theory comes from we have no idea, but research released in January from the University of Bath concluded that this was actually a myth.

Rather than cause dehydration, moderate coffee consumption actually hydrates us in a similar way to water. Personally if I was stranded in the Sahara with the choice of either a cup of coffee or nothing, I’d certainly choose the former… but only if it had cream… and sprinkles.

FC Barcelona’s Arch-Rival – The History of Real Madrid

Real Madrid – FIFA ‘Team of the Century’; 31 League titles; 9 European Cups; a couple of UEFA Cups and World Club Champions titles.

Also, bizarrely, it is a club that has in recent years nurtured the custom of sacking successful managers. Jupp Heynckes went four weeks after winning a Champions League title, Fabio Capello and Bernd Schuster won the league title before one was basically sacked for being too defensive and the other for being too reckless. The prize, though, for what it’s worth, goes to Vicente Del Bosque, current manager of the national squad, who was dismissed the day after winning the league in a room at the hotel in which his players were having their celebratory dinner!

Real Madrid originated in 1897 when a number of students and lecturers at the Institucíon Libre de Enseñanza began playing friendly matches on Sunday mornings. From these humble beginnings, Madrid Football Club emerged in 1902 – gaining its royal patronage and club name in 1920 from King Alfonso XIII. The club became founder members of the Spanish League in 1929 – when Barca won the inaugural title and El Clásico, as the fixture between the two clubs is known in Spain – began in earnest.

From the beginning, the rivalry was intense but it developed significantly during the years after the Civil War. There are, of course, many stories of the way Franco’s government promoted the interests of Real Madrid in order to develop his, and Spain’s, international prestige. Also, the manner in which Barcelona attempted to maintain a Catalan identity at a time when the language and flag were banned is well recounted. Barça became ‘More than a Club’ and the phrase Así gana el Madrid – that’s how Madrid win – became part of Spanish sporting lore.

There are two of these stories, however, that perhaps shed most light on the situation in those difficult times.

In 1942, Barcelona had won the Spanish Cup – now known as the Cope del Rey but then renamed as the Copa del Generalísimo. The following season they were pitted against Real in a two-legged semi-final and won the first match convincingly, by three goals to nil, despite having their star player, Escolá, stretchered off. The second leg, though, was rather a different matter – finishing an astonishing 11 – 1 to Madrid. Not only was the Head of State Security known to have visited the Barça dressing room before the match to tell some of the players that their right to remain in Spain was being reviewed, but also the sending off of a player in the first few minutes made sure that the rest of the team got the right message!

The other classic example of the manner in which Barcelona feel they suffered during the Franco years concerns perhaps the most famous player ever to wear a Real Madrid shirt – Alfredo di Stéfano, who remains an iconic figure in the Madrid hierarchy even today. In 1953, the Argentinian centre forward, described by Bobby Charlton as the most intelligent player he had seen, was signed by Barcelona from his Columbian club, Millonarios. After di Stéfano had appeared in a couple of friendly matches, and after an involved and underhand series of ‘negotiations’, the Spanish F.A. declared that the transfer was invalid and the player was triumphantly unveiled by Madrid. Two weeks later, he made his debut in a 5 – 0 victory over Barcelona in the Bernabéu – scoring four goals and starting his journey towards legendary status.

Even the transfer of Luis Figo in 2000 pales into insignificance compared to the machinations involved in the di Stéfano move.

With such a fierce, and continuing, rivalry between these two giant clubs, this puts the events of Barcelona’s 3-0 away victory in 2000 into an even more dramatic perspective; that was the night that the Madrid supporters rose to their feet and applauded Ronaldinho after perhaps his best performance in the club’s colours.

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