May 31, 2006

Balls to this!: The new World Cup ball is causing goalkeepers to panic - as it does every four years. According to the keepers, it swerves, it moves, it dips, and it's not fair. The only problem is, goals per game are down this season in MLS, where the new ball has been used all season. Are keepers just paranoid, or will this World Cup ball finally be the one that makes FIFA restrict how much a ball can move in flight?

posted by Toxteth O'Grady to soccer at 11:54 AM - 16 comments

They say this at every major tournament - another of the key phrases for our Soccer newbies to learn is to say that "the ball moved in the air." I think the Teamgeist looks great though - the best ball since the 1970s red and white effort from Stuart Surridge. Although I was always partial to the star-covered Champions League ball too.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:51 PM on May 31

I like the look of it, as well - and I'm impressed that it has no stitching. I think it's funny that at every single tournament, you hear goalkeepers whinge about the new unfair ball, and yet scoring's not dramatically different from tournament to tournament...

posted by Toxteth O'Grady at 01:06 PM on May 31

how often are the balls in soccer changed? and when was the last time this guy was used?

posted by HATER 187 at 02:42 PM on May 31

Oh wait, never mind. Is this the santiago they speak of in the article? I never took the time to count the panels.

posted by HATER 187 at 02:47 PM on May 31

how often are the balls in soccer changed? Adidas produces a new one for every major tournament; their FIFA contract to make balls only runs through this World Cup, though, so there may be a new manufacturer by 2010. That lovely ball there is indeed the Santiago, and it was last used in competition in the mid-to-late 70's, I think. It was used in my backyard, though, through the 80's.

posted by Toxteth O'Grady at 02:49 PM on May 31

When I (like everyone else I am sure) think soccer ball the santiago comes to mind. I couldn't imagine MLB changing the baseball every few years and I remeber all the outrage over the glowing puck that was like 2 ounces heavier so I am completely unsuprised by the outrage of these players.

posted by HATER 187 at 02:57 PM on May 31

I always get the feeling that the perennial 'oh no, new ball!' story starts life as a press release from Adidas, since you just know that some people will go out and buy the thing after reading the stories generated by it. Cheaper than new boots, anyway. Or talent.

posted by etagloh at 03:04 PM on May 31

Reminds me of baseball stitching. No wonder the goalies are upset. I'd hate to see a split-toe fastball coming at me.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:26 PM on May 31

I'm a bit confused: Isn't the ball in HATER's image the Telstar which is the iconic soccer ball and the Santiago was horizontal panels looking more like a volleyball? Did I misread the article or is the article incorrect?

posted by pivo at 05:37 PM on May 31

No, I misread Hater's post. My bad, Pivo, you're right...

posted by Toxteth O'Grady at 05:53 PM on May 31

Can't help but agree with etagloh. If Lehmann thinks it's so treacherous then how come he kept so many clean sheets with it in the Champions League?

posted by squealy at 06:25 PM on May 31

If Lehmann thinks it's so treacherous then how come he kept so many clean sheets with it in the Champions League? It's his Teutonic way of stroking his massive ego...just a guess. And...not that you're expected to keep up with all footy posts in the last 7 weeks Toxeth, but this appears to be a JJ thread redux, at least in part.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 08:02 PM on May 31

Of course, some keepers aren't troubled too much by the ball.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:05 AM on June 01

Holy sh!t I had to watch that several times. That was awesome, thanks for the link bismark.

posted by jojomfd1 at 12:08 AM on June 02

I was at the game and it was astonishing. The whistle had already gone for a free kick, so Higuita was safe to try it, but it was still something to see. Jamie Redknapp, who took the shot, was someone I would have loved to have seen get many more caps for England, but injuries always seemed to take him out.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 07:17 AM on June 02

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