There was an original crew of futballers, The Bowery Boys (aka Bowery Football Club), who picked up games at their beloved Chinatown Soccer Field (a la Sara D. Roosevelt Park) in the Lower East Field.  This patch of green grass in the middle of true ethnic roots. I Loved New York talked to one of the founding fathers of the field, who decided to remain anonymous but mentioned “we were a band of brothers who loved the game and carved out the streets by dribbling out into the Bowery” and places like “Freeman’s Alley before Freeman was there.”

Flash-forward ten years later to Nike Stadiums “Everything is Practice” starring Spike Lee–coming this May.  Now this little pick-up field becomes something important–its own brand. Where were the film crews in 2000-2003, when all walks of life showed up on a Saturday or Sunday?  Regardless, it’s all gotten a bit commercial, even the Chinatown Soccer Club has their own gear marking their territory as founding fathers.  Everyone wants a piece of the pie or to lay claim they unleashed the field.  Or they unleashed the trend.  Well, the trend wasn’t a trend–it was just boys playing soccer on the weekend.  It evolved into Adidas Fanatic competition at Chelsea Piers (Da Krauts, aNYthing, Real Sociable, Gitane Grand Int, FC Vice, AK Killers and the Bowery Boys).

Perhaps this is when it became…marketable.  Funny, America is about ten years removed from understanding the game, which makes the pack of boys punch so much more real. But Spike is going to help get the message out there.  How relevant.

(First three images: Kate Donnelly. Spike Lee Image: Nike)