Today, MLSsoccer.com and Howler Magazine released the first edition of OVERLAP, a new iPad magazine that aims to capture the best of North America's current soccer movement. As the tagline says, OVERLAP tells "stories from North American soccer" -- stories about MLS and beyond that deserve to be told in depth, with color and with urgency, to reveal the characters, the scenes, and the storylines that are shaping today's soccer culture.
OVERLAP is available on iTunes, through the Apple Newsstand, and will come out four times a year. Future issues will come around the MLS All-Star Game, the MLS Playoffs, and the MLS Cup final.
Read the editors' note below:
So much has happened in the last decade that it’s hard to say exactly when soccer truly became a part of the North American Zeitgeist.
David Beckham’s arrival sent the celebrity rags into a tizzy. Landon Donovan’s goal against Algeria in the 2010 World Cup inspired a collective shriek from sports fans across the nation. LeBron started wearing Liverpool red, Snoop started wearing Spain red, and Alex Morgan leapt from the pages of SI onto the pages of the SI swimsuit issue. The expansion of Major League Soccer, first to Toronto, then to places like Seattle and Portland, reminded everyone that, yes, North Americans can march, chant, and wave our scarves just like everyone else. We still love our soccer moms, but soccer kids grow up.
When MLS kicked off in 1996, it was nudging its way into a crowded sports landscape. Today, soccer overlaps with every aspect of the cultural spectrum.
In film, The Jay DeMerit Story and Pelada have shown that there’s an audience for soccer on the big screen, and now a dozen or so other footy films are in the works. Books like Grant Wahl’s Beckham Experiment and Robert Andrew Powell’s This Love Is Not for Cowards have brilliantly told soccer stories that are unique to North America. We see jerseys and other gear on the street, in pubs and clubs, and in our workplaces. Even in music, the beautiful game is singing a new tune. NBC Sports used a classic Black Flag song for its 2013 MLS promo spot, and labels in LA are signing samba and maracatu musicians in preparation for next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
This is the energy that inspired us to create OVERLAP. In this first issue, George Vecsey considers the latest nonsense out of Zurich, and responds as only he can—with a long view of the whole North American sports scene and where soccer fits within it. Nancy Hass profiles Graham Zusi, a runner-up for league MVP last season and one of the guys that fans of the national team—not to mention a certain German guy out in California—are hoping will take another big step up this year. We have a feature that looks at the journeys traveled by three rookies on their way to MLS and a retrospective of each MLS champion and the moves they made for the season after winning MLS Cup. And we’ve supplemented all of this with illustration, photography, and audio that tells its own story.
We hope you enjoy this first issue of OVERLAP. We’ll be back just in time for the All-Star game. Until then, word to your soccer mom.