Chinatown Soccer Club . . . Unleashed

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Logo by Justin Fines
Logo by Justin Fines
At the tail end of the 2002 World Cup, inspired by many late nights watching live matches in some of the city's crowded bars, a group of artists, photographers, filmmakers, designers and skateboarders began meeting in lower Manhattan to play soccer a few mornings a week. Some were playing for the first time; others rediscovered skills they had honed in high school or college; while others found an outlet for a passion they'd developed in their native countries. Almost five years later, even in the dead of winter, the love of soccer gets them out of bed at 8 in the morning several times a week to play for an hour or so before heading off to work. They call themselves the Chinatown Soccer Club.

Initially, a few of the people behind the multimedia design firm Psyop made up a significant chunk of the lineup and were crucial in getting the ball rolling. These days, skateboard legend Mark Gonzales still turns up for the occasional match, while artist Ryan McGinness, a founding member, designed a CSC jersey back when the club fielded a team at the adidas Fanatic Tournament for the first time. Designer Justin Fines, another longtime member, created the original logo and recently helped launch a second season of CSC gear, including T-shirts, hoodies and scarves.

Photographer and club member Peter Sutherland has documented some of the more candid moments since the birth of the CSC. Earlier this month, Sutherland released a book of photographs of the Chinatown Soccer Club, Game (published by Nieves and the MU Foundation), in conjunction with his exhibition of the same name at MU, in Eindhoven, Netherlands, which runs through Feb. 25. There is also a book of photographs shot at the 2006 World Cup in Germany in the works, Home and Away, which will feature the work of Sutherland as well as photographer/CSC members Gerhard Stochl and Kevin Trageser.

The team also includes: Jakob Daschek, founder of the design company Syrup; Marcus Samuelsson, the executive chef and co-owner of New York restaurant Aquavit; Dan Morales, ECD at Leo Burnett/New York; and Gavin Thomas, brand manager for sport culture at Nike/N.Y.
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