Vic Carlsen and SoccerSam Fantauzzo. (Photo courtesy of SoccerSam Fantauzzo)
Sooner or later, it probably was bound to happen.
That would be Gucci and adidas getting together to put out some iconic products.
Gucci is well known for its high-end fashion while adidas has forged a world-wide reputation for supporting soccer and backing many players and teams.
Here is a link to the Gucci page, adidas x Gucci:
The news of the collaboration caught the eye of Rochester Lancers owner SoccerSam Fantauzzo. He remembered when Vic Carlsen, then coach of the Rochester Juniors made history as his youth team made history by wearing adidas kits.
“In the early 70’s Carlsen introduced adidas to Rochester,” Fantauzzo said. “Coach Carlsen showed up at Rochester Juniors practice and opened up the trunk of his VW bus and introduced hundreds of kids to adidas, the original soccer brand.
“The Rochester Juniors became one of the first organized clubs in America to wear adidas. Soon coach Carlsen’s East High team and others wore this amazing brand throughout America.
“I know this soccer nut that has worn adidas daily since the 70’s. Today is a special day … adidas has teamed with my Cuggi’s in Italy and have introduced adidas Gucci wear for all my soccer peeps.”
Fantauzzo added that most of his Rochester Juniors players could not afford the products and gave them to them.
Carlsen turned out to be one of the most innovative youth and high school soccer coaches in Rochester, N.Y., if not the country, in the 1970s.
When he coached at East High School, he made sure every player had a soccer ball at practice to make sure they would get many touches on the ball. It was considered a revolutionary idea back in the way.
“During a soccer game, an average player touches the ball for only three minutes,” Carlsen told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle in 1975. “I don’t think most schools have a ball for each player. We’ve had to scrounge around for ours. Just kicking the ball around for a good portion of practice is a lot better than scrimmages.
“What you can get in 30 minutes of practice, you can’t get in 10 games. American players need to work on ball control.”
Born in West Germany, Carlsen learned the game in his native country before his family emigrated to the United States. As Rochester Juniors head coach, Carlsen brought the team to play in friendly matches at a time not many U.S. youth teams went on European tours.
After a 15-year career as boys soccer head coach at East, Carlsen stepped down in 1981 to become the men’s head coach at St. John Fisher College. Carlsen secured a 130-8-15 mark. He directed the team to the 1980 Section V boys Class AAA title (20-3-1) before losing tto Orchard Park in the opening round the New York State tournament.
Carlsen replaced Don Lalka, an original member of the Lancers. Lalka had planned to return to Fisher in the fall, but NCAA rules prohibited coaches from directing professional and college teams. At the time, Lalka was the Rochester Flash head coach (American Soccer League).
FrontRowSoccer.com editor Michael Lewis has written a new book, ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. You can learn more about it or purchase it here: