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Ranging from fury of red, to the old school of black, to the really old school of white, the cleats (or boots in soccer parlance) that Atlanta United players wear are every bit an important piece of equipment as a bat to a baseball player, or a putter to a golfer.

most important thing is how they feel, Atlanta United midfielder Yamil Asad said. us, it a tool. There are cleats being made that weigh around 100 grams, which isn much more than two golf balls. Most want lighter cleats.

Some players like cleats that are slightly tighter than normal. Some like them to fit normally. It a personal preference.

Opinions are clear on material. Most players want leather. It softer. It feels better.

because my touch isn good enough to have the fake stuff, Atlanta United winger Jacob Peterson said. need all the help I can get. He started wearing white cleats when he began in MLS in 2006 with Colorado. It remains the color he prefers. When he has worn other colors and looked at his feet, he said it didn seem natural. Asad prefers black shoes.

Other players will wear whatever color is provided by their preferred manufacturer.

don get a choice unless you are (Cristiano) Ronaldo or (Lionel) Messi, Tyrone Mears said.

Players will keep several pairs on hand and broken in. Some will use a specific pair in training and another in games. Some will rotate new shoes in and get rid of old ones. Some, like Peterson, will wear a pair until they fall apart, which is what happened to a pair of white cleats after a few weeks this preseason. He wore them last year with Sporting KC, brought them with him to Atlanta United, and wore them until they split near the ball of the foot.

Cleats aren the only piece of soccer equipment that players can be quirky about. Goalies have a thing about their gloves.

To keep his gloves clean and odor free, goalkeeper Alec Kann will sometimes take them into the shower with him and wash them with a special wash. After ringing them out to get rid of the excess water, the gloves are typically good to be used the next day. Other goalkeepers will wash them as they would with clothes.

Like Peterson and his white cleats, Kann prefers to wear white gloves. He wears his own model, which have a slightly looser fit and his preferences for tackiness and durability. Kann said he will go through a pair every two weeks.

And when something good happens with a team or in a game, sometimes shoes or gloves will be saved for posterity, much like a golf ball, baseball or football.

Asad said he saved a pair of Nike Celeste after good performances 3 4 years ago. His nickname, Turco, is written on one of the shoes.

Jeff Larentowicz said he has a box full of shoes that are special to him somewhere at home. Those range from those worn as a kid, others from college, and a pair from when he won the MLS Cup with Colorado.
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