Every four years, the most popular sport on the planet gets together for the aptly named World Cup. Despite relative disinterest here in the U.S., Americans have been steadily coming around to soccer, and when the World Cup hits — and when we're good enough to play in it — it feels almost as if America is just as soccer-mad as the rest of the globe. Someone on your list this holiday season is sure to come down with a case of futbol fever — especially with the recent news of women's and men's United Soccer League squads coming to town. There may not be a cure, but we've found a few things that should help them treat it.
Sometimes it's smart to keep it simple. You can't play soccer without a ball, which makes this a can't miss gift for World Cup converts. Unsurprisingly, the pro shop at Spokane Soccer Center offers a ton of options. Stay on theme, and within budget, with a replica of the Al Rihla ball used in the 2022 World Cup, or splurge for a match-worthy version of the ball used by Major League Soccer. As a locally owned, licensed Adidas retailer, Spokane Soccer Center's selection is unmatched regionally. $16-$165 • Spokane Soccer Center • 7320 E. Nora Ave., Spokane Valley • sscindoor.com
The downtown stadium currently under construction will soon be home to both men's and women's professional soccer teams. Spokane's United Soccer League squads won't take to the pitch until 2024, but now is the time to lock down a permanent spot in the stands for the soccer-crazed on your list. Up to six season tickets can be reserved by purchasing a deposit, the cost of which is then applied to the cost of the tickets once the time comes to pick your seat. $20 • USL Spokane • uslspokane.com
With 32 nations representing every continent except Antarctica taking the stage at the World Cup, fans often find themselves rooting for plucky underdogs from far off countries they know little about. If a fan in your life falls for one of these squads, there's a good chance their country is represented not just at the World Cup, but in Spokane as well. Kizuri offers handmade products from artisans all around the world. Whether it's Tunisia, Senegal, Ecuador or another that ends up catching their eye, Kizuri has unique apparel and accessories to bring their fandom of a distant land a little bit closer to home. Prices vary • Kizuri • 35 W. Main Ave. • shopkizuri.com
AMERICAN OUTLAWS MEMBERSHIP
An annual membership in the official supporters' group of the United States national teams comes with a lot of perks. Members get a T-shirt every year, as well as discounts on merchandise, tickets and travel packages to national team matches. The best perk of all, though, is the community. Spokane's chapter of the American Outlaws hosts watch parties at Logan Tavern for every USMNT and USWNT match. With a ton of those on tap over the coming year, this really is a gift that keeps on giving. $30 • AO Spokane • theamericanoutlaws.com/chapters/spokane ♦