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Now is the perfect time to buy football gifts online as the World Cup is going on. This special event only happens once every four years, but during this time football popularity peaks at its highest. You could find just about anything when it comes to gifts associated with football during this special time. This article will go over the many different types of football gifts online that you could find and how you can find them.

First of all, there are so many different types of gifts out there you are sure to find one for that special person. You can narrow down your choices by picking a specific country or team to buy from. You could also narrow down your choices by choosing a price for your gift. You could find numerous football gifts online in all different price ranges. Some great football gifts are replica jersey’s, footballs with the teams in the World Cup on them, key chains, or magnets. There are so many different gifts out there you can even get more expensive things such as golden charms, trophies, or even signed items with your favorite players autograph on it. No matter how much you are willing to spend or who you are looking to buy for you are sure to find the perfect football gift online.

Finding These Footie Gifts Online

Once you know what you are looking for, finding it online is easy. There are so many special sites out there that are dedicated to the World Cup. You could buy footie gifts online within minutes and just a few clicks of the mouse. All you need to do is type in the words “Football Gifts” and click search. You will be directed to hundreds of sites that sell special gifts. You could even compare different sites and find the best deals out there. You may even be able to find auction sites and name your own price on these gifts. Once you find the gift that you are looking for, getting it to your door is easy. You can buy football gifts online with a credit card or even other services such as Pay Pal. You can even get the gift delivered to that special someone’s door with a special message.

Now that you know what types of gifts are out there and how you can find them online, you are ready to begin shopping for those football gifts that you can only find every four years. Make sure you take advantage of this time and get the special gifts that are available, especially if you or your loved one is a big soccer fan.

The Superdry label is quickly becoming a very popular brand name in the U.S., with their classically casual and fashionably unique apparel. Based on a hybrid of laid-back, American retro combined with pseudo Japanese distinctive styling, the Superdry image is slaying the competition in the fashion industry and setting new trends along the way. Due to their enormous support in London, their reach has transcended beyond any limits thought possible by CEO Julian Dunkerton who initiated the label in conjunction with one of his own. Though their steady but rapid rise to supremacy is largely due to its U.K. roots, it was an American soccer player that has put them on the fast track to global stardom and they’ve played no games ever since.

History at a Glance

In late 2003, the Superdry concept, which served as a segue between Dunkerton’s first, earlier success, Cult Clothing, came into existence during a late night drinking binge with friend and colleague James Holder shortly after Dunkerton returned to London from Tokyo. He was freshly inspired by the rich culture of the orient and admired their strong attention to detail along with their distinct characteristic writing technique so much that he wanted to incorporate it right into his fashion practice. With assistance from Holder and his affluent corporation, their stores began to populate small university providences in England where they prospered almost immediately.

The Superdry brand along with 77Breed and Surf Co California comprise the major brand labels that serve as components to the SuperGroup, formed in 1985 with the founding of Cult Clothing by Julian Dunkerton. The SuperGroup has been ably backed by the success of the Superdry label which leads all brands in total retail though they conduct no formal advertising campaign. Dunkerton expressed his marketing strategies for the label very early on, unofficially commenting that retail pricing would be set at bare minimum thresholds in order to obtain profit for all clothing apparel as opposed to his competitors that drove-up prices to maximize gain. He wanted to present a high quality product at earnest, affordable prices to the public.

In the Media

The biggest moment yet for Superdry and those on their band wagon hit when world famous soccer player and pop icon David Beckham appeared wearing the immensely popular bestselling, “Osaka-6” designer T-shirt in his 2005 calendar. This intrigued Dunkerton enough to give Beckham the “Brad” leather jacket of which he was photographed wearing coming out of Mr. Chows in Beverly Hills one cool, crisp November evening. When the picture was featured in People magazine later that year, sales for the jacket sky rocketed.

The label wasted no time thereafter making the big screen’s “A” list as celebrities alike from Kate Moss to Jude law turned out in full support sporting an array of Superdry clothes and footwear. But as critics will have it, the celebrity make-over is nothing more than just window dressing to the real genius and actual draw to the meat of the label’s phenomenon, generated from the designer-in-chief himself, James Holder. Known to jokingly boast over scribbling his designs for the first few Osaka T-shirts on the back of bar beer-mats, Holder’s ethic in his designs enable him to transform everyday apparel and accessories like jeans, jackets, glasses, etc., into virtual, vintage classics.

The Superdry Backpack and Superdry Bags

As Superdry marches on into different avenues of fashion with regard to accessories such as sunglasses and jewelry, their line of sight has recently shifted to a unique variety of unisex bags and backpacks for travel and outdoor sport. Superdry has manufactured a functional balance of bags for an eclectic series of activities to suit anyone on the go. Here is a brief listing of some of the Superdry backpacks and bags:

• The Superdry rucksack collection combines the features of the rugged outdoorsmen type with the artsy flair of a high school student in terms of style and attitude, offering several types of traditional outdoor hiking packs with all the charm and genuine character to that of an experienced world traveler.

• The Superdry laptop bag and laptop pouch offers fashionable and safe alternatives for carrying your hardware to school or the office by several versatile and functional means. While one is completely weather proof, the other is made from beautiful full grain leather for a sharp, sleek appearance that is sure to make your colleagues jealous.

• The Gymnasium bag embodies all the traits and characteristics of the name and looks just as it sounds. Made from a polyester blend, it’s totally sweat proof and easy to maintain, while large enough to carry all your new muscles home from your last workout.

• The Motorbike Messenger bag is another reason I love these bags so much. Their names depict a replica of their function as this bag is right up the biker type’s alley with a single adjustable strap, leather belt buckle fasteners, and four large external pockets.

• The Weekender bag will send you out the door faster than you can say “vacation get away” with its fine leather trim and leather handle not to mention adjustable detachable strap. You can pack for the weekend and then some with its large internal compartment and three external compartments.

The Superdry backpack is making a real impact on the market as these bags are gaining in popularity every day. They craft a much larger line with the same genuine variety, and they are all worth a look as one is sure to fit your daily mold or routine. Don’t overlook these bags, as they are light weight and crafted from fine materials. The only caveat is that some of these bags can be a little pricey which is unusual for them. Nevertheless, if quality makes your list for consideration, then they have a backpack or bag for you. As Superdry continues to dominate their industry, you can rest assured that their product line is here to stay.

Motorcycles conjure up different images for different people. For some they speak of freedom, adventure and the open road, for others they epitomize rebellion. Many mothers and wives hate them because they stand for danger and death. This is a perception further fueled by the fact that emergency room staff tend to refer to motorcyclists as organ donors. Riding a motorbike is inherently dangerous, for one thing there is the constant temptation to give in to speed, and other drivers seldom see them, for another.

To make riding a motorbike a more pleasurable and reliably safe practice, it's advisable to invest in a range of protective clothing. This clothing is designed not only to keep you warm and dry in the cold and rain, but also to provide a measure of protection when your body inevitably introduces itself to the tarmac.

According to motorcycle experts at flamesonmytank the areas of your body that need the most protection (as from your head) are the places where your skin is thinnest and the bones are closest to the surface. These places include your knuckles, shoulders, hips and knees. They recommend that you look for clothing that has thick, but soft, body armor sewn in.

They also say that in non fatal accidents, the most common and permanent injuries are to your legs and feet. This means that when buying motorcycle boots, you need to consider a lot more than style. It's important that your boots support and protect your ankles and are sturdy enough not to buckle, bend and crush your foot. Many long-distance bikers opt for "off-trail" hiking boots, as they are designed to support your feet in a variety of extreme conditions and over awkward surfaces.

Do not forget about your shins. If your boots do not provide enough protection, you might want to do the same as some professional bikers do and tuck a pair of soccer pads into your socks. They may not be cool, but they're one hell of a lot cooler than having your broken shin bones poking through the legs of your pants.

When it comes to pants, many bikers choose to ride in denim jeans. They're comfortable, they're inexpensive and they do not look out of place when you're not on your bike. They are not without their disadvantages though. Studies have shown that cotton used in jeans is not able to withstand all of the abrasion that results from a motorcycle accident. Once wet, they take a long time to dry, which means that you'll still be damp and uncomfortable hours after the rain has passed. Leather, on the other hand, can be treated with waterproofing and is hardier in prolonged contact with the road.

Another thing that you need to consider when buying protective gear is the "crash and slide factor". This reflects to your clothing's ability to remain in place while you're becoming intimate with the surface of the road. You do not want the cuffs of your jacket or pants to ride up and expose your skin and bones to the abrasive qualities of the asphalt. What you want is for all of your belts, zips and Velcro fasteners to stay fast and protect you as much as possible while your life flashes before your eyes.

Heat resistance suddenly becomes very important, as you will generate a lot of it while you skid across the road. If your garments are of a poor nature, and the care instructions state that only a cool iron should be used, you're going to be in trouble. Your clothes will melt and could possibly melt into your skin, adding further insult to considered injury. Look for clothing that can withstand temperatures higher than 110 degrees Celsius; in other words, something that you can iron the hell out of.

Riding a motorbike is dangerous, and for many that is part of the allure, but that does not mean that all bikers are reckless or careless with their lives. Any biker worth his or her salt takes precautions on the road, no matter how rudimentary. Ear plugs, gloves, helmets and jackets all play a crucial role in keeping you safe on and prolonging your enjoyment of the open road. If you're worried about stifling in all of that protection, remember these wise words from flamesonmytank, "it's better to sweat than to bleed."

Sports socks may not seem as conspicuous as sports shoes but they are important parts of a sports attire. In fact, there is as much research and development efforts being invested in the making of socks as in shoes.

Such features as support, cushioning, durability, elasticity, moisture-wicking technology and anatomical design for different feet are all taken into account in the manufacture of sports socks. Aesthetics also plays a role as catchy designs and attractive colors also influence consumer behavior.

Baseball Socks

Baseball socks are tube socks that go all the way up to the kneecap. Because baseball involves a lot of sliding around in the dirt, baseball socks are designed to protect the shin. They are also designed to keep out dirt and mud while letting the feet breathe. This type of socks is commonly made of 90% polypropylene which is a lightweight and durable material.

Basketball Socks

Basketball socks can either be mid-calf or crew socks. And because basketball shoes are high-cut, crew socks are cut higher so as to protect the ankles from rubbing with the top of the shoes. Basketball socks are designed to absorb impact as well as reduce friction as players run around the court.

Football and Soccer Socks

Football socks go all the way to the knee and are designed to be lightweight, stretchy, breathable and durable. Extra cushioning is provided at the heels and toes to buffer the impact of frequent kicks. The colors are often determined by the team uniform. In some countries, soccer is used in place of football so that soccer and football socks are generally made the same.

Hockey Socks

Hockey players actually wear two socks-the inner liner and the outer protective socks. The inner socks are designed to keep the foot warm despite the ice and at the same time dry despite the sweat. The outer protective socks are knee-high and are worn over shin guards and knee guards. The usual material is rib-knit fabric which is very stretchy and durable.

Lacrosse Socks

Lacrosse socks go up to the kneecap and are typically worn in team colors. These socks often have moisture-managing mesh areas and compressive zones around the arches of the feet. Extra elasticity around the top to keep the socks from rolling down the calves is also a common feature.

Running socks

Running socks usually do not have seams along the toes to keep the toes unharmed by long-distance running. They have moisture-wicking properties as well as extra support around the arches of the feet. Some running socks are even customized to fit the right and left foot differently.

The more popular brands of sports socks include Nike, Adidas, The North Face, Timberland, Thorlo, SmartWool, Red Lion, Twin City and Wigwam.

Since arriving in Spain seven years ago, my search for Spanish ancientors (Francisco Bouligny – Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana under Bernardo de Galvez) has given me an awareness of just how little we Americans know about the vital importance of Spain's assistance in our War of Independence from English rule.

What follows great out of my own research and discussions with other interested American's both in Spain and the US. It started out as a desire to share this information with fellow Americans who stayed in my companies (www.rentalspain.com) short term furnished apartments for tourism and business stays in Madrid, and grown into membership in the SAR and involvement with the DAR.

My hopes are that the reader will also catch my desire to learn more, and spread the word in attempt to fill this gap in a very important part of our nation's history.

The Prelude:

At the end of The War of the Spanish Succession 1713-14
Britain was in possession of Gibraltar and Menorca. Over the next 50 years there were a number of European wars and constant struggle for domination which even involved Russia and Poland.

However the real starting point for this commentary was the Seven Years War of 1756 -1763. In the closing year Spain allied itself with France via the "Bourbon" Third Family Compact, and thenby shared in its defeat by Britain

At the Treaty of Paris in 1763 Spain lost Florida which then included the Gulf Coast up to the past Louisiana territory. To Portugal it lost Uruguay.

France lost all of Canada and India, and ceded to Britain all of its territory east of the Mississippi River. However, New Orleans and the vast Louisiana Territory Louis XV felt better given over to Bourbon Spain.

The size of this territory was huge! It included parts of Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Subsequent to the treaty, Britain was too war-weary to hold onto many of these spoils and returned the islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique to France, and Cuba to Spain. It did however retain lumbering and trading rights and activities throughout the Caribbean.

Spain's King Carlos III was a far sighted and energetic Monarch and took this defeat to heart and commanded building up his naval and military forces toward that time when he and Britain would once again be at war.

Simultaneously he put in place economic and administrative reforms that initiated an economic regeneration both in Spain and its American holdings.

The Reason:

When the time was right for Spain, why did it ally itself with France, in support of the Colonies?

Spain wanted the return of Gibraltar and Menorca, the control of Florida, Jamaica and the Bahamas, and the control of navigation on the Mississippi River. It also wanted to eliminate British establishments on the east coast of Mexico and Honduras.

In order to achieve this, Carlos III and his Ministers decided upon a policy of Divide and Rule. That is, by helping the "rebelling English Colonies" fight for their independence, they could haverey tie up British money, fleets and troops in North America, while Spanish forces set about directly clearing the British out of the Caribbean.

As history has shown, Spain's Divide and Rule strategy has provided especially helpful to the "Rebelling English Colonists" in achieving victory and their own independence.

The Players:

In the writers opinion, the history of Spain's contribution is most interestingly told through insights to those whom Carlos III chose to accomplish his goals.

Jose Monnino y Redodo, Conde de Floridablanca: Minister of State – Probably the most important non-combatant, if not person, in all of this. The rebuilding of the naval and military forces Carlos III initiated required time. Unlike France which openly declared war on Britain in 1776 in support of the rebelling English Colonies, Floridablanca kept Spain from declaring war on Britain until 1779. Spain was prepared to do so.

He doggedly pursued the goal of getting Britain out of the Gulfs of Mexico and Caribbean right up to the signing of peace in 1783. Only in not regaining Gibraltar and capturing Jamaica did he fall short of his goal.

Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea, Conde de Aranda: Spain's minister to France. At the insistence of Floridablanca he was the only Spanish representative through which official business with the American Commission, chaired by Benjamin Franklin, could take place and that only in Paris. In fact, in 1777, one American Commissioner was refused entry through northern Spain in order to protect Spain's "neutrality" vis a vis the British.

Aranda's close dealings with the American Commission made him a convert to their cause and very pro-American. So much so that he pressured Madrid for Spain's declaration of war on Britain years before his superior, Conde de Floridablanca, judged Spain ready to do so.

Diego Maria de Garoqui Aniquibar: Basque – Head of the banking firm Gardoqui e Hijos in Bilbao. He spoke English and is one of the few non-governmental participants in this affair.

Through his bank, financial aid and supplies such as blankets, shoes and stockings, and medicines flowed to the Colonies via New Orleans. He secretly outfitted American privateers, like John Paul Jones, who would come into Bilbao and northern Spanish ports to sell the spoils of their captures from British merchant ships.

In 1785, he became Spain's first ambassador to the United States.

In a certain sense Spain's contribution to The American Revolution could be called "The Family of Macharavialla Affair"

These three members of the Galvez family were all born in that little Spanish hill town just inland of the southern Mediterranean Coast, not too far from Malaga.

Jose de Galvez – Minister over the Council of the Indies and patron of his older brother Matias and nephew, Bernardo de Galvez. Jose had overall responsibility for Spain's wartime activities in the Americas and through the Minister of State, Floridablanca convinces Carlos III that Spain's priority in the Americas should be that of defeating the British in Florida along the Gulf Coast and up the Mississippi River, before concentrating its efforts in the Caribbean campaign.

Matias de Galvez, Brother to Jose and father of Bernardo de Galvez. Like others of his family he rose quickly up the military ranks and was appointed Captain General of Guatemala in 1779 where British timber cutting, illicit trade and smuggling had become a significant drain on Spain's Central American revenues.

He was quickly successful in defeating and stopping British activities through the Gulf of Mexico in Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. As importantly, he was a key player in Spain's "Divide and Rule" policy, with his activities preventing British strategists from concentrating their forces against either the Colonist Revolt or Caribbean campaign.

For his achievements he was named "Viceroy of Nueva Espana" and died in that office in Mexico. Later he would be followed by his son Bernardo, who also died in that office in 1786 at the age of 40.

Bernardo de Galvez After a very successful military career under his uncle Jose in Nueva Espana which included fighting Native American Indians and expelling Spanish Jesuit priest from the same western part of the North American continent. He was made Governor of Louisiana in 1776.

From 1776 to 1783 his diplomatic, financial and military exploits against the British in the Mississippi River valley, along the Gulf Coast of Florida and contribution to British defeat at Yorktown, all proved to be Spain's most direct and immensely important contribution to the American Revolution.

Already in 1775 Spain was stockpiling gun powder, bullets and clothing in New Orleans in anticipation of the Colonies declaration of independence. Transported up the inland water ways of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, some of these supplies would even eventually reach George Washington's troops on the East Coast.

Together with an Irish-American merchant and agent from Virginia, Oliver Pollock, Bernardo supplied the successful American campaigns lead by George Rogers Clark against the British in the trans-Allegany regions (Pennsylvania and Ohio of today). And thanks to Bernardo's wartime activities these were the only British attacks on the Colonists along their western borders.

By the end of the war Pollock had bankrupted himself and forfeited his territories buying supplies from Spain in support of his nescient United States. In the years after the war Bernardo came to his assistance in obtaining reimbursement from Congress.

The Battles:

Fought by Spanish Forces under the command of Bernardo de Galvez where not one American Colonialist was present.

Upon Spain's declaration of war in 1779, Bernardo immediately set out from New Orleans to defeat the British. Just 90 miles up the Mississippi river he defeated them first at Fort Bute at Manchac and thethen Baton Rouge
1780 – His troops took the British fort at what is now St Louis, Missouri.
1781- His Spanish led French militia operating from St. Francis. Louis won a winter victory at St. Louis Josephs on the shores of Lake Michigan !!

1780 – The Battle of Mobile. Was three months in the making from the time Galvez set sail from New Orleans to his victory.

The year before, a hurricane had drowned 400 of his men while enroute. Again he was weather delayed in arriving at the port, followed by the stranding of two of his ships in the mouth of the harbor. While he absolutely did receive reinforcements from Havana on the eve of his attack, it was not before his original troops had basically unloaded the stranded vessels and moved their supplies and cannons into position.

In the end he had assembled around 800 men against the 200 British defenders. However during the time he was preparing for his attack, a British force of 1100 from Pensacola had marched to within three leagues distance behind him, so one can not exactly say that he had the advantage!

The lieutenant governor of Louisiana under Galvez, Francisco Bouligny was an acquaintance of and met with the British Commander in an attempt to obtain an early surrender. However that gentleman replied that honor bound him not to surrender without a fight.

The battle and surrender took place in one day!

Fortunately for Galvez, upon hearing of the surrender, the Commander of the Pensacola forces simply marched back home.

For this success Carlos III cave Bernardo de Galvez the title of "Field Marshall for the Spanish Operation in the Americas".

1781 – The Battle of Pensacola – As much as Bernardo wanted to move directly from Mobile on this port, he was unable to do so for another year due to lack of support from Havana and another hurricane that frustrated traffic into position.

Unlike Mobile when he supported his troops with his own vessels at Pensacola Galvez also had the Spanish naval fleet from Havana. While he was the overall commanding officer, in the end he had to badger and insult the naval commanders to enter the harbor and engage the enemy. This was because their own Admiral's vessel ran around on the approach and he adamantly refused to enter the harbor.

Therefore it was Bernardo ALONE on his vessel The Galvezton that entered the harbor under fire from the British fort and set up a beach head. Having seen this, the smaller Navy vessels skulked into the harbor and the real business of preparing to attack the fort finally got underway. Similar to Mobile his soldiers had to man handle their cannons and supplies into position.

At this point he had 3500 men and with the arrival of a combined Spanish and French reinforcement fleet from Havana his total reached 7000 men.

On the second day of bombardment a Spanish howitzer stuck and destroyed the armory in the outer defenses, killing some 150 men. It is reported that Francisco Bouligny led one of the first charges through the destroyed battlements and dropped down the British Colors

For this success Bernardo de Galvez was given the title of "Conde de Galvez" and permission to place the silhouette of his ship The Galvezton and the words "Yo Solo" (I alone) on his Coat of Arms

A bit later in 1781-Bernardo put down a revolt in Natchez on the Mississippi River and conducted mopping up operations around Florida.

October 1781 – The battle of Yorktown, Virginia. Although no Spanish forces were there, it was Bernardo's strategist Captain Francisco de Saavedra who had planned and financed the French Fleet and Armies presence and aid to George Washington's troops. At Yorktown the British army under the command of Lord Cornwallis surrendered to this combined French and American force.

It might be said that the unsung hero of this part of the Revolutionary War is this same:
Captain Francisco de Saavedra de Sangronis. Born in Sevilla. Like Jose de Galvez he was trained in theology for a monastic life, but then turned to the military and was invited into the court of Carlos III.

In 1776 he was serving in Spain's Embassy in Portugal.

After Spain's declaration of war on England, Saavedra was sent to Havana in 1780 as "Royal Commissioner from the Court of Madrid" and was imprisoned on Spain's governing body for the Americas, under Jose de Galvez, "The Council of the Indies".

Saavedra's orders from Madrid were to convince the "General Committee of War" in Havana to support Bernardo de Galvez's attacks on the western Florida gulf coast. Having convinced them of that, he then supervised preparation of the expedition of 3500 troops that included a French contingent of 4 frigates and 750 men, to reinvigorate Bernardo de Galvez's attack on Pensacola.

Subsequent to Pensacola, Saavedra became Bernardo's major strategist and principal liaison to the French Forces. In fact the French requested his transfer to the staff of their naval Commander, Comte Francois-Joseph-Paul de Grasse. He was instrumental in forming the French strategies in the Caribbean. He obtained Bernardo de Galvez's permission to release the French fleet from the Caribbean campaign and sail it north to Virginia. Plus, he raised funds in Santo Domingo and Havana to pay for that French fleet and army's participation in the climatic battle for US independence at Yorktown.

After Yorktown, Saavedra served the "Viceroy of Nueva Espana", Matias de Galvez, as his strategist, in defeating the British through the Caribbean. His plan for an amphibious attack on British held Jamaica was relatively equivalent in size to some of the major amphibious invasions of WWII.

Years later he became one of Spain's National heroes when he organized and led the resistance against Napoleon's forces during their occupation of Spain.

Spain signed a Peace Agreement with Britain on the 20th of January 1783,

What might have been:

Had Britain returned Gibraltar in 1777 Spain might have withheld its support of France when it declared war on the side of the Colonies in 1776. However, at the time, King George III said "No" to the negotiations.

Two years later in 1779, Gibraltar was once again on the negotiation table but this time King Carlos III felt that protecting Spain's Gulf and Caribbean interests by driving the British out carried a greater importance than peace with Britain and Gibraltar's return.

Spain's Financial Contribution:

In addition to the guns, powder, bullets, clothing, and blankets sent by Carlos III to the Colonies, Spain provided a stunning amount of money and credit.

In May of 1776 Spain and France jointly set up the dummy company of Roderique Hortalez et Cie. in Paris. Each country provided an initial investment of one million livres ($ 750,000) of munitions and supplies. Next they opened a line of credit for 7,730,000 livres ($ 5,797,500). Later still they provided an additional three million livres ($ 2.25 million) to be repaid by the Colonies with tobacco, indigo, potash and rice.

The Bilbao Bankers Gardoqui e Hijos, Bilbao, alone sent some 70,000 pesos ($ 2 million).

As mentioned earlier the strategist Saavedra funded the French fleet and 5000 troops at Yorktown, first by raising 100,000 pesos ($ 3 million) in Spanish Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo. He then sailed to Havana where he found a shipment of one million pesos from Mexico's silver mines he was expecting was late. Consequently, in two days time, he was locally raised and dispatched 500,000 pesos ($ 15 Million) to catch up with the French fleet which was already enroute to Virginia! Five days later the original one million pesos ($ 30 Million) arrived and he dispatched this as well! Authorization for much of this was done simply on the word of Saavedra and Jose de Galvez's signature!

From the territories of Nueva España was contributed $ 126,480 from New Mexico and another $ 672,600 from Sonora Mexico.

Toldeo Spain: Contributed 500,000 reales ($ 1,875,000). And the little town of Malaga 200,000 copper reales ($ 37,500).

The monetary impact of Spain's Contribution:

It is no surprise that this volume of Spanish currency flowing into the colonies affected the new American currency – and its appearance. For centuries Spain has used the Pillars of Hercules to symbolize its control of the Straits of Gibraltar. The Greek like pillars typically flank the royal shield and are loosely wrapped with a ribbon. The Colonists came to denote Spanish currency as an S having two vertical lines through it, which evolved into the US Dollar sign of today.

The word "Dollar" itself came from the German line of the Spanish Hapsburg's "Thaler" and became the English word for the Spanish peso used through out Spain and the Spanish Colonies. The Colonists became accustomed to the word and made it the name for their new currency despite spelled and pronounced Dollar.

In 1775, a year before the Declaration of Independence, the first issue of Continental paper money provided that the notes would be payable in "Spanish Milled Dollars or the value there in gold or silver".

The American rhyme teaching children the value of money "Two bits, Four bits Six bits, a Dollar" takes its origins from the Spanish "Piece of Eight" – a coin that could be physically broken apart into 8 equal parts or bits. Two bits from the 8 equals the American "Quarter", or 25 cent piece.

In recapitulation:

For its alliance with France in support of the rebelling English Colonies Spain wanted Gibraltar, Menorca, Florida, Jamaica, and the Bahamas and control of the mouth of the Mississippi River. Furthermore, British establishments on the east coast of Mexico and Honduras were to be eliminated.

In the end the Colonies won their independence and Spain achieved all its goals except capturing Jamaica and regaining Gibraltar.

In recognition:

In October of 2006 the Daughters of the American Revolution placed a plaque in the garden of the Casa de Americas in Madrid in recognition of Spain's contribution to the American Independence. Two nights later the Madrid Council of the US Navy League (www.nlmadrid.org) presented the Supreme Commanding Officer of all Spanish Military Forces, its highest award, The Admiral Farragut Statue, in thanks and recognition for Spain's contribution to American Independence.

The Commanding Officer was gracious in accepting the award, and responded by observing that when Spain was large and the Colonies in need, Spain had its support, and that today when those roles have reversed, that Amistad still exists.

It should be increasingly attractive to student athletes that if you want to get an athletic scholarship you must network. Unless you are one of the top prospects in your sport it can be difficult to get the sports scholarship that you are looking for. One of the best forms of networking is signing up for camps. Soccer offers a number of camps that are geared towards gaining exposure and assisting in the recruiting process. One may find lists of camps online or contact your high school coach, club coach or local universities for information on camps.

One camp is offered by Chigozie Offor, a former Nigerian national team standout, the camp is called Top Seed Soccer and takes place in central Florida. The camp was a success in it's first year as it had three college recruiters attend and cure six soccer seminars.

Offor's camp offers information on soccer fundamentals, college recruiting and soccer combine testing. With a number of college coaches in attendance they have hopes of doubling the number of soccer scholarships this year. It is important for athletes to realize that college soccer coaches do not have the budget to travel and see every high school game. It really is much more about networking and marketing yourself at tournaments and camps. The college scouts believe that the most talented and dedicated athletes will be the ones that attend camps and play on club teams. That is why those are the athletes that will be rewarded with soccer scholarships.

Soccer cleats just like regular shoes are sized to help players find snug fitting shoes that will make kicking the ball ad running as comfortable as possible. Considering that soccer cleats need to be tighter in terms of fit, you really cannot rely on your regular shoe size when buying your cleats. Soccer shoes are made from thin materials and a tight fit ensures optimal ball touch and feel.

Materials

When looking for the right snug fitting soccer boot, the material is among the things you should always consider. Cleats made from premium leather, especially kangaroo leather tends to start stretching after a few uses. High quality leather molds to feet shape and when new they need to fit snugly so that even after a few uses they do not stretch and feel too roomy for your feet. When buying synthetics, remember they do not stretch that much, hence you should buy comfortably fitting cleats compared to tight ones.

Width and length

These two elements are used to determine cleat size and using them you can be in a position to choose a pair you will love and enjoy wearing and playing in. For performance and comfort, your cleats should fit closely to end of foot, but not touch on toes; the gap should be anywhere between ¼ and ½ inch. Usually the upper part of the soccer shoe is designed narrow to keep the feet from sliding around inside as you play. For this reason, most cleats come in one width dimensions differing only in length. If you have wide feet, then you may want to check cleats designed with wide feet in mind.

Determining the right fit

When looking for the best, start by picking a pair that you actually like and from a brand you can trust with quality. Players who love their shoes tend to give better performances than those who don’t.

Next, you should figure out your size. If you have the luxury of trying them on before buying, try them on to ensure they are tight, but not so much that they hurt your feet. They should be close fitting otherwise you will have issues kicking ball properly.

When trying on the cleats, pay attention to pressure points; a snug fit does not in any way mean uncomfortable. In case you are a young player who is still growing, cleats that are a little large sized may be ideal. You can get proper socks to fill in the space as your feet grow.

Be sure to stand up and walk around a little in the cleats when testing the size. This is the only way you will be able to truly feel the toe position and how good they feel on your feet. Of course you may need a little time to break-in your cleats but even though the feel should be tight, it should feel right in every sense. You can try on as many different sizes as possible until you find the perfect one for your feet.

Soccer cleats may not have the ability to make you a better player, but they definitely bring out the best in you because you are able to make use of your skills appropriately. There are so many cleats available in the market today and you should make the right choice in terms of fit, comfort, materials and even the features to enjoy a rewarding session in the field. But it is one thing to buy the perfect pair and quite another if you do not take care of your soccer boots. Keeping your cleats in top shape enhances durability and quality and it is not that hard to keep them in top shape.

1. Avoid the myth of hot water technique to loosen the soccer boots because it ruins the shoe even though it does loosen and expand them to give you a good fit. Instead, choosing other better breaking in techniques such as jogging in them during warm ups or prior to the game. The more activities you engage while wearing the boots, the more they loosen and the better the fit when you finally go to play.

2. If you want to soften your leather soccer cleats, then choose a high quality leather food. You can apply it to the boots after cleaning suitably one day before your game. The softer the boots the more comfortable the fit will be and the easier the movement on the pitch.

3. For natural leather cleats, polishing with creams is enough in ensuring that they do not dry out. They need this kind of conditioning to maintain softness and you can rub the cream after cleaning and drying the shoes. When they remain soft, cracking and hardening is eliminated.

4. Air dries the cleats after every game and avoid situations where you leave them in your bag till it is next practice day. You can stuff some newspaper into the soccer boats to soak up dampness inside and to hold them in shape as they dry. It is also important that you do not expose them to direct sunlight when drying or areas that are too hot because it can end up cracking them.

5. Remove the cleats out immediately after the game; the only place to wear them should be on the field. Hard surfaces such as concrete and asphalt can wear the spikes down, making them less functional in offering you grip during play.

6. Clean the soccer boots as soon as possible after the game so you are able to avoid grime and dirt settling into the leather causing damage in the process. When cleaning, you need to also ensure that you clean out every inch of the boot including dented areas as a result of stitching.

7. Use gentle cleaning products that will not damage the shoe and affect the breathability. The cleaning method and the cleaning products should be as gentle as possible to keep your shoe in top shape for longer.

In football, stability is the most important element of great performance. There is always a need to ensure that the feet are firm underneath if at all you are to be able to throw, kick, catch or twist. This means that every player who values performance should invest in the best pair of soccer cleats. With a good pair, you can be sure of impressive traction in all kinds of fields and conditions. It is for this reason that there are specific soccer cleats designed for different grounds and making the right choice remains most paramount.

Apart from the way the spikes are arranged on the sole, it is also important to consider what they are made of. The two major choices you will find in the market when buying are plastic and metal spikes. You really cannot forget to take into consideration what kind of spikes your soccer cleats come with because they can have serious effects on your performance at the end of the day.

Metal spikes

Metallic spikes have for a long time featured on shoes designed for rugby, soccer, golf, baseball and football. They come in different shapes depending on the sport in question and they also come in varying patterns and lengths. Most are made from steel to offer durability and strength at the same time. Soccer cleats that have metal spikes will usually have them replaceable, so you can detach and replace when they bend or wear out without necessarily replacing your pair completely.

Even though they offer more durability and effectiveness, especially for turf sports, models featuring the metal spikes can be quite expensive. Because they dig deeper, they offer more stability compared to plastic spikes, but they can be loud and cumbersome when used on surfaces other than grass and dirt. They are suitable for adult players who are looking for a long time serving and excellent performance in competitive leagues.

Plastic spikes

These spikes are usually designed shorter in length to prevent breakage considering that plastic is prone to such especially with the pressures that come with the game. The shape of the spikes may vary from one sport to another and they are usually molded onto the soccer cleats soles. Because of their elastic nature, the plastic spikes easily bend when under pressure and may not be as durable as their metal counterparts. They are not replaceable and damages to them could mean replacing the entire pair. They are, however lightweight and quite comfortable even when walking on other surfaces. They are quiet and nondescript, but they are most suitable for younger players who may need to increase shoe size every once in a while.

When buying soccer cleats, it is important to check with your coach because most leagues ban metal spikes. This is because they tend to be more dangerous when it comes to injuries during play. If you are limited to plastic spikes, it would be nice to choose a plastic type that will not break as fast so you can still enjoy your pair for a long period of time.

Soccer is a game which can give you Goosebumps. Every admirer of the soccer has a favorite player too which makes the game worth watching. Each and every player puts in uncountable amount of efforts in to the game and as these efforts are for making the team wins each and everything should be practiced. To practice you need proper soccer cleats as they become one of the indispensable parts of this process. Cleats have sought to come in to existence in the 1500s. Cornelius Johnson was the first cleatmaker who attempted to make them for the King Henry VIII in the year 1525. They were specially designed by keeping the game in view and the material was of leather which made them heavy. These differed from the normal ones as they were ankle length.

As the game started evolving in the country the demand for soccer ones also started increasing in the 1800s. The players demanded something which is comfortable and bitterly designed. This was the time when the ankle length ones became less popular and the traditional ‘slipper style’ came in to fashion. They were then given 6 studs at the bottom, made up of leather material and they used to get heavy during rains. But this pattern was accepted up to the 1900s.

The industry saw boom again after World War II as the air travel became prominent and the international games started being held. This led to the high demand of the manufacture for the team members. The focus shifted to providing the players with a comfortable and well-designed material which helps the player in kicking and controlling the soccer ball. The weight was also decreased as light weight cleats started trending.

The evolution led to the following categories which a player can choose from to play soccer:

Soft ground and pro soft ground:

These allow the player to play on muddy fields and wet lands. Also these studs come with attachment as well as detachable capacities. The player can attach them if the need is felt and can remove according to the place in which the match is going on.

The pro soft cleats are helpful on muddy fields and wet grounds where maximum traction is required. They are the traditional cleats.

Artificial Grass/ Hard Ground:

Built on a hard sunbaked ground or a new artificial turf, these come with more number of stud support and this makes them better.

Indoor

These are used for the leisure soccer indoor games.

Futsal

These are designed for fast playing players and five-a-side play soccer games..

Artificial Surf

These are designed to play on hard surfaces. They come with the rubber or plastic sole at the bottom.

Women’s Soccer Cleats:

Built on narrower last or fit mold the women’s soccer cleats are built keeping in mind the dimensions of the women feet. They are built to provide the women with utmost comfort and not to choose men’s soccer cleats if they are playing soccer.