By Brian Jennings – Midfielder Nick Labrocca of the Colorado Rapids won’t stand out as the flashiest, eye-popping stats conscious player you’ll see in MLS, but that’s just the way the 8-year veteran likes it.
What you do see in Labrocca is a player who works as hard as anyone day in and day out, does not shy away from contact on the field, and can be counted on regardless of who is around him or the situation they are in.
That pretty much sums up Nick’s requirements in his white adidas 11Pro TRX boots. The classic design features a soft, full-grain leather upper with traditional a straight-lace pattern up the middle. The dual-cushioning studs with internal anit-shock tubes add to the comfort level on the field.
He admits that once he finds a style that is comfortable he will stay with those until they are not an option anymore. “I started with adidas, it’s probably the same cleat just a newer model. I don’t wear the newest ones but I wear the ones just before the newest ones. As soon as I like one I stick with it. What always happens to me is I find a shoe that I like until they don’t make them anymore and then I have to deal with it later.”
Now back in Colorado where he began his MLS career, one thing has not changed whether he has been with the Rapids, Chivas USA, or Toronto FC and that is how he strikes the ball. “Your entire life you’re taught ‘shoelaces’ and that’s kind of my guide,” admits the quiet but hardnosed midfielder. “If I see my shoelaces off the side of my foot that will throw me off a little bit. That’s where I am now because there’s not many shoes left with straight laces.” In fact, Labrocca is currently the only member of the Rapids wearing this particular model.
As far as the exotic colors, patterns, and materials we are seeing as the 2014 World Cup in Brazil gets closer, Labrocca gives a grin and explains those just aren’t for a player like him with the yeoman like game that he has.
“I like a simple shoe, straight laced, black or white, nothing fancy. I’m more of a simple comfort guy. Lightweight?….not really much difference to me. I err a little more on the side of comfort.”