What has now become a tradition, Sporting Kansas City's Jimmy Nielsen will be wearing special gloves with the Cauldron logo on them tonight in the match against DC United. The gloves were designed by a collaboration of the Cauldron (Sporting Kansas City's supporters group) and the manufacturer Pro Ebiria.
This appears to be the only two times that a supporters group has had their logo on an official piece of equipment worn in an MLS match. See more photos of the gloves here.
Q: Why wear a glove with the Cauldron logo?
Jimmy Nielsen: It's a big honor to wear the Cauldron gloves. It's a way for me to say thank you for all the support this year and all the years I've been here. I know my glove guy says it should be this game and a playoff game but I could see myself wearing them in the future.
Q: You could go with a big name company, why Pro Ebiria?
Jimmy Nielsen: First of all they make some outstanding gloves. Secondly, I like that it's local. It's a newer company. He's starting from the bottom and wants to build it up. I like to help as much as possible. I like the gloves, I like the guy and they are some great quality gloves for not a lot of money.
Q: The Cauldron gloves last year were pretty special.
Jimmy Nielsen: Yes they were and so are these! I think they are pretty awesome.
Q: Didn't the cauldron gloves last year lift the Open Cup?
Jimmy Nielsen: It was, yes. Not these (the pair he had on in training) but I have another pair of these and they will probably lift the MLS Cup. This pair will take us to the MLS Cup.
Q: You have a pair saved for that day?
Jimmy Nielsen: Not for that day but for the week leading up and that day.
Q: Pro Ebiria made you a special black pair this season, were those pretty lucky?
Jimmy Nielsen: Yes, the black pair had six wins and one draw, they are worn out now, I can't wear them anymore. Kind of sad but it's good timing to change. Time to climb the ladder and we will do it with these gloves.
According to Lambros Rigos, the owner of Pro Ebiria, fans had an opportunity to purchase the same exact gloves in a special pre-order.
Q: You mean replica gloves?
Lambros Rigos: No the exact same gloves, when the shipment arrived I reached in and pulled out a couple pairs for Jimmy, some backups and the rest of that box is going to the fans. It could have been any one of the pairs.
Q: Why did you choose Jimmy Nielsen as you first pro keeper to partner with?
Lambros Rigos: I wanted the best to represent my product, but that was not enough. I knew that Jimmy was voted goalkeeper of the year twice in Denmark at the time we met. But, I was looking for the whole package. I wanted someone who connects with the community and the fans on a personal level. Jimmy is a very friendly and approachable person and I have enjoyed our partnership immensely. Because of him, now I am very proud to say I provide gloves for both Jimmy Nielsen and Eric Kronberg of Sporting KC, both of whom are stand up guys.
Fans can pick the gloves up through the Cauldron tail gate or make other arrangements. They are working on an event for Nielsen to sign the gloves like he did last year. Rigos also passed along that everyone that bought a pair of the Cauldron gloves will also receive a special replica glove key chain.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have done some photography work for Pro Ebiria.