'The Kick' Sculpture Unveiled Outside National Soccer Hall of Fame
FRISCO - It's one of the most iconic strikes in soccer and it now stands to inspire and awe visitors to the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
The Kick, a cold-cast aluminum sculpture inspired by the famous bicycle kick executed by Pelé, took it's permanent home on Wednesday afternoon as installation took place along Main Street in Frisco, outside the south end of Toyota Stadium.
The statue serves a tribute to soccer in the United States as the nation has grown to love the sport.
“The Kick conveys the energy, the excitement and the passion of the sport and I think it’s a great entry feature for the Hall of Fame,” FC Dallas Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. “The bicycle kick is one of the most exciting plays in soccer and as you think about the bicycle kick through the years, great players like Pelé and Ronaldo have had some incredible goals.”
The sculptor, Jacob Burmood, and Paul Dorrell, art consultant and owner of Leopold Gallery, were sought out in Kansas City by Clark Hunt and FC Dallas President Dan Hunt, initially to design a statue for the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
Once they saw the work that Burmood had done, though, they knew he was the man for the piece of art they had in mind at the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
“Life is funny how it works out sometimes, we were talking about a sculpture for the Chiefs at that time,” Dan Hunt said of the process. “After looking at some of Jacob's other stuff I thought ‘Boy, this guy’s the right guy.’”
Dan Hunt's inspiration for the statue came from his memories of the iconic Michael Jordan statue at the United Center in Chicago.
“One of the most iconic things at that whole venue is the Michael Jordan statue out front of him soaring over everyone else. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to the United Center but every single time I go and get my photo in front of that statue,” he said. “We wanted to create that moment again. We needed something that was iconic. We needed a statue that people wanted to take their photos with.”
The Hunts sent a rendering of a soccer player executing a bicycle kick that was realistic and powerful. Burmood and Dorrell brought the vision to life by adding their own contemporary direction.
“I looked at tons of other artists' works, everything from pre-Columbian art to contemporary works. Art deco was a big influence,” said Burmood. “(The bicycle kick) is such a dynamic kick and it just happens in the flash of a moment. It’s such a quick flourish of power and grace, and to capture that moment in that position we felt would be a really strong sculpture.”
Soccer, to many fans, is more than a sport, it’s a passion, and the children that go to games idolize the players. The Kick serves as an outlet for children to picture themselves on the highest stage, executing a bicycle kick. The idea that each visitor has his or her own depiction is why the piece has no definitive features. The absence of race, age, and ethnicity creates a blank slate for the imagination of the viewer.
“One thing that was intentional on our part, and Clark and Dan were very much on board with it, is that a soccer player of any age or any race could identify with the piece, and that includes boys and girls,” said Dorrell. “Whether they’re a soccer player who’s in their 40’s or older, Hispanic, Asian, White, Black — I want them to be able to identify with this piece and be inspired by it and see themselves performing that kick.”
The nearly 800-pound statue's design is meant to resonate with not only fans in Dallas, but people all around the world who love the sport.
“We’re very excited with the Hall of Fame. It’s been four years in the making and it’s hard to believe we’re just a little over two weeks away from finally being able to open it,” said Clark Hunt. “It’s turned out better than we ever thought it would and the job that Jacob Burmood, the artist on The Kick, did on that piece is incredible.”