Oldest Players in the Premier League

The English Premier League contains a clash of young, naturally talented, and seasoned veterans. Eventually, there reaches a point when players are too old to keep up with the physically taxing sport, but many fight off their retirement with football savvy.  

Who are the Oldest Players in the Premier League

This experience coupled with exceptional endurance makes some players’ careers survive well into their 30s and 40s on occasion. Let’s take a moment to appreciate the oldest players in the Premier League now and over time.

Kickin’ It Well Into Their 30s

Julián Speroni will forever hold a special place in Crystal Palace fans’ hearts, as he played an integral role in aiding the team’s ascent to the Premier League. Although he has largely been fazed out of playing time, the Argentinian has racked up four Player of the Year awards.

October 15 may not be a memorable date for all Premier League viewers, but Crystal Palace fans should recall their match versus Chelsea. Speroni, the longtime fan favorite goalkeeper, found himself making his first appearance of the season, in place of the injured Wayne Hennessey. Speroni’s appearance was not merely significant due to his age – it also resulted in a 2-1 victory.

Gareth McAuley is currently the second oldest player in the league. The Northern Irishman missed time at the beginning of the 2017 season due to a thigh injury, but McAuley has since managed to return to action.

The third oldest player is another goalkeeper: Huddersfield Town’s Rob Green. Green is a seasoned veteran with over 260 career Premier League appearances, and was a new addition to Huddersfield in August 2017.

Next on the list is Artur Boruc, who has shined across a handful of European countries. His career began as a standout goalkeeper in Poland, but he later moved on to Celtic FC and won three championships with the club. Boruc then transitioned to Serie A, playing for Fiorentina for a couple of seasons. The keeper’s Premier League career began once he was picked up by Southampton and later made his way to his current squad, AFC Bournemouth. Similar to Speroni’s impact on Crystal Palace, Boruc helped Bournemouth debut in the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history.

Bruno, the 37-year-old Catalan right-back, rounds out the top five oldest Premier League players. The Spaniard’s run of 74 consecutive league starts may have come to an end in 2017, but he helped the Seagulls secure their Premier League debut.

Put Me In, Coach

While remaining on a Premier League squad into one’s late 30s is quite an accomplishment, it’s even more impressive to make an in-game appearance.

Goalkeeper John Burridge is the only 43-year-old to ever appear in a Premier League match, but his Manchester City squad suffered a defeat to Queens Park Rangers.

The second and third oldest player appearances belong to a pair of 42-year-olds: Alec Chamberlain and Steve Ogrizovic. Chamberlain and Ogrizovic are both goalkeepers as well and led their squads to a draw and victory in their respective matches.

The Oldest Pros in the League

While the top end of this list may look familiar to the first graphic, there are some additional notable names.

Arsenal’s goalkeeper Petr Čech stands out among the list. Čech’s storied Premier League career includes a Golden Glove award and his place as the all-time clean sheet leader in league history. While Čech may not be in prime form, he remains the starting keeper for Arsenal, which is a feat in itself.

The youngest oldest player is Liverpool’s Ragnar Klavan. Klavan does not have nearly the resume that Čech does, but he did garner widespread coverage not too long ago. He did so by displaying some unique skill in Liverpool’s victory over Huddersfield:

Represent Your Favorite Veteran

Regardless of which club you support, it’s impossible to ignore these athletes’ world-class endurance and skill. If these players can keep on trotting onto the pitch, you should continue to support them by wearing their official gear, available at Fanatics.com

Top 5 oldest players in the Premier League

  1. Julián Speroni
  2. Gareth McAuley
  3. Rob Green
  4. Artur Boruc
  5. Bruno Saltor Grau

Sources

 

The Evolution of the Chelsea Jersey

While several of the world’s largest soccer teams call London home, none is more prestigious than the Chelsea Football Club. They may be pros at soccer, but their real skill is the art of winning. The team has won the Premier League five times compared to its crosstown rival, Arsenal, which has won three. They were also the last English team to win the Champions League in 2012.

Founded in 1905 above the Rising Sun pub, the team has been delighting fans for over a hundred years. As they look forward to another glorious chapter to their already impressive record this season, let’s look back at the different kits they’ve sported while crafting the club’s history.

Blue Is the Color

While they are known as the Blues by their supporters, these Lions of London originally took the field in a green-colored kit for the first two seasons. After 1907, however, they adopted the iconic royal blue color and never looked back. Only slight modifications were made aside from sock colors before 1930 when the first major change came into place: a white collar. This long-sleeve, blue-colored, and white-collared home kit wouldn’t change again until the 1950s, when another small tweak was made, replacing the long sleeves with short sleeves.

The Evolution of the Chelsea Kits GIF

These changes ushered in more over the next several seasons when the club began experimenting with V-neck and scoop-neck collars, adding the club’s crest on the left breast but never changing the color. In the 1970s, they did experiment with multiple accent colors, including yellow and orange.

This was also the decade when the club picked up its first official kit manufacturer Umbro from 1975 to 1981 and then again from 1987 to 2006. Several large companies such as Coors saw the value of being a kit sponsor for the club during this period. One of the club’s biggest legends, Italian forward Gianfranco Zola, wore this jersey as he set several records during his time at Chelsea.
The last decade of the Chelsea kits and maybe their most iconic was synonymous with two names: Adidas and Samsung. Their unprecedented Champions League victory over Bayern Munich in TKTK saw the Adidas/Samsung jersey sported by some of the world’s best players – Michael Ballack, Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, and John Terry. It’s hard to imagine Chelsea players wearing anything else onto the pitch. But times change, Chelsea has been sponsored by Yokohama since 2015, and they will soon wear Nike jerseys.

Champions of England

Even though it’s hard to repeat as Premier League champions, the team has hoisted the trophy two of the last three seasons. Will Chelsea be able to defend their title at home and win abroad this season? Supporters can only hope. But even if it doesn’t come to pass, fans can look the part thanks to officially licensed merchandise and apparel from Fanatics.com.

Sources

http://www.chelseafc.com/the-club/club-history/1900.html

http://www.chelseafc.com/the-club/club-history/2000.html

http://www.historicalkits.co.uk/Chelsea/Chelsea.htm

Football Across Europe: August 11-13 | Premier League Returns

Premier League (England)

The 2017/18 Premier League season is finally upon us. Chelsea will look to defend their title. Hull City, Middlesbrough, and Sunderland have left us, relegated to the Championship, replaced by long-time Premier League regulars Newcastle as well as Brighton & Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town. Many players have come, many have gone. But on opening weekend, the table is level and everyone will have their eyes on a dream finish. Here we look at the most intriguing matches from the opening weekend of a brand new season.

Arsenal vs. Leicester City: The first match of the season is a Friday clash at the Emirates between the Foxes of Leicester and the North London giants of Arsenal. A year after their storybook season for the ages, Leicester stumbled in their title defense. Manager Claudio Ranieri was sacked despite an impressive run in the Champions League, and Leicester finished a meager 12th. Key men Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy, and keeper Kasper Schmeichel return, though of course the transfer window remains open until September. For the Gunners, manager Arsene Wenger has decided to stay and will look to improve on the Gunners’ fifth place finish last season when they fell one point short of the top four on the last day of the season. Star Alexis Sanchez is reportedly staying in London, though will miss the opener due to injury. Mesut Özil, however, should be fit. He’ll be joined by new £52M addition and France international Alexandre Lacazette, the former Lyon striker. Both clubs will look to start their campaign off on the right foot after both losing their opener last season.

Watford vs. Liverpool: Saturday’s jam-packed slate of EPL football begins with Jürgen Klopp’s electric Liverpool traveling to face Watford. Coming off a top-four finish last season, the Reds aim to flex their attacking muscle in Vicarage Road against a side that barely finished above the relegation zone in 2016/17. Although the Hornets are relegation candidates again this season, they’ve revamped their squad over the summer with club-record signing Andre Grey along with arrivals of Tom Cleverley and Nathaniel Chalobah. For Liverpool, it’s been a turbulent summer marred by drama surrounding Philippe Coutinho’s link with a move to FC Barcelona and struggles to secure some of Klopp’s most coveted targets. Despite Coutinho and Adam Lallana being unfit for the opener, new signing Mohamed Salah should link up with Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino to create a lightning-fast strike force.

Chelsea vs. Burnley: The reigning English champions will open their title defense at Stamford Bridge expecting to overpower Burnley in front of their home fans. Despite winning the title in Antonio Conte’s first season with the Blues and returning the club to Champions League football, Chelsea have endured a surprising amount of squad turnover with Diego Costa and Nemanja Matic departing along with several squad players. Conte did secure the £70m Alvaro Morata, but only after losing the Romelu Lukaku sweepstakes to Manchester United. Fellow new signing Tiemoue Bakayoko will look to build chemistry in the middle with last year’s PFA Player of the Year N’Golo Kante as they face a lowly Burnley side whose point total they more than doubled a year ago.

Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Manchester City: The Seagulls of Brighton & Hove Albion make their Premier League debut and first return to the top flight in over 30 years in Saturday’s final match as hosts to Manchester City. They secured the second automatic promotion last season by finishing second in the Championship. Manager Chris Hughton and his squad will be looking to put their best foot forward against one of the league’s powerhouses. Pep Guardiola’s City squad finished third last season and were busy in the summer, adding fullbacks Kyle Walker from Spurs, Danilo from Real Madrid, and Benjamin Mendy from Monaco. Guardiola will hope the trio, which cost more than £100M in total, and new keeper Ederson will help firm up City’s defense to complement their dangerous attack. Sergio Agüero, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, youngster Gabriel Jesus, and many more dangerous names will be looking to give City a win in their first test as they eye a title run this season.

Newcastle United vs. Tottenham: With their one-year stint in the second tier behind them, Newcastle United rightfully return to the EPL with a daunting challenge looming on their first matchday. Tottenham Hotspur come to town Sunday, a club that’s come up short in the past two seasons but have surprisingly mounted the biggest title challenge in each. While some Spurs fans are frustrated with a lack of transfer activity and the loss of full-back Kyle Walker, the squad largely remains intact from the last two seasons headlined by Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli. Tottenham’s dominant attack notched the league’s largest goal differential in each of the last two seasons, and Newcastle will have their hands full limiting them in their return to the Premier League.

Manchester United vs. West Ham United: It was an up and down season for Manchester United last year, finishing sixth but winning both the League Cup and the Europa League, granting them a berth in this year’s Champions League group stage. José Mourinho will no doubt be looking for more this season, however. United welcome former Everton striker Romelu Lukaku to Old Trafford, as well as former Chelsea man Nemanja Matic. Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, and world-class keeper David de Gea all remain as well. West Ham endured an 11th place finish last season, but they have welcomed a number of new names this summer, including former Man United player Javier Hernández, better known to the footballing world as Chicharito. They’ve taken former City keeper Joe Hart on loan to fix last season’s issues between the posts, and also added fullbacks Marko Arnautovic and Pablo Zabaleta. Manager Slaven Bilic will be looking to lead the Hammers to an upset victory away from home to start their season with a dream result.

The 2017 FA Cup Final

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The Derby

The Football Association Challenge Cup, often referred to as the FA Cup, is the oldest soccer (football) competition in the world. Organized by the Football Association, the FA Cup is open to all clubs in the top 10 tiers of the English Football League system. The annual tournament culminates at the end of the long season with the FA Cup Final and is widely advertised as the showpiece of England’s beloved pastime.   

Here’s everything you need to know to become a full-fledged soccer fanatic in time for the showdown between this season’s finalists: Arsenal Football Club and Chelsea Football Club.

Going Head-to-Head

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The London-based rivals are set to face off at Wembley Stadium on May 27 with a common goal in mind: hoisting the FA Cup trophy over their heads as victory confetti rains from the sky above.

These Premier League teams are no strangers to the FA Cup. Arsenal boasts an impressive 12 FA Cup victories since becoming a team – an all-time record held alongside league rivals Manchester United. And in the past decade, Chelsea has claimed more victories (4 titles) than any other club, with the last medal earned in 2012.

Taking a closer look at the results from this London Derby, it’s clear as day that both teams benefit from a healthy home field advantage. A total of 19 FA Cup matches have transpired between the rivaling clubs, with 11 of those games unfolding in a sea of red and white at Emirates Stadium, and the other remaining eight on Chelsea’s home ground at Stamford Bridge.

The final adventure! 🏆

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At every home game, thousands of Arsenal fanatics belt out the motivational “And It’s Arsenal” song to cheer on the Gunners. And it appears to have worked magic for the players, with the club winning six of the home matches and scoring a total of 30 goals (an average of 1.58 per game) between the teams’ 19 faceoffs. On the other side of the field, the Blues worked their legs off to down Arsenal once at Emirates and four times at their West London-based stadium (scoring a collective 22 goals, or an average of 1.16 per game).

Road to the Cup

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There’s no straightforward path to the FA Cup Finals, so let’s take a look at how both clubs grinded their way to the tournament’s final round.

During the first round of the competition, Arsenal defeated Preston North End (1-2) with goals credited to seasoned players Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud. For the next three rounds, including the quarterfinals, the Gunners fired away at full force – achieving three shutouts against Southampton, Sutton United, and Lincoln City, respectively. The North London-based squad secured their place in the finals after Alexis Sánchez silenced Manchester City during extra time.

A similar pattern followed for Chelsea during the first four rounds of the competition. The Blues blew out Peterborough United back in January and shut out all three subsequent opponents: Brentford FC, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Manchester United. Chelsea faced off against Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-final match and downed them accordingly with a little help from Willian Borges da Silva’s free kick and penalty goal.

All Eyes On Them

Over the course of the 2016-17 season, fanatics from both clubs have witnessed standout players thrive on the field and deliver favorable results. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the following players during the glorious showdown.

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Arsenal

Alexis Sánchez: Sánchez thrives at Wembley and is the top scorer for Arsenal at the stadium, with a total of four goals produced on the field. The Chilean forward has also made tremendous contributions throughout the last 13 FA Cup matches by scoring seven goals and providing six assists.

Mesut Özil: Despite the change in formation, Mesut Özil is adjusting accordingly and even smashed a Premier League milestone by creating 12 chances against Sunderland.

Olivier Giroud: The French striker doesn’t receive the credit he deserves, but that doesn’t stop Giroud from excelling on the field. The 30-year-old impact sub has also scored more goals from the bench (six) than when he started matches.

Preparation for the #EmiratesFACup final continues. #training #Arsenal #AFCvCFC #COYG

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Chelsea

Diego Costa: “When he’s not scoring he’s contributing.” Costa has displayed Premier League dominance throughout the season and is showing no signs of slowing down going into the FA Cup Final.

Eden Hazard: Hazard has been named one of the top performers in the Premier League this season with 15 goals and five assists under his belt. Although the Blues star has been linked with a possible move, Hazard has been astounding for Chelsea this campaign and looks forward to competing in the FA Cup Final.

Pedro: Be on the lookout for Pedro! This Blues forward is riding a wave of confidence after his goal against Everton, which landed him the April Goal of the Month award – quite a gratifying accolade.

Good vibes in training! 😀#ChelseaChampions #CFC #Chelsea

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Gettin’ Ready For the Finale

Before you make your way over to Wembley Stadium for the #FACup Final, make sure you’re well-equipped. Look no further than Fanatics for the ultimate collection of Arsenal and Chelsea fan gear!

Sources

History Of The FA Cup

Heralded as the oldest competition in English football (or soccer, in the U.S.), the Football Association’s Challenge Cup kicked off for the first time in 1871. For almost 150 years, this competition has taken place over 12 rounds, pitting the non-league teams against the Premier League elites, for eternal glory.

@wembleystadium awaits… 🏟 #emiratesfacup

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Here’s your primer on the sides that have won the competition most often, the teams that have scored the most goals, and the individual stars to watch this year. Read on to learn more about the magic competition that is the FA Cup.

Domestic Dominance

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Clubs in the Premier League, England’s top-flight football league, don’t like to share. However, when it comes to the amount of FA Cup trophies sitting in their cabinets, Arsenal and Manchester United do just that. Each team has won the FA Cup 12 times. Manchester United won their first FA Cup in 1908-09, beating Bristol City 1-0 in the final. Their most recent victory came last year, when United dispatched Crystal Palace, 2-1.

Well done, @arsenal – you’re in the #EmiratesFACup semi-finals! 👏 #arsenal

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Arsenal made their first finals appearance in the 1926-27 season, but this wouldn’t be their first victory. After losing 1-0 in the finals to Cardiff City, the Gunners would ultimately hoist their first FA Cup trophy in 1929-30, besting Huddersfield Town 2-0. Arsenal have also won two of the last three honors, in 2013-14 by overcoming Hull City 3-2 and in 2014-15 by smashing Aston Villa 4-0.

Some of the other large Premier League teams – Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham – can’t claim similar success in the FA Cup. The Blues and Reds have each won the competition seven times, while the Spurs have felt the embrace of victory eight times.

Goals Galore

Even though they were relegated out of the Premier League last season, Aston Villa can boast about being the top scoring club in FA Cup history as they compete in the second-tier of English football, the Championship. Over 840 goals have been netted by scorers wearing the Claret and Blue. This ability to find the back of the net, however, has not led them to a record number of trophies. Aston Villa claimed only seven trophies throughout their participation in the tournament over the years.

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Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur own the second- and third-place records for most goals scored, both over 780. In FA Cup Finals however, Manchester leads the pack with 33 goals scored. Premier League rivals Arsenal and Tottenham follow up with 25 and 21 goals respectively. EFL League One side Millwall F.C. will look to be a thorn in the side of the Spurs as they travel to White Hart Lane in search of an upset. Meanwhile, Manchester United returns to Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge for a second time this season, hoping to extract revenge for being beaten 4-0 in the Premier League fixture.

Golden Boots

In the 2016-17 FA Cup, the tournament’s leading scorer played for a side that went out in the second round. Adam Morgan, a former Liverpool youth player, scored six goals across three games for Curzon Ashton. This included a hat trick against AFC Wimbledon in a game Morgan’s team lost, 4-3. He scored over 85 percent of the goals for his team, which may be one of the reasons they didn’t advance further in the competition.

Two Premier League stars, Arsenal’s Theo Walcott and Chelsea’s Pedro, have each contributed four goals for their squads. They are the highest scorers from the top-flight of English football so far. Not far behind these two are those with three goals: Sergio Aguero, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, and Son Heung-min. Each of these players are still helping to push their team toward the semifinals and finals, and perhaps the chance to claim personal accolades, too.

Magic of the Cup

Giving lower league sides the opportunity to spoil the day of football powerhouses, the FA Cup brings a level of excitement and unpredictability to these matches, making it a joy to watch. Who will host the trophy this year? While there are plenty of big name clubs still in the competition – Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United – there are also smaller sides – Lincoln City, Millwall – who could pull off an upset.

Two non-league sides through to round four of the #EmiratesFACup! 👏

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Whether you’re rooting for Davids or Goliaths, make sure you’re wearing your team’s colors on match day by heading to Fanatics.com.

Sources

 

 

Highlighting Old Trafford

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Manchester United’s home ground, Old Trafford, dubbed the “Theatre of Dreams,” was built in 1909. The club played their first game against Liverpool FC on February 19, 1910. Old Trafford has a long and interesting history of nearly being destroyed during World War II as well as granting the Red Devils a nice home field win percentage.

We took a deeper look inside this historic stadium to highlight not only the benefits Manchester United reaps from playing this field but also to get a clear understanding of Trafford’s history and how it came to be.

Stackin’ Wins at Home

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With an at-home win percentage of 61.77%, the football club looks forward to taking on anyone who opposes them on their home field. The Premier League has seen the largest blowout in history here with Manchester United defeating Ipswich Town 9-0 in March of 1995. Team captain Wayne Rooney keeps this percentage high by having the second-most-scored goals in the Premier League (193) – 67 behind the top scorer, Alan Shearer (260).

Aside from stacking wins on their home field, Manchester United has accomplished several great feats at Old Trafford that have made them one of the most universally known football clubs.

GOAL! Scoring 1,000 Goals at Old Trafford

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The Red Devils take pride in playing at Old Trafford and have achieved great feats that no other football club has before.

During the 2016 season, Anthony Martial scored the club’s 1,000th goal with a deflected shot against Everton. Manchester United have become the first Premier League team to score 1,000 goals on their own turf. Make no mistake, this accomplishment has been in the works since 1992. At that time, the club was initiated into the Premier League and had their first goal scored by Irish defender, Denis Irwin.

Over the next two years, Manchester worked their legs off to score their 100th goal at home – scored by Eric Cantona against Nottingham Forest in 1994. The club made huge strides throughout the next two decades, scoring a total of 400 goals. Ryan Giggs marked scoring the 500th goal at Old Trafford against Nottingham in 2004.

Old Trafford also serves as home to some of the Premier League’s top scorers, Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes. After transferring from Everton in 2004, Rooney has settled quite nicely at the lofty stadium, scoring 99 goals on Trafford grounds. A long-time Red Devil, Scholes treads behind Rooney with 59 goals, making him the second highest Premier League scorer at the Theatre of Dreams.

All About Old Trafford

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Old Trafford acquired its name due to its location in Trafford, a metropolitan district in Manchester. Archibald Leitch was the appointed architect who led the main design and construction of the stadium. Its projected capacity was approximately 80,000. Old Trafford was officially opened on February 19, 1910 with a match between Liverpool and Manchester.

One unique feature about Old Trafford was that it was built with large tribunes on each side of the playing field and connected by closing tiers to create one ring. This set the stadium apart from others in England because, at the time, all English stadiums had separated tiers (with all angles open).

Old Trafford saw its highest attendance record of 76,962 fans in 1939 during a semifinal match between Grimsby Town and Wolves.

Unfortunately, Old Trafford was nearly demolished during the German air raids of World War II due to its proximity to Trafford Park Industrial Estate – a prompt target of the airstrikes. Once the war was over, rebuilding began. Few changes were made to the original design. In 1965, a second level of tiers was added to the North Stand – this was the first time a stadium had several balconies on its premises.

Lights, Cameras, Trafford

There’s no other way you can look at it, Manchester truly enjoys the home field advantage that Old Trafford provides for them. The stadium also offers various ways for red fans to enhance and celebrate their game day experience: from upgraded food choices at the Red Cafe to different seating options (balcony included). There are no further renovations planned as of yet, but it has been rumored that stadium capacity will be increased to 95,000 in the near future.

Before you make your way over to Old Trafford, make sure you’re well-equipped. Look no further than Fanatics or Kitbag US (or Kitbag UK for outside of the US) for all of your Manchester United gear, and see why #WeAreUnited!

Methodology

Using PremierLeague.com and Mufcinfo.com, we pulled the win-loss history of Manchester United FC and removed any records of games played at another venue.

The home-win percentage is determined by dividing total wins at home by the sum of wins, losses, and draws at home.

Sources