(Go here for: US Soccer Jersey History Pt 2)
I used to be a bigger jersey guy but now with a fulltime job and a family, when the heck would I ever wear any of them? And for what purpose? They're just sitting in my closet mostly waiting just to remind me of what a dork I am.
The only jerseys I still would get would probably be a UCLA football every decade or so and then the USA World Cup jerseys every 4 years. Those look enough like a regular t-shirt or sometimes a polo, that I can get away with wearing them around periodically.
Generally, Nike releases new jersey designs every two years, including a home white jersey and an away jersey. Sometimes they throw out a 3rd jersey or a specialty design that the US wears for a specific game.
So with the release of the 2010 US World Cup kit, I thought I'd post a pictorial history of US Soccer jerseys through the years.
The 2010 Home jersey as worn vs Turkey on 5/29/10: (Post Edited: 6/2/10)
The 2010 Away jersey as worn vs the Netherlands on 3/3/10:
It has become instant legend after the 1-0 upset of England. Retro throwback special release jerseys with sashes have been released 3 times now, I believe, mostly to a rousing response, but none were the actual jersey that is worn for a 2 year cycle. Clearly, the 2010 edition is again a nod to the 1950 edition and its coincidental that we are again facing England on the biggest stage. As for the 1950 version, I love the crest/shield but I'm just okay with the sash. 4.5 out of 5.
1990 Home (Paul Caligiuri)
The first thing I noticed was that the US hadn't settled on a crest yet. As for the design, while unique, it doesn't have a cool or memorable feel to it. Sometimes, it almost has a native indian look. 2 out of 5.
Adidas unleashes its new logo and brings a modern look to US jerseys for the first time as well. It seems simple but the the 3 colored stripes on one shoulder look good. The US crest is not much of a crest at all. But I can't shake the feeling that it looks like a girl's jersey. 3 out of 5.
1992-1994 away (Kinnear)
The away version is not as good. The 3 white stripes on the shoulder look out of place this time. Plus, why is the blue so light to begin with? 2.5 out of 5.
1994-1996 Home (Alexi Lalas)
One of the most memorable jerseys in US history. Also one of the worst. Who decided that a denim look would work on a soccer jersey? And why unleash this thing during the first World Cup we ever hosted? Alexi Lalas is probably the only one who can pull it off. 1 out of 5.
1994-1996 Away (Alexi Lalas)
Yes, I get how the wavy red lines looks like our flag just like the white stars on a blue background in the home version. But I just don't like vertical stripes on a jersey. These two efforts probably led to the switchover to Nike. 1.5 out of 5.
1996-1998 Home (Tab Ramos)
Nike takes over US Soccer and starts with a solid effort. I like the polo shirt look to it and the solid stripe across is a respectable look for a soccer jersey. The US crest also appears here for the first time. 3.5 out of 5.
1996-1998 Away (Eric Wynalda)
Nike decided to go away from the lighter blue to the navy blue, you know, like the color we have on our flag. 3.5 out of 5.
1998-2000 Home (Brian McBride)
Nike keeps the stripe-across-the-chest-polo-shirt-look going. It does looks a little like a tennis shirt but I like the classic feel overall. One of my favorite designs. 4.5 out of 5.
1998-2000 Away (Claudio Reyna)
This is one of my favorite US jersey of all time. I like the vibrancy of the red as well as the usage of white and blue. It has to be paired with the blue shorts, however. 5 out of 5.
2000-2002 Home (Claudio Reyna)
This design is simple and clean but in the end, it looks like a lazy effort. Its basically a white t-shirt with blue trim. great, thanks. Okay, so this t-shirt is still better than the 94 jerseys. 2 out of 5.
2000-2002 Away (Ernie Stewart)
Since it has color, it rates better than the home whites. While red is a great soccer jersey color and I loved the 98 edition, I still think our main away color should be navy blue. Red has been the predominant color of just about all US enemies including the redcoats, the nazis, the communists, the devil, etc. That's why I say if we wear red, it has to be paired with blue shorts. 2.5 out of 5.
2002-2004 Home (Brian McBride)
When these first came out, I was completely in love with the shirt. Now I think I was just in love with the success of the team. Some critics have said it just looks like a volleyball jersey, but I still do like the angular designs under the arms. I also like the font used for the numbers. This would be the first US jersey, I ever owned. I got a Reyna 10. 3.5 out of 5.
2002-2004 Away (John O'Brien)
The away edition loses the collar but preserves a cool athletic look to it. Too bad we lost both games in the WC in which we wore it. 4 out of 5.
2004 Third 1950 Throwback (Jonathan Spector)
This throwback to the 1950 shirt was not worn nearly enough. I prefer this crest to our current one as well. The 3/4 sleeves keep this one from perfection. 4 out of 5.
2004-2006 Home (Claudio Reyna)
Again, Nike goes to a simpler look during the non World Cup cycle. This time, the front has a one piece framed design, which I grew to like a lot. What I did not like so much was the dark patch on the back where the name is supposed to be. I also did not like the circle around the number font, however. I know its on the Nike soccer balls, but did it have to be on the jersey too? I got mine plain. 3 out of 5.
2004-2006 Away (Taylor Twellman)
Again, it is merely the reverse of the home jersey but somehow even more boring. 2 out of 5.
2006 Third Don't Tread on Me (Landon Donovan)
This "Don't Tread on Me" special release was worn just once in a warm-up game to the World Cup. The look of it is beautiful, again with the rich red and a two toned sash. I also prefer the collar. The only downside to this jersey for buyers is that the version released to the public was made of a cheap polyster material, or something like that. 4.5 out of 5.
2006-2008 Home (Clint Dempsey)
Nike's Dri-fit age begins here as well as their more fitted look for jerseys. I do not mind the collar-less look of these because the two toned stripe down the left side is unique and instant classic. The stripe extends down the shorts to the left sock. Awesome. The crest is nicely enlarged here and outlined with a gold trim. Lastly, I also like the college font used for the numbers. I got a McBride 20 to honor the Fulham captain. 4.5 out of 5.
2006-2008 Away (Damarcus Beasley)
Nike brought back the 96-98 away look for the 2006 world cup this time without a collar. I liked how the home and away versions were completely different but I marked this one down for unoriginality. 3.0 out of 5.
2006-2008 Third (Michael Bradley)
This third jersey was unleashed for the Copa America, in which we sent our C team. By itself, I don't think its so bad, but the shade of blue is not to my liking. Since the A team never wore it, it can't grow on me either. 2.0 out of 5.
2008-2010 Home (Landon Donovan)
This off cycle jersey again goes for the plain look but this time has big light blue hoops. While I'm not sure I like the hoops, we did pull off the Spanish conquest in these. 3.5 out of 5.
2008-2010 Away (Carlos Bocanegra)
For the first time, the US uses a color other than blue or red for the away jersey. I'm not sure what color this is, anthracite? I actually went months thinking that it was a dark blue but its actually probably closer to black? Who knows? Let's stick to the navy blue please. 3 out of 5.