Monday, November 16, 2020

US Soccer Jersey History 1916-2021

(Updated June 21, 2021.  Initial post from 2010)

This is the (chronologically compiled) history of US Soccer jerseys (as best as I can figure out given the limited resources online).  Some are historical pictures, some are recently created throwbacks, some may even be just flat out wrong (- my apologies in advance).  The editions worn in a World Cup are noted.

1916 White
This seems to be a picture of an early US "All-America" team on a tour of Norway and Sweden in 1916.  It could be the trip in which US Soccer played its first international match, in Stockholm vs Sweden.  (We won 3-2.)  The US shield crest appears very large and centered on the chest.  The v-neck collar is clearly a darker color, as are the socks.  If this is the first official US jersey, I'll give it a 6 out of 10 for being first.

1930 White (World Cup)
This is a picture of the US team who participated in the first ever World Cup in 1930.  Just like the 1916 version, its a simple, white long-sleeve v-neck with a US flag themed shield centered on the chest.  The shield, having been reduced in size since 1916, is the founding father to our current crest, which showed up in 1995.  No matter what changes will occur to the crest in the future, I hope we never lose the shield look.  This shield has no letters on it, letting the stars and stripes do all the talking.  Unfortunately, without the shield, this jersey could pass for underwear.  4 out of 10.

1934 Blue (World Cup)
Who knows if this is actually the shade of blue we wore back in '34?  But I would have preferred a darker, navy blue.  The crest is also a little too wide and round for my tastes, as if it couldn't decide if it wanted to be a circle or not. 3 out of 10.

1950 Home (World Cup)
This design is the next evolutionary step to the '30s look and has become instant legend after the 1-0 upset of England..  They added USA letters to the improved shape of the crest and added the famous diagonal red stripe, of which they are continuing to base throwback variations to this day.  Retro throwback special release jerseys with sashes had been released 3 times, I believe, mostly to a rousing response, but none were the actual jersey that is worn for a 2 year cycle until the 2010/11 World Cup release.  9 out of 10.

1959 Home - Pan America Games
A Pan America USA crest was used for the 1959 Pan America Games, where the US won the bronze medal, only behind Argentina and Brazil.  Another addition was the strange lace-up collar, which is essentially a feminine look nowadays.  Lastly, the diagonal stripe turned into a 2 stripe design, which I actually prefer over the wide sash of the 2010 editions.  But it can't make up for the crest and lace.  3 out of 10. 

1972 Home (Olympics)
  (US Olympic Team)
Worn at the '72 Olympics, this appears to be a modified v-neck jersey, paired with red shorts.  The crest itself is hard to make out, but it may be a shield with perhaps "USA" lettering.  2 out of 10.

1974 Red
(Kyle Rote Jr.)
Worn in a 1974 game vs Mexico, it drops a crest and goes with awful USA lettering.  And without that awful lettering, this could pass as USSR.  A forgettable effort during the dark ages of US Soccer.  1 out of 10.

1979-81 Home
The white version of the standard Adidas template.  They lacked the foresight to go back to a shield, unfortunately.  2 out of 10.

1981 Blue (Youth)
(Todd Saldana)
I have no idea if only our youth team wore this style, but since it was worn in international competition (shown here vs Poland), you'd think Adidas would have outfitted our men's team in it as well.  Either way, its worth a look.  This kit is quite the departure from our ugly 70's template.  This design is the first modern design I've come across in US history.  It could actually still be used today.  6 out of 10.

1983 Team America (NASL)
(Dan Canter)
Apparently US Soccer joined the NASL that one season as a club team so they could have more training time together.  Not sure that they played any international games in this kit, but we'll include it here anyway.  Does this shirt remind anybody of anything?  Say, a certain 2012 release?  Not a fan.  1 out of 10.

1984 Home
A very 80's look by Adidas.  Not horrible, not really memorable.  The USA "flag" font however looks ridiculous.  They would have been better off with solid letters or with our old crest/shield.  4 out of 10.

1984 Blue (Olympics)
At least we know that the blue version was worn in Olympic competition.  Not sure about the exact shade of blue, but either way, its an improvement over white or red.  5 out of 10.

1984 Red
This is starting to look more and more like a goalkeeper kit to me.  Not sure why there is an added patch below the lettering but a 4 year old could have designed it. 3 out of 10.

1988 Home
For our first successful WC qualifying campaign in 40 years, Adidas put out another classic clean look.  The only feature that sticks out is the blue stripe on top of the shoulder, slightly (American) football-ish.  Also, a new circular crest has appeared for the first time, definitely an upgrade.  A traditional US shield is actually enclosed inside the ring.  The crest looks better up close but it appears too busy from a distance.  5 out of 10.

1988 Away 
This actually has a very distinct V-shaped thread pattern (which almost makes it look like a soft blanket).  As opposed to the home, it loses the collar and opts for a V-neck.  Also, the crest is darkened for this away version and looks even busier, if that is possible.  Actually, it reminds me of a US military crest.  Overall, one of our more interesting looks.  6 out of 10.

1989 Home
(Paul Caligiuri)
One site lists this as the 1986 home.  Others says that it was the '90-91 edition.  Perhaps they wore it in the mid 80s and brought it back for '89 qualifiers.  Maybe they had different WC jerseys just for the '90 WC but also used this through '91.  Who knows?  What we know is that this is the design in which Caligiuri scored the "shot heard round the world" back in Nov 1989.  I'd give this simple look a 5 out of 10.

1988-? Away
(Mike Windischmann)
This away jersey seems to have been worn in games in '88 as well as possibly 1990-92.  (There are pictures of Wynalda wearing this shirt and his international career didn't start until the 90s.)  Like the white home version above, it is difficult to pin down when this edition came out.  However, you'll notice that the adidas logo is their famous trefoil, which they seems to have been replaced after the '90 WC for their new triangular logo.  Sure, the darker circular spots livens up the plain classic design a bit, but not for the better.  4 out of 10.

1990 Home (World Cup)
(Tab Ramos)
For our first World Cup in 40 years, this was a pretty poor effort.  To me, this doesn't say, "the USA is back!".  Its more like, "you ain't gonna remember us anyway."  The longer I look at it, the more I think it almost has a Native American look, but I doubt that's what they were going for.  3 out of 10.

1990 Away (World Cup)
While probably released for the '90 WC, the US wore its home whites for all 3 group matches.  Basically a reverse of the home look, Adidas made an emphasis of the over-the-shoulder stripe look from the '88 home which they would then continue in the 1992-94 edition.  I like it slightly better than the white, which isn't saying much.  4 out of 10.

1991 Blue
(Dominic Kinnear / Peter Vermes?)
This jersey was worn in the inaugural 1991 Gold Cup, won by the US in an upset.  It ushers in the triangular adidas logo, instead of the traditional trefoil.  Also, Adidas becomes extremely aggressive with the 3 stripes for the next few years until they completely lost their minds for the '94 world cup.  This '91 edition has a white collar and the old crest, which sets it apart from the '92 edition.  5 out of 10.

1992-1994 Home
(Cobi Jones)
The new US crest is not much of a crest at all.  But we continued the swooshing ball look up until 2016.  I definitely prefer the older military-styled crest.  As for the blue and red stripes, it is memorable for ushering in the modern look in US jersey history.  6 out of 10.

1992-1994 Away
(Fernando Clavijo)
A slight variation to the '91 Gold Cup since these don't have the white collar.  Red shoulder stripes may have helped, but the white just looks obnoxious.  And the blue is still too light.  You would never guess that this was a US jersey.  4 out of 10.

1993 Third
(Brian Quinn)
It seems that Adidas tried balance out the jersey with 3 shoulder stripes on the both sides with this release.  More of a bad thing does not a good jersey make.  At first glance, I actually thought this was a France jersey.  6 out of 10.

1994-1995 Home (World Cup)
(Marcelo Balboa)
Yes, I get how the wavy red lines looks like our flag just like what they were trying to do with the white stars on a blue background in the home version.  But I just don't like vertical stripes on a jersey, especially wavy ones.  And for some reason, the sleeves were left white.  2 out of 10.

1994-1995 Away (World Cup)
(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.  These two efforts probably led to the switchover to Nike.  1 out of 10.

1995-1998 Home
(Thomas Dooley)
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 any soccer jersey.  This US crest, wisely adding the shield again, appears here for the first time.  7 out of 10.

1995-1998 Away
(John Harkes)
Nike decided to go away from the lighter blue to the navy blue, you know, like the color we have on our flag.  6 out of 10.

1995-1998 Third
(Eric Wynalda)
Nike's first US soccer jersey looked much better in white and navy blue.  This light blue one just looks dull and very.... blah.  4 out of 10.

1998-2000 Home (World Cup)
(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.  9 out of 10. 

1998-2000 Away (World Cup)

(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.  10 out of 10.

2000-2002 Home
(Earnie Stewart)
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 WC jerseys.  4 out of 10.

2000-2002 Away
(Landon Donovan)
Since it has color, it rates better than the home whites.  While red is a great 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 - the redcoats, the nazis, the communists, the devil, etc.  And if we do wear red, it has to be paired with blue shorts.  5 out of 10.

2002-2004 Home (World Cup)

(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.  7 out of 10.

2002-2004 Away (World Cup)
(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.  8 out of 10.

2003 Third
(Cory Gibbs)
The first 1950 throwback was released with a blue sash instead of the original red.  9 out of 10. 

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?  6 out of 10.

2004-2006 Away
(Taylor Twellman)
Again, it is merely the reverse of the home jersey but somehow even more boring.  4 out of 10.

2004 Third
(McBride / Jonathan Spector)
This throwback to the 1950 shirt was not worn nearly enough.  They used the red stripe instead of '03s blue.  I prefer this crest to our current one as well.  The 3/4 sleeves keep this one from perfection.  8 out of 10. 

2006 Special (Don't Tread on Me)
(Eddie Lewis)
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.  10 out of 10.

2006-2008 Home (World Cup)

(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.  10 out of 10.

2006-2008 Away (World Cup)
(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.  5 out of 10. 

2007 Third
(Michael Bradley)
This jersey was memorable because of the hat trick that Donovan dropped on Ecuador.  The design seemed to come out of left field with no throwback theme or really any correlation to any other US shirt.  By itself, I don't think its so bad, but the shade of blue is not to my liking and the thin pinstripes seem out of place on the field.  4 out of 10.

2008-2010 Home
(Frankie Hejduk)
This off cycle jersey again goes for the plain look but this time has big light blue hoops.  While I'm not a big fans of the hoops, we did pull off the Spanish conquest in these.  6 out of 10.

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. Other than that, this was just plain.  4 out of 10 .

2010-12 Home (World Cup)
(Landon Donovan)
This is obviously another nod to the classic 1950s kit.  While I prefer the white tops to be paired with blue shorts, FIFA's rules don't always allow it, which is why Landon scored the Algeria goal in the all-whites.  The light gray sash seems to me to be an indecisive touch by Nike - on television, it is hardly noticeable at all.  Go big or go home.  It should have been the navy blue or perhaps two toned - red and blue.  Also, the sash should have been thinner and slightly more horizontal so that it doesn't run shoulder to hip - and therefore less pageant-like.  7 out of 10.

2010-12 Away (World Cup)
(Michael Bradley)
US wore the away blues for the first 2 matches of the WC.  As much as I did not really prefer the white sash, the entire look did grow on me, especially when Dempsey, Landon and Bradley scored giant goals in 'em.  It is essentially the reverse of the whites, except that the white sash is now very prominent.  Again, a red stripe inside or alongside the white would be an improvement.  I have yet to mention the strange stripe on the socks for all versions - it is horizontal across the shin but goes down behind the calf.  Just weird.  6 out of 10. 

2011 Third
(Brek Shea)
After a tremendous amount of fan interest, Nike released this extremely popular red kit, since US diehard fans (supporter sections) prefer to wear red at games.  In general I personally prefer the blue as the standard away color, but because Nike decided to use a blue sash instead of the beauty pageant-ish white sash, this one rates higher.  8 out of 10.

2012-14 Home
(Steve Cherundolo)
This may only be the 2nd time in US jersey history that our home jersey is not predominantly white (94 flag jersey being the other).  In addition to the red stripes, it still has a sash, though it's extremely muted and nearly invisible - "subtle tonal" sash, I think they call it.  The 'Where's Waldo?' jersey, might be what we end up calling this edition.  After finally seeing it on the field of play, it is my least favorite US jersey since Adidas' 94 World Cup shirts.  I get that the red stripe look is straight off our flag.  But it actually looks like a yuppie sailor outfit, the kind you'd wear if you were dressing up at Halloween.  And they didn't even have the conviction to run the stripes all the way around.  The back has a horrendously huge, white square box, presumably so that the number and name can be displayed inside.  The past 3 Nike off-World Cup ('00, '04, '08) home jerseys have been fairly plain.  They would have been better off sticking to that plan.  1 out of 10.

2012-14 Away
(Jozy Altidore)
Nike is going with the "sash" design for this off-WC 2 year cycle.  It's rumored that Nike may decide to keep the sash indefinitely as US' trademark look - I'm not entirely against the idea although I'll miss seeing the new ideas they come out with every 2 years.  For the blue away, they have changed the white pageant sash to a dark one - a marked improvement.  However, the sleeves are now white, giving the whole jersey the look of a vest - a marked regression.  The new tri-color collar reminds me of a ribbon, but I don't hate it.  Though we beat Italy in Italy in this jersey's debut, I'm giving it just a 6 out of 10.

 2013 Centennial Special
(Michael Bradley)
This new jersey commemorates the 100th anniversary of US Soccer's existence (1913).  Just as the pre-1950s jerseys were, it is plain white, with the shield being the main attraction.  However, I wish they had the guts to use an enlarged shield and place it centered on the chest, just as it was 100 years ago.  The blue v-neck collar and thick arm cuffs are a nod to the first US jersey as well.  Yes, overall this throwback is clean, simple and elegant.  And yes, it is a necessary (and hopefully extended) relief from the horrific "where's Waldo" disaster.  But ultimately, the reality is that this jersey is nearly identical to the '00-'02 Home jersey, except with the throwback shield.  Furthermore, I personally prefer the shield to say 'USA' on it.  7 out of 10.

2014-16 Home (World Cup)
(Jermaine Jones)
After ditching the traditional home whites for the "where's waldo" horror show, Nike went back to what it began back in 1995 for every edition of our home jersey.  I actually love that our home jersey is white.  But I'm not too excited with this release.  At first glance, this looks like those travel polos that our team wears on the plane.  Or something Federer wears at Wimbledon.  I've got no problem with collars, but why are there buttons on a jersey?  However, the biggest mistake is the lack of imagination in a World Cup year.  Look at our last two WC home releases.  One had a vertical stripe '06, the other a (faint) diagonal stripe '10.  Like it or not, they were at least unique designs to the US.  This one is nearly identical to England's 2010 WC home.  Plain, white polo with buttons.  Ok, ok, up close, it has thin, gray pinstripes, but they're undetectable from a distance.  Bring back a red/blue two toned stripe somewhere.  Anywhere.  They call this a classic, I call it boring.  As for the crest, a lighter shade of blue has been used predominantly throughout.  4 out of 10.

2014-16 Away (World Cup)
(Clint Dempsey)
For the first time since the red kits of 1998 and 2000, the away jersey is not predominantly navy blue.  Technically, its mostly red on the front and completely red on the back.  In a Nike-crafted statement, Dempsey hails it as a "patriotic colorway".  Is this design unique as US jerseys go?  Absolutely.  Is it American?  No.  It looks like Russia invaded Nike HQ.  Not acceptable at all.  Adidas actually had us in a lighter shade of blue all the way up through the '94 WC (denims!?!) but when Nike took over in '95, they went to dark blue.  Besides, the barely-worn pinstripe third jersey of '07, this is the first time they've gone back to that lighter shade.  Nike, please go back to the blue from our flag.  And just as the Where's Waldo stripes did, I think it looks better on our women's team than on our men.  But, I must admit that this kit has grown on me a bit since its release.  Unlike its home counterpart, it is an unique design not often seen in futbol.  6 out of 10.

2015 Third
(Fabian Johnson)
Just as they did in 2011 and 2007, Nike has released an alternate away jersey the year after a World Cup.  And just like last year's away WC jersey, Nike has decided to keep the lighter blue color scheme.  (See complaints about the lighter blue above).  Well, sort of.  They call it a "stylish gradient design" (think sedimentary rock) and it "gradiently" incorporates white up at the neck/shoulder area, a lighter blue for most of the shirt and a dark blue strip from the waistline down.  The brightness of the white neck/shoulder area looks completely out of place and detracts from the look.  On the plus side, the shorts and the socks are dark blue and the thick white stripe running down the side of the entire kit works.  However, just like the "Where's Waldo" and last year's "Bomb Pop" designs, this looks much more fitting for our women's team than our men's.  It leads me to believe that this was designed with this year's Women's World Cup in mind.  At least it isn't predominantly red.  3 out of 10.

2016-18 Home
(Gyasi Zardes)
At first glance though, it is an interesting take to our traditional white kit.  The design reminds me somewhat of the 2004 edition, where the cut of the shoulder/arm seams frames the torso to give it an athletic look.  It can also look like a raglan baseball shirt.  My major gripe though is still with the lightness of the blue.  They brought in the lighter shade for the 2014 WC and I'm hoping it goes away in time for the 2018 WC.  Also, the white front looks like its lacking something - a stripe running in any direction would be an improvement.  4 out of 10.

As for the new crest, I'm glad they kept the shield, used the letters 'USA' and went to blue letters and red stripes (instead of the previous blue stripes and red lettering).  However, the narrow design and the flat top give it an overly modern look and therefore robs it of a certain timelessness.

2016-18 Away
 (DeAndre Yedlin)
Because it is black, the away version looks more like a training/warmup shirt than the white version - you know, like an Under Armour compression shirt worn for workouts or under football pads.  I am not bothered by the different color sleeves, however I do like that the blue is closer to that of our flag.  The black patches on the chest muscles is much more noticeable on the black version, and it gives it the look of a superhero's body armor.  Should've gone all in and put in an 8-pack like Italy did a few years ago!  I kid.  Ultimately, even though I would have preferred if they used the navy blue instead of black as the predominant color, I don't mind experimentation with the away kits during these off-WC years.  Also, you probably need to workout before wearing it.  5 out of 10.

2017 Third
(Christian Pulisic)
The last time the US used a predominantly red kit was the 2011 Third.  The difference was that the 2011 design was developed uniquely for the US' 2010 World Cup.  This 3rd edition of the 2016 kit is simply the red take on the current Nike template.  Even more pathetic is the fact that it is virtually identical to England and Portugal - both have the same red-with-black-shoulders color scheme.  There is little that is unique, much less American about this 3rd kit.  Had they logically decided to use navy blue shoulders, as they did for one of the 2016 Away shoulders, and navy blue shorts, I would have been on board.  The red monochrome crest adds to the overly red and non-American look.  And lest you think I'm just hatin' on red kits, the highest rating given out in the last 8 years was the 2011 Third red kit.  Let's not reward this lazy effort.  2 out of 10.

2017 Gold Cup Special
(Jordan Morris)
Coming off possibly the least American jersey we've ever had (-red and black, really?  Are we commies?), Nike decided to go exactly the opposite direction for the 2017 Gold Cup.  For the first time since the 2012 Away (which was 5 years ago!), we've got a US flag navy blue as the base color.  We've got the white stars from our flag.  We've got red hoops to make all "Waldo" lovers blush.  This jersey screams U-S-A! over and over in the jingoistic fashion the whole world hates us for.  For that reason, I'm giving it an 9.  Remove the slightly over-the-top stars from the shoulders and I would've entertained a 10.  (It already has subtle blue stars on the blue stripes).  I'd even be willing to go with this base design as our kit identity that so many are craving, as long as that navy blue is incorporated somewhere  9 out of 10.

2018-2020 Home
(Christian Pulisic)
Love it.  These home kits have a bold red and blue design which is a bit of a departure from our recent bland editions and also reminds me of our colorful 80s home kits.  I appreciate the way they have incorporated two very popular ideas in the history of US jerseys into one - the "Waldo" hoops of 2012 (horizontal stripes) and the classic diagonal stripe (or sash) of 1950.  They cleverly represented the diagonal stripe on the Home with the blue part of the red-blue stripes, which I liked even though it is a lighter shade than that of our flag.  However, they did not choose to subtly fade the stripe into the white, instead leaving a strange pixeled unfinished look.  That drops this kit a point down to 9 out of 10.

2018-20 Away
(Christian Pulisic)
Counting last summer's Gold Cup edition, Nike has now released two straight navy blue kits for the US, to my delight.  Again, this is an innovative combination of the popular hoops from 2012 and the traditional 1950 diagonal stripe. The diagonal stripe doesn't actually exist on this Away version, but the horizontal stripes end where the diagonal would be and therefore delivers the look first made popular in the US 1950s kit.  It is interesting to note that the stripes on the white home kit is on the crest side, while the stripes on the away kit is on the swoosh side.   They couldn't help but keep their beloved lighter blue as an accent on the away kit, and that keeps this kit as a notch lower than the aforementioned 2017 Gold Cup edition.  But I would have been excited to see them sport this look in Russia this summer.  Sigh.  8 out of 10.

2019 Third
(Michael Bradley)
It seems that every 2 years, Nike is coming out with an alternate away design.  Having satisfied the masses (or at least me) with a beautiful blue last year, they are back to the red, last visited in the completely uninspired 2017 version.  This one at least has stars and stripes faintly, but artistically used, which makes it unique though not appealing. Its worth mentioning that this kit was designed for the women's World Cup summer, and probably with an eye to that fanbase.  From a distance it has a velour look to it and that 80s softness just doesn't appeal to me.  I dislike the red, I dislike the light blue numbering & socks and I dislike the velour vibe.  4 out of 10.

2020-22 Home
(Gio Reyna)
Since we've had a layoff of 12 months in between games, most of us don't care what they wear to play.  Fresh off the best and most inspired Home jersey design we've had since 2006's WC edition, Nike defaulted back to its trend of bland white kits during non-WC years.  This one has a distinct 80s retro look - see 1979 Home and 1989 Home editions above, although the 2000 design also wants some credit. Perhaps Nike thinks adding in an old school logo will encourage us to add to cart.  If you like it, you'll call it a throwback.  The rest of you will call it lazy.  Seriously, I've spent more time writing this review than they did designing this kit.  Positives: at least its not light blue trim.  3 out of 10.

                                2020-22 Away
(Sergino Dest)
Hmm, a river runs through it?  That's the imagery I see.  Is this kit a nod to America's national parks or some of our great rivers?  If that's the case, I'm all in.  One thing I do know is that Nike has given us a truly unique, non-templated design, which is surprising in a non-WC year.  No other country can claim this look and of course I'm always supportive of the dominant navy blue.  But would it be something most fans would wear?  Does it have a chance to be legendary?  On both accounts, I think no.  But let's applaud the effort.  6 out of 10.

                                2021 Third
(Matthew Hoppe)
Nike has again released its 3rd jersey as expected the year before the World Cup 2022 releases.  Is this a work of modern art?  Or a jumbled mess?  I haven't met a single person who didn't react negatively at first sight.  But at least Nike used our colors. This is only the 2nd time we've used our flag blue and red in our away jersey in the last 10 years.  And its completely 100% unique.  And if you are far away enough, you can't see the crazy.  So I'll add 2 points to get this up to a 5 out of 10. 


  1. Nice post! I have to say my favorite series was the world cup 2010 one. plus I loved the third red jerseys too. This years set will take me a while to get used to. While I am not a big fan of the away, I think the home is neat. Still, for the 2014 world cup I hope they stick to something like the 2010 versions, with improvements

    1. Thanks. I'm hoping Nike gets these hoops out of their system by the 2014 release. Its possible that the "sash" may be the look Nike is trying to marry to US Soccer, so we can expect to see some new variation of the sash jersey again in Brazil.

  2. Nice post it was amazing!

    I actually do like the new 2012 - 2014 Home jersey because it gives us an identity and Hopefully later one they make better versions of the hoop jersey.
    I think the home uniform looks weird because of the socks......
    the uniform would look better if they were to use navy blue socks.
    This is probably the beginning of a new type of jersey (hoops) Maybe this one isn't the best but maybe the next one might look better.
    I liked the plain old white jerseys but we need an identity and maybe this is it.
    First versions are always a disaster but Nike will learn.

    1. Hey, thanks for your kind comment.

      It seems that our home jersey this cycle is definitely one of those love-it or hate-it editions. To each his own. Its not for me, although I do think our women's team makes it work well.

      I'd still guess that Nike/US's plan for US jersey identity will be the sash and not the hoops. And personally, I much prefer the white tops/blue shorts as our indefinite home look.

  3. No problem!

    I have to agree there with you because it true....... the white jersey with the blue shorts fit us well and gives us somewhat of an identity.
    My favorite jersey has to be the 2006 home the one with the red/blue line running all the way down to the socks.
    Nike is always changing the looks of the uniform therefore we still don't have an identity.

    The 1994 home jersey would fit us well also but of course with nike details , the sleeves would look good blue , and it would certainly look better than the current one.
    But the thing is Paraguay already has that design and so does Chivas Guadalajara.

    The sash I like but I think its to plain simple and nike is not making me happy at the moment.

    By the way we just defeated Mexico at the Azteca!

    1. I'm with you on the 2006 home - definitely one of my faves. I'd be fine if they took that vertical stripe and made that our sash. The two-toned red/blue sash would be infinitely better than the barely visible gray we had on our 2010 home.

      As much as I dislike the 2012 hoops, it will live forever in the images of our 1st Azteca conquest!

  4. I have been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much more useful than ever before

    1. Oh my. That is very high praise. Thanks for your extremely kind comment. (And please don't ready any other post on the blog, haha.) Thanks again.

  5. Red Hoops are awesome!

  6. You should give more recognition to the 2004 third kit. Its the most accurate jersey Nike has made to honor the USA team that defeated England in 1950. I agree that the 2003 and 2006 third jerseys are nice but the 2004 third jersey takes the cake, I dont think it should be a 4 but a 4.5 or even 5.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. Good point, the 2004 3rd is definitely the most accurate to the 1950 kit. But I just can't get over the 3/4 sleeve, even if it is true to the '50. And since it was a retro release and didn't add anything new, I gave the original a 4.5 and the retro a 4. Then again, you can probably tell the ratings overall are not so objective. No sabermetrics were consulted in this endeavor. Haha. Thanks for reading.

  7. Any suggestions for finding this for women's team?

    1. Sorry, never seen it. If you go to the US women's page on wikipedia, you will get at least a basic idea of their jersey history.

  8. Well I searched about this topic on Wikipedia they have comprehensive information about this topic but you also mention it nicely in your post the best part of your post is that you display jerseys with their years of use this idea is really awesome.

  9. '12-'14 home hoops/stripes has become an instant classic for a reason. and Nike reports their most successful top (in terms of sales) to date; you only have to look at the stands.

  10. My personal favorites are the Hoops from 2012 and the third kit of 2011.

  11. The 2012/13 hoops are fantastic....try to find one online right now, impossible. I wish I had bought one earlier and only can hope Nike Re-issues. Also take a look at the USA supporters in the stands...the hoops are a HUGE favorite and a great way for us to show our support com e2104. Hoops will be the USA version of the Dutch orange...

  12. The new home red hoops jersey should've been a 5 out of 5! Probably Nikes best selling USA jersey ever. Best design they have had in years.

  13. The Hoops are a classic. You, my friend, are fooling yourself to believe otherwise... but then again, wouldn't expect much less from an NFL fan. sorry, but Football and American Football are pretty much mutually exclusive.

  14. 1975 Red

    1. Much appreciated. Updated the post accordingly.

  15. 1989? Home

    Is vire nice 5 out of 5.

  16. so great article. like the 2003 third US soccer jersey most

  17. Very nice post!!! Congratulations!I

    I love the 2012-2014 home jersey, I know a lot of people don't like it, but has something special for me.


  18. Hello,

    My favourite one is the Centennial special jersey, I wish they will use the same at the World Cup.

  19. Funny how the template still remains, which says a lot about the nature of the sport, in my opinion: straight up, no frills, and tactical. Soccer is the type of sport that doesn't need blaring logos and jagged flourish, as it is directly a matter of getting to the ball and kicking it. Nothing more, nothing less, which I guess explains its economy.

    Jennine @ UE Sports

  20. I couldn't agree more with you when I saw the new away jersey's. I thought I was looking at the Russian Jersey's. I think they'll stand out though, for being one of the ugliest jerseys in Brazil. It will be easy to look back and World Cup footage and know what World Cup these came from, just like you can look at the Denim Kit and instantly know what year pictures and/or video is from.

    1. You're right in that its unique and instantly recognizable. I get the feeling that it'll be like the Where's Waldo jersey - some will love it, some will hate it. I'm trying to keep an open mind. We'll see how it looks vs Mexico tomorrow....

  21. Great post.. I can't believe it was only one jersey that used the stars of our flag... we need a jersey that's more American, rather than appealing to soccer jersey fashion or modern sleekness...

    1. Thanks for reading. I believe the one jersey using the stars are the 94 denims, which were not too successful. But it can be done - this year's US Olympic hockey team managed to incorporate stars in a classy and subtle manner. Also, the '94 red stripes and the recent '12 Where's Waldo jerseys also used our flag's design. Honestly, I don't like any of them. For me, the US soccer tradition to be passed on is the white top and blue shorts. Just not too plain - that's all I'm asking.

  22. Most international countries have not change their soccer jersey at all other than some minor deviation in color. For example Brazil, Argentina, England, Italy and German. Not changing kit brings soccer generation together. So why can USMNT kits stay the same? I like your thoughts?

    1. Thanks for your comment. I completely agree with your assessment that they should stay the same (if that's what you're saying). The standard US home jersey since the 80's is usually white tops and dark blue shorts. The only exception has been the '94 and '12 home kits, both to dreadful results. In my humble opinion, the white shirt and navy blue short should be and should always be THE standard US look. The primary jersey must not be red which is the color of most of US' historic enemies, as outlined in one of my descriptions in the post. That said, I don't mind the periodic 3rd jersey adventures, red or not. As for the standard away jerseys, I prefer that we're consistently navy blue.

      That said, those teams above all have tradition, history, and at least one World Cup trophy. If we ever win it all, (even in our "Russian" jerseys) it would instantly become our classic look. And I'd be okay with that!

  23. New US away jersey looks more Korean / Chilean than American...

  24. The 1994 USA jersey does look odd but if one were to compare it to other jerseys at that World Cup, that must have been the "flower power" World Cup or something, lots of vibrant colors and changes at that Cup WE the USA hosted. Even the Germans changed from the usual white t-shirt look to something a bit more flamboyant. Mexico's white jersey as well. So I think the reasons for that USA jersey are a bit more complex than what is made out in the article. At the same time, some countries seem to change very little in their jerseys from World Cup to World Cup, countries such as Italy and Brazil.

    1. Thanks for your comment. The 94 denims are definitely one of the most significant kits in US history, ugly or not. Just check ebay ($300!?!) to see their lasting importance, ha. I did read an article about the US players' reaction when Adidas unveiled them in a private meeting. They were hoping to be taken seriously as they were about to host the WC, but were disheartened to see the denim design. In the end, surviving the group is what makes the kit infamous.

  25. Jif FrommerJune 22, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    In 1984, Los Angeles hosted the Summer Olympics, USA played Italy, I have a video of that game, we had a jersey for that Olympics. I'm not sure if it is represented in the selection above. This webpage has a picture, albeit, not the best of the USA game in the match, USA vs. Italy. We had a darn hard scruffy team. On that webpage, there are a lot of pictures, so kindly look for it. and

  26. Hello, great article! I created an infographic tracking the evolution of the USA World Cup soccer kit dating back to 1990. Please check it out and share!

    Thank you!

  27. Really wish they would just stick with a basic theme, the same way Brazil, Italy, Argentina, Germany...basically every other team with any tradition does. I hate that they change their kit every couple of years. If anything needs changed its the terrible/generic looking crest with a goofy soccer ball flying through it...put something more traditionally american, like an eagle, or a coiled snake, anything other than a soccer ball and the letters U S....ughhh. Anyway, GO GO USA!

    1. Like Germany, our home kit is actually a white top. So, it does require a bit of variation in design to change it up, just as Germany does. Or you can add nothing at all as Nike did for the US this year. As for the crest, I'm in agreement about the flying soccer ball. I'd prefer just a simple traditional 1950-like shield with 'USA' across the top. An eagle would definitely be an interesting idea, but I'm down on the coiled snake, no matter its colonial US significance.

  28. hi: anyone know if the US jersey worn in the 1930 WC had a variation, a Blue V neck instead of all white? thanks

  29. Before I read this post i understand why people Us soccer Jersey i really like this post i bought us soccer jersey with this is really awesome site... i bought cheap rate, and free shipping :)

  30. Apart from shirts,usa soccer jerseys kits of player must also include extra shorts. Shorts helps in free running. Shots get ruined easily in soccer game as it is mostly played with legs and lower body region.

  31. Waldo Jerseys for LIFE! Actually, you're one of the only people I've heard of that hates em. Most AO people love the Waldos. There's a reason they still sell for a lot online.

    1. Thanks for the comment. Sometimes over the years, opinions change. But not on the Waldos. However, the 2014 away "The Russians" have grown on me a bit more. I'll probably up the rating slightly in the next update. But the Waldos? Nope, still not for me.

  32. Anybody interested in a 1994 World Cup away jersey 22 Alexi Lalas size large?

  33. Thank you for keeping the page going. I was actually surprised to see how fast you posted the 2016 kit after they first used them. As a teen-ager, the 2010 World Cup was my introduction to US Soccer. The nostalgia factor probably makes them my favourite. As far as the 2016 kits go, I was disappointed to see the baby blue sleeves on the home kits. The away ones are an alright experimentation in color. I do love the logo. It is a great modern rendition of a classic. It looks more American and less like a youth team's crest. I also have to say that I am disappointed to see that the 2016 kits are a Nike template that all teams are wearing. This makes them feel un-unique and lazy. Maybe this new technology that Nike is saying they have really is a game changer, if so, I'd be willing to overlook the astithetic laziness of these kits. I'm perfectly happy with them refining the technology in a non WC cycle and then making an amazing kit for Russia 2018.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Dylan. The 2010 kit with the diagonal stripe was a nod to 1950 and many have argued that "the sash" should be the US' constant design for our home whites. I would not be against that. As for Nike's lazy template for all their international kits, they seem to do that every few years. They'll probably go back to individual designs in time for 2018 WC.

  34. Great Stuff I really Appreciated your Work

  35. Great compilation of jerseys. Most of them can be found on SoccerBox.

  36. My favorite are the newest black 2016-18 jersey. Just as American culture is changing so are the jerseys. More progressive, more edgy, more athletic. I get u like the navy as the standard color, but like Oregon ducks jerseys, why do they sell so much? Cuz the new kids like the newer designs. If u wanna sell jerseys and get more kids into soccer, we have to cater to kids that like fashion forward designs. Do u think some 50 year old man is gonna buy a soccer jersey? No, he's just gonna complain how ugly the new ones look. Old grumpy man syndrome, he's always gonna revert to his old days. All the jerseys from 2012 are awesome but the black 2016 is by far the best. Just my opinion. I'm 33

    1. Unknown33, thanks for commenting. Yep, I don't disagree about the marketing advantages of progressive styles. I also don't disagree about Nike doing what Nike's gotta do to sell jerseys. But since I don't make a penny from sales, I only evaluate based 2 factors - how well the kit reflects the US identity and whether I personally like it. Any school or country can throw together a black alternate jersey to impress the fickle and twitter-happy 18 year olds. Having said all that, the current black is actually growing on me. Perhaps bumping it a couple ratings is warranted.

  37. hi... let me clear some points for you... 1996 third white jersey (and red and blue) was used by US national team for futsal that`s why you never saw a picture of any us player wearing it.. oh and 1988 white was used by US national team of futsal too

    1. Thanks! 1996 futsal jerseys were removed. Too bad, I liked those. Looking for more verification about 1988...

  38. Thank you for your interesting and informative blog. I have enjoyed reading it and appreciate the work you have put into it. Here is some relevant information for you to review .

  39. Great blog! I always look forward to your reviews and updates every time a new kit is released

  40. I am currently working on a project to identify which kits were worn in which match and compile the win draw & loss results. I currently have all the matches from current until when the first 2000 kits were worn. I am missing a few matches with 1998 kits & several for the 1995 kits.

    Any idea on where I might be able to find this information? Any help would be much appreciated.

    1. Hello,
      Unfortunately, pictures of players are difficult to come by from the 90s and before. I do not have a reliable place to find them. Sorry about that and best of luck.

  41. I was just sold a Gold Cup jersey with the LGBTQ (rainbow) numbers. I believe it's a fake; were those jerseys ever released with the Pride numbers? I have yet to see a single picture to prove that the jersey isn't a fake

  42. Hi Trevor, sorry I am not aware of Gold Cup jerseys with the rainbow numbers.

  43. Hi,
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  44. its very nice post about footballs uniform great to see such a post.

  45. These are the superstars, and people are crazy about them, youngsters want to follow their style so they want to purchase similar jerseys of their superstar.

  46. fully and nicely explained thanks to the author

  47. Hi! I found valuable soccer match movie.
    San Jose Clash against DC United 1996.
    Famous player Wynalda,Etcheverry,John Harkes.

  48. A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post.

  49. That first picture could easily be from the match against Sweden. That picture was taken at the Olympic Stadium in Stockholm.

  50. Hi! I found valuable soccer video.
    Brazil vs USA in 1995.
    Famous player Edmundo,Sávio,Aldair,Wynalda

  51. Awesome information! I love learning more about soccer and the history of it. Amazing pictures and information! Thanks so much

  52. Hi,
    It is really a nice blog.Great Stuff I really Appreciated your Work.
    Soccer World Cup

  53. I wish the US national team would pick one color scheme and stick with it. Like the rest of the world.

    1. Screw that, we have jerseys to sell - Nike

  54. This is a fantastic article! My personal favorite sequence was the 2010 FIFA World Cup. I really liked the third red jerseys. It'll take me a while to get used to this year's package. Though I am not a fan of the away, I do think the house is attractive. Even, I hope they stick to something similar to the 2010 models for the 2014 World Cup, with changes. Real Madrid Tracksuits

  55. i really like your article and the info such a blessing info

  56. I gotta say, that 2018-2020 kit with the red and blue stripes fading to white diagonally has something there. That feels really American and really cool looking. Hoping they can go more in that direction at some point. By far the best look imo, really sick of the basic all white and that Russian popsicle away jersey was just absurd. Great website!