Better know a kit: A history of the modern U.S. soccer jersey

USMNT Jersey 1984-2009

[UPDATE: a new, updated version of this history lives at]

We’re taking a look at the USA men’s soccer jerseys of the last 25 or so years, not only to provide a bit of history, but also as a bit of a refresher before looking toward the future of the USA’s kit. My main complaint about the USA kit is that there’s no continuity. Unlike most national team kits, the design has changed drastically each time adidas or Nike has unveiled their latest designs. Whether it’s red, white, or blue, stripes, sashes or denim, you’ll see below that the designs are all over place. I know that I’m nowhere near the first to say this, but I really think that in order to develop a team identity, we need to have a consistent template for (at least) the home jersey.

I’ve always favored the red jerseys in general. It’s good, bright color for fans to wear. Really, I’d rather have it as our home color, but US Soccer seems hung up on having white home jerseys (which have always seemed kind of bland to me). I guess it’s fitting that the USA would wear whites at home since it’s the traditional home color in most American sports.

Below, we’ve got images of every home and away kit since 1984. I’ve offered a brief commentary and grade for each shirt. Obviously, I’m not attempting to be objective in any way. If you disagree, make it known down in the comments section or in the poll at the end of the post.

Alright, let’s get started…. Continue reading


Man of the Match [6.28.09 vs. Brazil]: Landon Donovan

Another quick post to get the Man of the Match illustration project up to date..

Landon Donovan gets our man of the match honor for the Confederations Cup final vs. Brazil. In the final, he did what he did all tournament–he controlled the offense, scored goals, ran at the opposition, and showed us all that he is, indeed, capable of playing at the top level.

Man of the Match [6.24.09 vs. Spain]: Tim Howard

We’re playing a little catchup with our Man of the Match project here…

There were a lot of great performances in the Spain match, but we’re giving the nod to Tim Howard. He made a number of great saves and held together a defence that held Spain goalless.

Michael Bradley under investigation by FIFA

USA midfielder Michael Bradley is being investigated for allegedly confronting referee Jorge Larrionda in the tunnel after the USA’s 2-0 defeat of Spain last week. Larrionda had sent off Bradley in the 87th minute of the match.

If true, this sounds like more of the same from the hot-headed midfielder, after a steady stream of late (and generally unnecessary) yellow cards, and some oddly aggressive words directed at US press and supporters after the USA’s victory over Egypt in the first round of the Confederations cup. Not cool, Michael. Say it ain’t so.

[via du Nord and Sports Illustrated]

Altidore to Fulham?


The Daily Mail is reporting that Fulham are interested in bringing Jozy Altidore in on loan for the upcoming season. Could Jozy be the latest in a series of Americans to call Craven Cottage home? Only time will tell…

Would this be a good move for the young striker? I think so…and honestly, it can’t get any worse than that Xerez stint last year.

Man of the Match [6.21.09 vs. Egypt]: Michael Bradley

Michael Bradley

This was a tough one. There were a number of players who could have gotten the nod, but we went with Michael Bradley. Junior Bradley was a beast in midfield, scoring a goal (which he also helped set up), putting another couple of shots on target, and winning balls in midfield.

Will this honor finally put an end to all the cries for putting and end to the cries of nepotism? Probably not. Seriously, every article I’ve read about this kid in the last year or so has some line like, “cries of nepostism must end, this kid is for real.” Come on, lazy soccer writers of America. The cries have ended…quite some time ago. No one is claiming that he only plays because he’s the coach’s son anymore. No one has been writing that for at least a year. He’s one of our best players. So please, please, please, stop adding this to every story in which Michael Bradley is mentioned.

Honorable Mentions: Landon Donovan and Oguchi Onyewu.

Goat of the Game: Another tough one. So many Americans played a great game. Jonathan Bornstien wins this honor for having a merely average match.

Onyewu to Fenerbahce?

Sky Sports is reporting that Oguchi Onyewu has signed a three-year deal with Turkish giants Fenerbahce. No offense to the Turkcell Süper Lig, but if this is true, I must admit that I’m a little disappointed. I was hoping for a move to one of the top four leagues.