The Top 5 United States National Team Jerseys
With the new World Cup uniform just being released, I thought it would be a appropriate to go through the Top 5 National Team jerseys of all time. Keep in mind, this is my exclusive, unbending, 100% perfectly correct opinion and should not be questioned at anytime. As I often explain to the players I coach, “I am the law“.
5. “The Denim Kit”
What most people view as one of the ugliest uniforms the National Team has ever donned, I happen to think they are arguably the coolest and most memorable. This uniform was worn in the 1994 World Cup held in the United States.
While the away kit is completely unique and interesting, in my mind, it’s not as cool as the home kit. The home kit featured these wavy red lines like an American flag blowing in the wind. Cheesey? Totally. But at six-years-old, I loved every bit of it. In the United States, these uniforms became known as “The Denim Kit”. This is because of the signature away kit that featured a denim looking top with stars imprinted on it.
The key important detail with this uniform that the U.S. got wrong for the World Cup was they went with red shorts, not the denim shorts. It completely changes the uniform and was the major downfall of the entire kit. Had they stuck with the denim shorts rather than the red shorts they went with, this kit would be further up the list.
Worn from 1992-1994, these uniforms were decommissioned for The Denim Kit. It’s one of the few uniforms that incorporates the perfect balance of red, white, and blue. There’s something so right about watching Cobi Jones fly down the flank with his signature Speed Move wearing this kit.
In a way, uniforms are almost defined by the players that wore them. Think of your favorite team and their favorite uniform. I imagine some of you love the current Denver Broncos uniform because you think of Elway raising the Lombardi with it, or you have other fond memories associated with it. The same situation applies here. The 1992-94 team really ushered in soccer to the United States. If you look at US Soccer before the 94 World Cup, most would struggle to bring a player to mind. After 1994, most would struggle not to be able to name a player on that same roster. For me, uniform #5 and #4 signify the key moments when soccer became something that the country would never look at the same way again.
3. 2004 Throwback
I’m a huge fan of throwbacks in any sport, but this one especially. As a homage to the 1950 kit, this uniform was worn exclusively as a 3rd jersey in 2004. I found 2 things that were really
unique about this kit: I like that Nike elected not to put their logo on the top and that they went with a 3/4 sleeve. These two things are both extremely rare and give it a unique feel that is both completely vintage, but modern at the same time. Each time you see throwbacks in sports, there’s always an attempt to imprint a modern twist on it, but most the time it falls short at one key point. The Packers throwback “helmets” are a great example. As you can see to the right, they just don’t work.
I think this throwback excels in almost all aspects. The USA shield in the top left is perfectly retro just as the red sash that slides across the front. The color scheme and balance is extremely well done. The major flaw where it went wrong is the collar. The collar is in fact completely retro in how it’s over-sized and doesn’t have the more modern fit you’d expect it to have. That’s one area where it would’ve helped to incorporate a tighter fit rather than the loose approach they went with.
2. 2013 Centennial Kit
Yes that’s right, it’s back to back throwbacks at #3 and #2. In this case, it’s a throwback done completely right. Simple, smooth, modern fit, with just the right
amount of controversy to make it even more memorable. This uniform was worn in the game known as “Snowclasico”, where the United States beat Costa Rica in Denver, CO. The field conditions kept the game in question for all 90 minutes, but the uniform dazzled the whole game. You could argue that the U.S. uniforms look great by comparison, because of the calamity of the Costa Rica uniforms, but I beg to differ. I believe they would stand on their own in any game.
1. 2014 World Cup Kit
Classic, smooth, all white. To me it’s perfect for the World Cup. While it hasn’t stood the test of time just yet, I think they will. When you look at them from afar, they look like an all white kit, but as you get close up, you can see the details. This is the only uniform on this list with a collar. Generally, the U.S. has gone away from collars on their uniforms, and I think it makes a great splash in this kit. The true test of a uniform is two major things:
1. When you see it, do you see your team? When I see this kit, I see the United States. It’s sleek, young, and fresh, just like our team. Red accents on a white uniform always draw my attention when I see them on a field. The kit hits a home run with the shade of blue they used. Blue in the USA kit has been the color that is always tweaked. We’ve seen royal blue, navy blue, and even baby blue throughout the years. I think the dark royal they used in this jersey with the numbers and the Nike logo is the best option to balance out the colors.
2. Would you buy it? Currently I own my fair share of US gear, but I don’t own a single jersey. Not one. I would buy this jersey in a heartbeat and I would wear it out in public.
Feel free to argue your top 5 uniforms and let us know what one says USA to you!
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