Late last year, the U.S. Men’s National Team came into the World Cup Draw on December 6th with high hopes and crossed fingers. They were just coming off a wildly successful year of qualifying that saw them finish first in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. In a highly competitive World Cup year, Jurgen Klinsmann’s men were just praying for a manageable group. Well, we know how that turned out.
Even as our guys sit in the proverbial Group of Death, American fans remain enthusiastic. The World Cup becomes a bigger deal with every passing four years. You can expect the national fervor that arose over Landon Donovan’s stoppage time winner over Algeria in 2010 to proliferate even more this time around. Part of this passion comes from fans getting their hands on the new World Cup jerseys. Now, with a little over 3 months until the United States men open against Ghana on June 16th, Nike has dropped the USMNT’s World Cup home kit.
You’re looking at a traditional white with collar jersey that sports very minimal color, which is an interesting choice from Nike. The technical aspects of the kit run identical to the other Nike-released World Cup kits. You’ve got the Dri-FIT technology with the laser-cut holes venting the sides for optimal cooling. Also, you can see the embroidered crest and Nike Swoosh on the front of the shirt as well.
While the tech specs are top-notch, the design may be a little more divisive. Some may love the classic white and others may find the whole look just a bit lacking. To me, nothing really stands out on this kit. The gold border around the crest is gone, leaving it more plain-looking than previous U.S. home jerseys. Last year’s Centennial jersey had the classy crest and the blue accents and the 2010 World Cup jersey had the subtle sash across the chest. Certainly this is not the ugliest U.S. jersey ever, but nothing grabs the attention to set it apart from other home jerseys in Brazil. Thin red piping on the collar and sleeves with blue on the reverse interior give this jersey some flash, but it still seems like the design is stuck in the 1990s.
If you’re looking for the venting on the sides and the lightweight version of this shirt, you will have to pick up the Match jersey, which has a retail price of $149.99 ($134.99 at SoccerPro). Otherwise, you can go for the simpler “stadium” jersey, which is priced at $89.99 retail.
Any concerns you may have (or not have) with the kit will not affect its performance. World Cup success this summer will not be tied to any team’s kit design, which may be a good thing for us. The jersey will perform well in action and hopefully that remains true for Team USA in the Brazilian heat come June.