France National team Jersey
I’m concerned for the future of U.S. Soccer and it has nothing to do with Jurgen Klinsmann, the USWNT’s iffy World Cup performances thus far, Clint Dempsey’s propensity for shredding ref notebooks, or the continual insistence on Jozy Altidore as the lone striker (although that is a big problem). My concern is this: Nike’s recent designs of our national team uniforms, or kits, or whatever you want to call them, stink big time.
Let’s start with that garish, mostly red, away uniform that Nike unleashed on America for the World Cup last summer. The amount of red wasn’t the problem, it was the red, white, and blue-tiered bands at the top of the jersey that made the players look like human Turbo Rocket Popsicles. Not to mention that the color stacking also looked a whole lot like the French flag. To make it worse, Nike and U.S. Soccer decided to change the shade of blue from the more traditional American flag-inspired navy blue to a lighter blue that more closely resembles, well, the blue of the French and Russian flags. Ironically, Nike has also overhauled the French national team kit in recent years, tossing out France’s decades-old traditional look and switching their blue to, you guessed it, an American flag shade of navy blue. Sacre bleu indeed!
So it was cause to celebrate when Nike discarded the U.S. popsicle kits a few months ago for a new away design, right? Not so fast. They simply traded a red eyesore for a blue-ish one. And I say “blue-ish” because they couldn’t settle on one shade of blue, so they just went with all shades of blue. The overall uniform looks exactly like when you’re printing in dark blue and then your ink cartridge starts running out – not a good look on paper or on U.S. soccer players. It is also topped off with what looks like ‘80s women’s shoulder pads worn on the outside of the shirt. Not cool.