The United States men's national team has unveiled new uniforms, dubbed the centennial kit, which celebrates 100 years since the United States Soccer Federation was founded. The jersey is definitely a throwback to earlier years.
Jack Bell of the New York Times reports the American squad will wear the kits for the first time during a crucial World Cup qualifying clash against Costa Rica on March 22. The match will take place at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Colorado.
Let's take a closer look at the jersey, based on pictures posted by the federation on its Instagram page. The players probably hope the fresh kits bring them some luck after dropping their first qualifier of the final stage to Honduras.
Wow Factor: 5 of 10
As you might expect with a jersey that's a tribute to a founding a century ago, there's not a lot of flair to the new kit. It's basic and clean with a contemporary style. No outlandish designs or wacky additions to make it different just for the sake of being different.
The biggest concern with a basic white kit is that it won't stand out enough. Even when a team is shooting for a classic look, if there isn't enough to it there's a strong chance it will get overlooked, even by the diehard fans.
It's something the federation was able to avoid by adding the large shield to the front and making the numbers bold. While it doesn't lead to a major "wow factor," it does enough to ensure the jersey is unique and worth some praise.
Design: 9 of 10
Once you get past the fact that the new kit is not some wildly new creation, the design is actually real strong. From the aforementioned shield, to the red, white and blue color elements and the new ventilation system, the details are terrific.
It's clear an effort was made to keep the entire kit as streamlined as possible. Sometimes teams will add some extra striping to add more color to the equation, but the only places with that are the collar and shirt sleeves.
All told, it's hard to find much wrong with the overall design. They kept it really simple and pristine, which helped avoid clutter and ensured everything flowed together well. Definitely earned high marks in this category.
Overall Grade: 8 of 10
What grade would you give the kit on a 1-10 scale?
It's not easy to wrap 100 yards of history into one kit. Generally, it's an invitation to do far too much because a federation wants to include so many things. Avoiding that while still making sure everybody knows it's a Team USA creation is solid work.
Ultimately, there's a couple areas where people can nitpick and say it could be better—maybe more color on the shorts for some contrast or another element added to the sleeves, but the federation was obviously shooting for a more basic approach.
It works well. As a whole, the kit deserves a solid passing grade and, as mentioned above, hopefully it brings the United States luck starting on March 22.