NEW YORK, NY (April 29, 2010) With the unannounced but clearly implicit purpose of inspiring the United States to once again beat England in the FIFA World Cup, the design theme of the new Nike U.S. men's national soccer team jersey the squad will wear in South Africa this summer was based on the uniform the team wore in the 1950 World Cup.
As all savvy U.S. soccer fans know, the 1950 World Cup means a lot to American soccer. On June 29, 1950, the lowly regarded Team USA shocked the world, beating heavily favored England, 1-0, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in one of the biggest upsets in the history of international soccer. The win was later popularly dubbed the "Miracle on Grass" in the U.S, mimicking the famed “Miracle on Ice,” the U.S. hockey victory over the Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics.
The new home jersey is white with a tonal grey sash across the front of the right shoulder to the left side, and includes an obsidian blue round-neck collar.
U.S. National Team head coach Bob Bradley said: "I think that the win in 1950 is still a moment that we’re all proud of, so it’s ironic that we get the opportunity to open this World Cup with England and I think it’s special that we’ll have a uniform that is the same style with the sash and it’s something that means a lot to the team."
Perhaps a "Miracle on Grass" themed jersey can be that little intangible that can provide some added inspiration and luck to the team in South Africa this June when they jump on the field in their opening match against Wayne Rooney and England.
Walter Bahr, the captain of the 1950 U.S. squad, attended the press conference in NYC and pointed out how superstition still plays a big part in professional soccer. “England wore blue jerseys during their historic loss to the United States in 1950,” Bahr said. “To this day, they have never worn a blue color uniform again.”
Sixty years later and despite much progress, the U.S. is still a significant underdog versus England. Beating Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and company would still be considered a major upset. Maybe June 12 will turn out to be “Miracle On Grass II.” Stay tuned.
The new jerseys are available now at ussoccerstore.com at a listed price of $69.99.
“Injury Time” tidbit:
Queried about his typical stone serious sideline facial expressions, coach Bradley said: “During the game I think its important to not show your emotions, watch the game carefully to see what is taking place and make sure that your players see that you are confident with what they are doing.”