The United States national soccer team’s 2014 FIFA World Cup home kit was among the recent deluge of new strips from just about every major player in the world footie market (adidas, PUMA and USA gear provider Nike among them).
Now that the new USA shirt has gone from pre-order status to ready to ship mode at World Soccer Shop and beyond, we’re bring you a an up-close look at the Authentic version of the jersey. By “Authentic” we don’t mean the fan or replica version of the kit. Instead this is the Player Issue kit that made its on the pitch debut when the USA met Ukraine in an international friendly on March 5th. It will be worn by the likes of Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey and Jermaine Jones (all expected to make manager Jürgen Klinsmann’s squad) when The Stars and Stripes make their World Cup run in Brazil this summer.
The USA 2014 Nike Authentic kit comes in paper-based packaging featuring a triangular representation of the thirteen stars of the first United States national flag (they indicate the country’s thirteen colonies that declared independence from the British). A blue pennant version of the triangle also appears on its inside neck area. Nike has thrown in a branded card that opens up to expose a 2 GB flash drive containing high resolution images of the shirt with the package.
The new USA shirt uses a classic polo collared design that makes it suitable for a variety of settings beyond the field. Match this slim-fitting top with a pair of cargo pants or jeans and you can rock your team pride from the bar to a casual office environment.
Horizontal gray pinstripes run across the front and back of the kit while its collar and sleeve cuffs have red trim on the outside and blue trim on the inside in keeping with American sportswear tradition.
Two key features of the authentic USA jersey are “burnout” mesh on its back and laser-cut ventilation holes on its side. These are not present in the replica shirt and are design elements meant to ensure airflow and keep players cool in the kit.
On the environmental impact tip, 96 percent of the USA 2014 World Cup jersey’s fabric is made from recycled plastic bottles. If you get the matching shorts and socks for the shirt, then your entire Team USA kit will be made from an average of 18 recycled plastic bottles. Well done by Nike for helping to keep the Earth clean!