After an eight-year absence from the World Cup, the US men’s national team will return to the global stage at this winter’s tournament in Qatar. But in true US Soccer fashion, the federation has already managed to disappoint fans before the team even takes the field.
Earlier this week, several photos of the apparent World Cup jerseys hit social media and were universally crushed by fans (and USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie). The leaked jerseys took the current Nike training kit template, centered the crest and abandoned any distinctive look for the USMNT. Where the 2012 Waldo jerseys, 2014 “Bomb Pops” and the would-be 2018 World Cup kits showed creativity, this year’s jerseys looked like something you’d find from an off-brand wholesaler.
And somehow, the jerseys look even worse out in the wild.
A fan found the leaked USMNT home kits for sale at Dick’s Sporting Goods — they tried to buy them but were told they couldn’t sell them yet and it was on display by accident 😅 pic.twitter.com/lBZpwc25kl
— USMNT Only (@usmntonly) August 18, 2022
A fan posted to TikTok that he spotted the long-sleeve version of the home kit at a Dick’s Sporting Goods but was unable to purchase the jersey because they had been displayed by mistake. According to the post, the official release date is Sept. 21 , which will give fans a solid month to accept the impending letdown of an uninspired kit at the World Cup.
But man, these really are terrible. And the long-sleeve version actually resembles a hockey jersey more than anything that should be worn at a World Cup match in Qatar. The product code on the tag also goes to a listing for “Nike USA L/S Home Jersey – 2022.” So those holding out hope of a misdirection will inevitably be disappointed here.
As expected, fans did not have kind things to say about this latest look at the USMNT jersey.
The USMNT is young, exciting and diverse. This jersey speaks to none of those traits. https://t.co/DjBzI2ZP24
— Maximiliano Bretos (@MaxBretosSports) August 18, 2022
Man those are horrible, Nike did USA dirty.. they didn’t even try https://t.co/e575bBM9Je
— Hector Eli 🇲🇽🇺🇸 (@Imhectoreli) August 18, 2022
I’ve never seen a jersey so universally unpopular. How on earth does this make it through the trial and error process? It’s hard to believe there can be such a profound disconnect between the designers and the fans. https://t.co /DgbKTRCSwQ
— D&M⚽️🇺🇸 (@DandMusmnt) August 18, 2022