Nike’s New World Cup Kits Aren’t Leaving Fans Impressed

Nike
Courtesy of joshjdss (Flickr CC0)

Some USMNT players had a sneak peek at and even got to model the clothes they’ll wear in November before Nike released the 2022 World Cup kits on Thursday, even before the jerseys leaked last month. Midfielder and fashionista Weston McKennie tried to inform them, as he put it.

Presumably, “they” referred to Nike and US Soccer. Tim Weah claimed that players were “just as outraged” as the current supporters. But by that point, they were helpless.

Early on Thursday morning, Nike released 11 additional World Cup uniforms, including those for Brazil, France, and Portugal. The white American national team jersey is a rather simple style.

A tie-dye blue top is part of the away kit, which also includes solid royal blue shorts and socks.

The U.S. women’s national team will also don both uniforms before receiving a brand-new one in time for the Women’s World Cup next summer

Nike claimed that the American uniforms were “inspired by observations and dialogue with athletes” in a news statement announcing them. However, the three athletes who have discussed them—midfielder Yunus Musah in a Zoom conversation last month, and McKennie and Weah in Instagram comments — have suggested that USMNT players are not impressed.

When asked about them, Musah, who has one of the most cheerful personalities on the team, responded, “The uniforms are — yes, they’re the kits that they designed, you know. They’ll look great on us on the field, I’m sure.

He grinned and flipped his thumb sideways when asked whether he gave them a thumbs up or a thumbs down. He said, “In the middle.” “In the center.”

Nike
Courtesy of Gabriel Salgado and Dylan Santoyo

Puma has a sponsorship agreement with Musah. Weah is with New Balance, while McKennie is with Adidas. Prior to Thursday’s announcement, none of the team’s Nike-endorsing players made any comments; on Thursday, a few put staged statements on social media.

According to Nike’s press release, the white kits feature “bold stripes, an enlarged center crest similar to basketball jerseys, double Swooshes on the sleeves similar to those used on American football jerseys, the unique shoulder and sleeve cut-and-sew construction and pattern of a hockey jersey, and timeless block lettering.” Nike has not yet responded to specific questions from Sources about how the kits were created.

According to the clothing manufacturer, the away kit was “inspired by design principles seen across the American fashion and streetwear sector.” The kit’s vivid, youthful, graphic was produced by Nike’s design staff using a special ice-dying technique.

However, both designs have received vehement criticism from fans. Both jerseys have frequently been compared to warm-up shirts or training tops. They have unsuccessfully pleaded with Nike and U.S. Soccer for a change of heart in social media remarks.

Secretly, some U.S. Soccer officials prefer tie-dye blue and believe that, as long as the team plays well, the color will be popular. The “Waldos” and “Bomb Pops” shirts worn by the USMNT and USWNT in the past, which were once mocked, are now cherished. When numbers are added to very simple designs, they frequently look better on the field than in leaked images.

However, U.S. Soccer doesn’t actually control the designs. Nike asks for and welcomes feedback, but ultimately controls the process when creating the USMNT uniforms and other products.

In Qatar, the competition starts on November 20. Next week, the U.S. and other nations will make their new outfits official in friendly.

Written By Dylan Santoyo
Edited by Sheena Robertson

Sources:

Yahoo: U.S. 2022 World Cup kits released by Nike, with players already ‘angry’ and fans unimpressed

MAIL: ‘Now I have to switch citizenship’: USMNT fans blast the ‘EMBARRASSING’ new US kit for the Qatar World Cup… with former defender Alexi Lalas insisting strip should be ‘big, bold, red, white and blue, stars and stripes, memorable’

FOX SPORTS: WHY NIKE ISN’T WORRIED ABOUT REACTION TO NEW USMNT WORLD CUP KITS

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of joshjdss’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

Inset Image Courtesy of Gabriel Salgado and Dylan Santoyo

 

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