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Toxic Talk: Participation Kits of Sadness Edition

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Welcome to Toxic Talk, where our resident hater tells you what sucks about soccer this week.

Remember being on the crappy Little League Baseball and/or Softball team, where your team would freak out if you beat anyone, and then at the end of the season your coach handed out MVP trophies to everyone? Ok. Maybe I’m projecting a little bit. But that’s what it feels like getting a new kit release in 2018, knowing you’ll only be seeing it used in friendlies for other teams to warm up for the World Cup you’re not going to until at least October when your good women’s team begins World Cup Qualification. Yes, we are sponsored, and therefore we get new kits. Woooo.

And what really sucks is that these new shirts aren’t nearly as aggressively boring as the vast amount of national team strips we’ve seen from Nike over the past several years.

The rules of International kits for the past several years has been as follows:

  1. African countries sponsored by Puma and Croatia get consistently great design.
  2. Everyone else gets slight different versions of the same yawn-fest.

And sure, these aren’t the greatest things in the entire world. The blue ones are pretty cool, but I wish the white ones committed to the hoops instead of doing the weird gradient-sash thing with them that makes it look like the printer ran out of ink. At the very least there is an attempt to make these things unique and bold without going completely overboard or producing something that simply garish for the sake of being “different.”

You know what? It almost makes me more upset that I kinda like these. I will probably be less upset when future French Icon/First Son of Liberia/budding American hero Timothy Weah scores in them against Paraguay on Tuesday. But for now I’m going to be angry. Don’t @ me.

Boiling Points

  • Making It Look Easy -

Maybe the prettiest version of Route 1 ball I’ve ever seen.

  • Zlatan zlatans his way into Major League Zlatan -

In the only way he knows how.

Here’s hoping his knees can survive Seattle come the start of the NFL season.

  • Bend It Like Megan -

The NWSL season started up this weekend, and Megan Rapinoe was R E A D Y.

  • Wooventus -

Juventus was announced as the official opponents for the MLS All-Star Game, to be held in Atlanta United FC’s home, Mercedes Benz Stadium. And...they got Ric Flair to announce it?

Should’ve been Big Boi.

  • LD for Leon -

Landon Donovan scored his first goal in a Liga MX shirt.

It was in a friendly. Against the San Jose Earthquakes. So...take that as you will.

  • Saief Puts Everyone On Notice -

I was extremely disappointed not to see more of Kenny Saief at the Gold Cup, after a positive, shifty showing against Ghana before the tournament gave way to injury. We will most likely see him get some considerable time against Paraguay this week, which is cool, because he might do stuff like this.

I will also be more fine with the new U.S. kits if things like this happen in them, for the record.