Yesterday, fans of the United States Men’s and Women’s National Teams saw leaks of what are purported to be the “final drafts” of the 2022 home and away jerseys. These jerseys would be used by the USMNT in the upcoming 2022 World Cup.
These leaks are similar to the ones we saw last fall for what the home and away jerseys would look like, but this provides some more details. The pictures themselves are most likely knockoffs of what the final design would look like, but we can still take the pictures of the two jerseys to show what our teams will be wearing when they’re released in full this fall.
The home jersey is white with some subtle gray horizontal stripes across the chest and navy shorts. Unlike previous Nike jerseys, this one will not only have the swoosh on the right chest in navy blue, it will also have them on both sleeves, similar to what we see on NFL jerseys. It’s unknown what the socks would look like, but chances are they will be either white or navy given past precedent.
The away kit is a light blue front with royal blue on the shoulders and sleeves, making it look similar to the 2016 template. There are royal blue subtle horizontal stripes across the torso in the same pattern as the home jersey. The jersey is paired with royal blue shorts. Once again, the Nike swoosh will appear on the right chest and on each sleeve in white. The USSF crest is on the left chest on both jerseys. Like the home kit, the color of the away socks are unknown but they are expected to be royal blue.
We don’t know what the names and numbers will look like, and of course that always adds to a jersey’s look. However, the USMNT will have a plain look as they head to their first World Cup in 8 years, as will the USWNT as they hopefully prepare for a World Cup in 2023.. Fan reactions to the leaks on social media have been less than stellar.
The stress during qualifying was not worth this. https://t.co/4gxGxKofwl— Sam Kasner (@SammyKas) May 6, 2022
This one however speaks the real truth:
Look, the Waldo jerseys are the truth. I’ve written my thoughts on how the Waldo should be the true jersey identity for our United States National Teams. We even put it to a vote, a March Madness-style bracket of U.S. jerseys for fans to cast their vote, and you out there agreed with me by huge margins. We see the jerseys that are put out by teams like Nigeria and Croatia and it leaves us all feeling like the praying meme: we see what Nike does for others and we want that for ourselves. And at times, we have received some jerseys that are liked by most fans. But, a jersey identity is sitting right there waiting for Nike and U.S. Soccer to embrace it, and still we are all left wanting more.
A portion of the fanbase has responded with their repeated wishes for U.S. Soccer to switch from Nike to Adidas or Puma, under the belief that Nike is just nothing but templates and Adidas or Puma would give us more freedom. That is not the answer. Adidas and Puma have template jerseys across all of their teams, and while some of them may have some designs, their teams are all looking the same with similar name and number sets and not a lot of design differences. Nike used to provide bespoke designs within their templates, and the U.S. should be able to use that to create an identity that’s all their own. The Waldos are the best way to do it. The jerseys that are rumored to be the ones we will see later this year are not it.
If these are the jerseys that the USMNT and USWNT will wear in 2022, then it’s too late for us to start our jersey identity now. But the fans have spoken loud and clear, and the powers that be should listen closely. The Waldos as our home jersey identity is an easy win.
Fans may still buy these jerseys this fall under the excitement of seeing their team play in the 2022 World Cup, but plain white jerseys are not what will make us stand out from any other team. That includes England, a team that we will face in the group stage and wears jerseys that the U.S. have constantly modeled themselves after. It will make us look plain. And Americans don’t want their jerseys to be plain or lacking imagination. They want them to show the world that the Americans are there in full force. Like many things, it will be on the to do list to work on for 2023 and beyond.