Update from USSF: On the jerseys, at this point we can’t say exactly what they will wear, but there is senority with the numbers. For certain guys (Howard, Bradley, Dempsey, Landon, etc.) they are going to have the same number as usual. The numbers are provided to FIFA on June 1 with the final roster so we will have them at our announcement, if not right after.
TSG Community member B-Mac is back with the best numbers to have on your back come June 12th.
With the official release of the home USA jersey last Thursday, my mind instantly started racing to picking up a new jersey. This is no decision to be made lightly, when you are dropping $90 on a jersey it better be awesome now and in the future.
The guy who bought an authentic Bobby Convey jersey last World Cup is definitely not liking his decision today and the gal who purchased that Eddie Johnson one is hanging on my a tread in the hopes for redemption. Conversely, taking a shot at say a DaMarcus Beasley jersey in 2002 was probably a good investment, not so for a John Harkes’ kit in 1994.
Oh, and of course, a Brian McBride retro? Well that’s timeless.
Of course, there is no accounting for personal allegiance and preference, but based on present and future value, awesomeness and originality, I provide a list I hope to be useful for all those who live and breathe USA Soccer.
So with that, I present the top 10 players to have on the back of your USA jersey.
10. Alejandro Bedoya – Bedoya cracks the top 10 by being the token “Who?” guy. Getting a Bedoya jersey justifies watching 15 matches a week, searching the internet frantically for Greek and Swedish League highlights, and missing out on movie night with your girlfriend to watch the Yank B-Teamers face El Salvador on ESPN Classic. Getting a Bedoya jersey is all about that moment when Alejandro comes in at the 82nd minute versus Algeria and notches an assist on a beautiful cross. You turn your back to your friends, point to the name on your shirt and say, “Yup, I saw him coming.”
9. Maurice Edu – After an impressive 2010 in the Scottish Premier League, our boy Mo has potentially earned himself a starting central midfield spot. Edu is now a member of Rangers’s lore after in this year’s Old Firm Derby, banging home the game-winner in stoppage time.
Defensive midfielders aren’t the most glamorous players’ jersey to sport, but Edu’s global (stops in Glasgow, Toronto, and New York and he’ll likely retweet that you got one giving you some serious street cred with your friends.
8. Jay DeMerit – If you enjoy a healthy pre-game before your USA matches and aren’t averse to a few well placed swears about John Terry, then a Jay DeMerit jersey is for you. In fact, just consider DeMerit the “Anti-Terry.” He gets along on heart more than skill and he’s certainly not going to “screw” his friends over.
DeMerit is the biggest badass on our squad, rocketing up from playing 7th tier English football to being a starter for the USA. The man survives elbows to the head and scratched eyeballs all while being my size at 5’11”. If you’re rocking a DeMerit on the streets of Rustenberg, no limey thugs will mess with you. Be authentic, copy the tats while you’re at it too.
7. Stu Holden – The immaculately coiffed one is now a favorite to start for the USA at right midfield. Now dropping crosses at a Bolton club that seems to legitimately want him, Holden’s stock is rising. You might say the Houston native is on the tipping point of being an USA superstar, just as Dempsey in ’06 and Donovan in ’02. A 2010 Holden jersey is cool for this World Cup, but will have legs if he becomes a star at Bolton.
6. Oguchi Onyewu – #6 for the man who is arguably the greatest American defender in its history? How dare I? I hate to say it, but Gooch is not in the best spot for now or the future. This World Cup was supposed to be Gooch’s true coming-out party, but injuries and a lack of opportunities on the club level force me drop him. I really hope that Gooch plays like did at the Confederations Cup and earns himself regular playing time at AC Milan, but since the odds of that aren’t as promising I’d hope, Gooch stays at six.
5. Charlie Davies – If you had asked me for my #1 in early October, I would have seriously considered Chuck D. The man is an absolute joy to watch, with the class and speed that has rarely, if never, been seen in American forwards. With his goal-scoring pace at Sochaux and the USMNT, Davies was pushing for being the next American superstar.
Unfortunately, the matter of a serious car accident in mid October cast doubt on the Deezy’s World Cup ticket. If you rock a #9 Davies jersey and Charlie is on the plane to South Africa, I can think of no more meaningful, empowering, and important jersey to wear. If our boy cannot make it back in time, a CD9 jersey could leave you ever so wistful, conjuring up could have beens and reminders of another Conor Casey shot gone awry. Get back to full-strength soon Charlie, so that the US #9 goes from hope to jubilation.
4. Michael Bradley -I’m sure this is way too high for some of you. Bradley has been unfairly maligned for much of his USA career, whether it is being a product of nepotism, defensive liabilities, not holding possession, or lack of discipline. The fact though is that Bradley is absolute class and can be the one to pick up the mantle of John O’Brien and Claudio Reyna. MB90 is just 22-years-old and has been producing on club and international level since he was in his teens. He can score, demonstrated by his 16 goals he scored in his last season with Heerenveen, as well as lead a team,proving himself an integral member of Bo’Munchen’s midfield.
After this World Cup it’s not hard to believe Bradley will be playing with one of Europe’s biggest clubs, so cop your number 4 jersey before the bandwagon does.
3. Landon Donovan- He’s the USA’s best player, how can he not be number one? Unfortunately for LD, originality counts for something in the jersey game. Starring with the USMNT since 2002 has led Donovan to be by far the most worn jersey among the Yank faithful. You might look fly in your fresh LD jersey, but when you see every yahoo who wants to jump on the World Cup bandwagon wearing a Donovan piece, you might not feel so special. LD, you’re number one on the field and in our hearts, but not on our backs.
Then again he did engineer “The Counter Attack Heard Round The World!” with better-than-German precision.
2. Jozy Altidore – I love Jozy Altidore, to the point that I’m seriously considering naming my first-born son Josmer, seriously. The man plays with power and pace and can lay down a stanky leg after he scores. He runs the twitter game, outmuscles Joan Capdevillla, and head-butts Scotsmen who dare throw a ball at him. An Altidore kit is an excellent choice; he’s not so popular yet that it’s played-out, but is notable enough that in the run-up to the cup the more casual fans can compliment your jersey.
Oh and he’s on 20. You might get two more World Cups out of that piece of plastic.
1. Clint Dempsey – As every week passes, I become more and more confident that 2010 is Deuce’s World Cup.
The man is in the best form of his career, knocking in two of the best goals in the world this season. At age 27, Dempsey finally has the knowledge and experience to match his immense talents. And with it looking more likely that he will be playing in a more forward role for the USA, we should see an attacking Deuce freed of those defensive responsibilities that have been the bane of Dempsey and USMNT fans’ existence.
With a sweet nickname, tough attitude and rap song that has been adapted as a staple of the US Soccer culture, no man better represents what is to be a USA soccer supporter. From the streets of South Africa to San Francisco, there is no better jersey choice to represent your USA fandom than a fresh 2010 Dempsey jersey.