World Cup Jerseys Made In America

A few weeks ago TSG brought you a top-ten list of World Cup jerseys you could flaunt from nations around the globe that balanced uniqueness, hipness, and longevity.

TSG writer Brian Mechanickwho penned our popular first piece on US jerseys–is back after some deliberation to share with you what jerseys to consider heading out of 2010′s festivities, through the next qualification and into World Cup 2014.

Which USA Jersey?

A "DeMerit" will be nostalgic, but might need updating...

You go into your closet to find a suit to pretty-up for your cousin’s wedding, and you see it lying there, crumpled on the floor: your white ’10 Jay DeMerit kit. You see it in all its glory: beer stains from celebrating Donovan’s 91st minute goal, beer stains from crying after Asamoah Gyan’s heartbreaker. It reeks of trying too hard to hit on that cute girl in the Heather Mitts jersey (albeit somewhat masked by the smell of your friend Big Mike, who loves man-hugs after goals).

But then a realization: it’s that time again!  Time to head over to your local soccer shop and buy a new USA kit. But your favorite player Brian Ching is too old for the USMNT and Carlos Bocanegra is off to star on billboards, so whose jersey should you get?

11. Landon Donovan- [GASP] How could America’s hero, the man who saved the US versus Algeria, who scored three goals in the World Cup, not even be in the top ten? Well, after appearing on every media-outlet from Regis & Kelly to The Daily Show to throwing out the first pitch at a Dodgers game, as Madison Avenue types would say, LD’s Q-rating has never been higher. Great news for American soccer, but bad news for your new Donovan kit.

The original L.A. Cobi...

Showing up to the Brazil friendly in a crisp Donovan shirt screams, “I have no idea who Cobi Jones and Claudio Reyna are, but I love the US Soccer team!”

Appreciate you jumping on the soccer bandwagon and are glad to have you supporting the squad, but you can’t exactly go reminiscing about USA-Portugal in ’02 with that type. Love Landon unconditionally in your heart, but keep him off the back of your new jersey.

10. Alejandro Bedoya- One of the last men cut from the 2010 US World Cup squad, Bedoya is relatively anonymous in the States. But a budding club career with Örebro in Sweden has the right winger on a path to bigger and better things. The man has produced in his brief time with the USMNT, attacking the Dutch right side in a March friendly with similar verve as Barca’s Pedro brought for Spain against the Oranje in the World Cup Final.

Getting a 2010 Bedoya means you get to drop knowledge on people who don’t know about the Boston College prospect now, then brag in four years with your 2010 kit that you were setting up his 2014 fan club since the beginning.

2014 beckons...

9. Omar Gonzalez- Six-foot, five inches of intimidating defender, Omar is not only the heir to Oguchi Onyewu’s throne, but also the man replacing him on this list. Just as Gooch’s career is seemingly on the decline, fighting back from a terrible knee injury and an unpropitious club situation at AC Milan, Gonzalez’s career is on the rise.

Omar has come off a Rookie of the Year season in smashing fashion, leading the Galaxy to the league’s best defense with a staunch .333 goals-against average in his appearances. It doesn’t look like it will be long till Omar is a USMNT regular and Europe is pestering MLS’s corporate office.

8. Stu Holden- The man, the myth, the legend, the hair. Hotter than his Haiti’s strike, Holden stock has been rising since his award-winning Gold Cup campaign in ’09.

Born in Aberdeen Scotland, Stu has moved just south to Manchester and the  Bolton Wanderers. He’s already earned playing time (world-hated Nigel de Jong-induced broken leg aside) and the respect of the Trotters’ fan base.

Though many were disappointed to see Stu get little playing time in South Africa, his letdown is a boon for his jersey-viability. Only those up on the USMNT, Houston Dynamo, and professional video gaming know that Holden is the truth, so rock a #11–even better if you complement it with your own blonde faux-hawk.

Just as offensive-minded, less precocious

7. Benny Feilhaber- The heir to Carlos Bocanegra’s “Your girlfriend’s favorite player throne”, the Brazilian-Jewish UCLA-Hamburg SV product’s career has been a roller coaster of highs and lows.

He scored the golazo heard ‘round CONCACAF to win the US the ’07 Gold Cup, endured a horrific Premier League season ever in 07-08 at Derby County, then expressed his feelings in song. But after establishing himself at AGF in Denmark, Benny is coming off a strong World Cup as the USA’s super-sub.  Unlikely to return to his relegation-stricken side, Benny is being linked everywhere, from England to Turkish champs Bursaspor to Hapoel Tel-Aviv, champions of Israel.

But wherever Benny lands, the 25-year old is on the way to bigger and better things.

6. Jose Francisco Torres Jose Torres has the chance to be the Mexican-American star that US Soccer fans have been pining after. “Paco” Torres brings the stereotypical creativity and on-ball skill that the more direct-styled US team has lacked. The US might not have been ready to utilize Torres’ talents in 2010, but look for JFT to emerge a star on the USMNT in the upcoming cycle.

5. Clint Dempsey- Entering the 2010 World Cup, Clint Dempsey was tipped to star for the USA. But Robert Green’s assist aside, Deuce did more dirty work than personal goal celebrating.

With Deuce’s Fulham manager Roy Hodgson off to Liverpool, big clubs are rumored to be stalking Dempsey, led by the Rossoneri. A relocation to Milan would make Clint the first American outfield player at one of Europe’s highest rated clubs since Jovan Kirovski donned a Leverkusen kit. Deuce might be on the wrong side of thirty when 2014 comes around, but that will only make him vintage, not stale.

About the only way to stop Jozy in 2014... (courtesy, Matt Mathai)

4. Jozy Altidore- Despite not tallying on the scoresheet this World Cup, Jozy demonstrated his talent to the world.

A blend of strength, speed, and just a bit of on-ball creativity, Jozy only lacks the dependable finishing to make him a star striker. But at only 20 years old, expect Altidore to keep getting better and better. Altidore just might be the most likeable US soccer around these days, with his humanitarian work for Haiti, prodigious tweeting, and Spain slaying. His club career is a bit up in the air these days at Villareal, but with Jozy’s drive and talent, expect him come through these next four years a better player and star for the USA in Brazil.

3. Maurice Edu- Robbed of a glorious go-ahead goal versus Slovenia, Edu is coming off a strong performance as a substitute in the World Cup. Maurice has appeared to earn the spot of #1 holding midfielder for the USA starting this new cycle, providing a blend of discipline, tackling, and confidence going forward. There may be no American in a better club situation than Mo at Ibrox. With the opportunity to play Champion’s League football this year, expect Edu’s class to rise even further. With Mo hitting his prime in time for 2014, now’s a good time to invest in an Edu kit.

Stanky: Guaranteed this club season...and in Brazil...

2. Charlie Davies- Heartbreakingly, Charlie Davies’ car accident proved too much for him to recover in time for South Africa, as #9 watched from home and Herculez Gomez did Davies’ kit proud. Charlie is still only 24, and the future is bright for the striker. While Davies’ injury knocked him out of the US squad and the national consciousness, it does mean wearing his jersey shows you know the struggle, and have supported Davies through thick and thin.

Bet on Davies making the impact in 2014 that was expected post-Confederation Cup in 2010.

Indefatigable

1. Michael Bradley- MB90 was the United States breakout player in this World Cup, doing his best Roy Keane impression as a box-to-box force in the midfield. With an intense glare and propensity for important goals, Bradley looks poised to be in consideration for the armband in 2010. With EPL teams coming knocking for the Borussia Mönchengladbach player, it seems a move to a big-time side is coming sooner than later for Bradley.

Michael Bradley best typified the fight-to-the-last-gasp attitude of the Yanks in South Africa and that’s why he has the number one jersey going forward for the next four years.

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23 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by B on 2010/07/18 at 6:21 PM

    Bought my Bradley jersey 2 months before the world cup started. Knew it was going to be a good investment

    Reply

  2. Posted by HashUnited on 2010/07/18 at 6:35 PM

    I have a ’10 Jozy, a ’08-’09 Deuce, and a ’06 Bradley. Boom. That’s right, I had Bradley 3 years ago. I don’t me to brag, but…. GO GO USA!

    Reply

  3. Posted by s44 on 2010/07/18 at 6:42 PM

    Planning to pick up a ’10 Bradley soon, but I think I’ll have to wait a year for Davies… This year’s WC uniform is too painful. If only, if only!

    Reply

  4. Posted by icculus on 2010/07/18 at 7:18 PM

    Don’t you see what you’ve done here? Now everyone and their brother are going to go for the Bradley kit. The move now is the ol’ switcheroo, LD10 ftw.

    Naww, just kidding. Good piece and great choice with MB90.

    Reply

  5. I’m a bit disappointed that my #11 USA shirt didn’t get a bit more playing time this WC but I’m still liking the choice.

    Reply

    • Posted by Kevin on 2010/07/19 at 5:07 PM

      Stu in 2014… think of an midfield that consists of Torres, Stu, Bradley and Benny! It’s quite a bit of possession if you ask me. Throw an Edu in as a sub or instead of the 29 (in 2014) year-old Benny. Hell, put them both in and go 4-5-1 a la 2010 spain.

      Reply

  6. Posted by michael on 2010/07/18 at 10:07 PM

    Got my blue Davies jersey a few months before the World Cup. I was already thinking of getting a white Bradley one so I guess I’ll be super chic.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Colin on 2010/07/19 at 5:51 AM

    I took my Davies jersey with me to every USA group stage game and the other guy in our group of 3 had a Bradley jersey. We made good picks I think.

    Reply

  8. Fair point that Donovan is the shirt most bandwagon fans will be wearing, thus dropping it’s cool potential. However, you could argue that this was the summer (or last 12 months) where Landon Donovan effectively made believers out of those of us who were drinking the anti-Donovan kool-aid for the last 6-8 years. However, prevalent Donovan’s jerseys may be, the 2010 World Cup was Landon’s (as well as Bradley’s) breakout tournament. It could be the lack of goals we scored in the tournament (5 in 4 games), but the defining moments belong to Senor ‘Cakes.

    Reply

    • Posted by Colin on 2010/07/19 at 3:56 PM

      actually it was 7 in 4 games, but only 5 counted. Scoring goals wasnt our problem, keeping the opposition from scoring was the problem….and refs that were mostly incompetent.

      If you count the 2 disallowed goals…6 group stage goals would have been the 3rd most group stage goals scored of all the 32 nations (Portugal scored all 7 of their group stage goals in 1 game). Even without counting the disallowed goals, the US scored 4 group stage goals…only Argentina (7), South Korea (5), Germany (5), Holland (5), Brazil (5), and Portugal (7) scored more than that. Going even further…Argentina, Holland, Italy, and Chile were the only other nations to not get shut out in the group stage.

      Reply

      • Excellent points Colin, I hadn’t done th legwork on my stats. My comment was more pointing out that our dirth of goals during the tournament make Landon’s 3 stand out even more.

        Reply

      • Posted by Colin on 2010/07/20 at 5:58 AM

        I can get on board with that….without Landon’s goals, it would have been a very depressing tournament.

        Reply

    • Posted by Gino on 2010/07/19 at 11:44 PM

      You want to honor the GI Joe of US Soccer (A Real America Hero)? Sport an ’02 Donovan jersey. That way you show you were hip to Landon when Landon wasn’t cool (to paraphrase a couple of 80′s songs).

      Reply

      • Posted by Colin on 2010/07/20 at 5:59 AM

        haha for sure, I was a huge Lando fan after that tournament and I think part of the reason that he was getting a bad rap for a few years was because he wasnt able to replicate his impact in that tournament more often.

        Reply

  9. Holden is going to be #7 going forward as DMB is retired. So if you were to get a Holden jersey I would get it with the #7. Though I get the idea of commemorating this WC when he wore #11.

    Also if George is reading this…when I was picking out my jersey pre-tournament I was torn between getting a Dolo jersey, Edu or Howard (I like character players and defense). I ordered the Dolo but then last minute I changed to a personalized home kit with Howard on the back and I really didn’t feel that strange walking around with a big #1 on the back of a regular jersey. Just couldn’t not wear the jersey of arguably our best player.

    Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/07/19 at 10:24 AM

      Nice one Eric – great choice, I agree with that sentiment 100%!! If I was a Team USA fan, I would absolutely have his name and number on my back. He’s just pure class.

      I honestly don’t understand the somewhat derogatory and snobby ‘bandwagon’ comments. People have talked about growing the beautiful game in this country and obviously a successful world cup is a great tool, but then when said new fan gets on board, the snide remarks appear. Where’s the love?

      Reply

      • Posted by Kevin on 2010/07/19 at 5:14 PM

        The problem isn’t the new fans. It’s that you don’t want to look like a new fan still learning the ropes. You want to look like a seasoned intelligent supporter.

        Reply

  10. You forgot to add the personalized Nike sweat pants/training outfit with either “Bradley” or just plain “Bob” on the back.

    What better way to be really unique, nostalgic, and get some laughs at the next game then to saunter in with the sweat pants outfit on and then just as the players take the field tear it off to reveal the MB90 jersey beneath.

    Reply

  11. Posted by Christopher on 2010/07/19 at 8:44 AM

    So, what if I staple my ’04-’05 Cobi jersey to the back of my ’10-’11 LD jersey? Can I keep my cachet and still be a loyal Galaxy fan? God, this is so confusing. If only my local soccer store had had Herc’s number kit, I wouldn’t have to worry about cool-factor at all.

    Reply

  12. Posted by Prison Mike on 2010/07/19 at 9:16 AM

    Got my Chuck D jersey right after the Ghana game. The road to 2014 begins.

    Reply

  13. B-Mac – Agree with your rankings based on getting the shirt for having it *through* the next qualification cycle.

    Though, I tend to get a player that represents the USMNT the best during the cycle in which the shirt is worn; example
    - 2002 kit = #22 Sanneh for playing his ass off (in multiple positions no less) in the World Cup or #5 O’Brien for being the best midfield player the US has ever seen
    - 2004 kit = Onyewu #22 for the stare-down against Borgetti
    - 2006 kit = McBride #20 for the Italy game in the World Cup (that bloodied face…)
    - 2008 kit = Dempsey #8 for breaking out and becoming a star for Fulham and the national team or Davies #9 for breaking out and also uniting the fan-base like no player has before.

    If I were to extend this logic to the current kit, it’s currently all Donovan, and unless someone like Altidore or Dempsey absolutely explodes for their club team (scoring more than 10 goals in a European league, scoring in the Champions League, etc.) and owns the 2011 Gold Cup the Donovan #10 shirt will remain the iconic one to have.

    If I were to re-rank your original 10 based solely off the World Cup, I’d go with:
    T1 – Donovan and Bradley – one for the obvious reasons and the other one for the obvious reasons
    3 – Dempsey – he did a lot of dirty work and scored his second goal in his second world cup, not bad
    4 – Edu – a solid tournament coming off the bench and should be the starter along with Baby Bradley for at least the next year or two
    5 – Davies – let’s face it he’s poised to blow up the French League (was his team’s leading scorer until March of 2010 despite not playing since October) and the CONCACAF Gold Cup and Qualifiers
    6 – Altidore – though he didn’t get on the scoresheet during the WC he did have moments of utter brilliance, now we’ll have to wait an see whether he can string together multiple complete games in a row for a club side
    T7 – Holden & DeMerit – Holden for the future potential and DeMerit because he’s all heart and had a decent WC
    9 – Bedoya – future potential
    10 – Gooch – things aren’t trending well for the big man.

    Reply

  14. Posted by FulhamPete on 2010/07/21 at 11:33 AM

    I know this is a bit OT, but…

    My CD8 jersey needed a wash the other day, and emerged inside out.

    Has anyone else noticed the BRILLIANTLY placed Don’t Tread on Me patch on the inside on the US Emblem? I’d never notice in my 2 months in possession of the shirt.

    Gave me chills when I found it.

    Reply

    • Some of the pictures Nike sent out when the shirts were launched showed it, but most of the pictures on the sites where you buy it (even Nike.com) don’t show it. That is an awesome little touch that each Nike outfitted team has on their kit.

      Reply

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