Best and Worst USA World Cup Jerseys

By (Featured Columnist) on January 22, 2014

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David Cannon/Getty Images

In the modern era, the United States men's national team has qualified for an impressive seven consecutive World Cups.

The 2014 edition is only five months away and the World Cup kit "leaks" have already begun. Last week, reports around the internet surfaced with photos claiming to be the U.S.'s home kit for the tournament in Brazil. 

But, no one knows for sure whether those images are the real U.S. kit. In the meantime, let's take a look at the best and worst USMNT kits from the past seven World Cups.

Worst: 1990 World Cup Home Kit

Simon Bruty/Getty Images

There was nothing spectacular about the U.S.'s home kit for the 1990 World Cup—just like the U.S.'s play on the field. The U.S. lost all three games in the tournament and went home without ever putting on their away kits for a game. The away kit wasn't any better—just a simple reversal of the color scheme. 

Best: 1994 World Cup Away Kit

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Although the idea of a denim kit is just terrible, there are simply too many fond memories attached to this jersey for it to not fall among the U.S.'s best jerseys. The U.S., hosting the tournament, tied Switzerland and beat a heavily-favored Colombia to advance to the knockout rounds.

Worst: 1994 World Cup Home Kit

David Cannon/Getty Images

The U.S. team only wore this kit in one of its four games in the 1994 World Cup, its 1-0 loss to Brazil in the Round of 16. Not only was the loss on July 4, but Tab Ramos suffered a fractured skull from a vicious elbow and the Americans had to play the entire match in this awful jersey.

Best: 1998 World Cup Home Kit

THOMAS KIENZLE/Associated Press

It was a pretty terrible World Cup for the U.S. in 1998, as they lost all three matches. But at least the home kit was sharp—and who can forget that snappy collar.

Worst: 1998 World Cup Away Kit

Getty Images/Getty Images

The 1998 World Cup was pretty much a disaster all around, including this jersey. The U.S. wore these red kits in their opener against Germany in which future coach Jurgen Klinsmann scored against the Americans.

Best: 2002 World Cup Home Kit

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The 2002 World Cup remains the gold standard for the USMNT in the modern era. The Americans advanced to the quarterfinal round before falling to Germany, despite outplaying the Germans for large portions of the match and a dubious handball on the line by German defender Torsten Frings. 

Even today, the kit looks sharp.

Worst: 2002 World Cup Away Kit

Brian Bahr/Getty Images

All things considered, the 2002 World Cup away kit isn't all that bad, but the black piping on the shoulders and sides makes no sense considering the U.S.'s colors. It's sported here by a 20-year-old Landon Donovan.

Best: 2006 World Cup Home Kit

IVAN SEKRETAREV/Associated Press

The best kit ever worn by the USMNT in a World Cup—bar none. Daniele De Rossi deserved more than a red card for making American legend Brian McBride bleed on it.

Worst: 2006 World Cup Away Kit

Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

It's not the worst away kit the U.S. has ever worn, but there's just too many things wrong with it. The oversized patch, the oddly placed horizontal stripe across the midsection and the 3-0 thrashing the Czech Republic gave the U.S. while they were wearing this jersey are just a few.

Best: 2010 World Cup Home Kit

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

This kit is exceptionally simple, but that's what helps make it a classic. The understated sash across the chest is a plus as is the fact that Landon Donovan scored that goal while wearing it.

Best: 2010 World Cup Away Kit

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The 2010 away kit is simply the best away kit the U.S. has ever produced. In contrast to the 2010 home kit, the sash across the chest is bold and the dark blue color helps make the jersey a classic. In it, the U.S. fought back from a 2-0 deficit to tie Slovenia, even overcoming a disallowed goal for a foul no one ever saw.


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