USMNT 2022 World Cup kits have potentially leaked online, leaving many American fans (and soccer fans in general) hopeful that the images that have surfaced are not the real deal.
The images have surfaced on social media via the @usmntonly and @puertodelphian accounts, and show both the apparent home and away options for the Stars and Stripes:
One of the images shows the two shirts folded up and surrounded by extra clothing, and this one certainly looks like a more professional promotional image:
While this is certainly a higher quality photo, there remains the question of the authenticity of these designs. With no official word from US Soccer or Nike, let’s take a look at the clues we can filter from the leaks to make an educated guess:
USMNT World Cup Kits: Real or Fake?
Some of the details in these leaked images could lead you to one or the other conclusion. The cut of the jersey with raglan sleeves and the curved trapezoidal shape below the neck on the front is on par with several Nike 2022 releases, such as Brazil away or Tottenham away. And the centered ridge, while not necessarily common, is not entirely unusual.
But then you have this extra seam on the sleeves, almost like a shoulder yoke on a hockey jersey, which I don’t think we’ve seen on any other Nike shirts recently. As you can see above, in the standalone image from the top of the White House, the clipped stripes on either side are uneven, with no red on the left side. And even on the right, it doesn’t match the more even width of the stripes you can see in the sharper photo, leading me to believe this could be an early, poorly made bootleg shirt. Sure, it’s possible they did an asymmetrical stripe design, but that would be a very odd choice.
Visible in the second image, you can make out a large Nike swoosh on the sleeve, which is a very unusual placement for a football shirt, at least one from Nike. While brands like Adidas, Kappa or Hummel have made placing their logo (or elements thereof) along the sleeves their trademark, this is very unusual for Nike who tend to put their trademark mark in the front on the chest.
In fact, that swoosh placement and stripe pattern almost makes the home top look like a certain gridiron football team:
Moving on to the blue away shirt, the cut is another variation of the raglan sleeve layout we’ve seen before, like on Liverpool’s 2022/23 away top.
The tie-dye pattern is vaguely reminiscent of Adidas’ 22/23 Leeds away strip, but much less in your face with psychedelia.
The most interesting detail is on the inside of the collar, the words “States United”. This might seem like a misprint and a telltale sign of a bad counterfeit, but if you look back at some of the training and fashion gear that US Soccer recently released with just the word “STATES” in it, it could be a smart and simple new one. marketing slogan for the 2022 USMNT World Cup race:
First of all, do we think these are legitimate leaks? In the opinion of this observer: yes, this is more than likely what the United States will wear in November in Qatar. Enough details are consistent with other recent Nike releases that it’s likely we’re looking at the real deal.
So, assuming these are real, what do we think? Well, to put it mildly, I hope I’m wrong and these are fake images.
A big, big disappointment. It should be noted that we have yet to see the shorts/socks and name/number treatment that will accompany these shirts, but there is very little that can save these designs at this point.
Both look like workout shirts. Swap the crest for a generic “USA” brand and these would make for some nice knockoffs that you could see for $10 hanging on the rack at Ross Dress For Less™ (peace the good folks at Ross – I personally stocked my collection with many genuine kits at a very good price over the years there).
The silver lining of the fact that the US doesn’t really have a set look (think Argentinian stripes, Dutch orange, Croatian ladies, etc.) is that you have the freedom to do something a little different each time. Given the wide scope of creative freedom available to them, it’s disheartening how often Nike (USMNT outfitter since 1995) misses outright with red, white and blue.
While the United States has released a few notable new releases over the years (1994’s denim, 2012’s “Where’s Waldo”, 2014’s “Bomb Pop”, among others), nothing has ever quite stood out like a true great see. For me, the closest thing to it is the 2010/11 belt collection, and the refined and simple beauty of the 2013 centenary kit and its magnificent large embroidered crest. But even among the random library of American looks, the apparent highs of 2022 are definitely at the bottom of the pile.
What do you think? Are these the real thing? And if so, do you like them? Let us know where you’d rank them among the USMNT’s all-time closet in the comments.
And check out the official World Cup kits for Qatar 2022 to see what you think of the confirmed kits.