Nike’s run of kits in the mid ’00s , through to about the 2010 World Cup, was fairly solid, and turned out quite a few neo-classics. Their first offerings for my favored club, Aston Villa, were exceptional takes on the classic claret and blue color scheme, with a subtle callback to the 1982 European Cup-winning side.
What most American readers will remember, though, are the run of kits Nike produced for the U.S. National teams. These were fairly understated, classy designs that were topped by the 1950-style “modern throwbacks” of the 2010 World Cup:
People who pay attention to these things, though, have noticed Nike start to come a little, shall we say, unglued over the last two years. Rather than using the badgeless pre-70s as a reference point, like their subsidy Umbro, Nike have gone to the mad, technicolor 1990s as a reference for their club kits, as referenced by last year’s Man U away kit, this year’s zagged stripes of Barca and the dot-matrix Juve kit.
Unfortunately, the dream of the 90s has returned to the States, again. And not just in Portland.
Now, this isn’t QUITE as bad as the seasick vertical stripes of USA’94, but MAN. When you go from something as crisp and clean as the “ghost sash” kit of South Africa ’10 to this monstrosity, it’s juuuuuuust a bit of a shock. But that’s not all. Apparently, in addition to the hoops, Nike basically took its previous American kit, turned it to 30 percent transparency, and dropped it over the top of the new design in photoshop. To whit:
I guess it would have been halfway tolerable if it were just hoops, but this? That’s like Man City’s transfer policy toward forwards. Just way too much, and not artfully done, either.