We got our first look on Tuesday at the away jerseys — hereafter called “kits,” in keeping with soccer lingo — that the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) will wear in Brazil for the World Cup this summer.
The kits, which the USMNT will don for the first time during Wednesday’s exhibition match against Mexico, look like this:
— Sam Laird (@samcmlaird) April 1, 2014
Twitter’s ever-ready snark gallery was quick to point out that the new away kits resemble the Russian flag (not exactly) and a certain iconic brand of popsicle (only true if you hold the popsicle upside-down). But coupled with March’s unveiling of the new USMNT home kits, we now know exactly what the squad will be wearing in Brazil this summer.
Love ’em or hate ’em, the new away kits serve a higher purpose than you may realize: Giving us a reason to look back at the garish, ostentatious, star-spangled iterations the USMNT wore for home matches 20 years ago in 1994, when the United States hosted the World Cup. Some call it the ugliest jersey design to ever hit the pitch; others defend it for its, er, unique sensibility. But the USMNT did ride the crazy kits to an unlikely berth in the 1994 World Cup’s elimination round.
You can get one good look at the historic kits — featuring Marcelo Balboa’s truly epic mullet-and-mustache combination — above. Below, find more funky photos and fun facts.