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The Boston Globe

Ideas

The problem with America’s World Cup uniform

Why can’t we settle on one look?

This weekend in Brazil, 32 of the world’s best national soccer teams will be taking the field in their iconic jerseys: the hosts in their famous yellow tops and blue shorts; the Italian Azzurri in their eponymous azure; Argentina, as ever, in light blue and white. Ivory Coast will be resplendent in orange, Mexico in green, Japan in cobalt blue.

When the American players compete, they’ll be wearing a plain white uniform with a bit of red trim. If you don’t quite recognize the outfit, it’s not your fault. At the last World Cup, in 2010, the US shirt had a wide diagonal stripe. In 2006, it was vertical stripes, one red, one blue. More devoted fans will miss the dark blue shorts and sleeves from last year’s qualifying matches. And don’t look for the classic red-and-white stripes of the flag—that was 2012.

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