Strip Club—LFK Edition

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 3: Gerardo Galindo #20 of Mexico tackles Landon Donovan #21 of the USA during the their 2006 World Cup Qualifying match at Crew Stadium on September 3, 2005 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

I am an American. Not by choice but by birth. For that, I feel I should support my homeland in their quest to join the rest of the world at the feast of football. The country has made great strides since my birth, actually qualifying in 1990 for the first time in 40 years and for every World Cup Finals since, peaking with a quarterfinal loss to Germany in Japan/South Korea.

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I really started watching soccer in 1994 when the USA hosted the event that included Wynalda’s fantastic free kick against Switzerland at the Pontiac Silverdome and the epic win versus Colombia at the Rose Bowl. I watched as Meola got beat at his near post against Brazil and was sickened. France 98 was a disaster as Sampson and the squad were shown to be overmatched.

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Japan/SouthKorea was a roller coaster ride of emotions. The absolutely amazing opening half against Portugal, which was followed by a tense draw with South Korea, before a shambolic finale against Poland. However the US progressed and controlled the match against arch rivals Mexico before falling to Germany after some questionable calls. Germany 06 was France 98 all over again, this time with terrible marking, red cards and poor play. The summer of 2010 in South Africa was very disappointing despite the US winning the group. Poor starts to matches, poor personnel choices and poor performances led to an early exit against Ghana.

The 2014 cycle will be interesting to watch develop because the old guard—Donovan, Onyewu, Dempsey and Howard—will be in their 30’s, and I’m not convinced that there are younger players of quality to replace or supplement them. But a lot can change between now and then.

#8 of USA Clint Dempsey leaves Harrold Wallace in his wake. USA tied Costa Rica 0-0 in the final first round match of Gold Cup 2005 played at Gillette stadium, Foxboro, Ma. on July 12 2005.

Back in 2004, the United States was in the process of qualifying for another World Cup. The Third Round was relatively easy, with the US picking up three wins and three draws. The Hexagonal was a challenge but eventually the Stars and Stripes topped the group to punch their ticket to another World Cup.

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Success also came at the 2005 Gold Cup. The US won their group and then defeated Jamaica in the Quarter Final. Two late goals saw off Honduras in the Semi Final which set up a Final with surprise package Panama. Los Canaleros played out a 0-0 draw before losing to the United States on penalties.

This jersey template from Nike was introduced for Euro 2004, and I have the Holland home and away from that edition. With the breastplate template and the number centered and circled (called the T90 Circle per the Sports Quotient), the jerseys are class.

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Tyler Trent graded the kit a C in his post for USMNT Kits but noted that the circled numbers give the a bit more character and having the name and numbers on these kits is a must. I think the only complaint I have is that the strip has a more dynamic look with the contrasting navy blue shorts.

I love long sleeve jerseys, and the shirt breathes pretty well. It is great for a cool day in spring or fall, and I wish I had had it personalized but bought it before that phase of my jersey purchasing. This leads to another tenet of purchasing: I recently decided to not buy jerseys from other nationalities (have one from Holland, Spain, France, Germany, Ukraine, and Croatia). I figure, I yam what I yam.

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