The United States Soccer Federation have used 8 different crests over their 100+ year history. The current crest was unveiled in March 2016 and pays tribute to the original badge worn when the U.S. faced Sweden in their first international appearance.
The team crest is a badge of honor usually positioned on the left chest (i.e. over the heart) and represents the players on the field and the fans and supporters across the country.
The current crest has ‘USA’ above 13 red stripes, which are inspired by the nation’s original 13 colonies, inside a modern shield. The ‘USA’ frequently chanted by fans at matches are in the 90Minutes font developed by typeface designer Tal Lemming.
This is the first update of the badge since 1995.
The original crest used in 1913 was large by today’s standards and centered in the middle of the jersey. It was a closer representation of the U.S. flag with a star field at the top of the flag with red and white vertical stripes underneath inside a classic shield design.
The 1950 US Soccer crest kept the traditional shield design but replaced the star field at the top with ‘USA’. The crest was smaller and for the famous FIFA World Cup jersey of 1950 when the US finished 3rd was worn over the heart.
US Soccer made radical changes with the 1984 update. The design is the most distinct in the crest’s history. The round crest had a black background with ‘United States Soccer Federation’ and a laurel wreath around the edge printed in gold. In the center was a traditional shield with 6 star field at the top with the vertical red and white stripes underneath. This was the crest worn on the U.S. women’s national team jersey when they won the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
In 1993, in preparation for hosting the 1994 World Cup, the crest was updated, bringing the core red, white and blue, colors back into focus. US Soccer Federation had rebranded itself as US Soccer and the focus was on that new identity as well as the first use of a rising soccer ball animated with jet trail underneath. The ‘U’ and ‘S’ were in red block letters and split by the rising soccer ball. ‘Soccer’ was in a smaller font underneath. It was the first time a letter block style of crest was used.
The shield returned and ‘Soccer’ was dropped with the 1995 update. The shield had a new look, however, with a 3 star field with red background rather than blue used previously and blue vertical stripes rather than red. ‘US’ with rising soccer ball was positioned between the star field and stripes with the number of stripes changed from 13 to 11. Over the next 19 years, no noticeable changes were made the shield. Only the shade of the colors used was different.
The 2013 centennial crest paid homage to the original crest. The crest featured a star field with blue background and the vertical red and white stripes. The crest was slightly oversized compared to previous crest it was positioned on the left chest. The ‘USA’ was not included on the badge but there was no mistaking which country the crest represented.
The United States men’s national team will have something to prove this summer at the CONCACAF Gold Cup that runs from July 7 – July 26. The Stars and Stripes slumped to a disappointing 4 place finish at the 2015 Gold Cup, the worst showing since 2000, and are eager to show they are the region’s top team.
Head coach Bruce Arena will use a mix of veteran and less experienced players during the tournament. The former LA Galaxy head coach is a genius at getting the most out of his players and team and will be evaluating them not only for this tournament but also for upcoming CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers and potentially for a spot in Russia at next summer’s FIFA World Cup.
The USMNT have won 5 CONCACAF Gold Cup titles (1991, 2002, 2005, 2007, and 2013) since the tournament was first held in 1991. The tournament has provided a stage on which heroes, both likely and unlikely, emerged for the Red, White, and Blue. WorldSoccerShop.com looks at 5 great USMNT Gold Cup matches and the players that rose the occasion and the jersey the team wore.
USA vs Brazil – 1998 Gold Cup Semi-final
It is hard to imagine today a USMNT vs Brazil match drawing only 12,298 fans but that was the case back in 1998. Brazil, the FIFA World Cup holders, brought their senior team as they prepared for the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France but were stymied by the host nation and goalkeeper Kasey Keller in the semifinal.
Brazil’s lethal goalscorer, Romario, got up and shook Keller’s hand during the match after a big save and said after the match, ‘That is the best performance by a goalkeeper I have ever seen.’
Keller was the difference in the match but it was Preki that was the difference on the scoreboard. The Kansas City Wizards forward came on for Roy Wegerle in the 60th minute and found the back of the net 5 minutes later.
The team notched the historic victory wearing the 1995-98 Home Jersey (remember when official jerseys didn’t come out every year). It was the first jersey provided by Nike. The baggy white jersey featured a wide horizontal stripe across the chest created with a wide navy blue stripe in the center with narrow white and red stripes above and below with a break for the player number, navy blue polo collar, and navy blue sleeve cuffs. The US Soccer crest was over the heart and Nike Swoosh on the left chest.
USA vs Mexico – 1991 Gold Cup Semi-final
Despite the US qualifying for their first FIFA World Cup in forty years in 1990, Mexico was the most dominant team in the CONCACAF region. The Stars and Stripes had only beaten El Tricolores in 2 of the previous 25 meetings and never in the last 11 years.
After a scoreless first half, the unlikely John Doyle stepped up to score the opening goal. The defender was in the right position to ‘just pass (the ball) into the goal’ after Marcelo Balboa headed down a Hugo Perez free kick in the 48th minute. Peter Vermes added an insurance goal in the 64th minute with a well-struck left footed shot.
The game was huge in changing the attitude against Mexico.
"[The] Mexico [semifinal] was a little bit of a turning point with U.S. Soccer in that we felt like, ‘Oh yeah, we can win against Mexico,” forward Ted Eck told MLS.com. “’We can score goals against them. We can be better than them.’"
The US outlasted Honduras in penalty kicks in the final after the game ended 0-0.
The USMNT wore their 1991/92 away jersey in the semi-final and final. The blue jersey featured 3 large white color blocks over the right shoulder and sleeve with a white collar. The jersey featured the old round USSF crest on the right chest while the adidas logo was under the collar. The jersey did not include a front number for the Gold Cup.
USA vs Mexico – 2007 Gold Cup Final
Surprisingly in their 5 Gold Cup titles, the USMNT has only defeated Mexico on one occasion in the final and that came in 2007. In a come-from-behind effort capped off with a cracker from Benny Feilhaber, Bob Bradley’s side took home the 2-1 win. It was the 3rd Gold Cup title in the previous 3 tournaments and earned the USMNT a berth at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup (the US made the final of the Confederations Cup).
The team wore the 2006 home jersey in the final as well as every game during the tournament. The jersey had a distinct look from anything in recent memory. The white jersey featured a red/blue vertical stripe off set on the left side of the jersey. The kit sock had a complimentary look on the outside of the sock.
USA vs Panama – 2013 Gold Cup Final
After only 42 seconds on the field, Brek Shea fired home the winner in the 1-0 win over Panama that earned the USMNT their 5th and most recent Gold Cup title. The match restored the Red, White, and Blue as the top team in the region after losing the previous 2 Gold Cup finals to rival Mexico. It was the first trophy under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and earned the USMNT a spot in the 2015 CONCACAF Cup.
Klinsmann’s side wore the 2012/13 away jersey in the match. The blue jersey had white sleeves and a red, white, and blue collar. A subtle darker blue sash ran from the right shoulder to left waist in tribute to the look the USA wore when they defeated England at the 1950 FIFA World Cup.
National team kit manager Jesse Bignami was given the added task when preparing the team jerseys to include the match detail inscription - CONCACAF Gold Cup Final, USA vs Panama, July 28, 2013 – in white lettering on the chest in between the Nike Swoosh and USSF crest. It was the first time this was done in a Gold Cup final.
USA vs Costa Rica – 2002 Gold Cup Final
With the 2002 FIFA World Cup looming, the USMNT took care of their business in their home region to defeat Costa Rica 2-0 and claim their 2nd Gold Cup title and first in 11 years. Josh Wolff and Jeff Agoos scored on either side of halftime to give the Bruce Arena’s side a comfortable win.
The USMNT wore their 2000/01 home jersey in the match. The jersey was solid white and featured an oversized blue/red subtle v-neck collar and sleeve cuffs. The USSF crest was over the heart and Nike swoosh over the right chest.