Courtesy NIke
Courtesy NIke

Nike unveils white and black home uniforms for US women

AP Sports Writer

BEAVERTON — Nike has unveiled black and white home uniforms for the U.S. Women's World Cup team.

Wait, what?

There's no prevalent red, white and blue in the home kits — save for a small blue patch surrounding 13 white stars on the inside back neckline. The jerseys are white with boxy black numbers and letters, to go with neon yellow socks that give way to electric blue cleats.

Even U.S. Soccer's normally red, white and blue crest, along with the two stars signifying the team's two previous World Cup titles, is black and white.

Photos of the jerseys leaked about a month ago, and already there was a commotion over the color scheme. Some compared them to Nike's kits for New Zealand, which are also black and white.

U.S. forward and Nike athlete Alex Morgan praised the uniforms, which the company released Wednesday.

“The black and white are different from anything we've ever had before. They're very clean,” Morgan said. “You know it's not a lot of red, white and blue in the white one because they wanted a clean look. I think it stands out in the fact that it is clean and just simple and I love that.”

Nike previously released the team's away uniforms, which include gradient blue jerseys with red touches.

The Beaverton-based shoe and apparel maker has been known to buck tradition. Just look at the myriad of uniform combinations they've put together for the football team at Oregon — company co-founder Phil Knight's alma mater.

Nike notably left out the Ducks’ school colors — green and yellow — for the uniforms Oregon wore in college football's national championship game. The uniforms were white with silver accents.

So why no red, white and blue?

“We always design home and away as one story, so the focus was on the blue with some of the red (for the away), and then the focus on the home was white,” said Martin Lotti, global creative director for Nike Soccer. “If you look at it traditionally, actually, all the home kits are always white. So we're actually not changing the history. In face we are being authentic to the history where it's always a white kit.”

Nike put the focus on the feet first and then worked upward. The neon yellow — or “volt,” in Nike parlance — draws attention to the bright blue cleats.

“It's the first time as well that (the uniform) is fully integrated, so going from the boot right into the sock, then it fades from the volt into the white kit,” Lotti said. “It's a true head-to-toe look.”

The women's uniforms are also green, so to speak. They are made of 100 percent recycled polyester. An average of 18 plastic bottles was used in each uniform including shirts, shorts and socks.

It is the first time that Nike has devoted a special cleat color combination to only the women's team. And for the first time the women's jersey will be available in men's sizes.

The women open the World Cup on June 8 with a group play match against Australia in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Women's soccer's premier tournament is being played in six Canadian cities over the course of about a month.

Web Design & Web Development by LVSYS