By Phil Hecken
Hey there soccer fans — I’m back today with Kyle Evans and CJ Fleck, who you may recall did some pretty nifty critiques of the new MLS kits for this year (Part I is here, and Part II is here). Well — the latest tourney has just gotten underway (the Copa AmÃ©rica Centenario), and Kyle & CJ are back to give us the rundown of those kits. So, without further ado, I’ll turn it over to the boys now (you can click on the pics to enlarge) …
The Kits of the 2016 Copa
By Kyle Evans & CJ Fleck
Thanks Phil! Kyle and CJ checking in again to give a rundown of all the jerseys for this summer’s Copa AmÃ©rica Centenario, which kicked off last night and will run through this month with the final being played Sunday the 26th. The Copa AmÃ©rica is generally held every four years in South America with the latest being held last summer (Chile hosted and won the tournament for the first time ever) and consists of the ten South American teams plus two invited teams. This summer’s tournament is a special, one-time edition of the tournament commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first Copa AmÃ©rica and is being held across the United States and consists of the ten South American teams plus six North American teams for the occasion. The handy infographic below shows the tournament’s schedule.
With that being said, let’s get to the jerseys which are broken down by the groups the teams are in. For each team, the first picture is of their designated home jersey and the second is of their designated away jersey. And as last time, Kyle will be using a 5 star rating system, and CJ will be using Paul’s trusted “Good or Stupid?” scale.
Kyle: Los Cafeteros introduced a new white home jersey for this tournament while retaining their previous navy away jersey. Even though it’s not their classic yellow, the home whites are solid and I want some of the red to be yellow on the away jersey. Rating: 4 stars home, 3 stars away
CJ: When it comes to national teams, changing up looks can be dangerous. I think Colombia is okay with the white, but count me as someone who preferred the yellow. In addition, faux collars always get me down. The away is an intriguing design, at the very least, reminiscent of the Colombian flag. I count both as good.
Kyle: Los Ticos introduced a new pair of color-inverted jerseys for the summer which are simple, but very nice and effective, with the gold numbers providing a nice touch. Rating: 5 stars home, 5 stars away
CJ: Classic, and simple. Can’t really go wrong with that. Good.
Kyle: La Albirroja decided against introducing new jerseys for this tournament, but retain their classic home kits and their green away jersey. The home look is beautiful while the away leaves much to be desired, especially with the contrasting greens. Rating: 5 stars home, 2 stars away
CJ: Paraguay’s home look is incredibly distinctive, and it’s nice to see that retained, so count that as good. However, that away is borderline garish. Stupid.
Kyle: Nike template. While I will be rooting for the US, I have no allegiances to these jerseys and am not a fan of the thin sleeve stripes on this template to say the least. And an all-black jersey with contrasting sleeves? No thanks. Rating: 3 stars home, 2 stars away
CJ: Stupid. Just stupid. Overall. Entirely. Bad. Eye-gouging. Idiotic. BFBS. Everything Kyle said.
Kyle: Brazil has unfortunately also gone the way of the Nike template, but at least the sleeves match the rest of the home yellow jersey to retain their classic look while the same cannot be said about their blue away jersey. Rating: 5 stars home, 3 stars away
CJ: Home is a staple untainted by the Nike mess, but that away is a victim of it. The different blues are not pleasing at all. Good home, stupid away.
Kyle: Ecuador recently introduced two new jerseys for the Centenario, a home yellow with a navy sash and an away navy with two thin gold stripes. Each are solid looks and I’m not sure why the thin gold stripe doesn’t continue upward. Rating: 4 stars home, 4 stars away
CJ: I love sashes, they’re an underutilized design element in soccer, so it’s good to see Ecuador try something new here. Both are good, but the away approaches stupid for the incomplete sash.
Kyle: As far as I know, Haiti only has one jersey for this tournament, but it can be paired with either red, white, or blue shorts. No matter the pairing, it’s a nice look that distinguishes them from other countries wearing blue. Rating: 4 stars
CJ: Haiti’s concept is intriguing, but I’ll have to see how they contrast against their opponents. In my head they can pull it off, so let’s say good.
Kyle: Peru introduced a new white home jersey for the tournament which is a modified version of their classic sash, and I believe they will retain their previous red away jersey. Each are nice, and I like trying something different with the angle of the sash on the home whites. Rating: 5 stars home, 4 stars away
CJ: As stated earlier, I like the sash concept, so to see Peru tweak it a little is disconcerting. I like the white version much better than the red, but I think we can easily classify both as good executions.
Kyle: The Reggae Boyz bring back their kits from last year’s runner-up finish in the Gold Cup, and I’ve always been a fan of these. The home and away each use the colors of the flag well and the jerseys have just the right amount of flair in the trim that just seems to fit Jamaica. Rating: 5 stars home, 5 stars away
CJ: Jamaica currently straddles the line between distinctive and ridiculous. I’m not sure where to place them. My gut instinct is stupid, but that could arguably be unfair. I’d consider their efforts to be unique mild to moderate, which isn’t a crime. Call it a push, I guess.
Kyle: El Tri bring in a new home kit in their traditional green, white, and red while their BFBS away is a holdover from last year. Adidas template aside, the home kit is beautiful and no thanks to the away, especially with the neon accents. Rating: 5 stars home, 2 stars away
CJ: Good for the traditional home being untouched, stupid to the neon/black monstronsity of the away. Mexico needs to get away from that neon.
Kyle: La Celeste have a pair of new kits this summer, each using a Puma template with added horizontal stripes on the bottom of the white away jersey to match the country’s flag. Personally, I like the sky blue and black color combination and while the stripes might not be the optimal design element, I appreciate the attempt to incorporate the flag. Rating: 4 stars home, 3 stars away
CJ: Unlike Kyle, I generally don’t like the blue/black color combo, but overall that home fits as a good on the scale. As for the away, count me as a massive fan. I can’t rationally give you a reason, but I love that striping pattern. Unique while remaining tasteful: good.
Kyle: From what I understand, La Vinotinto are using the same pair of jerseys as last year which include an all-burgundy home and an all-neon away. The home? Simple and lovely. As for the away, just look away. Rating: 4 stars home, 1 star away
CJ: Admittedly, there are only so many ways you can use a similar set of flag colors, so the burgundy is a solid good. I’m in total agreement with Kyle on the neon though; for pete’s sake, what is with this propagation of neon in national kits? Stupid.
Kyle: The betting favorites in the tournament, La Albiceleste have a new version (read: new template) of their classic home kit and bring back their previous navy away jersey. You won’t find many better looks around the world than their home, and the away isn’t bad either. Rating: 5 stars home, 4 stars away
CJ: Classic look, perfect good. Away is a bit drab, but it isn’t an affront to decency, so it counts as good. Compared to some of their compatriots in this competition, that’s a step up.
Kyle: Bolivia enters the tournament with two relatively new jerseys including a green home and a red away. Each also has a minor sublimation effect that can only be seen when close up, but other than that you can’t go wrong with the relative simplicity of each. Rating: 4 stars home, 4 stars away
CJ: Sublimated effects can be hit or miss for me, but we can score both of these safe and simple designs as good. As with Argentina, the simple fact that they’re not garish boosts them in esteem.
Kyle: The winners of last summer’s Copa AmÃ©rica, La Roja enter the Centenario with two new kits. Their color combination is beautiful, and the Nike template is much more bearable when the sleeves are not a different color from the rest of the jersey. Rating: 5 stars home, 4 stars away
CJ: Like Kyle said, the Nike template looks fine without the contrasting sleeves. I’m especially a fan of the piping on the white kit using two different (appropriate) colors. Good to both.
Kyle: Panama recently unveiled two new jerseys for this tournament, but have yet to wear either in a match as all other countries have, whether in a friendly or in World Cup qualifying. Similar to Costa Rica’s jerseys (also supplied by New Balance), the numbering will be in gold, making each less unique. Here the colors are fine, but for some reason I’ve never been a fan of the off-center vertical stripe. Rating: 3 stars home, 3 stars away
CJ: Unlike Kyle, I am a fan of the off-center stripe, especially in this competition where the look is entirely owned by Panama. The color choices for the larger and smaller stripes are solid, though the slight gap between them is troubling. Count it good.
Thanks, guys! Well readers? What do you think?
And since we can’t get enough soccer here on Uni Watch, Kyle & CJ will return for the Euro 2016 very soon!
Kyle & CJ aren’t the only readers who are into the Copa America Centenario. Reader Bill Radocy sent this e-mail in late yesterday:
Attached is a spreadsheet for the upcoming Copa America Centenario soccer tournament that takes place in the US this month (starts tonight). Included are tabs for the TV schedule, followed by the lineups of all the teams. I don’t know if you remember, but I made a similar spreadsheet for the World Cup in Brazil two years ago, which I sent you. I thought maybe the soccer fans who follow UniWatch might like something like this as a guide to the upcoming tournament.
I would have submitted this to you earlier, but late injuries and lack of information made the project tougher than anticipated (I just finished this spreadsheet a few minutes ago).
I also plan to make a similar spreadsheet for the upcoming Euro 2016 tournament in France, which starts next week.
Hope I haven’t wasted your time, and I hope you like it,
Here’s a screenshot of the Spreadsheet– click on the shot to be taken to the actual sheet. This is real neat!
Make sure you click on all the individual tabs at the bottom of the sheet for information on the kits and rosters of each participating nation!
Great stuff, Bill!
And not to be outdone…
Contributor and Tweeter extraordinaire Conrad Burry has created a not-quite-“circle” bracket for the Copa — check it out below (click to enlarge)
Phillies & Crew Get In The Spirit of ’76
The Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers played a 1976 “throwback” game last night, with both teams wearing approximations of the uniforms worn by those teams 40 years ago. The calendar has turned to June — which means it’s that time of year when teams like to don uniforms from decades past, often with varying degrees of success. It was like that last night. Today, there are two more throwback games (a Negro League game between the White Sox and Tigers — which should be a real good looking game, as both teams regularly do Negro League throwbacks; there will also be another 70’s throwback game, as the Cleveland Indians will sport their blue “caveman” tops and play the KC Royals, who will be in all powder blue). Here’s hoping they pull these off better than the Phils and Brewers last night.
First lets look at the unis worn by both teams (you can click any images to enlarge):
Not bad, right? At first glance, the teams appeared to nail it. And for the most part, they did. Unfortunately, almost every photo of the Brewers I’ve seen featured the players wearing their pants pajama-style, which is most decidedly not the way it was worn in 1976. It’s doubly a shame because 1976 was one of the few seasons in which the Brewers wore gold sanitaries under their stirrups. I was really hoping at least one guy would sport that look. The Brewers did pretty much nail the gold front panel cap, and also wore period-appropriate sansabelt pants. They also seemed to get the font and letter sizing correct.
At bat, the Brewers even went the extra mile and had throwback helmets which almost exactly matched their 1976 counterparts. The “M” might have been a tad bigger than the originals, but it was pretty close.
All in all, well done by the Brewers, who were the visiting team.
If only things went as well for the home team.
First of all, and perhaps most importantly, in 1976, the Phillies jerseys had zippers, not buttons. The jerseys worn by the club last evening were buttonfront.
You’ll note that in 1976, the Phillies jerseys had two patches (which you can see better on this repro — the patches were the National League Centennial patch, worn on the right shoulder, and the Philadelphia Bicentennial patch, worn on the left). The club got this detail right.
Unfortunately, the team did not get any special helmets, instead wearing their normal (more red) toppers (the helmets in 1976 were not as maroon as the caps and trim, so it’s possible the helmets were authentic enough). I seem to recall them being more maroon, but I think this occurred later on. Photos from 1976 definitely don’t show a helmet as maroon as the cap. Oh yes… they Phils wore pillbox caps last night. And as you can see below, several players wore their normal red undersleeves, which looked very out of place.
The Phillies, for the most part, also chose to wear their pants pajama-style, but a few players went high-cuffed. Unfortunately, instead of getting maroon socks (or, heaven forbid, stirrups), they wore their normal red socks, which again, had a jarring effect and was not consistent with the uniforms worn in 1976.
Was it that bad? No, it was enjoyable to watch. And I’m certainly glad the teams did a throwback game. I just wish there was a little more attention paid to the details, and the players (IMO) could have had a bit more fun if they’d gone with stirrups and sanis (at least the Brewers, anyway). Earlier in the day, Bruce Menard wondered if the Phils would throwback to the infamous “Hot Pants Patrol”
— Baseball by BSmile (@BSmile) June 3, 2016
He kinda got his wish:
#Phillies get three runs in the 3rd to take the lead over Milwaukee!
— Phillies (@Phillies) June 4, 2016
Also, the grounds crew got into the spirit
— Phillies (@Phillies) June 3, 2016
Not a bad throwback effort (although it could have been better). But with more to come, this will hopefully be the beginning of a nice month of great looks at some good and not so great unis.
UW’s Friday Flashback
In case you missed it, Paul’s Friday Flashback on ESPN took a look back at NBA Christmas Day unis from an historical perspective. Coming on the heels of Paul’s scoop of this year’s X-mas day NBA unis earlier in the week, he documents to progression (some might say regression) of NBA special unis over the past decade or so. There were some awful unis mixed in there, along with some nice ones.
Great read, so be sure to check it out if you didn’t catch it on Friday!
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: Checked out these striped baseball unis from Eastern High (submitted by Michael Driscoll). … From stripes to argyle: check out the jerseys the Memphis Redbirds wore last night! (h/t Neeky Luciano). Here’s another look (h/t Adam Vitcavage — hopefully I spelled it correctly this time). … As noted in the first graf of this article on Braves uniforms, the Braves will wear their Atlanta Black Crackers throwbacks versus the Mets on June 25th at Turner Field; meanwhile the Mets will play along by wearing their Royal Giants uniforms, a look they have sported before. … Speaking of Negro League throwbacks, the Chicago White Sox will wear these beauties tonight (a look they too have sported before). H/T to Billy Schultz for the info. Here’s a bit more on that. … In honor of their 1970’s-themed weekend, the Phillies changed their twitter avatar to the old maroon “P” (good spot by J Walker). … The Greensboro Grasshoppers wore these “Save The Princess” jerseys last night (via OT Sports). … The Toledo MudHens wore these jerseys last evening, as part of their “Geekend” (h/t Minor League Promos). … This week the Durham Bulls are teaming up with a local design firm, Runaway Clothing (graphic t-shirt maker “that has captured the energy of the city’s renaissance from tobacco town to tech hub with their ‘Durm’ brand shirts”), says Joseph Student. This week, the Bulls will wear that brand on the field. Joe adds, “I find it very interesting on many levels, considering the emerging debate on ads/brands on jerseys. In effect, the Runaway brand will entirely take over the Bulls jersey, but it works because the brand is true to the city that the baseball team calls home.” … Check out the 70’s pinstriped powder blues jerseys for the Tennessee Smokies (h/t Zack Pearson). … The Las Vegas 51s will wear these Star Trek themed jerseys tonight (via OT Sports). … A UW (Washington Husky) pitcher was wearing older Nike pants with a thicker strip than the rest of his teammates (from TrÃ©s Lawless). … The Frederick Keys are doing a 90s Nickelodeon Night featuring Hey Arnold! on Friday, June 17th (from Pam Chvotkin). … The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will wear these Star Wars (R2D2) inspired jerseys tonight (from OT Sports). … New unis for the Miami Hurricanes (via Hurricanes Baseball). … Last evening the Twins played the … Lightning? (h/t Jacob Rausch). … Tweeter Jeff Ash has “no idea what is going on with these @KenoshaKingfish jerseys.” I’m sure Jim Vilk appreciates the number legibility. … “Ritz vs. the pits”: The Cubs love new clubhouse digs; visiting teams don’t dig theirs (from Brinke). … The Phillies were supposed to get a new uniform for the opening of the Vet in 1970 — but Phanatic notes “opening delayed & uni never used, notice low # placmnt”. … The text of this tweet reads: Brad Miller of the Tampa Rays custom Kobe’s, but I’m far more impressed with the rups! (from Christopher Overholt).
NFL/College Football News: Reader Jon Solomonson asks, “Do you think NBC Sports is being ‘clever’ or stupid with the inclusion of the photo in this story [on professors filing legal briefs in support of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady]?” … Over 70 media members were in attendance as the NFL unveiled the logo for the Texans-Raiders Mexico game this year (via Shay Smoove). … Whoa — check out this gorgeous photo of Jeff Hostetler and Paul Woodside playing for the West Virginia Mountaineers, wearing a look that Jason Bernard describes as “Perfect.” I’m wont to agree. … The USC Trojans don’t mess around with their unis too much, but it looks like there will be some slight changes for 2016, most notably an inside collar slogan and a Greek motif sublimated onto the outside of the collar.
Hockey News: With the release of the new Florida Panthers uniforms and logos on Thursday, reader Eric Distenfeld thinks the Panthers new logo and the logo for FC Dallas had to be created by the same designer. … The Florida Panthers new jersey is edible (from George Richards via J Walker). … The OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs debuted a new white sweater yesterday (via Moe Khan).
NBA/Basketball News: With the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers now locked in battle for the NBA title, check out these beautiful old photos of the Golden State and San Francisco Warriors (from John Turney and Sports Paper, respectively). … Here’s a sneak peek of details of customized @alphaindustries jackets for the Curry family for #NBAFinals (from Megan Brown). Here’s another look. … Here’s a shot you probably won’t see very often — LeBron James wearing both swooshie and three stripes (from Interst8Forty4). And here’s a vine of that (from Mitch Purcell). Yes, those are no doubt official Cav’s shorts, but still. … “Golden State isn’t the only team to have jerseys that occasionally featuring vehicles that travel on rails,” says Tim Huber. “Newton (Kan.) High School once depicted its “Railroader” mascot prominently on basketball jerseys in the 1930s. I’ll admit a steam locomotive is different than a streetcar. It’s in the sixth photo here.”
Soccer News: Swansea City AFC (the Premier League’s only current Welsh team) is using a new manufacturer – Joma – and has rolled out new home and away kits. The official announcement is here. Also, pictures of the Home kit, away kit, Home keeper kit (from Chris Cruz). A bit more here. … A photo appeared on the twitters and the question was asked “Does anybody have info on this jersey?” (from Carson Campbell). … Tweeter Grant Ramey notes if you’re ordering a BPL shirt, you can now select the new logo as sleeve patches. … Here’s more news that George Chilvers could appreciate: The Wigan Warriors will be giving fans the unique opportunity to select the design of the 2017 home kit (from Stumpty Dumpty).
Grab Bag: “The motorcycle brand Ducati evidently has a timeline up to celebrate something,” says Andrew Moeschberger. “The details that are important are in this story: along with the fact that Ducati saw fit to digitally remove a cigarette from a historic picture which the company is then presenting as a historic picture, but healthier. Egads. Corporate douchebaggery run amok.” … The US Open (for golf) is coming up in two weeks, and here are the outfits that Keegan Bradley and Jordan Speith will be wearing (from Jake Patterson). … Here’s a bit of history behind the United States Navy uniforms thoughout history.
And that’s all for today. Assuming my power stays on this weekend, there should be another YUUUGE posting tomorrow.
Big thanks to Kyle & CJ for the Copa roundup. Too bad the ol’ You Ess Eh dropped the opener to Colombia last night dos a cero.
I’ll be back tomorrow with much, much more, but until then…
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Impossible is just a word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
RIP Muhammed Ali (January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016)