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2016 Rio Olympics: Women’s Soccer


[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site. Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through the end of the month, although Paul is still on the clock over at ESPN and may be popping up here occasionally.]

By Phil Hecken, with Kyle Evans & CJ Fleck

Good morning Uni Watchers. For today and the next several (possibly extending through the duration of the Summer Olympiad in Rio), I’ll be featuring a number of the uniforms, and occasionally some histories and backstories, of the some of the sports being played at this year’s Games. Some of the sports are “popular” (and will be familiar to most readers) while others will be a bit more esoteric.

Today I’m pleased to bring back two gentlemen who have some experience reviewing soccer uniforms: Kyle Evans and CJ Fleck, both of whom have been featured on Uni Watch before, covering the 2016 MLS uniforms (Part 1 and Part 2), as well as the kits of the Copa and Euro tourneys, both held this past summer. They’ll be reviewing the uniforms of the Women’s Soccer in this installment. For those of you who aren’t aware, Kyle rates the unis with a 1-5 Stars method, while CJ goes with a simple “good” or “stupid” scale. Enjoy!


2016 Olympics Soccer – Women
By Kyle Evans & CJ Fleck

Kyle and CJ checking in again, this time to cover the kits from the women’s soccer tournament at the Olympics, being held all across Brazil with the final being played in Rio. Along with the men’s tournament, soccer had the distinction of being the only sport to start their competition before the Opening Games (as a result of needing more off days between matches). The major difference between the two soccer tournaments is that the women’s event features full national teams while the men’s event is an under-23 tournament with each team allowed 3 overage players.

Women’s soccer was added to the program for the 1996 Games, and the USA has won gold in 4 of the 5 tournaments (1996, 2004, 2008, 2012) and silver in the other (2000). Despite all of the success, the US (or any other country) has never won Olympic gold the year after winning the Women’s World Cup, which the US won by defeating Japan in Vancouver last summer. With that at stake, let’s take a look at the primary uniforms worn by each of the 12 teams in Brazil (spoiler alert: there’s a lot of yellow).




Kyle: Australia’s uniforms across all of their Olympic sports were designed under the same template/theme and other than the lack of green by the shoulders (a positive here), their women’s soccer uniform fits that template with their classic yellow and green look. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer, but I find it interesting how countries such as Australia have athletes that look more or less the same in competition across all sports while the US uniforms are very different from sport to sport. Rating: 5 stars

CJ: I have to agree with Kyle here. The unified image during the Olympics creates a sense of cohesion and team spirit not normally found in other “regular” competitions. Simple, but call it good.


Brazil 1


Kyle: Classic Brazil, as the hosts wear the same yellow/blue/white uniform in the women’s event as in the men’s tournament and as in the Copa América Centenario from earlier in the summer. A beautiful look in which the host country looks to improve on 2 silver medals from years past. Rating: 5 stars

CJ: Don’t mess with what works. Good.


Canada 1


Kyle: The bronze medalists at London in 2012, the Canadians have an all-red uniform that includes a thick off-center vertical white stripe with a gradient to their logo. This is also a good time to note that since this isn’t a FIFA event, teams are not allowed to wear their federation logo and have custom logos for the Olympics instead. As for Canada, I like it but don’t love it. Rating: 4 stars

CJ: Kyle’s last line sums it up perfectly for me. Love the stripe, mixed on the gradient aspect. Still, overall rating of good.


China 1


Kyle: China has come into Brazil wearing an all-red kit with yellow accents. This works quite well, and I much prefer the yellow accents to the white ones worn at the World Cup last summer. Rating: 5 stars

CJ: It’s not bad, but it’s not good either. Lack of design elements highlights the Nike logo placement, which is never a good sign. I can’t call it stupid though, so push it is.


Colombia 1


Kyle: Another observation that I’ve made over the years is that I find it interesting how some countries (federations) outfit their men’s and women’s teams in the same uniforms while some are different. Here’s an example of the former, with the Colombian women wearing yellow/white/white with a navy/red shoulder design. It’s a nice look, and I like the inclusion of all the flag colors. Rating: 5 stars

CJ: I’ve never been a fan of unbalanced color schemes in soccer uniforms. By this, I mean either the socks or the jersey being one color while the other two parts are another. (This crime will be repeated later.) But, I do like the excellent usage of flag colors, so call it good.


France 1


Kyle: This is the same look we saw the French men’s national team wear as hosts of Euro 2016 last month and it’s no better now than it was then. Again, I think part of the disappointment here is France’s tradition of very good kits, so it looks even worse comparatively. Rating: 2 stars

CJ: News flash: still stupid.


Germany 1


Kyle: Three-time bronze medalists, Germany has a new version of their classic white jerseys and black shorts with a dash of red. I know CJ’s biggest gripe with the men’s Euro kits was that they were white/black/black instead of white/black/white, but what about the white/black/half black, half white here? Rating: 5 stars

CJ: They made me mad at the Euros only to make it worse here. I do like the attempt at some color infusion (even though Germany’s old-school green look is a better color choice) but the socks are just flat out garish. Half white does not count! Stupid.


New Zealand 1

New Zealand:

Kyle: New Zealand is another country that has a consistent look across all Olympic sports, and it’s one that’s befitting of their “All Blacks” nickname. Personally, I like how New Zealand has made this look theirs across international sports. Rating: 5 stars

CJ: Given the All Black historical value, these get a good, but only begrudgingly. At least it has more going on than China’s one color affair.


South Africa 1

South Africa:

South Africa 2

Kyle: Through 2 group games, South Africa has worn color-inverted versions of the same kit, one being primarily green and the other primarily yellow. The most notable element is the color-contrasting left sleeve which I can’t say I’m a fan of – makes the whole uniform feel too asymmetrical. Rating: 2 stars

CJ: Not only are the shoulders asymmetrical, but the socks are different from kit to kit (stripes vs. no stripes). Consistency, anyone? Stupid.


Sweden 1


Sweden 2

Kyle: With H&M supplying the uniforms for all of Sweden’s Olympic sports, the soccer teams have a new yellow kit featuring a subtle gradient from a pale yellow to a deeper yellow as well as a change kit with a gradient from light blue to navy blue. Focusing on the primary, that pale yellow is not the most pleasant of colors and I’m not a fan of the gradient either. Rating: 2 stars

CJ: Is it really a gradient if you can’t see it? Stupid. Admittedly, I would love to see more fashion companies enter uniform design, so kudos to H&M for giving it a shot.




Kyle: The US released new primary uniforms for the Olympics, including white jerseys, white shorts, and socks with a white-to-blue gradient. The jerseys and shorts also have a blue stripe on the left side and a red stripe on the right. I actually like the different colored stripes as a small way to show red, white, and blue and these are certainly an upgrade over the neon and black accents from the white kits at last summer’s World Cup, but the socks here affect the rating. Rating: 4 stars

CJ: Loving the different colored stripes, hating this new world order of sock stripe shenanigans. Who decided we needed to experiment on these things? Push.


Zimbabwe 1


Kyle: With Zimbabwe wearing an all-yellow kit with green and black accents, the final tally is that half of the teams in this tournament have a yellow jersey, which is really just a coincidence based on the flags and traditional looks of the teams that happened to qualify. I think here I’d like to see the green and black elements match as well as the number fonts on the jerseys and shorts. Rating: 3 stars

CJ: Maybe if we make the numbers on the shorts bigger, you can see them from space. But, good use of flag color without getting insane. Overall push.


OK! Thanks, Kyle & CJ. Readers? What say you? Do you agree with those assessments? Who’s got the best kit this time around?

I’ll be back tomorrow with more Olympic coverage as another correspondent takes another sport. Stay tuned!

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In Case You Missed It Saturday…

The Oakland A’s hosted the Chicago Cubs, and they engaged in one of the most colorful (and probably the best looking — save for some pajama pants and modern cuts) throwback games yet. Certainly this year. I’d thought Johnny Ek would have included at least one of these photos in yesterday’s post (which is why the embedded tweets are all @JohnEkdahl); anyway. Here are some shots from the game/tv:

Notice the television coverage tried to replicate the early-mid 70’s graphics (which some of us, including yours truly, still vividly remember). Great stuff!

The Cubs wore the road uniform they wore from 1978 through 1981 — a uniform that was SO BAD it’s great. Glad to see it make a re-appearance this year.

The A’s went with a gold top that said “OAKLAND” across the chest, and which they wore from 1981 through 1986.

So I guess you could say this was a “1981” throwback game. Of course, there was no interleague play back then, so this matchup (whether in 1978 or any year in between through 1986) never took place, unless it was in spring training. But it was fun to imagine. Kudos to both teams for doing a pretty bang up job on the unis. Enjoy the pics!

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Grand Rapids Griffins Contest Design Reminder

I’m currently hosting a contest to redesign an alternate jersey for the Grand Rapids Griffins. All the details are here.

The deadline for all submissions is Thursday, August 11th (Midnight Eastern Time).

Remember to send all your entries to in the format described in the article.

Good Luck!

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Too Good For the Ticker

Too Good…

for the Ticker

Got an e-mail from DIYer extraordinaire Gene Sanny, who found a couple cool photos that deserve a bit of a special treatment

Here’s Gene (and you can click on the photos below to enlarge)…

. . .

Just looking around Getty for images to paint… check out Chuck Allen’s SERIOUSLY bent up facemask :)


Also, an old youtube commercial with Bert Jones shows a helmet hanging from a locker, but the facemask is only attached at the forehead… must have been the only way it would hang there. It’s funny that’s the thing that would stand out… I must “Get It” :)


Interesting: looks like it’s from the same game; same opponent, same dirt stain on the 5 in 58 — but no bent mask. Must have happened between these 2 pics.


Gene Sanny

Thanks, Gene. Cool spot on the Allen mask. And I gotta be honest, when I first saw the Bert Jones pic, I had no idea where you were going with that. Then I noticed the helmet in the upper left.

OK. Now, on to the ticker…

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News:  Lots of people asked what the logo was on A-Rod’s shirt during his press conference yesterday. It’s the logo for his personal brand (shot from Alan Kreit). …  The Rangers’ Matt Bush was wearing Keone Kela’s glove  yesterday (from  Corey Patterson). …  Halloween in August! The White Sox and Orioles went color-on-color Saturday (from Andrew Cosentino). … According to Bryan Linton, the Indians infield had inconsistent hosiery on Friday. While most high-cuffers went with blue and red stirrups, Jason Kipnis had a white stripe. … Red Sox OF Mookie Betts wears wristbands in support of a charity that raises awareness for teen suicide (from  Mike). …  The Royals gave away gray flannel and red caps for Nebraska “Huskers Night” on Saturday (from John Muir).  … The Salem Red Sox gave away a Frank Beamer bobblehead on Friday (from Andrew Cosentino). … The Albuquerque Isotopes wore “Better Call Saul” jerseys on Saturday (from  Paul Metzgar). … The Charleston RiverDogs became the RiverCats on this weekend on “Caturday” (from  Nate Kurant). … The Eugene Emeralds wore “women in military” uniforms yesterday (from Ian Gerig). …  Check out the  Roberto Clemente T-shirt Eddie Vedder wore at a concert at Fenway on Friday (from  Douglas Ford). …  Tris  Wykes  sent along this photo from a the restroom of a baseball stadium in Sanford, Maine, home of a New England Collegiate Baseball League team. “Just in case you need to brush up on positional assignments while relieving yourself,” she say.

NFL News:  Strange move by the Hall of Fame, which did not include  any Raiders gear in Ken Stabler’s locker display at his induction this weekend. They did include his AFC Pro Bowl jersey, though (from our own  Mike Chamernik). …  Wow. We’ve all know about Frank Gore’s bicycle shorts, but we’ve never seen them THIS short (from  Eric Wright). …  Is that John Elway? Nope, just a Missouri weather woman (from  Douglas Ford). … NFL Network apparently didn’t get the memo that the Rams relocated to Los Angeles (from Jonathan Karberg). … players have taken to wearing backpacks around training camps (from  Phil).

College Football News: Ohio State’s road jerseys will have sublimated buckeye leaves inside their numbers (from  Phil). … Is Arkansas adding a helmet stripe this season? Looks like it (also from Phil). … Want some more views of Michigan’s jumpman unis? Sure you do (also also from  Phil). …  Here’s a bunch of shots of Cornell’s football unis. Sharp, solid red and white set (from  Benjiman Godbout). … Looks like Mike Jinks, Bowling Green’s new football coach, Gets Itâ„¢! (From  Tom Konecny).

Olympics News:  According to Leo Thornton, it looks like players on Lithuania’s men’s basketball team is wearing number outside of the standard range of 4-15. Rob Lovett, China and Spain are doing the same.  Anyone know why? … Nice (from Kenny Ocker). …  A good look at the evolution of women’s swimsuits (from  Phil). … The white pants worn by Team USA at the Opening Ceremonies were  made at a plant in Greensboro, North Carolina. Looks like Ralph Lauren learned their lesson  (from  Tommy). … Found in Rio: The Brooklyn Trail Blazers? (From  Shelby Rice).

Grab Bag:  The reigning-champion Cavs will join the gold tab club next season (from  Phil). …  Just hours after Jim Furyk shot a PGA record low 58, this guy was spotted at the Hall of Fame Game in Canton (from  Matt Dickson). …  New kits for Premier League side  Southampton (from  Tim Cross). … For that matter, here’s a list of all the new kits in the Premier League (from Josh Hinton).  … John Daly wore MLB-themed argyle pants all weekend. Here are shots of him sporting  Mariners  and Cardinals versions  (also from  Douglas Ford and  Julie Olson). … We knew the B1G 10K race in Chicago let runners pick the school of their choice for their freebie shirt, but apparently that went for medals as well (from Kenneth Traisman). …  A Canadian clothier is making “Dump Trump” ties, with proceeds going to a charity chosen by the family of Humayun Khan (from Ted Arnold). …  New York’s new police commissioner is facing criticism because of his lack of spiffy suits (from  Tommy Turner). … Nice side-by-side comparison of the fast food logos of yesterday and today (thanks  Phil).

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And that’s it for this fine Monday. Big thanks to Kyle & CJ, and to Alex for compiling the ticker. I’ll catch you all tomorrow, but until then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“Astros’ throwbacks look silly with pajama pants.

Everything looks silly with pajama pants.”

— KT

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Comments (49)

    H&M’s uniforms for Sweden also feature a slashed zero (across sports).

    Baseball Ticker: I believe it should say “Red Sox OF Mookie Betts”

    I wondered about the Olympic basketball numbers too. Maybe FIBA removed those rules.

    FIBA changed there rules regarding numbers in 2014 now allowing 00,0,1-99.

    FIBA changed there rules regarding numbers in 2014 now allowing 00,0,1-99.

    PAGE 12.

    ^ I came to say this but Joshua beat me to it.

    According to Official Basketball Rules 2014, FIBA :

    Art 4.3.2

    Teams are allowed to use the numbers 0 and 00 and from 1 to 99.

    I didn’t know the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum (always heard in Howard Cosell’s voice!) still existed! The building exists anyway–if not by that name.

    I also didn’t y know/realize that it is the only baseball/football stadium still around.

    MLB and CFL as well, with the Argonauts moving out of Skydome this year (and the Blue Jays slowly converting the stadium to baseball-only)

    RE: Cubs v. Athletics. “so this match-up never took place.”

    They may have actually looked like this in a spring training game in that time-frame, as both are in Arizona.

    Fair point, but I was referring to the regular season. Will adjust text.

    It doesn’t look like this has been mentioned but Nike has been adding the lateral strip to almost all of their designs for the past 2 years. You can see it in all the Nike teams from this preview, the Euro and Copa América previews in June.
    Also, at a club level, Barcelona, Atlético de Madrid, Pumas UNAM, América and most of their teams (Boca Juniors doesn’t) have this strip.
    What seems funny is that Nike teams have done it for 2 years without anouncing or anyone noticing. Now, Adidas decided to move their 3 stripe design from the shoulders to the sides of the shirt.

    I was in a hurry and forgot to add Roma, PSG, Corinthians, Inter Milan, Manchester City, Monaco, Werder Bremen, Frankfurt and Zenit among others with this stripe

    Arkansas is not adding a white stripe. It’s there to help with film study. This is from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette last week:

    Eyes on prize
    All of the defensive backs had wide, white stripes running down the center of their helmets. The stripes are used to show where the players are looking when coaches study the practice film.

    Hmmm… anyone who’s watched a helmet cam knows head position ≠ what you’re looking at.


    Good find on the fast food logos. With the exception of: Chili’s, Applebee’s and McDonald’s the old logos are much better than the current ones

    I can’t stand those gradient socks like the US is wearing, or like the former blue kit featured. I looks like your printer ran out of ink.

    The Swedish kits don’t look gradient, they look sweaty.

    If you can find a picture of their pre-match outfits, it’s a doozy. Michael Jackson meets Duck Dynasty.


    The Cubs-A’s game was one of the better-looking throwback games in recent memory. Well-detailed (by and large) and good raw materials to work with.

    Not a big fan of the early-Griffey-era Mariners’ uniforms, about all they can do is match what they were given. I always felt that set was let down by the lack of three-color numbers.

    Cubs yesterday were an excellent reminder that pinstripes on non-white uniforms are every bit as sharp as pinstripes on white.

    The A’s and Cubs looked good, especially those A’s players who wore their pants correctly and sported stirrups. But I think the front number on the Cubs’ jerseys was a little too big. Compare to link and to link.

    Those South Africa unis are terrific! Asymmetry is not a fault in soccer uniforms – else the USA red/blue stripe thing would be terrible, as would the fact that most soccer teams put their team crests on the left breast, not centered beneath the collar.

    I did enjoy the ranking of the uniforms, but why exclude the keeper. Shouldn’t that help (hurt) a ranking. Does Hope Solo’s red kit fit the usa plan?

    The best things about the vintage graphics in the Cubs v. A’s game is they’re actually readable as opposed to today’s graphics that are so small (to us old timers anyway) that you gotta squint to see the stats.

    Seconded! Screen fonts are getting tinier and tinier everywhere, not just in sports broadcasts. TV, video games, everywhere.

    The only excuse I can think of is that they think people are now sitting a foot away from a computer screen rather than five feet away from a TV.

    On Hall Of Fame field debacle, in 1980 they painted the Chargers and Packers end zones as they would for a Super Bowl. Loved it since it would be 15 years before either team made the big game, and by then Chargers had changed their script.

    The New Zealand teams are NOT all called “All Blacks” – that is the name reserved for the MENS rugby team. The womens soccer team is the “Football Ferns” and many other NZ national teams use the descriptor “White” in their names.

    You can click this wikipedia link to see all the Black/Whites/Ferns/Kiwi nomenclature:


    Yeah, I was wondering about that too. Especially that the Men’s soccer team is called the “All Whites” and wear all white…

    That “Missouri weather woman” wearing the Bronco colored dress is Atlantan meteorologist Karen Minton from WSB-TV.

    Regarding the A’s 1981 jersey worn Saturday, Aug 6.
    This actually was the ROAD jersey they wore that season and with OAKLAND across the chest was worn for one season only – 1981. That year they wore the white jersey with A’s on the crest at home.
    In 1983 the gold OAKLAND jersey was re-introduced and worn through 1986. This version had the darker hunter green stripes and borders compared to Kelley green in 1981. Also, the sleeve striping was different 3 stripes in ’81, 2 the other years.

    Thanks for the clarification, Rich. I was simply going off Okkonen (cited in the section above) — which makes it appear to have a six year run and which also looks identical in each of those six years. (Notice 1981 seems to have the same number of stripes as 1982-86).

    Good to see that Nike figured out that the US colors are not black, white and optic yellow.

    Is it true that today is the 40th anniversary of the infamous White Sox “Shorts Game”?


    In the women’s 100m breaststroke final, I noticed that the flag on gold medalist Lilly King’s swim cap was facing the wrong direction. While this is a common mistake, I found it interesting that her teammate (and bronze medalist) Katie Meili had the correct look on hers…

    Watching the China vs Senegal women’s basketball game (I don’t know why besides loving the Olympics) and Senegal seems to have tape covering the left chest area where I’d expect to see their flag. Anyone know why? The coaches shirts and warmup gear all have the correct flag.

    I looove the powder blue Cubs road uniforms and want to see them come back. The only change I would make would be to use the 1978 version which lacks the names on the backs. But I suppose I could tolerate NOBs if they’re on the road only.

    The Cubs (and all teams) just look so dull in gray. Go back to either powder blue or navy blue on the road!

    I really like China’s uniforms but I kind of wish the shorts were yellow. Red top/yellow shorts/red socks- I think that would be a nicely balanced uniform without an overwhelming amount of red.

Comments are closed.