US SoccerUS Soccer

New Nike Men's National Team Kit Revealed

AMSTERDAM (Monday, Feb. 16, 2004) - The U.S. Men's National Team will break in a new uniform that will be used throughout qualifying for the 2006 World Cup this week vs. Holland on Wednesday, Feb. 18 in the Amsterdam ArenA.  Kickoff for Wednesday's match is set for 2:30 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2.  Fans can also follow the match live on's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.


Total 90 Apparel

In the early days of football, kits were simply used to identify the two different teams - a type of uniform. Usually made from heavy linen or cotton, they would absorb sweat and water, increasing their weight, and would quickly lose shape after wearing and washing.

In the 1970’s cotton gradually gave way to synthetic materials, but the nylon and polyester used was uncomfortable and itchy. The concept of a kit that enhanced performance as well as identifying the two teams was still some way off.

Levels of physical performance among today’s players are massive in comparison with the past. Their endurance, stamina and physical activity during a game increase each season. Under these conditions, every angle has to be explored to give players and teams a competitive advantage

Nike’s Total 90 Apparel has been engineered to provide total comfort, perfect fit and ultimate functionality at the highest levels of play. The concept behind the shirt is Zero Distraction for the players – a football shirt that enhances performance, while players do not even notice they are wearing it.

Comfort and Fit

  • The lightest football shirt Nike has ever produced, weighing just 155 grams.
  • Key sections of shirt are bonded together using an innovative Zero Distraction seam technology. This changes the way seams are constructed, by bonding of material sections together, instead of using a conventional thread stitching process. This reduces the weight and bulk of seams, as well as preventing abrasion against the player’s skin.
  • A water resistant fabric treatment means shirts do not absorb rain water, ensuring they stay lightweight and comfortable whatever the conditions.
  • In response to elite level player feedback, the shirts have a close fit, more tailored to players’ own physiques.

Temperature regulation

  • Mesh ventilation panels under the arms, around the collar and around the shoulders increase airflow to areas where heat is concentrated
  • Players can wear the outer shirt on its own, or have the option to wear a Nike Dri-FIT or Nike Sphere technical undershirt that draws sweat away from the skin through the material, where it evaporates away - increasing cooling properties

Key Benefits
Nike’s Total 90 football shirts are designed to help players perform. They are ultra-light to reduce the weight players have to carry through the game. The shirts use an evolution of Nike’s Cool Motion technology to keep players cool and an innovative Zero Distraction seam technology in key areas to reduce weight and potential chafing against players’ skin.

Light weight
The Total 90 shirts are the lightest football shirts Nike has produced. A moisture-resistant outer shell ensures they stay light throughout a game by ensuring they do not absorb rain.

Total Comfort
Key sections of the shirts are joined together using an Zero Distraction seam technology instead of conventional stitching. With Conventional seams, each layer of material is folded over on itself before the thread is passed through to join the sections together. This adds weight and bulk and means the raised seam rubs against players skin. With Zero Distraction seam technology, the seams are created by placing a bonding laminate material between the two pieces of material. The laminate is heated to a certain temperature to ensure material sections are securely bonded together, creating a smooth, flat join between the sections of material. A thin topstitch is added for extra seam strength. This process reduces weight and bulk, and ensures raised seams don't rub against players skin.

Temperature regulation
The stretch-woven polyester outer shell has fine mesh round the collar and shoulders, and a wider mesh under the arms, to increase ventilation in areas of heat build-up. Players have the option of wearing the outer shell on its won, or they can chose to wear a technical undershirt that uses either Nike Dri-FIT or Nike Sphere technologies. These options wick sweat away from the skin through the material, where circulating air evaporates it away, maintaining the lightweight and helping keep players cool.

Research & Development
Nike’s Total 90 apparel has been extensively tested during the course of its development to ensure it will help players perform. Testing has taken place both in laboratory conditions and on-pitch with elite-level players.
Laboratory testing

  • Total 90 apparel technology was tested with wear testers and with Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand in the Nike Sports Research Laboratory Climate Chamber
  • Seam strength tests were conducted in the laboratory - shirts were tested to the point of destruction to ascertain the strength levels of the no-sew technology.

On-pitch testing

  • Prototypes of the Total 90 Shirt were field tested by the entire Manchester United squad in a full training session
  • Prototype jerseys were also worn by Manchester United and Juventus in a full game
  • Training session to gather player feedback on the shirts’ performance under different temperature conditions were also held with Corinthians and Flamengo football clubs in Brazil and Keflavik in Iceland.

Total 90 Training Apparel
A complete Total 90 training package, from sleeveless tops to warm-up jackets, has also been created to aid player performance during training. Using lightweight technology and zero distraction seams to increase comfort, this training package takes its visual identity from the team kits, but is available in a range of colours.

  • Shirts use Nike Dri-FIT technology to draw sweat away from the skin through the material, increasing player comfort
  • Mesh ventilation panels under the arms and around the neck ensure temperature regulations for players.