Shirt Worn By US Soccer Coach At World Cup Speaks Volumes About A Nation Divided

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The World Cup is a chance for countries to come together for a common goal every four years. It’s been a tough few years in America with our homeland more divided than it has been in recent memory. Yet, the World Cup provides an opportunity for us to be united as a nation behind US Soccer.

But not for USA head coach Gregg Berhalter apparently.

Like most good Americans, I tuned in for the opening match against Wales, a disappointing draw. But the result wasn’t what disappointed me most. I couldn’t help but get irrationally upset every time they showed the US sideline because of the t-shirt worn by Berhalter.

US Soccer coach Gregg Berhalter wearing a shirt that says "STATES" during the World Cup
The shirt worn by Gregg Berhalter at the World Cup was as un-patriotic as it could possibly be. (Getty Images)

A black-and-white Nike shirt that simply says, “STATES.” Not “United” States. No red-white-and-blue. No eagles, no flag, no nothing. It’s as sterile as sterile can be.

No Patriotism at World Cup by US Soccer coach

I don’t know if this was a choice by Gregg Berhalter or simply the shirt he was given, but someone made a terrible decision. And it didn’t go unnoticed.

What also has not gone unnoticed is how proud every other country seems to be of their own land. If you haven’t seen some of the other nations’ people during their national anthems, it is truly a site to behold.

Watch every Ecuadorian in attendance, including the team, belt out their anthem in unison:

How about the US World Cup opponent, Wales?

Mexican players were literally crying as their anthem rang out through the stadium.

Now, I will grant credit where credit is due. Unlike the anti-American US women’s team, which kneels for the National Anthem and quite literally hates the country that has made them famous, the men’s team stood with hands over hearts for our anthem prior to their World Cup match.

US Soccer stands for the national anthem at the World Cup
At least the USMNT stands respectfully for the national anthem at the World Cup, unlike the USWNT. (Photo by Maja Hitij – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Having Nike as the main sponsor for the US Soccer team flies in the face of everything this nation should stand for. They stay silent on Chinese atrocities while profiting from their labor yet are quick to point out any indiscretion in America.

It’s no surprise that Nike would create such an unpatriotic representation for our National Team’s coach to don. In fact, China has to love seeing the American coach wearing a shirt that simply says “STATES.”


Nothing could be better for the country that seeks to become the World’s #1 superpower. They want to see us become just a collection of “STATES.” Not united. Just states.

Playing into that on the world’s biggest stage in front of a global audience feels like we lost before we even stepped on the pitch.

It feels downright un-American.

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.


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  1. This is a wild overreaction. I have a bunch of USA gear that is greyscale. What if your shirt doesn’t say “of America”? What if it abbreviated to USA? Is it representative of how lazy we’ve become?

    Maybe need to recalibrate, Dan. They lie and virtue signal enough don’t need to invent it.

  2. The entirety of this World Cup has soured me from viewing/worrying about any aspect of the month in Qatar. The awarding of the tournament to a nation has corrupt and racist as Qatar AFTER giving the 2018 WC to Russia soured me of FIFA completely.

    FIFA’s history of bribery and corruption is well documented. There’s nothing that can’t be acquired if the appropriate amount of money is passed around.

    The actions/statements of the management of US Soccer are anything BUT pro-American. The men’s and women’s teams should not be separated. They both have the same message, that pro-American citizens are beneath them.

    I’m not watching a minute of any match of this tournament.

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