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Men in Blazers x Classic Football Shirts: Week 7, Americans Abroad

Not since Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Tom Davies took New York Fashion Week has there been a fashion duo quite as dreamy as this one. In a move that’s sure to make Jack Grealish lose grip of his custom Gucci duffle, Men in Blazers has proudly teamed up with celebrated curators of football fashion, Classic Football Shirts, to stock the MiB Shop with some of the greatest football shirts to ever hit the football pitch.

Every week we’ll provide a breakdown of our Top XI Shirts of the Week, with each collection hand-picked by Rog, Davo, and the great minds at Classic Football Shirts. This week’s selection pays homage to some of America’s top footballing (sorry, “soccer-ing”) exports, and the shirts they wore while overseas. From a father-son duo, to a brash goal-scorer from Texas, welcome to MiB x CFS’s “Week 7, Americans Abroad” list.

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Shirt No. 1 of 11: Personalized Christian Pulisic shirt.

Number: 22

Club, manufacturer, and season: Borussia Dortmund European home shirt, made by Puma for the 2016-17 season.

Design: This special European top is understated, yet eye-catching, thanks to a split crewneck collar and sleek black hemline, as well as subtle striping on the black shoulder panels. Interesting bit of trivia: the two stars on the front of the shirt actually represent the five Bundesliga titles won by Dortmund. German league rules stipulate that clubs can add one star only after winning three titles, then a second star after five, a third star after 10, and a fourth after 20.

Why it's special: This was the season that The LeBron James of Soccer really came into his own with Dortmund, making 43 total appearances in 2016-17, including 10 in the Champions League. Dortmund also made it all the way to the quarterfinals of that year’s UCL, where they were ultimately eliminated by a Kylian Mbappe-led Monaco side.

Shirt No. 2 of 11: Personalized Tony Meola shirt.

Number: 1

Club, manufacturer, and season: USMNT goalkeeper shirt, made by Nike for the 2000-01 season.

Design: A seemingly straightforward green goalkeeper shirt, but the number on the center of the front, as well as the classic US Soccer crest, enhance its overall appeal. The rounded number font on the back completes the shirt’s tasteful, yet modern, look.

Why it's special: Meola — who had a brief spell in net for Brighton and Hove Albion during the 1990 season — wore this shirt during qualifying for the 2002 World Cup. While Meola was on the bench behind Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller, he was part of that storied U.S. team that made it all the way to the quarterfinals in South Korea and Japan, where they suffered a controversial loss to Germany

Shirt No. 3 of 11: Personalized Clint Dempsey shirt.

Number: 23

Club, manufacturer, and season: Fulham home shirt, made by Kappa for the 2010-11 season.

Design: Of the three seasons (2010-13) that Kappa served as Fulham’s kit designer, this initial home version was the most minimalistic of the bunch. While not being much more than a white top with black collar and cuffs, this shirt has a distinct, spartan appeal to it, with the no-frills design putting greater attention on the classic Kappa logos and “FFC” crest.

Why it's special: Led by Nacogdoches, Texas’ own Clint Dempsey, Fulham finished an impressive 8th in the Premier League in ‘10-11, their second-highest league finish ever. Deuce led the Cottagers with 13 goals in all competitions that season.

Shirt No. 4 of 11: Personalized Gio Reyna shirt.

Number: 7

Club, manufacturer, and season: Borussia Dortmund home shirt, made by Puma for the 2022-23 season.

Design: With four black vertical stripes on the front of the kit, this shirt was designed to pay homage to the 2012-13 BVB squad that made it all the way to that year’s Champions League final, where they fell to rivals Bayern Munich in London.

Why it's special: Coming off of a ‘21-22 campaign that saw him play in only 13 total matches due to a series of injuries, things have already been looking up for Reyna this season, as he’s played in six total matches already, including two Champions League appearances.

Shirt No. 5 of 11: Personalized Claudio Reyna shirt.

Number: 6

Club, manufacturer, and season: Manchester City away shirt, made by Reebok for the 2004-05 season.

Design: A clean, white Reebok away shirt that features gradient center stripes, side and shoulder panels, and an attractive dark-blue collar. The Thomas Cook sponsor logo is also noteworthy, as this was the last shirt sponsor to appear on a City kit before Etihad Airways took over in 2009-10.

Why it’s special: Any kit worn by U.S. trailblazer Claudio Reyna can be tabbed a “special” kit. Gio’s father was a rock in midfield for some of the top clubs in Europe, including Leverkusen, Wolfsburg, Rangers, Sunderland, and City. The Citizens turned out to be Reyna’s final European stop before heading back to the U.S., where he’d finish out his playing career with the New York Red Bulls.

Shirt No. 6 of 11: Personalized DaMarcus Beasley shirt.

Number: 24

Club, manufacturer, and season: Manchester City away kit, made by Reebok for the 2006-07 season.

Design: Sky-blue piping and white underarm panels breathe energy into this intimidating, yet appealing, black City away shirt by Reebok.

Why it's special: Coming off a successful three-year stay at PSV — during which he became the first American to play in a Champions League semifinal (2005) — Beasley joined Manchester City ahead of the ‘06-07 season. Beasley scored 4 goals in 22 appearances for the Citizens that year, before moving on to Rangers the following season.

Shirt No. 7 of 11: Personalized Michael Bradley shirt.

Number: 4

Club, manufacturer, and season: AS Roma away shirt, made by Kappa for the 2012-13 season.

Design: A gem of an away shirt for the Giallorossi. The kit’s plain, white base allows the red-and-gold trim on the collar and cuffs to really pop. The classic wolf’s head logo is also juxtaposed nicely with the wavy blue stripe in the WIND sponsor logo.

Why it's special: Bradley wore this kit during his first season with the storied Serie A side. He made 35 total appearances for Roma in ‘12-13, contributing to their sixth-place finish in Italy’s top flight. 

Shirt No. 8 of 11: Personalized Eddie Pope shirt.

Number: 23

Club, manufacturer, and season: Real Salt Lake away shirt, made by Adidas for the 2006 season.

Design: A straightforward white shirt that draws distinction from its finer details, such as the old-school MLS sleeve patch, and the placement of a central “SALT LAKE” wordmark instead of a sponsor logo.

Why it's special: Despite never playing overseas, Pope was viewed as one of the U.S.’s most polished and skilled defenders of his era. The UNC alum earned 82 USMNT caps over the course of his career, including starting all five matches during America’s impressive 2002 World Cup run to the quarterfinals.

Shirt No. 9 of 11: Personalized Landon Donovan shirt.

Number: 9

Club, manufacturer, and season: Everton home shirt, made by Le Coq Sportif for the 2009-10 season.

Design: An English kit with a subtle French aesthetic, Le Coq Sportif made this bold, blue Toffees shirt stand out from others of the era, thanks to touches like the striped collar and deep white v-neck panel.

Why it's special: Donovan wore this shirt during his first season on loan with Everton (he also joined them for the ‘11-12 campaign). Joining the team in January, the California winger went on to make 13 appearances in all competitions for the Toffees, as they managed an impressive eighth-place Premier League finish.

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Shirt No. 10 of 11: U.S. Men’s National Team shirt.

Number: n/a

Club, manufacturer, and season: USMNT away shirt, made by Nike for the 2014-15 season.

Design: Affectionately known as the “Bomb Pop” kit, this shirt revels in its simplicity. The straightforward, inverted popsicle design, coupled with an all-white U.S. crest, made it one of the most popular national team uniforms in American soccer history.

Why it's special: The USMNT played up to its garb in 2014, as a Jurgen Klinsmann-led American squad successfully navigated that year’s Group of Death (U.S., Germany, Ghana, and Portugal) to reach the Round of 16, where they fell to a stacked Belgian side in a thrilling 2-1 extratime loss. 

Shirt No. 11 of 11: Personalized Brad Friedel shirt.

Number: 19

Club, manufacturer, and season: Liverpool goalkeeper shirt, made by Nike for the 1998-99 season.

Design: So many things to admire about this kit. From the huge, blue-and-green sun-like throwing star pattern emanating from the club crest, to the Reebok logo on the collar, this is a shirt full of risk that dares you to look away.

Why it's special: The ‘98-99 season was a disappointment for Liverpool, as the Reds finished 7th in the Premier League and made no cup runs of note. Friedel made 16 total appearances that season — his second in England — and would remarkably go on to play another 16 years in England, making him one of the most successful Americans Abroad of all time. 

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