The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar kicks off in just a few months, and we’re already excited. With icons such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, and our very own Christian Pulisic all set to shine, the eyes of the world will be set squarely on Qatar. The World Cup is a stage for Nike, Adidas, and Puma to show off their latest and greatest sportswear technology, but it isn’t the best place to put sneakers on display. Of course, the cleats that the players will be wearing will be state of the art, but most of us don’t have soccer cleat collections or wear cleats out and about. While the US Men’s National Team players won’t be wearing sneakers on the field, their coach, Gregg Berhalter, is wearing some exclusive sneakers on the sidelines, and we’ve taken notice.
Gregg Berhalter has been the head coach of the USMNT (United States Men’s National Team) since 2018, but within the past 2 years has begun to show up to matches wearing rare and exclusive sneakers. Staying true to the USMNT’s sponsorship by Nike, all of Gregg Berhalter’s sneakers have been made by either the Swoosh or Jordan Brand. Even with the brand limitations, Gregg steps onto the pitch in some seriously nice sneakers.
Air Force 1 Low G-Dragon Peaceminusone Para-Noise 2.0
The USMNT opened up its found playing time amidst the Covid-19 pandemic in an international friendly against El Salvador in Fort Lauderdale, FL on December 9, 2020. The USMNT brought the fireworks as they put on a show and beat El Salvador 6-0. Winger Chris Mueller torched the nets scoring two goals in 5 minutes. Paul Arriola, Sebastian Lletget, Ayo Akinola, and Brendan Aaronson also made their way onto the scoresheet in this dominating win. Gregg Berhalter also made a statement by sporting the Nike Air Force 1 Low G-Dragon Peaceminusone Para-Noise 2.0 on the sidelines. Clearly new when he wore them, we can’t help but wonder what the distressing on his pair looks like now.
Jordan 4 Retro Red Thunder
On a cold January night in Columbus, Ohio the USMNT defeated El Salvador 1-0 in a crucial World Cup Qualifier match. Defender Antonee Robinson scored the lone goal and celebrated with a flashy back handspring amidst pandemonium from the crowd. Greg Berhalter knew that given the wintry conditions he would need to coach the game wearing some serious heat. Amidst all of his sneaker options for this game, Gregg ended up pulling out his Jordan 4 Retro Red Thunders.
sorry to keep you waiting…
Gregg Berhalter coached the boys to three points tonight in the Air Jordan IV ‘Red Thunder’ 🔥 pic.twitter.com/APElHzbHem
— USMNT (@USMNT) January 28, 2022
Jordan 6 Travis Scott British Khaki
Big time games call for big time sneakers. In June, 2021 the USMNT played bitter rivals Mexico in the inaugural CONCACAF (The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) Nations League Final in Denver. With a trophy and bragging rights on the line, the USMNT brought their A-Game and defeated El-Tri 3-2 to crown themselves as the champions of this inaugural tournament. Gregg Berhalter showed up prepared for the moment as well. He knew that his sneaker choice for this game could end up stepping foot onto a champion’s podium. Gregg came correct. That night the champion’s podium saw him step upon it in a pair of British Khaki Travis Scott Jordan 6s.
Gregg Berhalter was rocking the Travis Scott 6s last night 🔥🏜️ pic.twitter.com/QisnXzXmfN
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 7, 2021
Nike Dunk UNDFTD
Just like he did for the CONCACAF Nations League Final, Gregg Berhalter came prepared for the Gold Cup final 2 months later. USA took on Mexico in the Final of yet another CONCACAF competition, the Gold Cup. USA would take home the trophy and extend their win streak against Mexico with an exciting 1-0 win. The winning goal came from Miles Robinson in added time. Bringing the heat for yet another championship win, Gregg Berhalter took to the sidelines in a pair of Nike x Undefeated Dunk Lows “5 on It” from their collaborative Dunk VS AF1 Pack. What made this sneaker choice even more eye-catching was that Berhalter showed he was part of Team Early. The match was played on August 1, 2021. The sneakers released August 6th. We see you, Gregg.
— Complex Sneakers (@ComplexSneakers) August 2, 2021
These aren’t all of the sneakers Berhalter wore on the sidelines, either. He’s shown that other sneakers in his repertoire include Patta Air Max 1s, Readymade Blazers, Ambush Dunks, and many flavors of Air Force 1s.
With the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar kicking off in just a few months we are left to wonder what sneakers Gregg Berhalter is planning on including in his World Cup rotation. Will he pull out another Travis Scott x Nike/ Jordan silhouette? Will he wear a sneaker that’s yet to be released? One thing’s for sure, no matter what the result is on the field, Team USA is winning the sneaker game.
To learn more about what made the Dunks the Gregg Berhalter wears so special, check out our Deep Dive Into the Nike Dunk.
Cover image courtesy of Unsplash - Rhett Lewis