Deep in the bowels of the 19th century Chicago mansion that serves as the headquarters for the United States Soccer Federation, several hundred decades-old U.S. national team jerseys hung on storage racks, gathering dust.
Some of them had been worn in games by the biggest stars in modern men’s and women’s national team history. But even after a December 2019 purge during which the USSF sent many to the former players whose last names were emblazoned on the shirts, much of the inventory remained. Three months later, the coronavirus pandemic hit, and with it a shortage of personal protective equipment for frontline workers. An idea was born: maybe the old jerseys could be turned into functional, virus-mitigating face masks.
Led by its