U.S. Soccer have been developing special ‘Jersey Masks’ to support frontline staff and local businesses during the battle against COVID-19.
Using former USMNT and USWNT jerseys found in the basement of their Soccer House HQ in Chicago, jerseys from the likes of Abby Wambach, Heather O’Reilly, Gregg Berhalter, Preki, Eddie Lewis and Cobi Jones have all been turned into unique face masks.
The U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) have partnered with Melizabeth Santos, who they found on Etsy!, and she works for Chicago Public Schools. Santos and her husband are Chicago area natives and huge soccer fans and USSF wanted to support local businesses, while also distributing the special masks to frontline workers.
This is all part of the USSF’s initiative to remind people how important it is to keep wearing masks to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 as their own chief medical officer, Dr. George Chiampas, is currently working on the frontline in Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial hospital.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has also thrown his support behind the initiative as 500 of these masks will be made and distributed to frontline staff, some of whom are former soccer players who are now working on the frontline. The jerseys will be made into N95 mask covers and full face masks.
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) August 11, 2020
Current USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter fully supports the unique use of the jerseys, as he and his team have CONCACAF qualifying for the 2022 World Cup on the horizon and look forward to getting back on the pitch soon.
“Front line workers embody the values of courage, sacrifice and service that are the hallmarks of our nation. It is a tremendous honor representing the United States, and the masks made from our game jerseys are a small way to thank all those who are working tirelessly for their communities when we need them most,” Berhalter said.
While USWNT star Heather O’Reilly was keen to remind everyone about the benefits of wearing a mask and staying safe.
“I’m proud to have a piece of my jersey used in a way to honor and thank frontline workers who are selflessly working every day to serve our communities,” O’Reilly said. “It’s very cool to use these symbols of the U.S. national teams as part of the push to keep everyone as safe as possible, and we know that wearing masks is critical to that effort. It means a lot to me to have represented the United States and this is a positive way to contribute to helping get our country back on its feet.”