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With the opening of the 2021 MLS season on the 16th. In April, clubs begin to announce their new shirts for the season. So we decided to take a look at the 10 best and 10 worst sets in Major League Soccer history.
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10. Vancouver White Caps | 2012 third series
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA Today’s Sports
In the 10 seasons the Whitecaps have played in the MLS, they have worn many fine jerseys, but the third set they wore in 2012 deserves special recognition. It’s not often that a club has the courage to wear brown jerseys, but Vancouver did it, inspired by the forests of British Columbia. It paid off again this season, as the Caps became the first Canadian club to reach the MLS Cup playoffs.
9. Houston Dynamo FC | 2018 spare parts set
Mike DiNovo-USA Sports Today
This 2018 alternative set is reminiscent of the rainbow jerseys – or as you know them, the Tequila Sunrise jerseys – worn by the Houston Astros baseball team from 1975 to 1986. Against a striking black background, the Dynamo has been given a modern and intimidating look that offers a glimpse into the city’s sporting history.
8. Chicago Fire FC | 2005 third series
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
The Fire’s original jerseys were iconic and probably deserve a place in this list, but teams – and their kit suppliers – are credited for taking risks, and the third shirt Chicago wore in 2005 was certainly a departure from the club’s current color scheme. And using the city flag and landmarks like Lake Michigan as inspiration, they created something that resonates with the greater Chicago area.
7. Dallas Burn | 1998 Away Jersey
There’s something to love here, from the subtle green and gold hoops to the classic collar, making Dallas’ 1998 outdoor jersey (which they wore at home quite often) a neat and clean addition to this list. The Burn name no longer exists – and even in this era of endless and sometimes unnecessary rebranding, that’s probably for the best – but FC Dallas would get a slap on the wrist if they brought it back.
6. Seattle Sounders FC | 2012 third series
Steven Bizig-USA Sports Today
There’s no bolder choice in this list than Seattle’s third 2012 jersey, which is made of what Adidas calls super blue and treated with electricity. The result is electrifying, so hats off to the Adidas and Sounders color departments.
5. San Jose Earthquakes | 2017 Primary Set
Stan Szeto-USA Today Sports
The Earthquakes have a checkered past when it comes to jerseys (more on that later), but the primary top introduced in the 2017 season is one of the best in MLS history. The designer’s inspiration has to be authentic and tangible, and the way the club’s unconventional herringbone motif is not only incorporated into the knit pattern, but also made the centerpiece, means it’s become an instant classic in the South Bay.
4. Kansas City Wiz | 1996 Home Jersey
Jose L. Marin /Allsport
Adidas supplied three of the ten Major League Soccer clubs in the first season of 1996, and all three (Kansas City, Columbus Crew and D.C. United) earned a place on this list, but it is Kansas City that deserves special praise. All three Adidas clubs had clean lines this year, but Wiz boldly chose a rainbow-colored ensemble that stood out in a sea of nondescript looks that didn’t age as gracefully.
3. Portland Timbers | 2014 third series
Jane Kamin-Oncea-USA Today’s Sports
When you have a 45-year history in this league, you build on that. The third series, released in 2014, takes the Timbers back to the height they could have carried, circa 1975, when the club was founded. This is a brilliantly executed, no-nonsense launch with an emphasis on simplicity.
2. New England Revolution Outdoor Jersey | 1996
D.C. United is often seen in the MLS as the prime example of a set piece. But if there’s one highlight that sums up the first year of the MLS, it’s this. A fireworks design element on the chest, a throbbing sign of revolution, this is a jersey full of alternative energy in the mid-90s that sparked the rise of the competition.
1. Los Angeles Galaxy | 2005 Home Shirt
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
The original glamorous MLS club tops this list with this golden offering from 2005. It was the second time the Galaxy wore the belt, which has become a cornerstone of the team in recent years. Apart from the striking colour combination, it was perhaps the most eye-catching of all Nike shirts, adapted from the design also worn by teams such as Manchester United, Arsenal and Barcelona. As if that wasn’t commendable enough, Landon Donovan and his companions also won the MLS Cup in these beauties.
10. Columbus Crew SC | 2016 Secondary Set
Trevor Raszkowski-USA Sports Today
The team took inspiration from the Columbus city flag for a secondary shirt released in 2016, and while we loved seeing that inspiration on the shirt, the execution left a lot to be desired. The flag is composed of red, yellow, white and sky blue. So the team has all the ingredients, but there are a lot of colors to integrate into a uniform design. Add colorful stripes and you have a very, very, very busy ensemble.
9. Tampa Bay Mutiny 1996 Home Shirt
There’s a lot going on here, even before you factor in Carlos Valderrama’s over-the-top embellishments (weren’t the ’90s great?). This Nike design, which is also worn by several other League One clubs, features sleeves (sky blue) and side panels (navy blue) that contrast with the green on the front and back of the shirt, and then a strange and vibrant cross pattern on the sleeves themselves.
8. Real Salt Lake | 2014 Primary Set
Russ Isabella-USA Monday Sports
The RSL’s color scheme has never been very effective. In the past two years, the club has concentrated on models with one or two colors, with the other colors playing a more secondary role, making the range much more attractive. However, this shirt, which was launched in 2014, has a lot of all that burgundy, cobalt and gold, making it stunning.
7. San Jose Earthquakes | 2019 Core Set
Stan Szeto-USA Today Sports
Chris Wondowski broke the MLS record for most goals scored in the jersey. With asymmetrical blocks or colored stripes, it’s hard to find design inspiration, so this is an earth-shattering set in 2019 and 2020.
6. Seattle Sounders | 2016 Primary Set
Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
The Sounders were not the only MLS team to wear this design in 2016, but two others (New York Red Bulls and Orlando City SC) used complementary colors or white to soften the contrast between the sleeves and the body. The Sounders won the MLS Cup with this shirt, so it will undoubtedly be a Seattle favorite, but the blue Sounder sleeves contrasting with the Rave Green physique is awfully forward-thinking.
5. New York Red Bulls 2019 Home Set
Vincent Carcitta-USA Sports Today
Contrary to popular belief, the grey kits work, but not this one. Not because it’s grey – although that didn’t help – but because computer horror effect Glitch has slogans printed on the front of the shirt, which read: Love, struggle, passion and glory.
4. Montreal Impact – 2020 Away Jersey
Bob DeChiara Sports Day USA
It’s hard to get excited about a series in shades of gray. Basically, it should be the money from the club sign, but it’s hard to get the metal jersey… Well, uh… grey.
3. LA Galaxy | 2013 third series
Calvin Kuo-USA Monday Sports
It was a fan-made set, and that fan had good intentions. For inspiration, he looked at the jerseys of the Galaxy’s opening team in 1996 and, whatever you say about that Nike design (which you’ll see in a moment), it was memorable. Unfortunately, the result has been marred by colors lighter than those of the 1996 jersey and applied to different fields and areas than the original, making this top look more like something Mexico might wear than the Galaxy.
2. San Jose Clash | 1996 Home Shirt
Stephen Dunn / Press / Getty Images
The infamous Nike model. But the Clash weren’t the only team to use it, like the New York/New Jersey MetroStars and the Los Angeles Galaxy. The strangest thing about this sweater is the color. The red, which dominates the logo, is used for a small trim along the collar, while the yellow, which accentuates the logo, covers the left half of the jersey. The next most visible colors are neon sky blue and forest green, which do not stand out on any of the markers.
1. D.C. United | 2017 Secondary Series
Isaiah J. He came to the United States. Sports.
The 2017 D.C. Auxiliary set is inspired by the eagle wings (as seen on the Mace crest) on the printed chest design. And the escutcheon is a wonderful place to get design ideas ….. But when a player wears this shirt, these uniforms look more like a mutant ribcage/abdomen hybrid that you would find on a cartoon superhero costume.
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