- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On March 1, 2010
- 3 Comments
- adidas, Branding, New Kits
Wow, I must say I’ve kept this post in the icebox for too long. I originally started writing this back in January when the adidas catalog came out with all the 2010 MLS kits. Somehow this got pushed back to the start of March. I’ll go ahead and blame couple things, my laziness for finishing it, the SuperDraft taking up a lot of my time in January and the whole CBA mess that is still going on.
Anyways, I wanted to talk about each kit and how the league is doing as far as their branding is concerned. Some clubs are hitting it out of the park with their branding while others aren’t doing too well with the kits that are being made. Some blame can be set on adidas for bad templates while others can be pointed to the club themselves.
The league as a whole hasn’t done great in the jersey department over the years. Who doesn’t remember when the league unveiled their first kits back in the day? Some were better than others at the time and we probably should blame Nike in a way for the train wreck in the naming of some clubs as well. But now that the league is strictly adidas it seems as though things are turning around for the better.
As FanHouse soccer writer Brian Straus points out back in January (he definitely beat me to this punch btw) there are still too many white jerseys. Straus did a similar look a while back, and he pointed out that some clubs are slowly getting things right with a few still picking up the slack. I agree with that, still too many white kits on the menu this year but it seems like as we add clubs to this league the new ones continue to brand themselves very nicely while the originals continue to catch up.
Anyways, here’s my look at the new jerseys for the year. Feel free to comment below on what you like/dislike about the new kits.
Notes: One club I think that continues to get it right with at least their home kit. The Fire red is still one of the most iconic jerseys in the league. I’m not entirely in love with the away kit though. I think getting rid of the red hoop in the away jersey is what is missing for me plus I really don’t get the blue armpit spots either. I would have rather seen them be white with the entire jersey similar to the template the Rapids use for their kits. I wish the Fire still had their third jersey from a few years back, the one that looks like their WPS team’s jersey. I still think as far as branding goes the Fire continue to hit the ball out of the park with these kits.
Notes: Ah, Chivas USA. Honestly love their away kits, the solid dark blue is very classy. The home isn’t too bad either but as far as this new template by adidas goes I’m not totally in love with it the random red spots around the logo and at the bottom left side. I’d be lying to you if I still didn’t wish they’d do a complete re-brand of their entire team here though. I’ve gotten past the silly name but I honestly believe they should have at least made a logo that wasn’t like it’s big brother’s in Mexico. Hard for LA folks to get behind something that features Guadalajara on it.
Notes: To those who want to re-brand you image in MLS this is how you do it. A classy logo that kept the team name that the locals recognize and they gave them something even more a couple years ago with these new colors. Finally something different with the burgundy and sky blue. Both jerseys are simple and effective with their brand. I also like the fact that they finally did away with the team name in the middle of the jersey. They’re holding out for a sponsor and it doesn’t take away from the overall jersey by not having one still. If I were to buy one of these I honestly don’t know which I’d go with though, which isn’t something I can say about each club’s jerseys.
Notes: I don’t like the home template (see Chivas for example). Still the all-yellow on the home makes it iconic to the club. We see this kit and immediately know its the Crew. As for the road its come a long way to this point. It isn’t terrible but I sure as hell wouldn’t want to wear this on a road trip to Dallas or Houston in the middle of summer, though they’ve at least improved it on what it use to be in the past.
Notes: Ah, DC one club that got it right from day one with their image and branding. From their early days with this number to today’s kit we’ve seen little wrong with how DC looks on and off the field. Still by saying this I hate the road all-white. It is simple, yes, but at least have some red or black shorts to go with it. They’re the Black-and-Red…not the all-white! I think the whites were better back in the day when it had some black stripes to go with it. Maybe a nice red kit would be the answer, or at least a nice idea for a third jersey.
Notes: Thankfully they finally took a hint last year and got rid of their road grays. They were a terrible idea from the start. I absolutely love the blue away kits and really wish they wore them more often. Its weird as we go on I am starting to dislike the home reds more and more. I think it is because with each passing year the hoops isn’t a hoop any more. From either the poor design a couple years ago with the numbers on the back of the kit or to what we have no where the side panels make the hoops a bit awkward its just not working. I also wouldn’t mind seeing a red-and-blue hoop kit at some point. Branding has always been an issue in Dallas but I do think it will get better in the coming year.
Notes: Love the organe kits and this may be one road white that doesn’t bother me as much. However I’m not as big of a fan of the weird blue in the kits and the sunburst though that doesn’t bug me all that much. Still the orange is a nice break from the typical colors in this league (blue and red). Plus people in Houston really do seem to like this club and are able to get behind the branding of it easier I think because of this iconic look with the orange.
Kansas City Wizards:
Notes: Let me just say this is a big improvement over previous Wizard jerseys. Rainbows were just terrible and honestly the naming of this club isn’t great but I’m happy to see them stick with it all these years. Timing is paying off though for them too with the new stadium on it’s way. As far as these new kits go I like them. The road whites aren’t great but adding the blue and the tiny bit of yellow does help.
Notes: When the Galaxy re-branded for the arrival of David Beckham I said (on a blog before this one) that the new look wasn’t the best. Going away from the green and yellow was however easier than some would have thought (though the slash was cool). The (newer) look is simple and clean and that logo plays a lot better around the Globe than the old Galaxy one.
New England Revolution:
Notes: The silver around the arm makes me think New England Patriots more than the Revs but kudos for trying to brand your two teams at once Bob Kraft. Still I must say the Revs are one of the few teams that I’ve enjoy their look for a while. I use to hate the logo but it grew on me over time and now I’d honestly hate to see them go away from it. At least they are away from these kits.
New York Red Bulls:
Notes: Not a huge fan of these jerseys, not because of the Red Bull logo but but because neither kit is red. Seriously why is a club called the Red Bulls (I know its their owner’s energy drink name too folks so please spare me this) not wearing red anymore? Plus the all-white home kits aren’t good at all. With too many clubs wearing all-whites, having one set as your home jerseys makes little sense to me. Honestly I think I’d be happier with the all-whites if it were on the road and their home kits were red. May be just me though.
Notes: Absolute brillant that they bulked the rest of the typical league templates for this kit for both home and away. They picked a look that will be iconic with the city and within the league. You really have to tip your cap to the few clubs like this one that get it right on the first try.
Real Salt Lake:
Notes: I’ve been a big fan of their home jersey since day one. Over the last couple years it has only improved too. The away kit isn’t too bad either but I’d rather it be more white and have none of the yellowish stripes down the middle of the kit. In other words I’d rather it be more like their rivals Colorado’s kit templates where its a simple color and not some addition junk that isn’t needed. But that’s just for the away kit, again I love the home kit. Even with the silly name, which I’ve honestly gotten over now I think the logo and design of this brand does well. Its because the name is silly is why people are starting to recognize it more. Oh and winning a MLS Cup doesn’t hurt their recognition either.
San Jose Earthquakes:
Notes: Another one that the home kit is right on the money and the road white kit absolutely bothers me. I think its the template more than anything on the road kits that I don’t like here. Overall I am just not a fan of that template by adidas. I do miss their old kits though, the all-blue ones. Still the blue-and-black look works for me here.
Seattle Sounders FC:
Notes: We knew day one that this club hit a home run with both home and away kits. You know you’re watching Seattle play when you see either kit, something I really don’t think all MLS clubs get just yet. The templates are simple and beautiful. They help bring the branding of the club right to the front where it should be. I do kind of wish they’d wear their road blues more but they can’t go wrong with that home kit, its by far by favorite in the league right now.
Notes: I’ll admit I didn’t like the gray road kits last year but after a while they grew on me in a big way. Its different because of the gray and I like that. I wouldn’t mind though however if they pared that kit up with some red shorts. Still their branding and look is simple and effective. They got it right on day one for sure.