Jerseys for Major League Soccer teams are always a hot topic of discussion, debate, anger, whatever each season. 2011 should be no different.
I saw this post over at AOL’s Fanhouse by the always engaging Brian Straus (if you don’t read his work you’re really not doing yourself a favor). Straus got to sit down with adidas’s Director of Soccer Antonio Zea to discuss this year’s kits. Feel free to read the interview here.
I’ve taken each of the club’s jerseys from the adidas catalog to display for your here and to talk about what I like and don’t like for each.
It looks as though 2011 has the return of the white road jersey for most clubs. 11 clubs have white kits this year. Not exactly a great thing but not the worst thing I suppose either. But just like Straus said in his post, thank God we’re so far away from those awful uniforms that the league had in their first season in 1996. We’ve made a lot of progress over the years!
And here are your 2011 MLS jerseys:
Chicago Fire: They lost Best Buy as the sponsor for their kits and now they look rather blah to me, or at least the road white does. The home red is still classy in my mind, even with the large “Fire” logo in the middle of it. I’m a bit surprised they left the away kit blank like this but I suppose this practice-looking jersey will have to do for a few games a year.
Chivas USA: New sponsor in Corona really pops out at you doesn’t it? Not in a bad way either. The road blues really stand out to me as a nice kit. It has taken this club a while to gain some form of identity here but I think their kits are a strong statement this year in moving forwarding in establishing that identity. I’ll still ignore the weird piping on the home kit and the fact that their logo still makes no sense for a team in LA.
Colorado Rapids: The champs are still waiting on a kit sponsor to fill those blank spaces. I’m a bit upset they went away from their road blues to a white kit like this. I feel that is a step back for the club. The sky blue was a great kit in my mind, one that stood out more so than other clubs. Still, the home burgundy is classy, one of my favorites actually.
Columbus Crew: Another club that lost a sponsor this winter. You notice it more on the home yellow than you do on the road black. Good to see this MLS original stick to their roots here with the logo, uniform and everything. Let’s just hope they fill that empty space with a new sponsor before long.
D.C. United: Still, without a doubt, the best kits in the league. A lot of it has to do with the logo too but each season I find myself thinking their kits are head and shoulders above the rest. They even introduced a third kit this year (see below) that adds to that.
FC Dallas: Maybe I am biased but I still love this set of kits for Dallas. The home red stripes are becoming iconic for the club and the road blues make perfect sense for them. The club stands out when they’re on the pitch with these kits. I just hope they replace “FC DALLAS” in the middle with some sponsor.
Houston Dynamo: The Dutch-looking home kits took me a little while to get used to. I’m glad they got rid of the sky blue in the home kit as well. As for the road whites, they are as Straus put it, “lazy.” If they wanted to go with some sky bly I wish they’d just make their road kits that color. Going white means they will rarely wear these road kits at all this season I’d bet.
Sporting Kansas City: I love the new colors (and even name now) for Kansas City. As long as they stick with this new color scheme for a while they’ll become fairly iconic in the league in terms of being able to recognize their kits right away when you turn on the TV (similar to Columbus, D.C. and Seattle).
LA Galaxy: Nothing real different about the Galaxy kits this year. The road blue looks a little different to me but in a good way. Could these be better? Sure, but they sell pretty well because of David Beckham and that is something the league can’t complain one bit about.
New England Revolution: Another original that has yet to go away from their humble beginnings. I think their kits continue to as Ron Burgundy would say, “stay classy.” I just hope, like I have said with some other clubs, that they get rid of their name in the middle of the kit and fill it with a sponsor before long.
New York Red Bulls: A set of kits that continue to frustrate me. The home kit I can live with but I still cannot figure out why the club won’t embrase a red kit as their road shirt. They had them back when the club was rebranded as the Red Bulls, why not go back to that? At least I hear the blue kits look snazzy in person so maybe I’ll change my mind about them when I see them.
Philadelphia Union: The silly sponsor name aside, I still like the look of Philly’s kits. The Bimbo logo could have been done a little better however. To me it just seems like they forgot to figure out a better way to incorporate it in the design.
Portland Timbers: The more I see them the more I think they rival D.C. for best uniforms in the league. In fact I’d be tempted to order one of each if I could right now. Just the little details that were put into both kits show that adidas does care about their MLS contract. I know some may not like the two-tone colors but believe me they work very nicely.
Real Salt Lake: I have always been a big fan of the RSL home kits. The road kits for this year are kind of meh. Hopefully next year when their kits get re-done we’ll see a bit more spark in their road kits.
San Jose Earthquakes: I’m not a huge fan of either kit. I understand why they decided to turn their back on the past since the old Quakes moved to Houston to become the Dynamo. They wanted to separate the two I guess. I’d much rather see an all-blue kit for the home or a blue-on-black kit. The road whites seem boring to me.
Seattle Sounders FC: I think Seattle took a step back with their kits this season. I really loved the road blues but this whole duct-tape stripes on the kit really are hideous.
Toronto FC: Love the maple leaf in the background of these kits. That being said, I’m not a big supporter of that road white. I agree with Straus that they should have kept the road greys, even though I was never a big fan of those. Having a grey road kit would indeed distinguish them a bit more from the other clubs that have red as a color.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Both kits are great. Simple, not over stated and just great.
Third Kits: Love the red D.C. kits. I’d honestly like to see the yellow kits be RSL’s road kit and the blue Quakes kit become their home kits. This image left out the obvious Seattle Sounder third kit, and for that I am glad because it hurts the eyes.