MLS Jersey Week Grades: Part Two


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Here at, we care mostly about what happens between the lines. Yet we are also fans of the fashionable side of football, thus inspiring a review of the 16 new kits rolled out by 12 Major League Soccer clubs at the outset of the 2013 season. Have a look at what three of our writers (Nick, Matt, and Brett) had to say about some of the new looks for Season 18.

Vancouver Whitecaps primary kit
Nick: Simplicity is the name of the game, but it’s all about being able to bring a certain flare to a simple idea and the ‘Caps do that in their new home kit. Although I do not usually like white kits, it makes perfect sense for the Whitecaps and I would not have it any other way. The thin white and blue diagonal stripes fit the shirt nicely and are an improvement on the hoop-type stripes from last season. I also like the collar. (B+)

Matt: The neckline is nice and the diagonal stripes – I guess – sort of mimic Whitecaps. Not extraordinary, but not the worst. (C+)

Brett: Really solid. Clean and crisp. I like the diagonal stripes and I especially like the 1/4 light-blue collar. Very well done. (A-)

Los Angeles Galaxy secondary kit

Nick: The new away shirt gets the “plus” because of the improvement in the shoulders. I always thought the yellow stripes looked better on blue than the white ones, so LA got it right this time around. The blue is classic for the Galaxy, so the primary color works, and I dig that the star signifying the 2012 MLS Cup win is gold. I also like the “This Is LA” patch on the bottom. The shirt is simple but exudes class. (B+)

Matt: The design is too similar to Houston’s for my liking. No wow factor. (C-)

Brett: Pretty impressive to have four stars above that logo. I do like the way D.C. United lays out its titles, though. That said, the gold star is a nice touch. Gold on navy looks solid, but as I said with Houston: what is the deal with these arm strips? Let’s make it look as though every player on the field is the captain. Foolish. (B-)

Portland Timbers primary kit

Nick: This is the first, and probably only, shirt I absolutely cannot stand. First of all, the darker green V on the chest is pointless. Secondly, the collar has a weird, uncomfortable-looking shape and finally the fat-to-skinny stripes going down the sides are awkward. Their home kits weren’t pretty last season, either, so I was hoping for an improvement. I vote for green and white hoops. (F)

Matt: The two are too similar to grade separately. The only thing saving them from a lower score is the rose behind the crest on the secondary. It’s a bit cheesy but I fancy it. (C)

Brett: Terrible. When I see that off-color “V” all I can think of is the old family uncle who wears a turtleneck dickie underneath his sweater. The sewing effect where the green meets white just looks bad, almost making it look like a spiral-bound notebook. There are only two redeeming qualities of this kit: the Timbers crest and the Alaska Airlines font. Other than that, it is horrible. (F)

Portland Timbers secondary kit
Nick: While this shirt has problems like the primary kit, it has a lot more going for it. I still don’t like the V neck style and the collar also still irks me. However, as in the past, I love the “Rose City” theme; the red shirt with the Timbers Army chant in text on the back and the two-sided rose symbol are both classy. Also, as previously stated, I am a big fan of off-primary-color jerseys. It has too much wrong with it to warrant a positive grade, but enough right to pass. (C-)

Brett: Better than the primary, but that’s not saying much. Like Nick, I too enjoy the off-color kit which doesn’t make sense unless you understand something about the (Rose) city. The rose logo is also nice behind the Timbers crest. Though it still looks a bit like a FIVE-STAR notebook with the faux stitches, this one somehow looks significantly better than the primary. The “V” is still a bad idea, though. (C)

Colorado Rapids primary kit
Nick: The Rapids have put out the best of the new home shirts. The shirt itself does not deviate from the classic Colorado mold, but the white shoulders on maroon looks more sharp than the all maroon of last season. The best part of the home kit is the dark maroon hoops that are made of the names of all the Rapids’ season ticket holders. Talk about rewarding your supporters. Colorado is a classy outfit and their new primary shirt backs that up. (A)

Matt: Pretty simple but I love the fact that each season ticket holder’s name makes up the loops. (B+)

Brett: Was initially skeptical when I heard the idea about season-ticket holder’s names being put onto this one. Pleasantly surprised at the outcome. The lines of text work out nicely and give this a slight enhancement from the typical shirt. (A-)

Colorado Rapids secondary kit
Nick: The colors are a little odd together, but the reason behind it is why it gets the grade. While the primary represents the fan base, the secondary represents the state of Colorado. The embossed “C” of the Colorado flag on the blue shirt is a nice touch, while the red crest is a good deviation from the typical. I like that the entire shirt represents the Colorado flag, putting a real sense of purpose to it. Also, it is another shirt that is completely different colors than the clubs primary one, which lures me in. (A-)

Matt: I realize that they are trying to rep. the Colorado state flag, but to an outsider I think it looks too much like the Chicago Cubs’ “C.” (C-)

Brett: Definitely creative. Cool way to honor the state flag by using its colors and symbol, but this one came out a bit too contrasting (red vs. blue) for my taste. (B-)

New York Red Bulls primary kit
Nick: The Reds Bulls’ new home kit is an upgrade from last season’s, but it’s still fairly ordinary. I like the all-red crew neck collar of this year’s edition over last year’s red-and-white alternating one. The long sleeve shirt looks even better than the short sleeve one. The overall simplicity is nice, but there is nothing that wows me, so it gets a B. (B)

Matt: It would have been cool to see something a little different, say a Bull similar to how UNAM Pumas display the puma on their kit. I doubt Red Bulls would ever do something along those lines, though. (D)

Brett: I like this a lot. Much more than I initially thought I would. If possible, it is simultaneously subtle yet in your face. The extra red is a nice touch, and the increased logo size does not throw me off as I thought it would. The lightweight material will likely come in handy, especially if the club decides to host another 1 p.m. weekday match in July… (B+)

Chivas USA secondary kit
Nick: I can’t say how much Chivas USA gets right on a regular basis, but they definitely got this shirt right. The solid navy blue with “stripes” along with the red Adidas stripes on the shoulders make the jersey look classic, but really sharp. The best part of the shirt, however, is the Los Angeles city crest in between the shoulders. They took the crest right off the middle of the LA flag, making a statement that they no longer want LA to be known as Galaxy property. The Galaxy will be the better team, of course, but I like where Chivas is headed. (B+)

Matt: It’s pretty simple so it gets a simple grade. I like the dark navy color, personally, but nothing really stands out for me. (C)

Brett: The unchanged primary remains one of my favorite strips in MLS. This secondary one is…good. The navy is a nice change of pace and the Corona logo looks very crisp in white on top of this shade of blue. I just can’t get on board with this “Rebano Angelino” concept, though, including the badge with that phrase sewn on the back of the kit. I hope that this Mexican Revolution for Chivas USA works…wait, that’s not actually true. I dislike what the club is doing and I think it is further alienating an already long suffering fan base. Maybe I’m wrong and this club is on the right track, but all signs seem to indicate that management is blowing it. Got a bit off topic there, but I’ll go with a low B. (B-)

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2 Responses to MLS Jersey Week Grades: Part Two

  1. Alex says:

    I really like the breakdown, guys. Some sharp uniforms there. Chivas jerseys are fantastic. Too bad no one will be in the stadium to buy one. I wish Portland stayed with the solid green instead of those white sides. As a Union fan, I can’t stand the Red Bulls, but for a team named for a corporation they have sweet unis. Ok, that’s the only nice thing I’m going to say about NY all season, maybe ever.

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