Every year, we have the same discussion about new MLS uniforms and how boring they are. It’s a parade of white shirts, disappointing color combinations, and templated Adidas kits. Each team has an identity that they choose not to showcase.
The question for this year, then: are there any good new uniforms? The standards are low. We know there are some disappointing ones. Inter Miami continues to be a major disappointment, squandering the revenue they would surely make if they unveiled stylish, colorful kits. Atlanta United downgraded again. A bunch of teams are doing the boring white jersey thing, including RSL, New England, LAFC, and Montreal. Columbus are wearing gray patterned kits, not inherently bad in themselves, that will replace their iconic gold uniforms for some reason.
Adidas’s new thing is using powder blue. FC Dallas, New England, Chicago, and Minnesota will incorporate powder blue heavily. FCD will wear a powder blue jersey, which will function similar to old-school baseball road uniforms. It’s not a team color, so even though powder blue is great, it doesn’t have any reason to exist for a team that normally wears straightforward red and blue. The same goes for New England and Chicago.
Minnesota United have spent the last few years failing to maximize a unique light gray and light blue color scheme. They finally decided to wear light blue as a primary color, only to design what looks like a practice jersey. Hopefully, the emerging trend of teams wearing shorts that don’t match the jersey will offset some of these unfortunate shirt designs.
Let’s take a look at the uniforms that are actually good, at least of the ones that have been unveiled so far. There have been some!
Well, this is exciting. Light blue and yellow (shown above) is a gorgeous color combination and the Union were able to highlight both colors prominently in this new secondary kit. Rather than going strongly toward one color and relegating an exciting side color to an afterthought, Philly let both colors work together and came out better for it. I usually don’t enjoy these types of fancy designs on soccer jerseys, but I think this one works well.
Bonus points for not having those huge, awful Adidas stripes on the shoulders.
A throwback! To be more accurate, in Uni Watch parlance, it’s a fauxback — not an exact replica of a past jersey, but an approximation that captures the old spirit. The colors here are exciting and the design is different than anything other teams are doing. It comes off very ‘90s, overall, which is exactly the point.
Rendering the Galaxy crest in all white detracts a bit, as do the white Adidas stripes on the shoulders. (Please stop doing that for every single jersey.) Overall, though, a good output from the Galaxy.
This team actually knows how to use powder blue. Say what you will about City Football Group, but they wear good kits. This is a particularly good jersey from NYCFC, with white outlines that accentuate the beautiful shade of blue. It is simple, but it’s not templated and it is content to display its good colors. They have a consistently good aesthetic identity and they know it.
The Whitecaps usually have good kits even though they sometimes have trouble understanding what their colors are. This is the perfect direction for them: dark blue as a main color, light blue as a lightly-used background color (like actual whitecaps), and a distinctive template. I love the big blue stripe across the center and the light blue accents around it.
Keep it up, Vancouver!