MLS kits spent the last few years declining in quality. They tended to be standardized and templated, following similar (bad) design styles and removing the individual identities of the clubs.
Some of the best looks went away as clubs have to release a new jersey every year for merchandising reasons, and the replacements paled in comparison. There were a lot of plain white shirts, and the shorts were often the same color as the jerseys — further increasing the boredom factor.
This year, things are looking up. Teams are trying stuff again, going for their own designs and using their team colors instead of falling back into standardization and dullness. Many of the new looks are fun and interesting. You can see all of them here. (For most of these, it’s tough to find what color shorts they will wear on the field, so we’re going off the shirt.)
Let’s take a look at the five best new jerseys.
I like Minnesota United’s new black kit, finally getting rid of the gray that has damaged their kits from the start. CF Montreal has a fun new away kit, and the Red Bulls did a great job with their new red away kit.
5. Inter Miami
Finally they lean into pink! Miami wasted time with their slightly-pink white kit that they wore as their primary for the first couple years of their existence. Now, they’ve gone full flamingo, unveiling this sharp pink jersey with elegant collars. Miami haven’t had jersey ads for most of the past couple of years, so while it’s unideal to have an ad mucking up a jersey, words in the center do make it look more put together.
4. FC Cincinnati
Cincy has been less of a culprit in putting out bad kits, and they have a great one here. This is a great shade of orange, and if it’s worn with white or blue shorts, the color will be able to shine. There’s a nice subtle pattern on the shirt that only enhances it, and I like that the obligatory Adidas stripes on the shoulder are gray, changing it up and making them slightly less prominent.
3. Philadelphia Union
The Union’s other kit is fantastic, and this one is equally good. They took their base template that we know their primary jersey will be, with a navy base and gold accents, and enhanced it with a new design and color. The template is unique in MLS, separating itself from other teams in the league, and the addition of light blue makes the whole thing one of the best new kits. Also: the ad in the center is gold, actually helping the jersey overall.
2. Vancouver Whitecaps
The Whitecaps alternate between well-designed, interesting kits and boring, plain shirts. This is an example of the former! Again, it’s a template that is not in use anywhere else in the league, and it’s a simple and effective one that highlights the team’s colors. I like the big white stripe in the center, and especially the light blue accents on the stripe’s edges and the shoulders. Vancouver is actually using their team colors.
1. Charlotte FC
The league’s newest expansion team did a great job with their debut kit. The color is bright and sharp, accentuated by a cool template with white shoulders. Black takes a nice place as a tertiary color. The black-blue-black striping (with white separating the blue and black) stands out on the collar and the bottoms of the sleeves. The ad in the center is too big, and the second ad on the sleeve hurts the whole, but the jersey is fantastic in spite of those flaws.