Welcome back, everyone. This is the second part of my rating of the leaked kits for the upcoming MLS season. If you’re late to the party you can find part one here. To refresh your memory, I grouped all of the jerseys included in this particular leak into five categories, which are as follows.
HOTDAMN!: The highest tier. I have deemed jerseys in this tier spectacular for one reason or another, but most likely for multiple reasons. They are the cream of the leaked jersey crop, the best of the bunch, and knock my socks clean off my feet when I gaze upon them.
Ooooh I Like That!: Much as the title suggests, this tier is for jerseys that I really like, but didn’t quite win me over in the way the jerseys in the “HOTDAMN!” category did. While being almost excellent, these were just missing that little thing to take them to the next level.
Good But Not Great: Better than average but nothing more. If this were a grade it would be an 83/100. Passing, but you clearly didn’t put any extra effort into this particular exam. You did enough to keep your parents off your back, but any lower and your seat starts to get hot.
Meh, It’s Fine: A fairly self explanatory category, these jerseys are just fine. Not particularly good, not particularly bad. They simply exist.
What Am I Looking At?: As the questioning nature of the title suggests, these are jerseys that I’m bemused by. They may be outright bad, or simply rather confusing. Who’s to say?
Thus far we have gone through the first two categories, now on to the rest.
Good But Not Great
New England Revolution (Home)
Let me start by saying that I actually kind of like the way the sponsor is overlaid on the flag outline. Its a creative way of using the team’s absolutely abhorrent crest, and gives the shirt some color that it really needs. The 25 patch, marking this as the Revs’ 25th year in existence, is a nice touch, and while this is a good-looking kit, it doesn’t really do too much for me personally. I think I would have liked to see more red in it somewhere.
New York Red Bulls (Home)
Black kits are a risky business, as we will find out later in this article. They’re naturally imposing, but can get boring pretty quickly if there aren’t enough other things going on. The way the red stands out on this jersey is very striking, but it feels too monochromatic to me. Maybe a yellow sun would have looked stupid but perhaps just a yellow outline instead of a red one? Who knows, but I feel like the more I look at it, there’s too much black and red.
New York City FC (Away)
The biggest positive here in my opinion is the fact that its a unique design compared to all the others. The chevron-type background is a cool idea, and the little “For the City” at the bottom is a cool detail. With that being said, damn this kit has a ton of navy on it and not much else. It’s a solid enough concept but the shirt is crying out for some other kind of color. Either you nail navy like Sporting Kansas City did, or it just looks a bit boring the way it does here. Solid enough, but this one cuts it close for me.
Meh, It’s Fine
Inter Miami CF (Away)
To be fair, this doesn’t yet have a jersey sponsor on it, so maybe that’s why it looks so...”bleh” to me. The little flamingos on the abdomen are cool once you spot them but it took me a long time to actually pick out that they were there. Maybe this one will look better once it has a sponsor, but for now it’s a swing and mostly a miss with that tricky all-black jersey.
I seem to remember a lot of people hating the red YouTube button in the logo of last year’s home jersey for LAFC, but honestly I liked it. I thought it gave the jersey an extra splash of color that it really could have used here. Also, for heaven’s sake, don’t try to be edgy by making the Adidas stripe black on black, make those babies gold like God intended. Overall, it just doesn’t stand out enough to me, especially when your club colors are as cool as black and gold.
Seattle Sounders (Home)
I had lots of mixed feelings about this one. I’ll start by saying I do not care for the horizontal zebra stripe things, I don’t think they work for this jersey. It could have been really clean with the blue bottom sleeves and white Adidas stripes but the zebra stuff just tanks it for me. The Washington patch and sleeve bottoms are about the only thing keeping this one’s head above water.
Houston Dynamo (Away)
To be honest, I came within a whisker of confining this one to my last category, because on first appearance the orange stripes appear to be all sorts of randomly wonky. But, if you look at the way the Texas flag patch is laying and the way the sponsor appears to be rippled, I think the stripes are in fact uniformly horizontal, but appear to be otherwise because the shirt isn’t flat in the picture. I think it could end up looking rather nice, but I’m definitely going to have to see another picture of it.
What am I Looking At?
Real Salt Lake (Home)
This jersey, on the other hand, gets no such pass. “But Ben, what if it’s the same deal as the Houston shirt and looks weird because of how its laying?” Listen, if you can tell me what that wonky blue pattern is and what its significance is supposed to be then maybe I’ll change my mind. But right now, I don’t know what I’m looking at, thus it finds itself here.
Columbus Crew (Home)
Pretty much everything I said about the RSL jersey applies here. Bonus points for making the Adidas striping that striking yellow, I quite like that. However, I am mystified as to what that background is supposed to be, if it’s supposed to be anything at all. It doesn’t look horrible, it just doesn’t look very good, or like much of anything. At least not to me.
Atlanta United (Away)
This might seem like a harsh candidate for this category at first, but stay with me here. Atlanta’s primary colors are black and red. So why is there nary a trace of black and/or red to be found on a single stitch of this jersey? At first glance I legitimately thought it was LAFC’s away jersey from last year and that’s a problem. Yes, I know that gold is the team’s other color and it represents excellence, and yes I know their away jersey last year had peach on it. But honestly, I would prefer the peach to the gold because Georgia is known for its peaches, so that’s a detail paying homage to the state where the club is located. I’m fully prepared to get some hate for this one, but I honestly didn’t even associate this jersey with Atlanta at first, and for me that’s pretty damning.
San Jose Earthquakes (Away)
Okay...what is this? Is the yellow supposed to be a rising sun? Is it supposed to be a tectonic plate pushing towards the blue horizontal stripe, which is also a tectonic plate? Upon doing some Googling I found out that the two stripes resemble the flag of the city of San Jose, but guess what? Most people don’t know that! It probably isn’t unreasonable to say that plenty of citizens of San Jose don’t know what the city’s flag looks like, and in my humble opinion, at the end of the day a jersey shouldn’t need to be Googled or explained in order for someone to understand the idea behind it. No thank you.
FC Cincinnati (Home)
I’m not sure where to start with this one...it’s just odd to me. The lighter blue is more or less the same shade that was on Cincy’s home jersey’s last year, while the navy is a new addition. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to play with differing shades of blue, but bisecting the shirt down the middle, with the navy then only going up to the bottom of the collar while the lighter blue goes all the way to the back? So strange! I would say props for the orange Adidas stripes but there’s just so much going on here that the orange actually makes everything a bit more confusing to me. Just...what am I looking at?
Whew, well there we go. You’ll notice that the Chicago Fire, LA Galaxy, Montreal Impact, and Nashville SC weren’t on this list because they weren’t included in this particular kit leak. If this is something you want to see more of then say so in the comments and maybe I’ll do a follow-up piece when the official unveiling happens next week. Be sure to let me know y’all’s opinions. I stared at these pictures for so long that I may have lost my mind, and I’m also just very curious to hear what you guys think!