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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: New Kits, a Lack of Sponsors, and NYCFC’s Scheduling Woes

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The Heart and Sol debuted, the continuing lack of women’s sponsorships, and the Pigeons are playing in Red Bull Arena.

Mark Thor / Orlando City SC

With everything going on in the world, it can be nice to focus on soccer. We have new kits, opportunities for growth, and a little bit irony. Let’s see what got me going this week.

The Good

The new Heart and Sol kit is officially here. Is it perfect? Well, no. Our own Ben Miller gave his thoughts when it was leaked previously. However, there are some cool elements to it. One thing I noticed from the official release is that the coloring on the front panel seems to be darker than the leaked version. The three Adidas stripes on the shoulder are at least consistent throughout all the clubs, and the Florida icon is a nice touch. I will give it up to whoever thought to have Scooter Magruder do the unboxing. He wasn’t quite as outrageous as he is in other videos, but given it was for the club, I’ll give him a pass.

The Bad

Last September, FIFA promised to spend $1 billion over the next four years in response to criticism about prize money for the women versus the men. Last October, Budweiser agreed to a multi-year sponsorship deal with the NWSL. While those are good steps, more still needs to be done. Even Budweiser recognized this, and asked for other companies to also sponsor the league. Currently, Nike, Thorne Supplements, and the Lifetime Network are the only other sponsors. There’s no problem with the product on the field, either in the NWSL, or the international game. However, if women’s soccer is to thrive there needs to be more investment. That is hasn’t happened yet is the real shame.

The Ugly

There’s been plenty said about the differences in requirements for club entry into MLS. You have places like Minnesota, Nashville, and Orlando City that were required to have soccer-specific stadiums. Then there are the big markets like Atlanta and New York that for no good reason don’t seem to have to meet that standard. That double standard has come back to bite New York City FC in the rear. Typically, NYCFC plays its home matches at Yankee Stadium, which in itself is a whole other segment for the Ugly section. Now, because of scheduling conflicts, NYCFC will play its Concacaf Champions League match against AD San Carlos at Red Bull Arena later this month. Evidently the club tried Yankee Stadium and Citi Field first, but it was either Red Bull Arena or in Connecticut. One can’t help but think this wouldn’t have happened if NYCFC had been held to the same standard as Orlando City and other clubs.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.