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Improving the Heart and Sol Kit

How I would tweak Orlando City’s away jersey.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Colorado Rapids Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

This week is Jersey Week at SB Nation, which means I turned my attention to Orlando City’s Heart and Sol jersey—the team’s away kit for this year. While the jersey does plenty of things well, there’s almost always improvements that can be made and the Heart and Sol is no exception. Let’s get to work.

First off, let’s discuss what the jersey does well. Overall, it’s a more distinctive look than a lot of the other 2020 Major League Soccer jerseys. As opposed to a solid background there’s the splash of purple across the chest, which on further examination is revealed to be an extension of the lion’s mane/sun radiating out from the club badge. Not only does it make for a cool use of purple, but it’s also a fantastic detail that plenty of fans appreciate, myself included.

That’s really what this kit does best—the little details. The Florida patch at the bottom part of the shirt incorporates a sun and the “We Follow You” tag on the inside of the neck exemplify how this jersey nails most of the little things.

Where it doesn’t do so well is overall execution of good ideas — namely the radiating purple sun/lion’s mane. The pattern ends just above the armpit, and it ends quite abruptly, almost giving the shirt a sort of two-toned faux-polo shirt look. This is largely due to the Adidas MLS template for the year, which has any pattern on the front of the shirt stop just above the armpit.

For some jerseys, like this Sporting Kansas City one, the template really works, but I just don’t think it does the Heart and Sol kit any favors. It could have looked very cool if the pattern had continued further up the shirt and ended around the neck, maybe even wrapping onto the sleeves. With the presence of the Adidas stripes on the right shoulder that would probably be tough to pull off well, though. That’s one of my other big gripes with this jersey, those damn Adidas stripes.

Unlike a lot of other people, I don’t hate the existence of the stripes in this particular jersey template, and I think plenty of teams have kits that use those stripes to good or even great effect. Again, the SKC jersey is a prime example of this. The light blue stripes add the perfect color variation to the otherwise largely dark navy blue and really pull the whole thing together. While the purple stripes on the Heart and Sol kit don’t necessarily look bad, I do think that the end result is a bit too monochromatic. I would have liked to have seen those stripes be gold instead. Other than the badge, there isn’t a lick of gold on this jersey and I think it suffers from it. While it might seem minor, that extra splash of color probably would have gone a long way.

So, where do I end up on this one? Personally, I think the Heart and Sol kit either needs the lion’s mane/sun pattern to go further up to the neckline, more gold overall in the kit, or both. I don’t think it’s a bad jersey, and it has actually grown on me quite a lot from when I first saw it. However, I think a couple minor tweaks could have really made it something special.

What are your thoughts and feelings on the Heart and Sol kit? Would you do anything to change it or is it perfect the way it is? Be sure to have your say down in the comments.