MLS Kits 2020 | Ranking the New Shirts
It's raining MLS kits, but which raindrops are particularly beautiful? We've ranked all the new shirts from worst to first.
With the new MLS kits dropping yesterday, let’s look at what kit manufacturer adidas have conjured up for the league’s 25th anniversary celebration. The kits all have the same basic design template, with the iconic three stripes appearing over one shoulder, but there are still a range of unique designs and patterns to be found.
We’ll start from the worst and work our way to first.
26. FC Cincinnati Home
This is just an eyesore. It looks like a mashup of three or four different kit ideas, so maybe it should be dubbed the compromise kit. One half of the torso is a lighter ocean blue while the other half is a more royal blue. And then there’s the burnt orange stripes over the shoulder. Don’t forget the collar and sleeve cuffs, which appear to be a third, different shade of blue.
25. Montreal Impact Away
This is about as mundane as a kit can get really. The overall color is a dull gray, with very small vertical white stripes running up the torso to meet the black stripes over the shoulder. Not only does it lack creativity, it’s evidently from a world without color.
24. Seattle Sounders Home
The defending MLS Cup champs didn’t deserve this. The torso of the kit, with Microsoft Paint horizontal stripes, is horrific and clashes with the white stripes over the shoulder. The blue collar and sleeve cuffs are a nice touch, though it makes you wonder why the stripes over the shoulder are white instead of blue.
23. FC Dallas Home
This kit is a prime example of overthinking things. The top half looks great, with the white stripes over the shoulder pairing well with a solid red torso. But halfway down, it looks like there’s a blue printer ink test in the form of horizontal stripes. Sometimes less is more, and this is a case of that.
22. Houston Dynamo Home
Similar to the Sounders home kit, this kit’s torso is awful and clashes with the orange stripes over the shoulder. Blending horizontal stripes into vertical stripes is one of the greatest sins a kit manufacturer can commit. At least the torso stripes are the same color as the shoulder stripes on this one.
21. Colorado Rapids Home
If blending horizontal stripes into vertical stripes is a sin, this kit confirms blending diagonal stripes into vertical stripes isn’t much better. The bright side here is the light blue stripes over the shoulder match with the Adidas logo and kit sponsor.
20. Real Salt Lake Home
This kit looks too busy, and the design on the torso looks like an Adidas template for a boot. Originality aside, it doesn’t even flow with the blue stripes over the shoulder. The yellow Adidas logo and kit sponsor look vibrant though.
19. Toronto FC Away
There’s a lot going on in the torso of this kit as well. While criss-crossed diagonal stripes may not be the move, 10 points to Toronto for originality and taking a risk? At least the red stripes over the shoulder match the sleeve cuffs and Adidas logo and kit sponsor.
18. Nashville SC Away
For a debut kit, this is a bit too pedestrian. It’s basically just a blue shirt with no distinct characteristics to make it unique to Nashville. The silver lining here is the yellow stripes over the shoulder match the Adidas logo and kit sponsor.
17. Chicago Fire Home
This kit is the only one which doesn’t adhere to the three stripes over the shoulder template. While it’s decent enough looking, it feels as underwhelming as the club’s crest rebrand. The thin diagonal stripes are tough to see from afar, and other than that it’s fairly basic.
16. Columbus Crew Away
Like Toronto FC, Columbus Crew risked it all with their kit, but it didn’t pay off. The torso, which looks like pin art, is an interesting concept but makes it feel like a training top. Also, it doesn’t really mesh well with the yellow stripes over the shoulder. Definitely out of the box though.
15. Orlando City Away
This kit is also a refreshing attempt at something different. With a white shirt serving as a blank canvas, the lion’s mane in the club’s crest emanates from it and is overlaid in a lighter and lighter purple the further the copies of the mane get from the crest.
14. San Jose Earthquakes Away
This kit is one of the most unique in the new crop of kits. The white torso features a yellow bar above the club’s crest and Adidas logo, and a blue bar below it in a nod to the city flag. The stripes over the shoulder and sleeve cuffs are blue as well. Sadly, the atrocious kit sponsor overshadows and ruins everything.
13. DC United Home
This kit is simple, but sometimes there’s something elegant about simplicity. The white stripes over the shoulder don’t look out of place, and the red sleeve cuffs are clean. Would it be slightly better if the shoulder stripes and sleeve cuffs were matching though? Probably.
12. Philadelphia Union Home
This kit is also more on the traditional side, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s safe, but is there enough gold on it to please Philadelphia Union fans? Gold has long been a staple on their kits since the beginning.
11. Inter Miami CF Away
Similar to Nashville SC, this might be a little too simple for a debut kit. The pink stripes over the shoulder match well with the Adidas logo and club crest though. But perhaps Inter Miami should’ve taken a page out of USL League One side Forward Madison’s book and put mini pink heron watermarks on the black hole devoid of creativity that is the torso. Either way the color scheme is still one of the best in MLS.
10. Atlanta United Away
This kit masters the concept of elegant simplicity, which is why it’s ranked above the others. Yes, it’s just a white shirt, but the regal gold everywhere on the kit from the stripes over the shoulder to the club crest and kit sponsor make it much more. Feels like a classic Real Madrid kit.
9. LAFC Home
Similar to Atlanta United, this kit is simple yet classic. While the black stripes on a black shirt may be difficult to see from a distance, up close it looks tough. Also, LAFC fans got their wish, with the kit sponsor finally acquiescing to the club’s black and gold color scheme.
8. New England Revolution Home
Normally this kit would be filed away under created in Microsoft Paint, but there’s something about this one. The aesthetics of the horizontal bar in the middle of the torso matches the aesthetics of the club’s crest, which is one of the last OG crests in the MLS. Respect.
7. LA Galaxy Home
Like the New England Revolution, this kit has a distinct Microsoft Paint vibe to it. While the aesthetic of the club’s crest isn’t the same, it still works because the kit doesn’t deviate from the Galaxy’s classic sash look.
6. Portland Timbers Away
This is another example of blending horizontal stripes into vertical stripes, but this proves to be the exception to the rule. The torso is Sporting Lisbon-ish, and the forest green on the collar and the sleeve cuffs is perfect. Throw in the gold stripes over the shoulder and it’s a winner.
5. Vancouver Whitecaps FC Away
This kit is another exception to the rule due to the subtlety of the horizontal stripes on the torso, which alternate between a lighter blue and a darker blue. The almost baby blue stripes over the shoulder and the sleeve cuffs is the cherry on top.
4. New York City FC Away
At first glance it might seem like Adidas simply copied the diamond pattern in Bayern Munich’s crest here, but upon closer inspection some parts seem obfuscated. The white stripes over the shoulder seem a little out of place, but the torso design is too good to ignore.
3. Sporting Kansas City Away
This kit feels like the spiritual successor to Japan’s 2018 World Cup kit, with the royal blue torso featuring lighter blue dots on it. To complete the look there’s gray stripes over the shoulder along with the gray Adidas logo and kit sponsor.
2. Minnesota United FC Home
Given Minnesota United is nicknamed The Loons, it’s about time the bird featured prominently on their kit. Taking inspiration from the team's shirts during their NASL days, the United kit features the bird’s feathers superimposed as a watermark covering most of the torso. Fire.
1. New York Red Bulls Away
This kit is straight buttery. Set on a loud black shirt everything on the kit, from the stripes over the shoulder to the Adidas logo, and even the club’s crest, is a slick red. This is a must cop.
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