Grading the 2019 MLS Kits

Updated: Feb 26, 2019

The start of the MLS season is just around the corner, the first game kicking off on Saturday, March 2. Over the last few weeks, different teams have released at least one new kit, primary or secondary, to start the season with a fresh look. I am going to dive into those kits and grade them compared to their previous look and other teams.

Before we start, here are just a few things to remember.

1. Clubs often have limitations and templates they have to go by in order to work with their sponsors and the league.

2. Secondary kits are not always spectacular, most are white. It is what the teams do with limitations are what to be judged by.

3. I am playing with imaginary money. If I would buy the jersey is based on if I would like to own it. My own financial status is not implied. (If it was I would not buy anything because, let’s face it, I’m a broke college student.)

Atlanta United FC: Primary Kit

This jersey screams 2018 MLS Cup Winner. It is loud and proud with the bold red and black stripes and gold accents. My favorite element has to be the gold GA 17 in the bottom corner, signifying the starting season of the team. The only thing I don’t like about this jersey is the black box on the back. To me, ruins the slick and classy look. Because of that, I had to deduct some points.

courtesy of Atlanta United FC

Overall thoughts: Front-half obsessed

Would I buy?: Yes

Grade: A-

Chicago Fire FC: Secondary Kit

The Fire has not officially released their secondary kit for this season, but did debut it in a preseason match against the Columbus Crew. With what I have seen, I do not mind these jerseys. They are a little plain but the red touches are nice to look at. Normally, I am not a big fan of the one stripe, but I actually kind of like this addition, especially the stroke outlining it.

courtesy of Chicago Fire FC

Overall thoughts: Not a totally-boring secondary

Would I buy?: No

Grade: B-

FC Cincinnati: Primary and Secondary Kits

As a new edition to MLS, FC Cincinnati had to really impress with their first home kits. They did not disappoint. Their home kits confidently showcase their bright blue and orange colors in a fancy new striped look, almost like a technological glitch. It is a fresh take and asserts their newcomer status.

courtesy of FC Cincinnati

With an exciting home kit, I was disappointed with their secondary. It is a clean with a nice lightly striped background, but lacks some excitement. However, I do like how the logo stands out against the white.

courtesy of FC Cincinnati

Primary Kit:

Overall thoughts: absolutely amazing starter jersey

Would I buy? Yes please!

Grade: A

Secondary Kit:

Overall thoughts: not great, not bad

Would I buy? No

Grade: C+

Colorado Rapids: Secondary Kit

The Rapids released their ‘Black Diamond’ to represent their location of the mountains and the skill level they associate themselves playing. I think their reveal video was a great way to show their thought process behind the kit and what it means to the franchise.

Getting to the kit itself, it is clean but plain. The concept is for it to represent the snow but they could have done more with the design to make it different than everyone else’s away kits. I like the monochromatic maroon of the logo for it all to match, including the shorts and socks, but there is nothing to the kit other than that.

Overall thoughts: eh

Would I buy?: Only if it says “Rosenberry, 2” on the back

Grade: C

Columbus Crew SC: Primary Kit

The Columbus Crew released a primary kit that tributes the original club’s kits from 1996. It is a classy, bright yellow jersey that highlights the well known look of the Crew with a spin of newly-popularized background patterns. With all the drama of the potential selling of the team last season, a replica jersey as a tribute to the start is a great symbol of rebirth for the club. The kits are fresh with the light checkered-pattern and the v-neck black collar but gives a great feeling of nostalgia for the people who have stuck with the team from the start.

courtesy of Columbus Crew SC

Overall thought: Successful tribute

Would I buy? Sure

Grade: A

FC Dallas: Secondary Kit

FC Dallas’ secondary kit was named the ‘Reunion Jersey,’ and was to be inspired by the Dallas skyline. However, I do not see where the skyline is. I had imagined a white jersey with a shadow or at least an outline of the cityscape, but nothing is present that tells that it is a tribute to the Dallas scene. It is a clean design with details of coloring that represents the club well, but nothing that stands out. Just another plain secondary jersey.

courtesy of FC Dallas

Overall thoughts: *yawn*

Would I buy? No.

Grade: D

DC United: Secondary Kit

Another white jersey nothing on it. If you removed the sponsors, it would look identical to the one above minus the colors. Nothing to it besides an icy silver trim. It is a very clean jersey but nothing that catches the eye.

courtesy of DC United

Overall thoughts: bleh

Would I buy?: No

Grade: D

Houston Dynamo: Primary Kit

Not gonna lie, this kit is pretty cool. Bright orange with tiger-like stripes. However, it reminds me of a traffic cone. Houston continue to represent their colors with a fresh twist of the stripes. I can't wait to see what this looks like on the field, really can't miss any action.

courtesy of Houston Dynamo

Overall thoughts: roar

Would I buy?: Why not!

Grade: B+

LAFC: Secondary Kit

LAFC is entering their second year in MLS with a fresh secondary kit. Another team to pick up the glitch style, and another team to do it successfully. However, I am not too big on the colors chosen. I would have preferred white gold instead of the white gray to better represent the team. Overall, I think this is a fun kit to kickstart another well-projected season.

courtesy of LAFC

Overall thoughts: nice new kit

Would I buy?: I would rock this.

Grade: A-

LA Galaxy: Secondary Kit

The LA Galaxy revealed a new secondary kit sporting a new look, Night Navy, that replaces the traditional white. The front consists of two navy blues in a glitch form, which seems to be all the rage this season. At first, I was not a fan of this jersey. I thought it looked awkward, however, after seeing it on the players, it has grown on me. It is a nice change to the traditional white secondary kit. The only problem is the weird block on the back, similar to Atlanta’s, not a fan.

courtesy of LA Galaxy

Overall thoughts: a nice change

Would I buy?: Yes, it is a fun look to sport

Grade: B

Minnesota United FC: Secondary Kit

Minnesota United is entering its third year in the MLS and so far, the results are underwhelming. What is also underwhelming? Their new secondary kit. ‘Drift’ is the theme of their new release but the name has more to it than the actual jersey. It is just a plain white shirt, no design or pattern, with some light blue accents. They had the opportunity to make an icy design as a backdrop or work some kind of wintery element to represent the cold state, but failed to do so.

courtesy of Minnesota United FC

Overall thoughts: BORING

Would I buy?: No, thank you.

Grade: D

Montreal Impact: Primary Kit

I LOVE THIS JERSEY! This is by far the best kit released for the 2019 season. It is a fresh and modern look with the fade away vertical stripes. I am absolutely obsessed. The blue is vibrant and the featured bell is a great touch. If the Impact can have as amazing of a season as their jersey design, they will be in great shape!

courtesy of Montreal Impact

Overall thoughts: LOVE LOVE LOVE

Would I buy? Hell yes

Grade: A+

New England Revolution: Secondary Kit

Another white secondary kit. However, this one has a little flare to it. On the edges, leading to the sleeves, is a pale and transparent blue that makes the dark trim stand out. As far as secondary kits go, this is certainly not bad. I appreciate the effort the Revs put into the design to make it anything other than plain white.

courtesy of New England Revolution

Overall thoughts: pretty nice

Would I buy? I don't think so

Grade: C+

New York City Football Club: Primary Kit

NYCFC’s goal with the new kit was to represent its namesake-city, and it did just that. The new home kit is the same light blue that they have worn since their debut season in 2015. The addition of the navy blue and orange stripe to represent all three of the city’s colors was a great move. Personally, I am not that big of a fan of the new jerseys. It is basically the old jersey with an extra stripe, but I respect the commitment the team has to the New York City community.

courtesy of NYCFC

Overall thoughts: successful rep of the city

Would I buy?: Probably not

Grade: B

New York Red Bulls: Secondary Kit

RBNY revealed their own spin on the popular glitch style with their new secondary kit. It pains me to say this, but I love this kit. The previous secondary was a yellow and blue kit that was hideous, so this is a nice new style. The gray glitch is a fresh look that makes the Red Bull logo stand out. I really hate that I love this kit.

courtesy of RBNY

Overall thoughts: refreshing

Would I buy?: Yes (if I didn’t hate RBNY)

Grade: B+

Orlando City SC: Primary Kit

This new Orlando City kit is NICE. The vibrant purple base with the dark, diagonal-lined pattern is so unique to soccer jerseys. It is definitely the ‘glo-up’ version of the old kit that will hopefully bring new life to the fading team this season. Nani is going to rock the purple.

courtesy of Orlando City SC

Overall thoughts: a good new start

Would I buy?: Totally

Grade: A

Philadelphia Union: Secondary Kit

The Union released a fan-inspired kit for their 10-year anniversary that sparked some controversies from their release video. However, the kit itself is popular among fans. It is a white kit that features light blue stripes all pointing towards the team’s symbol, a snake. Another unique feature is the ability to choose the back tag from an assortment of options. The back tags were designed by different organizations and celebrities like Bone Daddy Tattoo, the Sons of Ben and Zach and Julie Ertz. Philly took a new approach to represent the fans that I adore, especially because I am a Union fan. If I were to change anything, I would make the stripes more dynamic so it can stand out. The Philadelphia Union took advantage of the opportunity to mark their 10-year anniversary by representing the fans with an unique twist on the secondary white kit.

courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Overall thoughts: fan forward beauty

Would I buy? LOL already did

Grade: A-

Portland Timbers FC: Primary Kit

The Portland Timbers have been famous for their forest green look since their debut season in 2009 and are going to continue to sport that look this year with their new primary kits. The jerseys are changed, however. The club added a shadowed green stripes that gives contrast to the original color. My favorite addition is the end of the fans’ chant, “We’ll Sing For You Timbers – ‘Til You Finish The Fight,” in the neck of the collar, giving a nice personal touch to the jersey.

courtesy of Portland Timbers FC

Overall thoughts: successful upgrade

Would I buy?: Yes

Grade: A-

Real Salt Lake: Secondary Kit

Real Salt Lake is another club that have chosen to the glitch style, however on their secondary jerseys. This is a nice twist on an otherwise boring white. It is a cool-looking jersey that I actually prefer to their primary. If I had a say in the design, I would add their other color, yellow, to the glitch to add contrast and color or make the jersey a solid yellow with the red streaks. In my opinion, most successful team with the glitch style, but could’ve done a little more.

courtesy of Real Salt Lake

Overall thoughts: sick

Would I buy?: Absolutely

Grade: B+

San Jose Earthquakes: Primary Kit

I’m going to be straightforward with this kit. IT IS TRASH. San Jose have been in the league since the start and always have had nice kits. They are generally unique and kickstarters for new styles, but it looks as though they took a step back with this design. It is a block of blue with a single stripe, then all black. It is a boring home kit, especially compared to their previous ones. I have nothing else to say about this kit. I just don’t like it.

courtesy of San Jose Earthquakes

Overall thoughts: is this a joke?

Would I buy?: Definitely not.

Grade: D

Seattle Sounders FC: Secondary Kit

This is the last kit released for the 2019 MLS season and lets just say, SEATTLE ROCKED IT! Like their tweet said, "Not a white kit," and I am so relieved. This "Nightfall" kit is all black with a neon pink accent and a beautiful write scripted sponsor logo. I am in awe of this jersey. It is a totally revamped style for the Sounders, extremely different from their green and blue color scheme and all I can say is, Seattle: I am all for this.

courtesy of Seattle Sounders

Overall thoughts: Best secondary kit this season

Would I buy?: Hell yeah

Grade: A+

Sporting Kansas City: Primary Kit

This kit is fresh. Sporting KC did great with this release. The ‘raw gray’ and ‘dark indigo’ diagonal stripes are a new look to MLS. It is unique and fun and represents the colors of the club well. The stripes themselves even have texture, which is really nice. Well done KC, second favorite of the season.

courtesy of Sporting KC

Overall thoughts: funky fresh

Would I buy? Yes

Grade: A

Toronto FC: Primary Kit

Toronto FC went from being on top to being on the bottom within one year. They lost the star Giovinco and with that went any creativity. The new kit is just as bad as their performance in the first round of the CCL. The kit is just as bad as Michael Bradley in the World Cup qualifiers. IT IS THAT BAD. It is a plain red kit with a collar, it is not even clean or classy. It looks like a polo I would wear as an athletic trainer. The only good thing about it is the leaf featuring the CN Tower in a maple leaf.

courtesy of Toronto FC

Overall thoughts: Michael Bradley is poop

Would I buy? No.

Grade: D

Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Primary Kit

This new kit has many pros and cons. The Whitecaps new kit features a classy and clean cut blue collar on a white jersey. On the front, there is a bold blue stripe with a light blue border, to match the collar and shorts, that wraps around the entire jersey. That stripe is great but also awful. Why? Because it intercepts the red, yes red, number and name on the back. It makes it look messy and unprofessional. If I were judging just the front, it would be an A since it is so classy, but I am judging the whole kit.

courtesy of Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Overall thoughts: a mullet (business in the front, weird in the back)

Would I buy? Nah

Grade: B-

My Top 5:

1. Montreal Impact

2. Sporting KC

3. Seattle Sounders

4. Orlando City

5. Philadelphia Union (I just had to include it)

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