MLS is back and with it comes either brand-new primary, secondary or alternate uniforms and sometimes a combination of those for all 19 clubs. For the second straight year, MLS and kit provider adidas teamed up to hold a festival of uniforms, dubbed Jersey Week. But this year everyone got into the mix.
While some changes were subtle and others had a bit more pop — and by pop we mean how Sporting KC went all rugby on us and Portland offered up one of the best retro looks you’ll ever see — we’ve run down what’s new and all of what you’ll see on the field in 2014.
Take a look below:
Twelve of the 19 clubs opted to revitalize their primary kit as part of the 2014 overhaul.
The Chicago Fire kept their fire inspiration with plenty of red on the bottom of the uniform, but pushed blue to the forefront — and the top — by turning the top half of the shirt and the sleeves fully blue. The blue fades out under the sponsor logo before turning red.
As is a theme with Chivas USA, the primary kit was cleaned up, with the removal of the Corona logo, keeping the team’s well-known red and white stripes in prominent position.
Colorado has long played with touches of their state flag on various parts of the uniform, especially in 2013 when their blue alternate used the “C” from the state flag on the front of the jersey. This year we see that “C” move to the team’s primary red shirt.
In the signature yellow of the Columbus Crew, we get a bit more dimension throughout the jersey with a diamond pattern faded through the look. The Crew also added in the slogan “America’s hardest working team” on the inside collar.
One of two teams to jump the jersey week reveal, D.C. United already showed off its new primary kit — sans the Volkswagen logo — a few days early, pointing out that the eagle wings from their crest are now embossed in the three stripes over the shoulders. The word “tradition” is also printed on the back neckline in white, with new sponsor Leidos splashed across the front.
Don’t mind the giant white and blue sponsor logo hiding the subtly of the fact that FC Dallas gives us 11 lines that make up each hoop to represent the 11 players on the field.
Last year was so, well, last year for the LA Galaxy’s signature sash. The quasars that the team unveiled in the sash during jersey week 2013 have been replaced by 11 lines that — guess what? — signify the 11 players on the field.
The Montreal Impact is all about the fleur de lis and that is never more obvious than in 2014 where embossed fleur de lis form a cross under the fleur de lis-focused crest. Want more fleur de lis? If so, check out the metallic 3-D version on the “jock tag,” the tag on the lower portion of the uniform.
With an updated sponsor logo on the front, the New England Revolution added in a 3-D pine tree logo on the back between the shoulders.
If you didn’t know the Philadelphia Union boasted a rattlesnake in their crest, you’ll know after checking out the snake standing alone on the back neckline of their new look. Also new is the heightened sense of gold, with the axe given to the “city blue” of old, which makes way for more gold, everywhere from the traditional bold front stripe to pinstripes and the neckline.
The San Jose Earthquakes were the other MLS team to jump the jersey week gun, offering up a new jersey to match their new “Quakes” logo made to honor the teams’ 40-year history. The offset striped pattern in the new logo, designed as an interpretation of an earthquake, is shaded in blues throughout the jersey.
Crowns are king for Real Salt Lake, where a new crown bar runs in gold across the front of the jersey and under the crown-heavy crest. A small crown is also on the back of their primary red. Real Salt Lake also sports a new jersey sponsor.
The Houston Dynamo chopped the orange sleeves off their white secondary kit. But not literally. The new look features white sleeves with orange stripes and retains many of the same features of the 2013 look, including using the BBVA Compass Stadium façade design on the inside neck tape.
Sure, there’s a bit more yellow on the new blue secondary kit, but for the first time from any Red Bulls team across the world the city name plays prominent. Along with the “New York” on the jock tag, New York appears in giant letters above the Red Bulls on the back of the uniform.
Portland has done away with the confusing is-it-red-or-is-it-white? secondary look from last year, but the Timbers didn’t fully embrace just one color. The black-to-red fade found on the uniform and the small rose logo is meant to mimic a rose opening. Don’t fret, there are still plenty of thorns.
In keeping with the look of their new logo and their offset striped pattern, the San Jose Earthquakes new secondary kit mimics the look of the primary, but in red, a traditional color for a team celebrating history.
There are plenty of subtle touches in the new Sporting KC secondary kit, including a gold star above the crest signifying the club is the defending MLS Cup champion, a checkered pattern in the crest to give a feeling of a flag waving and a fan-inspired badge. But the most noticeable change is the appearance of the hoops — still in the two-toned blue the teams is known for — across the front, a reminder that Sporting KC also has a rugby squad.
While Toronto FC changes things up by opting for a gray secondary kit with red trim, the traditional eight vertical pinstripe look fades into little black maple leaves.
The Vancouver Whitecaps team crest has been embossed repeatedly in a diamond pattern on the front of the blue secondary kit to form a “wave” look, a tie to a traditional look for a team celebrating 40 years in existence. A commemorative metallic 40-year anniversary logo is on the back.
Only six teams will sport third jerseys — two are new for 2014 — during MLS play this season and none may be better than what the Portland Timbers unveiled. This 1970s-inspired look offers all the green and gold supporters want including the Timbers’ Army song line “And when I go, make sure I’m wearing green and gold” on the neckline. In another stellar move, jersey sponsor Alaska Airlines went retro too, using an old logo to match the uniform’s throwback feel.
Pitch black. That’s what the Seattle Sounders are calling their new not-as-neon third kit. Gone are the crazy blues and greens of past ("Super Cyan), with a black jersey — a nod to how quickly the waters of the Puget Sound turn black — with bright green trim as the replacement.
Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and technology for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.