Skip to content

Your Annual MLS Preview – 2019 Edition – Western Conference

By Phil Hecken, with Kyle Evans & CJ Fleck

Once again, I’m pleased to bring you the annual MLS Preview, today for the Western Conference (yesterday we covered the new jerseys for the Eastern Conference), and I’m again joined by 4-time p/reviewers Kyle Evans and CJ Fleck. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m actually away this weekend curling (and basically off the grid), so I pre-loaded the post before I departed on Thursday. If there’s any breaking uni news, I’m apologizing in advance for not covering it. Also (and apologies in advance) there will be no ticker today. Sorry :(.

There’s a lot to get to — and if you remember how Kyle and CJ work: Kyle gives his thoughts (not on a 5 star scale this time around) while CJ gives them the classic “good” or “stupid” designations. So let me turn this over now to the lads as they bring you their…

• • • • • •

2019 MLS Preview – Western Conference
By Kyle Evans & CJ Fleck

Thanks Phil! We’re excited to be back for another year of previewing all of the new MLS jerseys – it’s already our 4th year on Uni Watch!

Yes it’s still winter in most of the country, but MLS is back and kicks off this afternoon with a full slate of matches. In league news, the expansion trend continues with FC Cincinnati joining the Eastern Conference this season as the league’s 24th club. This marks the 3rd consecutive season with a new team and two more (Miami, Nashville) are set to join next season.

In jersey news, Adidas remains the league-wide kit supplier and you will notice the “three stripes” template on the shoulders or sides of each new jersey. This is also the annual reminder that MLS rotates their kits so that each year a team receives either a new primary or a new secondary kit, meaning that each design is (generally) on the field for two seasons.

The main trend this year is white. A lot of it. Exactly half (12 of 24) of the teams released a jersey that is predominantly white (I’m including light gray in this). It is rare for teams in MLS to have a third jersey option, so when combining with last year’s releases, this now means that 19 of the 24 teams have a white jersey as one of their two choices. (The only teams without a white option are Columbus, NYCFC, Houston, Seattle, and Sporting Kansas City.) Yes, the more teams that have white options means it is easier to avoid color-clashing, but it also results in many simple all-white uniforms with few (if any) design elements.

With the context out of the way, enjoy all of the new jerseys and share your thoughts on what you do or don’t like in the comments! (Click any photos below to enlarge.)

• • •

Colorado Rapids (secondary)

Colorado moves from a yellow and blue secondary jersey to all-white.

Kyle: Simple but their accent colors are nice. This would look nicer paired with the burgundy shorts as opposed to all-white.

CJ: So boring I might fall asleep. Good use of color, and I agree with Kyle on the shorts. Stupid.

• • •

FC Dallas (secondary)

FC Dallas also moves from a blue secondary jersey to all-white.

Kyle: Similar to Colorado, it’s simple with nice accent colors. The difference is that this would pair best with blue shorts and I’m not sure Dallas has that option.

CJ: You keep hitting those home runs, Adidas! Pumping out white kits like you got them on sale if you bought in bulk. Yikes. Stupid.

• • •

Houston Dynamo (primary)

Houston’s new primary jersey is in their traditional orange and features a sublimated zig-zag (lightning) pattern.

Kyle: As the only team with an orange jersey, they automatically stand out – in a good way for me. Again the sublimated pattern will be difficult to see on the field, but I like this one.

CJ: I find the advertising color distinction distracting, but otherwise a solid idea solidly executed. We’ll see how the sublimation looks on the field. Good.

• • •

Los Angeles FC (secondary)

LAFC’s second season brings a new secondary jersey which was previously all-white and is now mostly white with a thin gray horizontal striping pattern.

Kyle: So I suppose LAFC get props for trying to do something different than a simple all-white jersey (which they are replacing anyway), but oof I’m not a fan of this execution. Why not just gray hoops instead?

CJ: I find it funny that their advertiser is a streaming service and the jersey looks like a broken screen. I am not a fan of the badge colorization, either. Stupid.

• • •

LA Galaxy (secondary)

The Galaxy wear their secondary jersey less often than any other team in the league, and their latest features navy vertical stripes mixed with a “digital” design.

Kyle: The only thing I see when I look at this jersey is a QR code. The jersey would be fine with standard stripes, but maybe scanning the code unlocks features to help them make the playoffs.

CJ: World’s worst QR code is right. The digital age! Internet! Computers! Buzzwords! Please buy this garbage! Stupid.

• • •

Minnesota United (secondary)

All-white for the Loons.

Kyle: Simple doesn’t mean bad – it depends on the context! Again I tend to like their accent colors and am never a fan of all-white uniforms – colored shorts would be nice.

CJ: More white, though I guess it’s appropriate for the snow-covered northerners. Another bland (lack of) design. Stupid.

• • •

Portland Timbers (primary)

The Timbers’ new primary jersey is green with dark green hoops and gold accents.

Kyle: The Timbers always seem to have one of the best looks in the league and this year is no different. Quite a lovely design.

CJ: What a beauty. Blending the ad is always a good idea. Better hoop execution than the Union’s primary, that’s for sure. Good.

• • •

Real Salt Lake (secondary)

RSL moves from all-white to mostly white with some assorted jagged red “stripes.”

Kyle: When your printer runs out of ink.

CJ: Kyle is right. It’s not all white, which in the current climate makes it marginally better, but it can’t save it. Stupid.

• • •

San Jose Earthquakes (primary)

The only team in the league without a jersey advertiser, the Quakes’ new primary jersey is black with a block of blue on the top of the jersey.

Kyle: The design works and there seems to be a pattern now of emphasizing black over blue in their primary jerseys. And isn’t it crazy how much we’re trained to see ads that it almost looks incomplete without one?

CJ: Okay, this one definitely looks like a training top. I think Kyle is right about the ad, though. I’ll call it good for that alone.

• • •

Seattle Sounders (secondary)

The Sounders were the last team to reveal their new jersey, and unveiled a black secondary jersey with neon pink accents. Seattle also adds a new advertiser which has been updated on their rave green primary jerseys.

Kyle: I actually like the color combination and you’ll be seeing a lot more of it once Inter Miami enters the league next season. The jersey certainly stands out among the many white jerseys, but the contrasting ad color makes it look more like a billboard showcasing the new advertiser.

CJ: Pink and black? No no.

• • •

Sporting Kansas City (primary)

SKC’s new primary is light blue with a paler blue diagonal stripe design.

Kyle: Sure, why not? The diagonal stripes could be a solid color, but SKC is back to standing out with a unique design.

CJ: SKC always has something different, I’ll give them that. It looks like a crayon scribble, but it’s unique and fits the colors. Good.

• • •

Vancouver Whitecaps (primary)

The Whitecaps’ add a white primary jersey with a horizontal navy stripe, a navy collar, and navy shorts. This is the only new jersey that features a collar.

Kyle: I know CJ is especially fond of collars, and while they don’t move the needle in either direction for me, I’m especially fond of this uniform design. See why I keep making comments about contrasting shorts? They make a huge difference! The colors and elements work really well together and this has my vote for favorite new jersey in the West.

CJ: This looks gorgeous. Good, good, good, good.

• • • • • •

Thanks, guys! Great overview of the Western Conference. OK readers — what do you think of the new jerseys?

• • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • •

Now we know where they got the idea!

As you’re no doubt aware, last weekend I covered the Penguins/Flyers Stadium Series game in Philly, which featured both teams in black (the Pens were almost head-to-toe black, while the Flyers wore black accents and breezers, with mostly orange colors), as seen in the photo above. Both teams also featured black helmets with giant logos on them (an NHL first, and possibly last). Several readers pointed out that the Penguins, who only had the logo on one side of the helmet, were doing so as a tribute to the Steelers, who are also the only NFL team to feature a logo on only one side of their helmets.

But the unis stood out for another reason: They bore a striking resemblance to the “uniforms” worn in an old (and cult classic) movie “Rollerball.”

Reader Shawn Protz wrote me on Monday with the following, “Just wanted to point out that the outdoor hockey unis from yesterday look like the unis from the Houston-Tokyo matchup in the 1970s movie Rollerball.”

Now, on the twitter, a couple people made subtle references to the similarities, but no one included stills from the movie, and I didn’t think too much of it at the time. But once I saw the stills Shawn sent, I immediately saw the similarities. Dig:

Whoa! I’m sure the similarities between the Penguins & Flyers to the fictional Tokyo and Houston teams depicted in the 1975 film are purely coincidental — but there’s no denying there are certainly some similarities, not the least of which is the color schemes of the two teams, but also the helmets with logos! I remember watching the movie on TV when I was young (maybe 10 or 11 years old) — at the time, I was kind of turned off by the violence, but I enjoyed it about as much as a pre-teen kid could. I may have seen it once since then, but not in at least 30 years. Maybe it’s time to see it again.

Anyway, big thanks to Shawn for the screen grabs and for pointing out the similarities! Perhaps in 30 years, well see a couple hockey teams we’ll see a Stadium Series game between the Penguins and Canucks and someone will point out that those unis look like something seen in a movie made decades before. Then again, maybe not.

• • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • •


Uni Concepts & Tweaks

It’s been a long while since I ran this particular feature as a sublede (though I have run several full article with multiple uniform concepts and/or tweaks).

It’s probably time for it to return, so long as you guys still have a few concepts to share. If you do, Shoot me an E-mail (Phil (dot) Hecken (at) gmail (dot) com).

• • •

Got a set of one team earlier this week from reader Gary Hamilton who sent a KC Chiefs concept my way. Here’s Gary:

Mr. Hecken – Love your site and twitter feed. Long time fan. As a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs, I can speak for many who love that very little about our uniform has changed over the years. I love the logo, the color scheme and the overall clean and classic look. However, I think it could use at least a couple minor updates to bring into the modern era.

1. I have changed out the generic block numbers for the official Chiefs word mark font instead.

2. I have removed the “sleeve” stripes (all football teams should quit trying to put stripes where there is no longer a sleeve) and I put a two tone arrow in their place that fits the area much better.

3. The pants striping is in tandem with the two tone arrow on the sleeve.

That’s it. Helmet and logo remain the same. Using only team colors and the font change is to something the team already uses as well. I feel like this maintains the clean and classic look while giving it a bit of an updated look. What better time for it than the beginning of the Mahomes era?

Keep up the great work. Thanks.

Gary Hamilton

Thanks Gary. OK readers (and concepters). If you have some tweaks or concepts, shoot ’em my way with a brief description of your creation and I’ll run ’em here.

• • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • •

And that’s all for today folks. Sorry about the lack of ticker, but I’m sure we’ll have an extra big ticker tomorrow to make up for it! Catch you next weekend.

Peace,

PH

Comments (19)

    pewdiepie is a youtuber who has been the number one subscribed on the platform for for years and has acted as a voice for creators. Now, a corporation, T Series, is within a few thousand subscribers of him. Please subscribe to pewds, the internet needs your help.

    Am I missing something? What does this have to do with this post? Also, isnt he a Nazi?

    Vancouver Whitecaps uniform is nice. However, with the use of the one-colour template numbers, it is hard to see the red number on the double blue hoop on the back from a distance.

    https://assets.vancouverisawesome.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/25115412/whitecaps-min.jpg

    This uniform was to be a nod to the 1979 NASL champion Whitecaps, but the Whitecaps did not wear red numbers until after that Soccer Bowl season. Numbers were double blue in 1979:

    http://www.sportslogos.net/logos/view/sjd3efsg0t5iafnh9mzvo28u5/Vancouver_Whitecaps/1979/Home_Uniform

    Regarding the old uniform with the red number on top of the hoop. The red number was trimmed in white. This would have made a huge improvement to the visibility of the number on these new uniforms if they could have done it:

    http://www.sportslogos.net/logos/view/ndnuif6o5olqkxvaizbqafm1b/Vancouver_Whitecaps/1980/Home_Uniform

    This year’s uniform may have been better off paying a nod to later early 1980s Whitecaps uniform with the red number and the hoop not continuing to the back. The numbers would be more visible:

    http://www.sportslogos.net/logos/view/fgeg49lxxk99adffhq4chqmou/Vancouver_Whitecaps/1981/Home_Uniform

    Wade, too bad adidas and the Whitecaps don’t pay attention to detail like you do. Good analysis!

    Minor error: Part of San Jose’s text is in red. Also maybe part of Salt Lake depending on when you wanted the red to stop.

    I love Gary Hamilton’s updated Chiefs’ uniform design. But I do have a question about them. The Chiefs’ colors are red and yellow with white accents – reflected in their home and away socks, pants, and jerseys. But their helmets have always been red, black, and white with no inclusion of yellow. I thought for for Gary Hamilton would correct this but writes that the helmet would remain unchanged. Is this a tradition that I am missing? Really have never understood this uniform variation.

    Soccer jerseys are just the worst. They all look like the free t-shirts they give away at credit card kiosks.

    Couldn’t agree more. As I mentioned yesterday, it’s a t-shirt with advertising on it. Unless you follow the league you have no idea who the teams are, since the logo crest is too small to read. And how exciting are those gym shorts.

    Sorry I’m late on my MLS Eastern conference assessment. Here’ goes. West coming up soon. Hope the links work.

    Overall impression: How much does Adidas want people to shell out for these generally poor efforts? Good grief, talk about disrespecting the sheeple. This is lazy, lazy lazy.

    CICNY:
    I’ll give credit that manufacturers are looking for ways to do something different with stripes – like Atletico Madrid,

    https://en.as.com/en/2018/04/05/football/1522925739_218412.html

    http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2018/nov/06/uefa-champions-league-roundup-barca-through-antoin/

    or Crystal palace.

    https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/07/20/10/06E44312000003E8-5973979-image-a-2_1532078615897.jpg&imgrefurl=https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-5973979/Wilfried-Zaha-keen-big-money-away-Crystal-Palace-summer.html&h=434&w=634&tbnid=uBXhrCsi2qepPM&tbnh=186&tbnw=271&usg=AI4_-kTtqcue0M5oRsAgqDKdeQVrTjydgw&vet=1&docid=RiWER5BuBBNXHM

    It’s always struck me that a new striped kit is.. striped. That tradition really has affected kit sales (not that I care so much about that, but clubs clearly should). That said, it looks like they’re running out of ideas to modify stripes here. Same with a few others. (Montreal, lookin’ at you).

    The white kit looks like a great candidate to go after 1 year so Cincy can start the 2 year alternating rotation ASAP.

    ATLANTA – Always deserve your well earned star, but this is change for change sake. The stripe trap.

    CHICAGO – Good addition, even if it is white. Would be even better if they matched the stripe pattern in the middle with the home stripe: white-blue-white-red instead of white-blue-red.

    COLUMBUS – classic Columbus setup, but also one people can point to when noting that this year’s Adidas efforts in general really aren’t that adventurous. A but of yawn to it.

    DC UNITED – Didn’t even try, so I won’t waste words.

    MONTREAL – Not the biggest fan of fades in the first place. Baltimore MISL did a cool one in the 80’s

    https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/425308758531650490/

    but the recent fad, started with the US national team kit looks like the printer ran out of ink.

    http://worldsoccertalk.com/2015/03/25/usa-debuts-new-nike-away-soccer-jersey-for-2015/

    Now, the fade shows manufacturers are run-in out of ideas and it looks more laboured than innovative.

    NE REVS – Philly already played that “suit coat” imagery.

    https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2016/02/04/philadelphia-union-releases-new-primary-jersey-2016

    https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/414CvM06LoL._SL500_AC_SS350_.jpg&imgrefurl=https://www.amazon.com/California-Costumes-Colonial-Benjamin-Franklin/dp/B00IPKVU5G&h=350&w=350&tbnid=SlGOjTiKwtE_hM&tbnh=225&tbnw=225&usg=AI4_-kSuGv2GWd6_O4TXy1NLaaDS-9mlww&vet=1&docid=UJ03enEhsgilzM

    A bad attempt at a used motif.

    NYCFC – I like asymmetrical designs. This is good. Hate the break in design for ad space.

    NYRB – A lame slogan lamely sublimated. No thanks.

    ORLANDO – Purple is a nice change in the North American pro sports colour palette. Winter tire design? Is that to tell us they’ll win when hell freezes over? That they’re roadkill? A poor use recalling an iconic late 80’s Adidas template:
    https://www.joe.ie/uncategorized/joes-retro-jerseys-holland-1988-339144

    PHILLY: Yawn. None of that design will show up unless you’re face to face, meaning another plain white shirt.

    TORONTO – Pedantic moment: Montreal also has a button on their shirt.

    Just like I said about so much of the white, “It’s a red shirt”. Yawn.

    RSB

    San Jose Earthquakes – good
    The rest of the league – stupid
    #NoUniAds

    The Chiefs concept: good in theory, but should never become reality. Never change, Kansas City.

    Overall impression: How much does aAdidas want people to shell out for these generally poor efforts? Good grief, talk about disrespecting the sheeple.

    CICNY:
    I’ll give credit that manufacturers are looking for ways to do something different with stripes – like Atletico Madrid,

    https://en.as.com/en/2018/04/05/football/1522925739_218412.html

    http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2018/nov/06/uefa-champions-league-roundup-barca-through-antoin/

    Crystal palace.

    https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/07/20/10/06E44312000003E8-5973979-image-a-2_1532078615897.jpg&imgrefurl=https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-5973979/Wilfried-Zaha-keen-big-money-away-Crystal-Palace-summer.html&h=434&w=634&tbnid=uBXhrCsi2qepPM&tbnh=186&tbnw=271&usg=AI4_-kTtqcue0M5oRsAgqDKdeQVrTjydgw&vet=1&docid=RiWER5BuBBNXHM

    It’s always struck me that a new striped kit is.. striped. That tradition really has affected kit sales (not that I care so much about that, but clubs clearly should). That said, it looks like the y’re running out of ideas to modify stripes here. Same with a few others. (Montreal, looking’ at you)
    The white kit looks like a great candidate to go after 1 year so Cincy can start the 2 year alternating rotation ASAP.

    ATLANTA – Always deserve your well earned star, but change for change sake. The stripe trap.

    CHICAGO – good attrition, even if it is white. Would be even better if they matched the stripe pattern in the middle with the home stripe: white-blue-white-red instead of white-blue-red.

    COLUMBUS – classic Columbus setup, but also one people can point to when noting that this year’s Adidas efforts in general really aren’t that adventurous. A but of yawn to it.

    DC UNITED – Didn’t even try, so I won’t waste words.

    MONTREAL – Not the biggest fan of fades in the first place. Baltimore MISL did a cool one in the 80’s

    https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/425308758531650490/

    but the recent fad, started with the US national team kit
    looks like the printer ran out of ink.

    http://worldsoccertalk.com/2015/03/25/usa-debuts-new-nike-away-soccer-jersey-for-2015/

    Now, the fade shows manufacturers are run-in out of ideas and it looks more laboured than innovative.

    NE REVS – Philly already played that “suit coat” imagery.

    https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2016/02/04/philadelphia-union-releases-new-primary-jersey-2016

    https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/414CvM06LoL._SL500_AC_SS350_.jpg&imgrefurl=https://www.amazon.com/California-Costumes-Colonial-Benjamin-Franklin/dp/B00IPKVU5G&h=350&w=350&tbnid=SlGOjTiKwtE_hM&tbnh=225&tbnw=225&usg=AI4_-kSuGv2GWd6_O4TXy1NLaaDS-9mlww&vet=1&docid=UJ03enEhsgilzM

    A bad attempt at a used motif.

    NYCFC – I like asymmetrical designs. this is good. Hate the break in design for ad space.

    NYRB – A lame slogan lamely sublimated. No thanks.

    ORLANDO – Purple is a nice change in the North American pro sports colour palette. Winter tire design? Is that to tell us they’ll win when hell freezes over? they they’re roadkill? A poor use recalling an iconic late 80’s Adidas template:
    https://www.joe.ie/uncategorized/joes-retro-jerseys-holland-1988-339144

    PHILLY: Yawn. None of that design will show up unless you’re face to face, meaning another plain white shirt.

    TORONTO – Pedantic moment: Montreal also has a button on their shirt.

    Just like I said about so much of the white, “It’s a red shirt”. Yawn.

    WEST CONFERENCE:

    COLORADO: Yawn

    DALLAS: Yawn

    HOUSTON : Orange is good. Relatively plain. the sorta tiger stripe pattern is Meh at best.

    LAFC – looks like TV static, which is kinds ironic with a YouTube sponsorship. Oops, looks like that line was taken already by CJ. Let me add that the breaks in the static look like a poor attempt at seam matching.

    GALAXY: Glitch. It looks like a glitch. Considering they wear white and everyone else’s alternate is white, at least we won’t see this much.

    MINNY: Just like the crest on the front – A great big zero. Their pre-MLS kits were miles better.

    https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://i.imgur.com/7qVGkzl.jpg&imgrefurl=http://news.sportslogos.net/2017/02/16/minnesota-united-fc-sees-their-inaugural-home-kit-leak/&h=3456&w=2304&tbnid=4wykhGE1bnlJxM&tbnh=275&tbnw=183&usg=AI4_-kRhs_2W9lNceepEUFRhZnj0JOWJOw&vet=1&docid=_AEyqGNa-Q5V_M

    PORTLAND: Not bad at all. Not their best kit, but pretty good overall. Again, a not-so-common North American pro sports colour showing well.

    RSL: Bloodstain kit. Gross.

    SJ: The top third kit has never really taken off, but I tend to like it. Never a fan of SJ’s blue-black. Hard colours to use together successfully, their shade of blue gets lost in the black.

    SEATTLE. Not a bad combo. I’ve seen worse. Doesn’t really say “Seattle” but alternate kits are allowed more free rein.

    SKC: At least they tried something. Will look better from afar. Definitely had better kits in the past, though, especially the argyle efforts. Those were pure gold.

    https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Issues/2013/11/20/Marketing-and-Sponsorship/Sporting-KC.aspx

    Vancouver: Beauty. Not enough kits with collars. Shame about the sponsor taking the traditional VANCOUVER or WHITECAPS space,

    https://www.nasljerseys.com/images/Rowdies/Rowdies%2079%20Home%20Barry%20Kitchner,%20Soccer%20Bowl.jpg

    but welcome to the 21st century. Beauty kit. Names in the stripe under the number? That would be unbeatable.

    Shout out to Gary for using my concept and putting his own spin on it. Next time crediting me would be nice…

    Paul, I would recommend the original “Rollerball.” It is an extremely cynical story, and somewhat topical now.

    The MLS uniforms are the biggest reason I can’t take the league seriously. The Portland Timbers look like summer baggage handlers at their airport.

    Since we have to accept jersey ads, particularly in soccer, I’d be interested in an analysis of best and worst ads as part of the uni. I believe some can work ok as a design element (Red Bull, Target) and others just look like a distraction to t afterthought.

Comments are closed.