The dawn of the 2016 MLS season means the arrival of some new kits. But "new" does not always mean "better," especially when it comes to jerseys. We take a crack at breaking down our top five favorites, and five of the worst.
No. 5: New York City FC secondary kit
NYCFC’s secondary jersey has been divisive among fans, and for good reason. A departure from their primary sky blue, this kit is a much deeper hue. Most noticeable, obviously, is the ripple pattern across the front. It’s certainly a daring design, but one we don’t entirely hate. The orange accents go a long way to help make it cohesive. It might not be the prettiest kit, but at least it isn’t boring. Maybe the swirling pattern will distract their opponents.
No. 4: New England Revolution primary kit
Say whatever you want about their cartoonish logo, but the New England Revs will be looking good in their new primary duds. The Revs claim the red and white stripes down the middle represent the jackets of the Revolutionary War era. Others will say it’s a shameless rip off of Paris St. Germain’s home kit. Be that as it may, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, right?
No. 3: Houston Dynamo secondary kit
The Houston Dynamo have traditionally sported white secondary kits, so their 2016 offering is a stark departure from the norm. Dubbed the "Paint it Black" kits, Dynamo have, well, opted to go with black kits. New to the design is an orange (Die Mannschaft-esque) chevron across the chest, complete with a contrasting black Dynamo badge. Black is the new orange.
No. 2: Vancouver Whitecaps secondary kit
The Vancouver Whitecaps leaned on Mother Nature for their secondary jersey design, and wound up with a stunning design. Using the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest as inspiration, the Whitecaps christened the "Sea to Sky" kit for 2016. A gradient representing the deep blue water of the Pacific Ocean to the blue sky and finally white-capped mountains, this one’s a winner.
No. 1: Sporting Kansas City’s secondary kit
Sporting Kansas City’s secondary strip is perhaps the pick of the litter for the season’s new kits. Crisp and clean with little frivolity, the indigo offering delivers with a sharp henley collar. What’s more, the look had perhaps the biggest unveiling for an MLS (or any other league) kit, ever. Dropping your kit during a Super Bowl spot takes some major confidence … but when it looks like that, who could blame them?
No. 5: Seattle Sounders primary kit
The Seattle Sounders’ bright and bold style is part of their heritage, but sometimes the Rave Green kit can be a bit garish. While we don’t absolutely despise the kit, the interlocking "S" pattern makes the look a bit too busy. The pattern is supposedly inspired by Mt. Rainier, but we’re not exactly seeing the connection. The stark blue sleeves also don’t do much, other than distract.
No. 4: LA Galaxy primary kit
The LA Galaxy’s new primary kit isn’t exactly an eyesore, but the update appears more like a step backward, not forward. There’s not much they can do about the updated sponsorship requirement, but it certainly isn’t helping matters. A new feature is the jock tag that reads, "This is LA," intended to claim the city. With LAFC’s introduction looming, the tag seems more like an action borne out of nervousness than anything else.
No. 3: Orlando City SC secondary kit
Blessed with such a rich color scheme of royal purple, gold and white you’d hope Orlando City SC would bring it with their kit design. Unfortunately, their secondary kit for 2016 misses the mark. The bright white torso and purple sleeve combination is a bland design that seemingly sacrifices creativity for the sake of cleanliness, to a fault. The killer in this look: the faux collar. Not that a real collar would salvage the kit, but a fake one? C’mon.
No. 2: New York Red Bulls secondary kit
Another kit with the brash transition between contrasting colors at the shoulder, the New York Red Bulls’ secondary jersey is a flop. The blue torso and bright yellow sleeve combination is reminiscent of a crossing guard’s uniform gone wrong. The subtle pinstripes are a nice touch, but not enough to fully redeem the look. And don’t get us started on the gaudiness they’ve still got going on in the back.
No. 1: Columbus Crew SC secondary kit
Talk about saving the worst for last … these are brutal. Columbus Crew SC’s latest kit took the Internet by storm, but for all the wrong reasons. The "For Columbus" jersey pulled inspiration from the Columbus City Flag, but most folks assumed "The Minions," (or worse, a urinal) were the muse. A lot of the kits on this list could eventually grow on us, but this kit is a no-go from the start.