Why MLS Needs a New Logo and More Creative Shirt Designs

I have been a soccer fan for many years. Since half of my family is English and lives in England, I have always been an England supporter and a supporter of Tottenham Hotspur (somewhat local team) and Reading (local team). A couple of years ago a friend suggested I should give MLS a chance. He informed me it was a growing league and had great potential for talent and was different from the previous professional soccer leagues in the US.

I decided to give it a chance. However, one of the things I have noticed about MLS is the lack of creativity and imagination in the development of their uniforms and badges. To be honest many of their uniforms and team insignia are just dull and boring and inspire little or no confidence.  MLS uniforms have a cookie cutter feel to them. In looking at MLS kit designs and team logos, I thought to myself “Is this the best they can do?” Selling a product is all about marketing, to ensure a successful product — in this case MLS.  You want your product to be a success and pleasing to the consumer and MLS is lacking in that area. At the end of the day soccer and all professional sports are businesses that need and want to make money.

I don’t care what anyone says about soccer in this country, it struggles and struggles a lot. With a product that you know has problems you want it to look good. Overall the majority of the club uniforms and badges need creative thought. Adidas dominates the kits of MLS and that is a problem in itself. The MLS logo is boring, a shoe kicking a ball. MLS can do better than that. I think the wearing of the United States and Canadian flags on the uniforms in my view is cheap and tacky and really doesn’t have any value or importance in displaying them on the uniforms.

In my youth I played sports and I still do and there is a sense of pride when you are dressed well. You feel confident and proud in who you are and in your team. To give a better perspective on the subject. you can look to history for a wonderful example. In the early 17th century on the eve of the Thirty Years’ War in Europe, a military revolution was taking place. One of the developments to come from this revolution was the development of standard uniforms for soldiers. King Gustavus Adolphus II of Sweden began the practice of introducing standard uniforms in his army. Uniforms were being issued to the different regiments in the Swedish Army along with regimental insignia. This move had a very positive impact and was embraced by other nations in Europe as well. What was learned from this development is that soldiers felt better about themselves, their units and comrades. They performed better on the battlefield.

However, the same is not true for MLS. If you want to be successful, the look is a massive part of that success. Plus, it gives the supporters a sense of pride. The release of new kits in other leagues around the world is one of intense speculation and excitement but not really for MLS teams, I have not seen it. One of the biggest problems is Adidas has a monopoly on kit design for MLS uniforms and I think it would be better to have more competition from other manufacturers such as Nike, Puma, Under Armour or Umbro. It would allow for a greater selection of kit design from those manufacturers.

I think both Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA have two of the best uniform designs in the league. LA’s team crest is simple but elegant, and has a polished look. The badge for Chivas is Old World in appearance and shows some creativity. The Chivas badge looks like a medieval crest and being a historian I find the use of the idea to be very appealing. I think both clubs have done well with using the Adidas template in creating a very fashionable and a sleek uniform, so it can be done. I give credit to the Los Angeles Galaxy in their third shirt design. It’s different than anything I have seen in the league. It may not be the best but it does show creativity.

I will say Kansas City has done a complete turnaround in their uniform and badge design from last season and someone in their marketing department was using their brain. For one the name change from Wizards to Sporting Kansas City was a massive improvement. Although they don’t have a major cooperate sponsor on their shirts. I will say the new colors and shirt designs are up there with the two Los Angeles teams. Their shorts are smart and very chic looking. I like the collar on the home shirt; it adds a classic traditional look. It is a very simple but attractive uniform, as is their new badge.

As a shirt design I do like the New York Red Bulls jersey. However, I think the team could have been more creative in the overall shirt design or pattern design. All the club really did was lift the Red Bull logo off the can and placed it on the shirt; I think they could have done a better job to find an alternate design. It is not as if Red Bull doesn’t have a massive marketing department for their company.

Meanwhile, I think Philadelphia and DC United have done a fairly good job in their logo design trying to add a historical element to their team logo. That is something New England could have done, instead of the Revolution. For example, I think the Minutemen would have been a far better name. With that name they could have developed an eye catching badge based on the Minuteman statue in Concord, Massachusetts.

I will give credit to Columbus with their away shirt. In my view black always looks sharp and the yellow vertical stripes are different, so at least there are some ideas floating around in their club. I am not a huge fan of the shirt but it does show some desire for change.

Overall, I will say most of the clubs are just rolling out dull kits. Colorado, New England, Toronto, Philadelphia, Chicago, and DC United are just a few lacking in any creativity. There isn’t anything there — bland and boring is what comes to mind. The majority of them just look the same with a few minor exceptions. Dallas could do such more with their kit, I like the hoop design but they need a little something more to add an attractive quality to the shirt.

Seattle’s third kit most be considered the worst of any of them. The shirt is just blinding. Their yellow shirt reminds me of a neon bar sign. I need sunglasses just to look at it, and you couldn’t pay me to wear it. Plus, the Sounders logo is a picture of the Space Needle. There is so more about Seattle, and that was the best idea? Plus, the other Sounder jerseys look like someone placed pieces of duct tape on the shirts. What is that all about?

Even the club I support, San Jose, could do more with their image. Overall the name isn’t bad but a soccer ball with shockwaves emerging from the ball? Something new needs to be developed. I do like the team colors (black, blue and white) but they have had the same shirt design, for the most part, for the last couple of years and I think they need to come up with a new one. I do like the San Jose white away jersey and even purchased one. I think it is step in the right direction.

I have not been impressed with any of the goalkeeper shirts from any club. Plus I haven’t seen any attempt by the clubs in selling them to the public so that should tell you what they think of them. Most of the goalkeeper tops are yellow, lime green, or black with white shorts — not exciting at all. If there is any shirt you can be creative with, it’s the goalkeeper jersey — lots of color and patterns could be used. Plus, if you have dark color uniforms you don’t use dark colors for the player’s name and number. In addition, start making the number one look like the number one and not sevens on team jerseys.

It would be nice to see more patterns with stripes, color patterns or infusion of color and shapes on the team uniforms. In looking at all the different leagues in the world so many of them have a sense of style and creativity to their team’s kit and I think it is something MLS marketers, clubs and Adidas designers should be looking at. The sad thing is that the states/provinces and cities where the clubs are based have such a rich history and culture and that could have been used in their logo design, kits and club names as well. For example the states, cities and provinces have flags and seals which could have been a factor in helping creating club identity.

Just look at the new expansion team in the NHL, the Winnipeg Jets. Granted, they were in Winnipeg before moving to Arizona. I have just seen their new logo and it looks amazing. It is sharp, sleek and eye catching. I give the designers a lot of credit in the development of the new logo. Winnipeg used their history of aviation connection with the city and Manitoba, and their close relationship with the Royal Canadian Air Force (based in the area) in the development of their new team logo. That is one stylish look that Winnipeg has created, so I do give them a lot of credit. Why can’t that happen with MLS teams?

As I said I am not a fan of the Adidas templates but having said that I think there is progress being made with other clubs. If you look in England, the Liverpool home and away shirts look very smart as do the Chelsea home and away shirts. I like the use of pattern and color in the Chelsea away shirt. I do like what West Brom have done with both their home and away shirts. I particular like the away shirt, with patterns and use of blue in the design. I think Stoke City has hit the nail on the head with a very nice kit design for both home and away for the next season. I believe Stoke City’s away shirt is going to be a huge success with the fans the black and blue stripes look fantastic. I think others have done well with the Adidas kit: Schalke, FC Nuremberg, Wolfsburg, Hamburg, Bayern Munich (away shirt) and although a bit busy, I give credit to Olympique Marseille with their home and away shirts. I think it can be done but the vast majority of MLS teams just seem so lazy in their kit design.

The MLS logo has got to go and something more creative must take its place. Unfortunately this not just a MLS problem. Most of the logos for professional league teams in the United States are just not creative enough. But for them it isn’t an issue because they are established such as the NFL, NHL, MLB and the NBA. But for soccer it is a different story. You need something to catch the attention of a public that hasn’t bought into the whole soccer thing. Again just looking at the different leagues around the world, they have produced some very attractive league logos. For example look at Serie A, Bundesliga, La Liqa and the Premier League and see what they have done and of course they are many leagues around the world to view as well. Why that can’t be done in the United States is beyond me.

Furthermore, I think placing the American and Canadian flag on the shirts is pointless, I just don’t get it. They aren’t national teams and the players come from all parts of the world not just the US or Canada. It further cheapens the meaning and the symbolism of the flags particularly the American flag (since I am an American) by placing it on everything. It makes it look too commercial and tacky.

Fans will buy team shirts to show their support but I am not going to waste my money on a product that is not pleasing to the eye. As of right now MLS has a lot of work to do. You don’t want your product to look like some fly-by-night operation. I would encourage the marketing departments all of the clubs to expand and begin rethinking how to show off their product.

98 thoughts on “Why MLS Needs a New Logo and More Creative Shirt Designs”

  1. The kits are fine. Your opinions are just opinions. I think DC United and Phili Union have the best kits in the league and I have lived in Wilmslow, UK

    1. Yeah, and the league’s logo could use a slight sprucing up because it looks a little dated and/or cartoony, but that’s still an alarmingly superficial reason not to support a league.

  2. When I first read the title of this post I completely agreed. I was excited to read your opinion. However, by the end I find myself defending MLS and completely disagreeing with you. How you think LA has creative kits but then say that Philadelphia has a “dull kit” is beyond me. Philadelphia’s kit is unique around the league. Same goes with FC Dallas. Their hoops are unique and a classy look, I don’t know what else you want added to that kit. I’m also very confused at what you mean by “color patterns or infusion of color and shapes.” Have you seen where this league has come from since day 1 of the league? We had some terrible jersey designs when the league was founded and this swing towards more traditional jerseys is just a natural progression as we mature as a league.

    I will agree that the MLS logo needs a revamp, but think it could be worse. I’d rather have this logo that blends in with the other national sports leagues in the country than have a really gimmicky logo that gives more fuel to those who make fun of soccer.

    And in closing the Philadelphia Union do sell Mondragon goalkeeper jerseys in two colors and it is one of the highest selling on the team.

  3. I think that MLS has good uniforms and good logos. I like some more than others though. Im a sounders fan living in seattle. Yes there is more to seattle, but the space needle is a major city symbol. I like our logo, its one of the best in the world. I like our kits too, but the yellow one is kinda extreme but it looks better in person. I guess we could put the sound and mountains on our logo, but vancouver already did that and proyland put treeish things on theirs.For MLS to succeed in America, it cant be to much like europe.

    1. I live in Seattle, I just think they could have done a better job. We could have used something from the state’s past.

  4. I agree that the MLS logo could use a re-design, but I agree with the above comments that your opinion of which MLS teams have good kits and which have bad kits is hard to agree with. Also, your Spurs have possibly the most boring kits in the EPL. Overall, the 11/12 EPL kits are really poorly designed and most are just as cookie cutter as what Adidas does for MLS.

    1. I’ll agree with you about the Spurs and I’ll add that their logo is one of the worst in the EPL. It looks like a knock off of the French National Team logo perched on a ball. Weak sauce indeed.
      I do not understand how anyone can think that the Galaxy’s crest is fresh and exciting while claiming that Chicago’s is dull! LA has one of the most generic, cookie cutter crests in the league while Chicago has one designed to invoke fire fighter badges. If anything, Chicago has one of the best crests in the league! Of course this guy also said the Sounders are dull for incorporating the city’s predominant monument in their crest while praising Chivas for being “Old World in appearance.” Does he realize that Chivas’ crest is a simple modification of the real Chivas’ crest?! Nothing about Chivas USA’s look is original!
      Overall, I would say that MLS has some of the best uniform designs as a league. Sure there are some dullards like New England, but then there are some very exciting kits like Portland (the best in the league). But overall the league is full of crisp, professional kits in an every increasing array of team colors. The quirkiness of Seattle (the city) is captured in their bizarre duct-tape kits. The Fire emulate actual fire fighter uniforms with their kits. Chivas USA pays homage to their big brother club with their kits. The original teams all feature evolutionary designs that reflect changes in their cities’ soccer culture since 1996.
      I am not against removing the flags from the uniforms. I don’t see the point in having them.
      I am open to the idea of tweaking the MLS logo a bit as it is probably the worst in all of our major league sports (including second tier leagues like MLL, NLL, AFL). But thematically, it should resemble our other sports leagues rather than emulating European leagues. This is not Europe.
      I realize this was an opinion piece, but it was little more than baseless rambling incoherence. It was like reading a stream of consciousness from somebody that does not really follow MLS, know its history, know its place in the domestic market, or know much about American sports.

  5. So just to be clear, Liverpool in all red with black goalie kit is sharp.

    TFC in all red with black goalie kit is lacking creativity.

    Obviously there are some ugly jerseys, but your determination of what is good and bad seems a little arbitrary.

    Most goalie tops are lime green, yellow or black? Oh no!!

    1. apart from Juventus, Inter and Milan, most Serie A kits are plagued with sponsorships. although thats a necessity. but if youre talking about Lotto kits, they are alright.

      EPL kits are usually the best because it being the most popular league in the world shirt suppliers usually use it as a platform to display its merch in the best possible manner. its ur opinion fine but im saying usually the best brands try to associate themselves with the best teams possible.

      btw american brands Warrior and Under Armour are going to supply Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. pretty cool

  6. What are you talking about? MLS has really cool jerseys i think the marketing team is doing a great job!! the Fire has one of the best jerseys out there.

    1. nah nah i think MLS kits are possibly the worst in the soccer world. they are all the same. and most teams have white away kits, very bland. a influx of different brands would be waaaay better. plus in terms of marketing, i havent been influenced to buy a mls merch. so i dont think they are doing a great job.

  7. MLS kits are the worst. I love futbol and the MLS and kits in general. I have tried to convince myself to buy a MLS kit many times but my sense of style always prrevents me. MLS marketing flaws run deep. They can’t decide if they want to be the next NFL or EPL. If they can’t get this huge fan to dish out a few bucks for a kit(I own more than 50 sports Jerseys) then a new or peripheral fan will never buy.

  8. Matthew, I may have trashed you on other threads, but I think you have a point here. I mean this is purely subjective, and what one guy likes another might not, but I do think the adidas monopoly on MLS shirts isn’t a particularly good thing. There are some decent MLS shirts out there, but there are also a few ugly/generic ones. I think opening it up to different manufacturers might give each team a bit more identity.

    I think the badges are often ugly. The problem is, most of them have been designed in the exact same style (generally too much cartoony, clip-art stuff), and don’t have any history to them. I think teams might be better off if they adopted elements of their cities’ flags/crests etc.

    Overall, it’s not a big issue, but I think it is something that has always grated with many people.

    1. Gotta disagree with you about Stoke’s kit though – it is one of the most cookie-cutter, generic, mail-order-catalogue designs I’ve ever seen.

    2. Welcome back Dave, it always good to have someone to needle you. Keeps you on your feet. I agree that using a city’s or state’s seal/crest or flag as a starting off point would be good. Plus, the history can be a great help as well.

  9. The NE Revolution have the worst logo and uniforms of any of the MLS teams hands down…and I’m a fan :)

    Thumbs down to Dallas (garish and gimmick-ridden), Chicago Fire (needs a revamp from the original MLS jersey template without a team name on it), Houston (looks minor league, bad color combo). Thumbs up to Sporting KC, Vancouver, Portland, Seattle, PHL and DC United.

  10. US Soccer does NOT need to globalize its product. It does not need to emulate any of the international leagues. It is catering to Americans or foreigners who live in the U.S. Let its’ look, feel, flavor, style and everything else about it be as American as is the very name of the sport here!

    1. So we should kick out the Canadian teams? Come on. Soccer is a global game and that’s it appeal here in the US. The American crowd that has to be catered too is going to be watching the NFL or MLB. The vast majority of MLS fans are soccer fans who watch it because it’s our domestic league. Anything that makes it a better soccer league is only going to strengthen its appeal to those fans and help bring in those soccer fans who still won’t give it a chance.

      1. Interesting side note about the MLS not needing to be like the rest of the world. Check out what just happened in the Argentine league. A 40 team Division 1. If this is accepted by FIFA, this will totally change the possibilities for MLS for the better. I think you and I can both agree on this.

        1. AFA corruption at its finest. River Plate will be back in Division I not through promotion but “expansion”. AFA will still have relegation but damn this league is so screwed.

        2. Yes, if FIFA approves and it works, it will be interesting to watch. I fear they will not approve it or it will be seen by most in Argentina as simply an effort to save River Plate from relegation. But if it works, it would be a game changer.

          1. It is to save a team like River Plate from relegation. The economic impact on the league and parts of the country are goinh to be great. At least that is what they fear. It’s like having the Galaxy or Sounders relegated. It would be devastating.

          2. The Argentine league is a little longer established than ours. The loss of River Plate would be painful, but not existential. But you are right that the loss of LA Galaxy or Seattle Sounders would be devastating to the MLS. That’s why I’m not in favor of promotion and relegation until we can get to at least 32-40 professional teams with quality stadiums and solid business models. But that’s a long way off; to do it, you’d have to break apart single entity as we know and have more of an NFL type single entity model (individual owners for each team and the teams own equal shares of the league, instead of vice versa). That will eventually come but it’s a long way down the road.

          3. Well, I was referring more to having a larger MLS being a possibility, even in the short term. I figured that we would both be able to agree on that much.

          4. I do think a larger MLS with some sort of region system (say a 24 team league with 4 6-team regions where each team plays their regional opponents 4 times and the other 18 teams once for a total of 38 games) would be a good way to 1) save money on travel costs and 2) build regional awareness/rivalries. I could see that working in some fashion or a another as a way to expand the league and it’s appeal in the interim. I couldn’t see a system like that working much beyond 32 teams or so. 40 in Argentina sounds like a real stretch. The reason: you dilute your talent pool. If you have a top tier of 20 teams and a 2nd tier of 20 teams, that second tier isn’t really competing with the 1st tier for players. But if they’re all on the same tier competing for the same title, they will be drawing players from the same pool (of course, MLS teams don’t actually compete for players, they are allocated, but the same principle applies). The other downside, probably more important in the modern game, is that revenue gets diluted too. Every single place you expand to has to bring in more value than the average value of the league teams prior to expansion; otherwise, TV contracts and sponsorships will actually decline on a per team basis.

            So I mean I do agree with you that it’s something the MLS should explore because I don’t think we should stop at 20 pro teams once the Cosmos come on board (you know that’s who Garber will pick, probably he’ll announce it Friday night), but we should only keep expanding as far as it improves the product on the field and make the league a better TV property.

  11. The reason Adidas has a monopoly on kits in the league is because they agreed to invest $100 million in the league over ten years. They’re one of, if not the, biggest single source of revenue for the league. The MLS is not going to give that up any time soon and whoever replaces them will get have a total monopoly as well so long as MLS remains a totally integrated single entity.

    MLS jerseys have gotten a lot better in my opinion. Names and logos have improved a great deal as well since the league has decided to consciously embrace soccer traditions and not simply try to copy the NFL. Some teams have better colors and logos than others, but that’s the case in the EPL, too. Yeah, the Sounders have a blinding set of colors, but it’s also distinctive and their fans seem to love it. Lots of other teams look serviceable is not appealing. I agree that the league would do well to bring a little more variety to the kit designs, but it’s not the biggest problem in the league. Removing the American and Canadian flags I would support because it’s meaningless in the context of the club game but it would be a big political PR flap because people who know nothing about it would claim this is yet another example of how soccer is unpatriotic or some such nonsense. I promise you someone on one of the cable channels would dredge up righteous indignation about it.

    You are dead on on the MLS logo, however. It remains stuck in the early 1990s. A ton of American soccer clubs and leagues still have the logo of the old Adidas Telstar-style ball feature prominently; I don’t know why. It looks like an AYSO league logo. The logo should be updated to be sleeker, simpler, and more professional. We don’t have a historic symbol like the EPL with the lion, but we could learn a lot from a logo that well-designed.

  12. The problem with those who dislike the MLS is that most of them have a list of criticisms against the MLS, but one thing is always lacking….. creative solutions. For example, this article talks about the lack of creativity in the logos; however, there are no examples of what he would label as a great logo. What does a great logo look like?

    Easy to criticize, much harder to come up with viable solutions and especially with the MLS – a league trying to cater to so many people groups, cultures, and comparing themselves to other futbol leagues. If someone enjoys the EPL, Seria A, or any other league, why bash the the MLS? why not offer solutions instead of criticisms (which are a dime-a-dozen)?

    Enjoy your league of choice.

    1. Learn to read. I never said I didn’t like the league and fact I follow the league. I am trying to make it better than what it is. There is nothing wrong with improving something.

      1. It was not clear in your article if you followed the league in a regular basis… also, not sure how one improves something simply by criticizing…. evaluation + solutions = improvement. That is why I said that criticisms is very easy…. questions: what do you want logo’s to look like? what does your favorite logo look like? how could MLS change and still include so many different people groups here in the US? Have you emailed the marketing branch of MLS? if your idea of logo’s is mainly from a European point of view, would European looking logo’s work here in the US? Though there is value to bringing many of the best European marketing and business practices, the M LS has other challenging issues that European teams do not deal with (salary cap, multicultural issues, competing sports, to name a few). Outside of MU, Liverpool, Chelsea, and a few others, I imagine that there are many EPL teams that struggle with marketing challenges to attract new fans outside their town or geographical location.

        1. I am sorry if I came across rude or as what you said. To be fair I did, and I am sorry about that. I have written several articles and I really love debating or discussing ideas. I just get a little annoyed with individuals and it is not a lot who just want to be jerks. What I got from your comment was that I didn’t like the league; if I am incorrect I am sorry. I don’t feel I am bashing the league; I want to help it and make it better. I don’t see in looking around at different leagues for an idea doesn’t mean you have to be copies of them. There are those who agree and those who don’t and that is great. Plus, I did give examples within the league of team logos that I thought looked good. Also, I mentioned several teams that use an Adidas template as good examples. That is where I get annoyed is because people aren’t paying attention (a spillover from my regular job). I don’t care about critics. I wanted to create a forum for discussing the issue. A team will cater to their city and with a good product the world will come. That is why I thought looking at the history of the city and region could be helpful not just the history of a club.

          1. good point…. to follow up with your idea of “history of the city and region could be helpful not just the history of a club”…. with teams that move to another region, how does it affect team history, logos, branding, etc?

  13. oh ho ho! yes! great article. while logos and kits may not be very important topic it is however a money maker and thus a important topic.

    i feel club crests (or logos if you want to call them that) have come along way from 1996 even though some kiddy designs still exist (IMO portland should have kept their USL crest). people dont realise that soccer kits are a HUGE industry. more money to $$$ means more revenue to spend on players (assuming MLS finally grows some balls and lets clubs buy players freely). their adidas deal is worth about $800 million but i think clubs can benefit more if they were allowed to sign their own shirt sponsorship. MLS has a pretty mono tone look. a single shirt sponsorship works in other leagues like NBA, NFL and MLB because even though they never change designs, their logos (cartoony but eye catching and flashy, BTW im not advocating for mls to use dumb american cartoony logos) covers most of the shirt and in the case of NFL its the helmet and numbers. even then NFL and Reebok rolls out some pretty nice jerseys (the throw backs for some teams).

    You are right to point out Adidas monopoly not only in MLS but in american sports all together. Adidas supplies: MLS, NBA, NFL and NHL (NFL and NHL by way of Reebok, adidas owns reebok). if there was diversity in MLS (at least in apperance) people would not only pay attention but most importantly buy more. i see MLS products at my local sports store all the time and i dont really buy them (unless they are a good price) because they are the same thing. i think Nike would do a great job with Portland and LAG (cuz before then Nike had a good relationship with LAG). the influx of brands like Nike, Umbro, reebok (well maybe not reebok) Puma and so on and so forth will not only bring alittle more diversity and colour to MLS but also sponsorship money. the $800 million package of adidas sounds like alot but other brands have just as much to give too.

    Youre also right to point out the hype of new kits brings to fans. i frequently go on footballshirtculture.com and fans are always eager to buy new merch. and see the new look for the team. Adidas usually use a feeler market to try out its dull templates (ive seen colorado rapids kit used on more than 7 teams, in the english second division alone and Venezuela). have you also noticed how many MLS teams use white as their away kit? (i counted 11: Revs, Rapids, Union, United, Fire, Chivas, FC dallas, TFC, Dynamo, Earthquakes, Real. it would be 15 if you include teams that use white as their home kit: LAG, NJRB, Whitecaps, Timbers) thats pretty dull and boring.

    as for the MLS logo i agree it needs a revamp. while i dont think it should incorporate the canadian flag or the american flag (if it does then a single canadian leaf and a single american star should be it) it looks very mickey mouseish and cartoony. i think MLS shouldnt be a private company and be branded as a USSF Division 1 league. or just revamp the logo. plus Major league soccer is soo…….weird. i think it should just be called North American League One. though this topic here is not that important.

    For a league that is monotone in every way possible (every club must be the same, have the same salary cap, have the same players, league signed players, have the same kits, and all be majority league owned and operated) it needs alittle colour. (tid bit NJRB has used the same kit for the past 3 years) but unfortunatley the adidas deal doesnt end till 2018 and MLS probably wont axe it before hand. in the end its all about $$$ and if MLS gets what it wants it can care less about what fans wants

    1. Alex, I agree that more teams need to dump the white kits. I’ll give Vancouver a pass because at least they have a stripe pattern rather than solid white. There is no reason for TFC to wear white when they have that great gunmetal color. I am not happy that Colorado switched to white, but I’m sure it has something to do with KC’s new colors. DC, RSL & San Jose could easily make their thirds a secondary kit.
      However, some of the team’s you mention don’t wear white as a primary or secondary kit. The Union wear white as a third kit; navy is primary and gold is secondary, so they get a pass. The Timbers don’t have a white kit; they have a green kit and a red kit. Chivas wears red & white stripes as their primary, so it does not count; navy is the secondary. Dallas wears two different colors of hoops – red primary and blue secondary – so they don’t count.
      The Whitecaps, Galaxy, and Red Bulls are the only teams that wear white as their primary. RSL, TFC, DC, the Fire, Quakes, Rapids, Dynamo, and Revs are the only teams that wear white as their secondary. Still, that is 11/18 and I’d wager that Montreal will wear white as their secondary as well.

      1. Didn’t the MLS used to have a rule that you HAD to have a white away kit? I believe this is/was also the case in NFL and NHL too. As much as many people think it’s boring, I kind of like the idea. It means that no-one has any rational reason to bring out a 3rd kit (which are nearly always garish) just for the sake of fleecing a few more fans who feel like they have to buy everything.

        1. I think your right about hocky. But I don’t think that is the case for the NFL. I am a Dallas fan and their home shirt is white but then again sometimes they wear their navy shirt at home but mainy away games.

  14. You do realize that the San Jose logo is a play off of the city flag, right? They aren’t “shockwaves”, theyre sun rays. Not that that makes it any better.

    1. youre right, it doesnt make it any better. there are too many clubs with “logos” that feature old time soccer balls. i think we need more crest that dont feature some clipart thing in the middle. i always liked Fulhams crest and Rangers ligature.

      but i think what will do the league better is more diverstiy of brands. i think Umbro will really make LAG kits look snazzy. their current ones look like store bought, template trainers. Portlands are pretty ugly too. what happened to thier black away kit? that was nice. and colorado rapids light blue away kit was a classy colour and they switch to white. adidas has got to go.

    2. The Quakes’ badge is uber ugly – and I’m a season ticket holder. There should be a redo on all badges with soccer balls. I agree that MLS kits generally lack imagination and that only a few are genuinely attractive. But the designs have gotten somewhat better over the years and this is not even close to being the biggest problem the league faces.

  15. The jerseys are fine, and Adidas is a major sponsor of the league so its fine. The only thing that needs to change is the MLS logo.

  16. I’m so glad someone said something.I’m sick of all the teams having addidas stripe and 4 some reason y the eastern conference all suck.Plus their are 2 many red,blue,gold kits.i would love 2 see a puma chicago fire or nike LA galaxy kit,or NY cosmo fly umbro colors.

  17. Frankly speaking, the logo is archaic. America as a country is a technology advanced nation along with adidas who are one of the giant manufacturers in terms of sportswear..so i think this should not be voiced before action will take place… the logo should have been branded as time goes by.. so i think the Mls should do something about this….

  18. Oh, How I love MLS Fans. Your league is in the middle of CCL being overshadowed by the All-Star Game and this is what you guys are complaining about?!

    1. So, you think people should be only writing and dicussing things you think are important. Your statement is that of a fool. So according to your great wisdom people shouldn’t be discussing anything else concerning MLS but the fact that CCL is being overshadowed by the All Star Game. You embody one of many pitfalls of the internet it allows any fool to say anything. If you’re such a fountain of knowledge put pen to paper and let’s see an article written by you and you can write about how the All Star Game is overshadowing the CCL.

      1. The internet doesn’t grant me that right, it’s the 1st amendment as long as it isn’t slander or liable. Maybe you should take your own advice and omit your “fool” statement. If you can’t take constructive criticism from your audience maybe you should find another HOBBY.

        Your last few post have been complete garbage. Instead of writing about what cute uniforms MLS provides maybe you should right something to reverse the ratings free fall MLS is experiencing.

        1. Wow, I am still laughing. You are a funny guy. Dam I am still laughing at you not with you. I am really at of lose of words. You are way to serious, I think some professoinal help might be in order. If I write about the story you want, would that make you happy? Thank you for giving me something to laugh at all day.

        2. You have a point. The first amendment gives you the right to act like a pompous jerk, er, I mean, give constructive criticism. It also gives the rest of us the right to call you out on it. Not that people can’t figure it out anyway. The first amendment is not an excuse to act like a complete tool.

          1. I love good debate and constructive criticism but as you said Alan we can all be civil. That dude is a major tool.

      2. Matthew, meet Robert, MLS Talk’s number 1 troll whose sole purpose is to bash MLS any chance he can. He’s quite a guy.

  19. Ya I agree with you except for the NY Red Bulls part. In my opinion I would just like for next year the uniform to be like this… Red Jersey, White Shorts, Red Socks, that would be awesome.

    1. I really like the design of the shirt but just thought they could have done something a bit different with logo. I think your idea for the uniform would look pretty good.

    2. ya I agree that the logo could be a lot better, they could make the new logo resemble the Metro New York/New Jersey Area a bit more while still showing off the words Red Bulls. Maybe they could do what the New York Mets baseball team did with there logo which was show that there team was called the mets and in the background have a picture of New York City… http://jztoursonline.com/shop/images/NYM_1235.gif

  20. With Seattle I think the rich aviation history could have been used in the naming of club and then the creation of a team crest.

    1. The Sounders have a great name. The crest is a little generic (unlike the Timbers, they didn’t have a snazzy, well-designed NASL crest to go off of). I am all in favor of teams tapping into the history of the NASL clubs if those towns had a history of supporting those clubs.

  21. This is not about a US or Europe thing. This about strong marketing and making a product better and I think there is room for improvement. I want the league to do well and advance. I really don’t get why people want to make it a US vs. Europe story because isn’t.

  22. Less is more. I look other leagues kits and think how terribly they look with the big logos plastered across their chest, stripes and the multicolor jerseys. I like plain and simple looking jerseys. The jerseys in the US don’t change much and I like that.

  23. Matt, no offense but you come off as sort of a d***. You flip out at anyone that disagrees with you and don’t really discuss, you just defend yourself. I think all of the jerseys would be fine, except that people see Adidas jerseys so much that eventually they get bored with it. Anytime I see someone with an MLS jersey walking down the street i think it looks fine, unless its the Revs, which look terrible. Adidas is just too big of a sponsor to give up, but perhaps they could allow the teams more options with the jersey template?

    What your saying about rebranding is old news as many teams have already started addressing this problem, but i think many of the kits look very clean, especially Dallas (What more can they add to hoops?) and Philly, who actually has somewhat of a historic meaning behind it. I think DC has a very clean kit and while I like the Galaxy’s kits (especially the new ones, they’re quality) they some of the most simple, so you kind of contradict yourself. You can’t just create tradition and history, the league is young and it will come with time.

    1. A team could design any jersey they want and send it over to adidas and have it made(as long as it has 3 stripes somewhere). If they are unwilling to do that, then they’ll get a template. It’s not like adidas forces a team to take a specific design.

      “Hey adidas, we’d like a jersey with a sash and another one with hoops.”

      “Hell no, you’ll get nothing but piping and like it.”

  24. This is one of the most poorly written articles I’ve read in quite a long time. You jump all over there place, and there isn’t a coherent thought. It just ends up being lots of rambling. I’m not sure if you’re one of the ‘soccer experts’ that post on this site, or just someone that thinks that an all white kit with a Mansion logo is brilliant.

    Portland has unique kits that incorporate a lot of the history and culture of the Timbers organization.

    Also – trashing people that read and comment on your articles isn’t the greatest idea. Learn to take some criticism about your writing style and thought process.

  25. What is so funny about this article is that it ignores that every club on planet Earth are using template designs, and that the design is selected by the kit manufacturer – not the club. Select any team in the world, and you’ll be able to find at least two other professional clubs using the same template (assigned by the manufacturer). The beautiful game decided to whore itself out to Adidas, Nike, Umbro, etc. and shirt sponsors, so there isn’t a kit in the sport that would remotely qualify as good branding.

    1. That’s simply not true. Show me one other club in this world who has an away shirt that’s designed like Chelsea’s (see http://epltalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/chelsea-away-shirt.jpg) or who has a home shirt like Bolton (see http://epltalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/bolton-home-shirt.jpg).

      More clubs are using the same templates these days, but there are still lots of clubs who have custom-created shirts (the above two are just a couple examples, there are plenty more).

      The Gaffer

      1. Point taken on the bolton kit, but the chelsea kit uses the same template as all the MLS teams use, which it looks unique, when put into a league with all other adidas jerseys, people would most likely find it boring

  26. Constructive and intelligent criticism is wonderful and you can see some agree will other disagree with the story, a nice civil dialogue. If you want to be critical of my writing so be it. So what is wrong with? No thesis statement, no structure, no organization, no evidence, no analysis, please be specific. Plus, when I refer to history I am also referring to the history of the city or region of the club not just the history of the club. If you had read more closely you would have seen that. But if a person wants to be a jerk then I will treat them a like a jerk. If you want respect you earn it by but not being a tool. I was very critical with one individual and will be to rude and uncivil people. But thank you Brad I did enjoy your rant; people like you always give something to laugh at. Also, Mansion is no longer the sponsor for Spurs.

    1. Matt, you just did it again. You got ultra defensive and avoided the entire point. You don’t respond to the post with legitimate criticism and counterpoints to your argument, but only to the points that you want to defend yourself against. More specifically, your writing is all over the place and you contradict yourself many times. One example is that you tell teams to be more creative and add more to complex designs such as Dallas which already has hoops, but then praise LA Galaxy for their simple jerseys. Then you go on to criticize Bradley which is completely unrelated and talk about re-branding of teams such as revolution. While you made SOME good points, your writing is very wordy and drawn out and hard to read with a very broad focal point. If you stuck simply to the jersey’s and offered some more specific suggestions, such as ways to get around the templates, it would be more interesting to read. Also, i think your missing the point about the template argument. Just because a jersey might seem interesting in a market with different brands (such as the chelsea away kit) I think in MLS it would blend in boringly with the others because they are the same BASIC design. Its a shame all the kits are Adidas but thats just the way it is.

      1. I don’t call it be defensive at all. So according to you defending your work is being sensitive and defensive. I think we are going to disagree on that one. How can I be sensitive when loads of people have disagreed with me and yes, I have made a couple of blunt remarks. That was done because I think people are not reading and understanding what I am saying. They are allowing their passions to take control of reasoning like politics and religion. Bradley, who are you referring? There is no mention of Bradley in the story. I didn’t say Dallas was a complex design. I just said I kind of like it but maybe something else could be done. Giving credit to the LA uniform is not a contraction. I think you are missing the meaning of the word, contraction. The point behind the piece was creativity and creativity comes in different forms. Creativity doesn’t mean complex or hard it can very simply and to the point. I am not sure how you can draw that conclusion as being a contraction. The format is clear I stated in the opening paragraphs that I would discuss the uniform/badges, MLS logo and the issue of the flags on the uniform. The text of the story was organized around that structure. Re-branding of the Revolution, I was providing just one example of a creative change. Since I was being critical of MLS uniforms, I thought the readers would want me to provide at least one idea of change. As far as the templates are concern I think teams have gotten around that and I suggested a few in the story. Plus, breaking the hold that Adidas has in the market would be a step in the right direction, again mentioned in the story. Plus, there is a point where we can agree to disagree and that is fine.

    2. Matthew,
      You’re right that some people can be idiots and uncivil. However, I really think you do “flip out” when people offer any relatively polite disagreement. Don’t take things personally – when people say your article is incoherent or rambling, that is constructive criticism, not a personal attack. Likewise, if someone says your idea isn’t very good, and explains why, that’s not a personal attack. Responding with an attitude of “you’re a jerk, I laugh at people like you, you need to grow up/learn to read properly, why don’t you write your own article if you think you’re so smart” only exacerbates the problem.

      1. Dave, I agree if people want to be critical of my writing fine but just be specific as to why. Provide some examples so I can see what the person is talking about. What bothers me is when people don’t provide a good explanation. It is not flipping out at all. As I have said I am used to this so it is not a problem. I think where you and I disagree is on the person’s explanation. In my view I don’t see it as a good explanation but you perhaps you do. For example when I give critical feedback to my students I give them a fairly lengthy explanation because I want them to get it right next time and at times I can be harsh because I want to get the message across and learn. I think that is an individual difference. Sports are just politics and religion passion governs and like Ben Franklin said passion never governs wisely. What annoys me is when I see people making comments and appears to me that they didn’t really read or understand what I was trying to get across. I don’t like lazy people. I am sorry if that seems harsh or unfair but that is the way I see it. If a person wants to be a jerk I will treat them like a jerk. The ability to complain is one of the easiest things in the world to do, anyone can do it. For some people that’s all they like to do and some do it on purpose to be a jerk. So in the rare instance where I suggest they write a story, what I am telling them is anyone can complain but it something completely different to pen your name to a story and open yourself for the whole world to see. Plus, I am not really expecting them to do that but I hope they can draw something from the message. I can be a blunt person but I have to be in my line of work so it spills over here.

  27. I’m a Quakes fan, and really I don’t have too much of a problem with the team’s crest. Changing the crest is also changing the team’s history. That same exact logo is the brand that won two MLS Cups. To mention, San Jose’s crest has a triangle-shaped template that represents the three big cities and regions of the Bay Area, San Francisco on the left, Oakland on the right, and San Jose on the bottom. The only rough change I would make is the soccer ball. I think it’s looks a little “campy”, to say.

  28. Completely agree 100%

    The problem is Adidas gives MLS buttloads of money to be exclusive. MLS Logo is sh*t too and needs to be changed but I don’t see that happening.

    Seattle 3rd kit worst in mls… Agree 1000% Hell I know tons of Seattle fans that hate it. Their badge isn’t horrible but it’s not exactly cool either. I do like the outline of the space needle on the back of the neck of their new kits though, really cool

  29. I completely agree with your thoughts about the league logo. Definitely needs an update. But I actually really like the team logos (with the exceptions of New England, San Jose, and Kansas City), and don’t have much of a problem with the jerseys (i agree more could be done to some though). But what I really hate are those plain ass jerseys, with colorado, kansas city, chicago away, and columbus. Man put some design into it! It doesn’t necessarily need to be a sponsor or city name, just something. DC’s three stripes were so classy in my book.

    Regardless of whether the players wear shit or gold, i’m always gonna be a fan though

  30. Please, oh please, quit trying to “improve” MLS. Everything I’ve read about your “improvements” has been total crap. Why? Because they don’t really improve anything.

    Really? MLS would be better if they changed kits and badges? What, would Messi and Ronaldo suddenly say “Hey, that Revs logo looks cool, and I love the jersey. How about we ditch Spain and go to the USA!”

    Several points:
    1. Adidas pays huge money to design all the kits. I also see Adidas doing many kits worldwide, including Chelsea and Liverpool in the Premiership. If Adidas is good enough for top clubs around the globe (Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, etc), I think they are good enough for MLS.

    2. Outside of Columbus and New England, I’m a big fan of every kit in MLS right now. As for badges, also a big fan of them all, including the Revs! I’m a big time soccer fan, love the EPL, and love MLS.

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  33. I think this is probably the most ignorant thing I have ever read. I do think some of the names are not appealing to soccer fans outside of the USA, but some of the names do identify themselves with the city. What you said about the Chivas logo is wrong. It is not a medieval crest, it is city of Guadalajara’s coat of arms. It’s the same logo as the mexican team minus the name on the blue circle and it doesn’t have any stars because they havent won anything. You’re entitled to your opinion but I am sure a lot of people disagree with you and even the ones that at first might have agreed with you would probably change their minds after reading this.

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