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10 kits that defined MLS' aesthetic

Celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the US soccer league

10 kits that defined MLS' aesthetic Celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the US soccer league

Tonight, at BBVA Compass Stadium in Huston, the American professional championship - MLS - will reach a memorable date: 25 years of history. It is a championship that is still young, but which, in its short path, has built its own aesthetic envelope. A still niche reality - it is the 66th championship in the FIFA world ranking - capable of sinking its roots in one of the most beautiful aesthetic periods of football, the nineties, and for this reason, its tradition of jerseys is inspired by that period.  

In 1996, when MLS was founded at The Palladium in New York, the fluorescent jerseys of Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United, went crazy, and very few years have passed since the USA '94 World Cup - a fundamental event in the evolution of football in the United States; the MLS jerseys of those years were inspired precisely by the trends of imaginative templates seen in Europe, with the result that the championship, season after season, has matured both in the structures, and (slowly) in the technical level and in the construction of its own culture. 

To celebrate mls birthday, here are the 10 most iconic jerseys in its history, chosen from the many exhibited in these twenty-five years by the thirty teams that participated in the tournament. 

1- Colorado Rapids - 2000

According to american journalists, the 2000 Chicago Fire was one of the most beautiful teams to watch, under the guidance of Bob Bradley. The team's jerseys have always been characterized by a bright red, that of the fire which destroyed the city in 1871 and by the time the team was founded, it was the 126th anniversary of the serious accident. The jersey - in the 2000 version - is iconic and is one of the least changed in the history of the championship - except in the last two seasons, in which the background color, the blue, has changed. Maintaining the tradition of 1996, the Chicago Fire also have instead of the jersey sponsor the nickname of the Fire team.

2 - Seattle Sounders -2016 

Seattle is one of the great cities of American football, whose aesthetic has been made famous - as happened, in the history of football, for many teams - by a sponsor. The Xbox 360 has accompanied the jersey with the equally iconic chartreuse green for 10 years. That in the 2016 version, on the jerseys of two football greats such as Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins, was accompanied by a very light blue, smeared on the details and sleeves. But in the center, despite the green - more or less lit - has always attracted attention, the Xbox sponsor is the real aesthetic clue object of the club's jersey. 

3- New York Metrostars - 1996

Today they're called New York Red Bull, they used to be the New York Metrostars. That for the Italians also have an identity value, since they hosted the first Italian to play in MLS, that is the former Milan Roberto Donadoni. The Metrostars jersey is just as historic as its first Italian player. The Red and Red stripes made it the only striped jersey in the American league. 

4- Los Angeles Galaxy - 1996 

Probably the most remembered and talked about among the primordial uniforms of 1996. Completely opposed to the model that later became canonical for losangelini - white, blue writing -, the Galaxy, at first, had dark black and green vertical stripes: an electric and above all pop template, capable of identifying the reality of Los Angeles of the nineties. So much so that even for this season, in the away model, the Los Angeles Galaxy used the same template - a non-random tribute, given the first 25 years of the Los Angeles club.  


5- Dallas Burns FC - 1998 

With a classic navy blue collar and thin stripes, the Dallas Burns away jersey was a small mls masterpiece. Elegant without special templates, the horizontal gold bars and the giant placed name in the center of the shirt, made that shirt a seemingly un sportsmany item. It could have looked like an American football uniform, in style and fit (wide, of course). The Texan club logo is also to be appreciated. 

6- Kansas City Wiz - 1996 

Today we would say it's a civil rights jersey. In fact, in 1996, Kansas City Wiz's debut season was marked by a jersey with a simple rainbow of colors. Random then, but a design still unique for the Kansas team, since, even in other editions of the jersey, the pattern of the color band has been proposed again at different angles. Not a real reference to a symbol, but an aesthetic choice to emphasize its presence on the roster of teams that would participate in the first professional football championship in the USA. 


7- New England Revolution Away 1996

Characterized by the figure of Alexis Lalas (the first American to play in Italy, with Padua, two seasons), the New England Revolution have always lived in the shadow of the much more famous Patriots of Football. But in the year of presentation, both the first and second uniforms were something unique. A shirt that today we could exchange for a normal wide streetwear t-shirt; in the middle, the electric blue that players had to have on the pitch to stand out from their opponents. As if they were a basketball team, in the center, the inscription REVOLUTION dominated. The Away model, however, had the most particular template, with references to grunge music.

8- Tampa Bay Munity - 1996 

The Tampa Bay Munity no longer exist today. The club ceased its sports division in 2001, but in the Californian city, the company will return to MLS. But at the start of the competition, in 1996, the Tampa team was among the best, and in the debut season it proposed one of the most stylish players ever in one of the most beautiful jerseys ever in the league: the Colombian Carlos Valderrama. In addition to the bizarre colors (considered by many not much) a peculiarity that remained historical was the pattern of the shirt, which had a cross under the sleeve.  

9- Los Angeles Galaxy - 2012

There were Beckham, Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane. The Los Angeles Galaxy of the early 1910s represented the emblem of the MLS of those years: proscenium of retirement for the great champions of European football. That season, the Galaxy had a triptych of interesting jerseys, of which the second total black (and gold trim) was a tribute to the elegance of the champions on the pitch. 

10- DC United - 1996


The uniform with which DC United debuted in MLS (that, in 2017, also hosted Wayne Rooney's talent with Washington's team for a few months), is aesthetically linked to the technical sponsor adidas, which provided the kits to all clubs. On a black-based template, in fact, stand out the three adidas stripes that run horizontally on the chest and also wrap the logo of the Washington team. The uniform was completed very well with the shorts, in a red-black coupling that, despite a reshuffle of the pattern (the stripes were removed from the first floor of the uniforms in 2005), remained iconic of the DC uniform.