2008 MLS Jerseys Unveiled: The Verdict

Most of the 2008 MLS jerseys have now been unveiled. We see some big changes — the Fire have added sponsorship and Columbus think they’re a bee-coloured Ajax — but it’s still all Adidas, all the time, due to the league’s deal with the manufacturer.

Overall, I’d say there’s more variety than in past years, and Adidas have thankfully toned down the wavy stripe obsession from 2007 (see the 2007 versions here). What do you think, and which ones are the best and worst?

Kansas City Wizards, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes Kansas City, Real Salt Lake, San Jose 2008 Jerseys

DC United, New England Revolution, Chivas USA
DC United, Chivas USA, New England Revolution 2008 Jerseys

New York Red Bulls, Columbus Crew, Chicago Fire
Red Bulls, Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew 2008 MLS Jerseys

FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo
Dallas, Houston 2008 MLS Jerseys

40 thoughts on “2008 MLS Jerseys Unveiled: The Verdict

  1. expat_lumberjack

    Kansas City Wizards [Grade: B] Boring, but not as boring as last year.

    Real Salt Lake [Grade: B] Less wavy stripes, more better. Nasty color combination.

    San Jose Earthquakes [Grade: C+] Boring. The typeface for “San Jose” needs to change. The badge needs to shrink.

    DC United [Grade: C] BORING. If you want to go all-black, go all-black. This just looks like DC doesn’t have any imagination.

    New England Revolution [Grade: F] Apparently Mr. Kraft thinks soccer players all have the sloped shoulders of a prepubescent hunchback. That is the only possible explanation for those giant, sharp-angled shoulder stripes. Horrible colors in wide stripes is reminiscent of bad 80s t-shirts–how pink can you get that red before it’s, well, pink?

    Chivas USA [Grade: A] An improvement from last year. Simpler, less busy. The divergence of the stripes at the top reduce the optical illusion effect and is generally pleasing on the eye.

    New York Red Bulls [Grade: B+] No visible change from a not-bad design. The walking advertisement complaint notwithstanding, the Red Bull logo is aesthetically pleasing.

    Columbus Crew [Grade: B+] Voted most improved by the senior class. Hard to work with those colors and not look like, well, bumblebee crap. Nice coordination with the shorts and socks.

    Chicago Fire [Grade: D] The sponsor logo design utterly lacks imagination. The white block element does not tie in with the other elements, especially the shoulder and sock stripes. Pathetic, unimaginative, trite.

    FC Dallas [Grade: A-] Like the Chivas design’s stripes, this design lets the hoops speak for themselves, unlike last year. Good job incorporating the blue elements. The stripes on the socks, though…

    Houston Dynamo [Grade: B-] No visible difference from last year’s design except the sponsor logo. The use of light gray in the stripe and dark gray in the sponsor logo makes the shirt look dirty; the secondary color is white, not gray. See the shorts, socks, and shoulder stripes.

    Overall, Chivas and FC Dallas have the best (home) kits this year IMHO. Unlike last year, they let the stripes do their thing rather than confining them to little windows. The Revolution kits are, well, horrible. Unspeakably bad. Down here at DC, we’re going to have to think up some new chants/songs just to make fun of them.

  2. expat_lumberjack

    I change my grade for San Jose from B to C. This is the only home kit which has three different colors for each item of clothing. I believe it’s possible to pull off a three-color scheme. Hard, but possible. This kit does not rise to the occasion.

  3. Brian

    Is Maya Angelou playing for the New England Revolution? Is she blowing into a steaming cup of tea while she tells a young girl the hard-earned wisdom of her life? Because, otherwise, why do they have a shawl around their shoulders?

  4. ursus arctos

    Would Maya be a DP, or would the Revs need an exemption? Does whether or not Hillary wins have an impact on the answer?

    I would be much more harsh than Lumberjack, but I am a traditionalist when it comes to kit design and therefore can always find something nasty to say about MLS kits. They’ve even managed to screw up DC United’s by placing the badge too high on the chest. I find Houston’s particularly cringeworthy, but then I hate that “template” with a passion.

  5. Tom Dunmore Post author

    In general, the spacing on the front of the jersey on most of them is uncomfortable — everything is either too close together or curiously aligned. The necessary attention to detail doesn’t seem to be there.

  6. Brian

    You get the feeling one Adidas intern threw these togther on a break between drawing up two different proposals for the exact spacing between the side stripes on the Nuremberg warm-up pants.

  7. Micah

    KC, RSL and FCD have the the best kits in my humble opinion. I don’t understand the Fire kit at all. Why the huge white strip? Why not just have “BEST BUY” in white letters and incorporate white into other areas of the shirt?

  8. Sven

    La galaxy also got a new shirt. I actually prefer the ones that have the city/team name on the shirt above the ones that have commercial sponsors. Somehow that gives the MLS teams some character. Who doesn’t remember the cracking 70′s/80′s MLS shirts. With these sponsorships the shirts become very average.

    IMO, A golden opportunity missed to make unique looking football kits that makes the MLS stand out..like in the 70′s & 80′s..

  9. Ro

    I thought the stripe on Houston’s jersey was blue, like the “Luv Ya Blue” Houston Oilers’ primary color.

    KC, San Jose, Houston, Chicago and New England are just wretched. I somehow like the Columbus jersey–it reminds me of Berzerk. The humanoid must not escape!

    OK, that’s enough 1980 references for me.

  10. Krasny

    “KC, RSL and FCD have the the best kits in my humble opinion. I don’t understand the Fire kit at all. Why the huge white strip? Why not just have “BEST BUY” in white letters and incorporate white into other areas of the shirt?”

    because like Stuttgart and Spartak Moscow (and sometimes Middlesbrough) Chicago shirts have always had the white stripe

    also now that DC has dropped the stripes on the front of their shirt chicago has the only unchanged shirt style left in the league for its whole existence

    for what it is worth i quite like the Chicago jerseys this season, much better than last year

  11. Dandruff

    The reason Chicago has the white “block” is because a white stripe across the front of the chest (red stripe on the away kit) has been on every kit since the team’s inception into the league. The fact that it looks so hideously misshapen this year is all Adidas’ fault.

    I agree… it’s better than last year’s monstrosity, but far from good.

  12. Dsmack

    Galaxy have the best kits followed by K.C.

    RSL’s kit hasn’t looked good since their first season. They’re almost as bas as the Wizards in the 90′s.

  13. Rick

    I too am a traditionalist of sorts and seeing all the waves, curves, and fluff of colors make me ask, why oh why can’t they just make the designs as minimalist as possible? If RSL, New England, Houston could just have a solid color, the “three stripes” along the arms would speak for themselves.

  14. joel

    KC- Awful, boring, looks like a high school team uni
    Salt Lake- very nice, strange use of Barca colors,
    San Jose – beyond awful, tacky Arena-Football color scheme, horrid lettering

    DC – points for consistency, but still too much black
    New England – beyond awful, looks like a kiddie travel team, bad red stripes on shoulders
    Chivas – very latin looking, nice adaptation of traditional chivas stripes

    NY – great white look, nicer logo than anyone else, nice red collar and striping, best overall
    columbus – very northern euro look, rugged, ugly but in a likable/underdoggy way
    chicago – boring, sponsor logo needs a lot of work, not awful

    Dallas – love the hoops!, nice color scheme, very traditional, which is good
    houston – i don’t hate this one as much as others. uses an adidas template, not bad.

  15. Rob C

    KC – I like this one, at least way better than last year. Darker primary blue, and I like the Gold. Reminds me of a busier Chelsea kit, which is the point, I think.

    Salt Lake – Not bad at all. I like their color scheme. Didn’t Newcastle have jerseys that somewhat resembled these?

    San Jose – You’ve gotta be joking. This is embarassing. The “SAN JOSE” across the front is downright obnoxious. Could have done better with these colors, too.

    DC – All I can think is that they’ve cleared room for a sponsor…if not, why lose the stripes?

    New England – I’ll hate their jersey as long as it says “REVOLUTION” across the chest in that pathetic, amateurish c. 1994 font.

    Chivas – Agree with all above who like this one.

    RBNY – Pure class. I like the kit better with red shorts, but whatever. Also, their navy blue alternate strip (not away, sometimes they wear it at home) is gorgeous.

    Columbus – Excellent jersey. A lot of Euro teams use this thick vertical stripe look. The sponsor works well also.

    Chicago – Ehhhhhhh, don’t really like it.

    Dallas – Very good with the hoops look.

    Houston – Fine. I mean, I like that orange is their primary color. I’m getting sick of watching red vs. blue in soccer across the world (it happens quite a bit in some way, shape or form).

    Hopefully Seattle will be green…I think they will be.

  16. Micah

    The strip on the Fire kits could be smaller or the Best Buy logo a bit larger. Sure, the Fire have always the white strip…but in the past the spaced was used properly. All fault does not lay on Adidas either.

  17. Mike Noel

    Kansas City: Need to change the name fellas! Logo better but still needs work…I know…take out the part that says Wizards and maybe change to Kansas City FC. Need to leave out the indigo and yellow…looks like you borrowed from LA Galaxy a little bit.

    Real Salt Lake: One of the best kits in the MLS. Great name! Great Logo! The kit part comes easy after that!

    San Jose: Change the name fellas…change everything…colors too similar to Kansas City.

    DC United: Good name! Great name! Good logo! Good kit!

    New England Revolution: Great name! Good logo! Good kit!

    Chivas USA: Great name! Great logo! Great kit!

    New York Red Bulls: Great name! Great logo! Great kit!

    Columbus Crew: Need to change the name fellas! Need to change the logo! (no one wants to buy a kit with buff guys in hard hats on them). Kit doesn’t look bad though.

    Chicago Fire: Best logo in the MLS! Great name! Kit not too bad other than the integrated logo doesnt look so integrated.

    FC Dallas: Great name! Great logo! Great kit!

    Houston Dynamo: Good logo! Great name! Good kit!

    I noticed that the teams with the better names, logos, and kits have a larger fan base. Teams like Kansas City should take notice!

    Toronto impressed me the most by getting everything right on their first season! Oh, I guess thats why they sold out every home game for the entire season!

  18. Tyson West

    Chicago Fire had a great kit last year. They should have made their logo more coordinated with the rest of the kit!

    Other than that I think most of the other kits look good! I do agree about the Wizards name being lame, and I think every team could learn something from Toronto FC like you said.

    Soccer is not like other sports franchises and should not adopt logos that are like those used in the NBA, NFL, MLB, or otherwise. Traditional Soccer names using FC, AC, United, etc., are all popular with soccer fans all over the world. MLS owners should not be afraid of change, especially if they didn’t get it right the first time. GO USA!

  19. Joe

    San Jose – change name, minimize the use of the colors so they are consistant on all pieces. Get a sponsor

    KC – change name, kit is OK, get a sponsor

    Columbus – Kit looks good, just change name and logo, Agree with Mike Noel.

    FC Dallas – Kits are great, get a sponsor

    REVS – Kits are horrible, Get a sponsor..idea..take chivas’ jersey and make it red & nvy blue.

    DC – looks like they are ready for a sponsor.

    Houston – Looks like they took a jersey off the shelf and slapped the sponsor and logo on it. What happened to the Brown color from their logo? No originality

    Chicago – I like the kit much better that it has a sponsor on it, although it doesn’t see to fit right.

    RSL – Colors are original and kits look great.

    All teams should take ques from LA and highest sales. They have the best looking kits along with Colorado, except colorado needs a sponsors. Hope Seattle doesn’t go with the same colors as the Seahawks….Green would be great, but not Green and Blue or Seafoam Green. High Merchandise sales = $$$ = better players. Every team needs a jersey sponsor, enough of the americanization of MLS.

  20. JaySlick

    In general, i think MLS has too many black colored teams, with San Jose, that makes 3. I really hope Seattle is a Real Betis Green. i really think MLS needs a really great color green team.

  21. Roij

    After being back to back champs of the mls for the last 2 years and the success in San Jose,
    I can’t believe adidas can’t make something spectacular for Houston. Looks to me they get no love. Just the same thing for the champs?!? But, with superstition in sports, maybe they don’t want to change what aint broke!

  22. David Maxwell

    Let’s face it…the industry needs to start making soccer/football kits marketable. MLS in general needs to start making a profit. There is not a single new kit out there that I want to run out and buy.
    Look at the European lines and logos. They are sharp, clean, and attractive. I can think of a handful I would love to get my hands on. Here in the US, MLS is competing with American Football, Baseball, Hockey, Basketball, and now even NASCAR. How many out there do you know that have a Jersey, ball cap, or t-shirt of a team from the sports I listed? They may not even be fans, but that is the point, the gear is available. You can find Yankees and Red Sox stuff in the most remote part of the US, as well as David Beckham LA Galaxy gear. I live in the Metro DC area, and I saw a David Beckham LA Galaxy T-shirt in a local gas stations mini-mart. I asked where the DC United stuff was.
    “What’s DC United?”
    Make people want to buy the cool looking jersey maybe that will bring a few new fans to American soccer. I know it shouldn’t be that way; it should be the love of the game that attracts people. Until MLS has the following, management needs to start an aggressive marketing campaign, get people interested in soccer, make the Jerseys available, and make them pretty so people buy them!

  23. Julie S

    American football/soccer jersey kits are rubbish. They need to start looking like the rest of the world if they want to be taken serious.
    I talk to fellow brits and they don’t think that MLS is even close to champion ship level. I agree everything is a little second rate and shabby. Who want to go see an organization that is shabby, and look like they are wearing cartoon color kits.
    A few are coming along, but why is it that only a few teams have sponsors on the front, and others have the city name. It needs to be standard. Another I agree that there are standard names in football, but the American names are not.
    Let’s take the previous posters DC United. Good name, in European Football, united means that the team covers multiple areas, DC got it right, NOVA, DC, Maryland and West VA, Real Salt Lake, Ok, FC Dallas, but bleeding names like Wizards, revolution, galaxy, etc. That is not standard, most of the patches really are horrid. I think the most professional and worldly patches reflect the area they live in tradition and heritage. I know MLS is new, but for example Columbus Crew reflect the blue color tradition of their area, colors may not be great, but they have a hard core following that seems to have roots, THE CREW. FC Toronto, a European feel to a European town shows in the uniform.
    In Europe it is FC this, and that, with the name like Blues, Red Devils, hotspurs as knicxk names.
    It shouls be the same in MLS, the FC Kanas City, knick name the Wizards, FC Los Angeles, The LA Galaxy, etc.
    Do you read me footballers?

  24. Doel

    WOW JULIE!
    I hope you are a brit because you sound like a makor Euro-snob. So the jersey makes the league. Have you seen the jerseys form the J0-League or the A-League. Have you seen the names for those leagues or African leagues. Orlando Pirates? Come on. What matters is the product on the pitch and you will not find an MLS soccer find that will say the MLS is on the same llevel as the EPL.
    Love
    D!

  25. Julie

    Doel,
    I stating my opinion, I am not here bashing anyone like you did me. I am not a snob, I want MLS to do well, let’s see football in all corners of the world…I would love that.
    BTW bad example Orlando Pirates. Like I stated in my post many teams reflect the area that they live like Columbus’s Crew, blue collar roots, Orlando, South Africa actually was a safe haven for pirates, did you know that? I hope you a an educated person, because you sound like a fool. I never said the kit makes the league, MLS needs to attract more people, have more of a following, if a sharp kit and a great marketing campaign helps do that then great. I agree with the poster previous to mine. Or did you miss that in your fine comprehension of the English language, check you grammer and punctuation before you post. Try reading before you react.
    Yeah I am a “Brit” and a proud football fan expressing my opinion, so grow some before you throw insults.
    No Love from Me-

  26. footballer0manu

    Wow…it is really refreshing and to see that people that leave their comments and ideas about a sport they enjoy and love are insulted for doind so.
    I don’t agree with everyone on this page, especially with the insults of doel and bob. Everyone has a little different take on the the buetiful game based on their upbringing. I hate people that chuck insults such as bob and doel. Can you maybe say you disagree, and give a reason or two? It really makes you look like the idiot bob.
    One thing bob, you can say, is that the lady is impassioned about the game. That is why we are here on pitch invasion.com, we love bloody football! I love to hear the news from across the pond, or whats is going on in the small league in Singapore, or the newest teams and kits in the UAE. It seems to me that the lady loves the game like we do, let’s give her a chance to speak her mind like any one else ay bob?
    Thomas

  27. gunners4ever

    I dun like it as well. Some blokes dun like to see women leaving comments about futball.
    That women dun or cant understand futball.
    I dun give a dirty foot about the kit, they change the things all the time anyway.
    Why do you care what she says? If the gunners put a little fluffy kitten on the kit they would still buy the thing. I see people out there wearing the most bloody ugly kits because it supports the team. I see what she is gettin at, and I dun agree, but it what she thinks.
    Kits, when I played, the boots were all brown, no sponsor, not even a number, what really counts is the crest and the team and the club, and the other club nothing else. Colors and kits and sponsors are just a bunch of flash, so what?

  28. Doel

    Apoloiges for my previous post. It pisses me off that MLS does not get any respect. People talk about the kits, about attendance, about the names, the lack of pro/relegation, the salary cap and the playoff format as reasons why the MLS is a “mickey mouse league”. I am tired of the “MLS should try to be like EPL/Serie A” comments. All that stuff is insignificant. It is our league for better or fo worse. I rather go to an MLS game than waking up a 6:00 AM to watch a game of a team thousands of miles away that I have no connection with. Also NE is called the revolution because it is in NE just like the Patriots. LA Galaxy beacuse it is in LA where the stars live. You say the Real Salt Lake is a good team name, in my opion that is the weakest name in the whole league. Anyway carry on….

  29. David Maxwell

    Don’t get me wrong guys, I am a MLS fan first. My very first MLS match was the Metro Stars, I didn’t see one for a few years after, the second was DC United at RFK against New England.
    I love MLS, I also just want to see it do well, what ever it takes. If it means putting MLS on Micky D’s bags so be it.
    Julie, I don’t think Doel was bashing you, again like us “footballers” state we love the sport, Doel is impassioned about his beliefs in MLS.
    The only jerk I think was Bob, he just called people out and offered nothing in return, at least Doel has his reasons.
    Like the kit or not, I sometimes don’t care who is playing in what league, I just want to watch soccer!

  30. Andrew

    Julie, On Kansas City, the name comes from Kansas’ association with The WIzard of Oz. A stretch I know. I do agree with you in the sense that maybe some of the nikcnames feel more like “marketing” more than tradition. But changing the names isn’t going to help people recognise the teams any better.

  31. Chris B

    DC United’s uniforms have always been black with white/red trim. In the league’s early years they set the standard while other teams were stuck with trendy designs meant to look hip and edgy.

    Not many soccer teams around the world have a tradition of a primarily black color scheme since referees used to wear black uniforms.

    They have always been made by Adidas–prior to this year the jerseys always had the three Adidas stripes across the chest with the badge on top, and this was a big part of the team’s identity. Until recent years, MLS jersey sponsors had patches on the back of the jerseys under the numbers. Now that MLS teams are moving to put sponsors on the front of the shirts, the Adidas stripes had to be removed and the badge moved up to make room for a sponsor who is yet to be identified.

    By the way, the team plays plays in Washington, “DC”, which the capital of the “United” States. Calling the team “DC United” is locally fitting while also paying homage to other “FC/AC” and “United” teams in the world.

  32. Rob C

    The thing that truly bothered me about Julie’s original post was that she was disrespectful of the quality of the league and tried to tie that in to a discussion about kits, logos, crests and jersey sponsorship. The two are unrelated and the jabs at the quality of the league were a low-blow, in my opinion.

    Firstly, MLS has made a concerted effort to try and get its game and image more in line with soccer in the rest of the world, particularly leaning towards the European way of doing things. This covers everything from the creation of a League Anthem (which is actually quite good) to giving teams the freedom to sell the front of their shirts to sponsors, if they choose to do so.

    However, all of this is unrelated to the quality of play on the pitch, which has DRASTICALLY improved over the past 4 or 5 years – there are plenty of YouTube videos to support this claim. It just pains me, as a passionate American fan of the league with a personally vested interest in the success of the sport, to hear people of Foreign descent tongue-lash MLS when they have a completely different frame of reference for football. A frame of reference shaped by being raised in a place where football is far and away the number 1 sport with hundreds of years of history to back that up.

    Julie, you must realize that the league is less than 13 years old. It is not a world-class product and no one ever argues that it is. But those who call it a “pub league” or a “Mickey Mouse League” are just plain ignorant. MLS is improving at a pretty decent rate, considering the tight financial restrictions it operates under. If you don’t enjoy you, you needn’t watch it…but please don’t bash it. Thank you.

  33. Andrew

    Chris, totally agree with you on DC’s kits. They’re established enough that they don’t have to go nuts with busy unis. I think Adidas producing all the kits is kind of a double-edged sword. Sure, you probably get a fancy showcase on the adidas website. But then all the kits have the tendency to look the same.

  34. Julie

    Rob,
    Did you not see that I said I WANT MLS TO DO WELL!!!??? Yeah, I may be ffrom England but I am an American citizen, it took me a bleeding seven years to get the papers to show. Like it or not Rob in the US you are going to hear foreign tongues every where you go. I go and see MLS, the point I was trying to make was improve the image,
    I know Americans don’t want to be dictated by Europeans, it is the same with the Japanese and baseball, I get it. If I did sound harsh I am sorry. I am a really big Red Bulls fan. Believe it or not than a Leeds fan. I just bought my 20 game pack for East Rutherford, New Jersey. I can’t wait, I go to all the CONCACAF I can afford with out getting in trouble at work. What I was trying to say, is that a more standard look and feel to MLS, I know it is new, as David stated what ever it takes to do well, the problem is with a message board you can’t really get the gist or tone of what I was trying to say. If I could I would take you all (EXCEPT BOB) to the pub for a few pints and we could talk kits and what ever till the cows came home…maybe I just didn’t make it clear…BTW do you blokes have any idea who the DC United sponsor is going to be?

  35. annakat

    Kansas City Wizards have the best looking suit. Now that is just an opinion, and I think the worst looking suit is FC Dallas. I’m not into strips across the chest.