Now that we’ve reached the end of Austin FC’s very successful second season. It’s time to reflect upon something that we’ve spent a lot of time here at the Compound discussing: Kits.
Major League Soccer (MLS) has released training tops for specific purposes (PRIDE, Childhood Cancer Awareness, Faux Patriotism) every season of the club’s existence. Because of the nature of the kits themselves they vary widely in quality and aesthetic pleasure, to say nothing of the dubious nature of MLS’ possible donations to the corresponding causes. Unfortunately due to Adidas’ stranglehold on both MLS and their designers trying to do anything cool or original we are stuck at their whim for what we wear to support our club.
Before we get to the rankings, first we are going to highlight (or in some cases lowlight) each kit.
Camo 2021 Pre-Match Performance Top
If you’re going to go hunting in a soccer kit, this may be your best bet, why anyone would want to do that, this writer isn’t sure. The Venn diagram of soccer fans and hunters is probably the same as people who sit in the Lexus Club and do beer showers.
MLS 2021 LGBT Pride Edition
I’m not sure how a 60s fashion fad screams “Pride” a concept that has a clear a distinct logo, but for the folks at Adidas, this is what they went for. It has no connection to what it’s for and without an explanation from the person wearing it, no one would immediately know what it’s about.
Here it is, the Bacon Kit. An homage to the 1994 US Men’s National Team that gamely made it to the knock out stages only to lose to eventual World Cup Winner Brazil. It’s not even based on the best kit the US had in that tournament, I mean…just look at this magnificent denim masterpiece.
The Bacon Kit is objectively bad and spoiler alert, it’s going to finish last in the rankings. It’s biggest issue is that it looks like an FC Dallas kit. Despite the current Q2 rules about what is and isn’t allowed to be worn in the supporter’s section…this should be banned from being worn there, here, and in fact, everywhere.
2021 Kick Childhood Cancer Pre-Match Kit
What is an excellent design gets drawn back by their devotion to using yellow, the color of childhood cancer awareness as well as troops fighting overseas and (now disgraced) bicyclers. If they incorporated each team’s colors (and kept the kit like this for Columbus and Nashville), these would be tremendous kits.
2022 Camo Pre-Match Jersey
Because of their penchant for playing matches in
conditions unfit for the sport the Northern part of the United States this would seem like a better kit for the American Outlaws or USSF to put out for their team, but then the fans wouldn’t be able to be seen through the snow. Considering there have been 0 snow MLS matches this season, this doesn’t seem applicable to the league.
2022 Unity Flower Top
The Floral design and colors are eye-catching, despite how it kind of gives off “Dad on Vacation” Hawaiian shirt vibes, which come to think of it, may have been the goal…
2022 Pride Pre-Match Kit
Ok, this…this is great. The geometric pattern and the use of colors makes it really aesthetically appealing and it incorporating all of the Pride Colors is a huge win. No Notes
2022 Americana Pre-Match Kit
I love this kit. It has no reason to be the kit for MLS clubs, but maybe Adidas is trying to audition for the USNT kit designer whenever their Nike contract ends or they get fired for releasing cursed kits. The star patterns going different directions based on color and the gold lettering that pops against the design are perfectly used and it would make a great kit for the US this coming Fall/Winter, but only the Men since the USWNT kits could get confusing due to them already having stars on them.
2022 MLS Works Kick Childhood Cancer AEROREADY Pre-Match Top
Points for trying to get creative with putting the slogan across the front so it can’t be confused, but now it looks like every Austin FC player may be an abominable snow person, so it loses clarity points.
Unfortunately, it’s biggest drawback is the same reason the 2021 Kit is so underwhelming, this is a Columbus or Nashville Kit (and it would legitimately be a cool kit for them to have) but the adherence to Yellow as the primary color holds back how cool this kit design could be.
The Final Rankings
- 2022 Pride Pre-Match Kit
- 2022 Americana Pre-Match Kit
- 2022 MLS Works Kick Childhood Cancer AEROREADY Pre-Match Top
- 2022 Unity Flower Top
- 2021 Kick Childhood Cancer Pre-Match Kit
- 2021 Camo Pre-Match Jersey
- 2022 Camo Pre-Match Jersey
- MLS 2021 LGBT Pride Edition
Doesn’t Deserve to be Ranked: The Bacon Kit