It is fitting that Brian Schmetzer is head coach when the Seattle Sounders reveal their first-ever throwback kit. The new secondary uniform, officially known as the Heritage Jersey, is based on the kit he wore during the NASL era. The design, white with classic ‘80s teal blue trim and just a hint of green, is a departure from the Rave Green, Sounders Blue and Cascade Shale of past primary and secondary kits during the MLS era. There’s also a golden star with “16” inset in it; that embroidered star is available on any authentic kit in 2017.*
The new jersey is on sale now. On gameday it will be worn as a white top, white shorts and white socks with blue stripes.
The design process for the new secondary kit started a couple years ago, and there are many similarities to Schmetzer’s 25 uniform he displayed during his hiring video. The biggest shift is the use of Adidas “Three Stripes” along the upper shoulder.
The nod to history is strong. Below the back of the collar is the classic NASL wave logo that the
1984 1978-82 Sounders used.
Down on the left hip is the slogan “Born in ‘74,” a phrase that calls out when the Sounders first started as a professional soccer team (it is also a popular song by Emerald City Supporters). The “Born in” is green with the ‘74 in teal blue, the only non-logo element in green.
*Within the announcement of the new kit is a statement that Seattle Sounders, MLS and Adidas will permit an applique star on any replica - men’s, women’s and youth - jersey of a version the Sounders will wear in 2017. The process will be similar to those used to add names and numbers, rather than being offered off the rack. In the future all Sounders kits produced will have a Championship star.
"Sounders FC has always been a team that has a special connection with its fans, and a team that is guided by the principle of democracy in sports, thereby giving our supporters a voice," said Bart Wiley, Sounders FC Chief Operating Officer. "Many fans expressed to us their concerns with the previous championship star policy, and we applaud Alliance Council leadership for representing their constituents to address those concerns with MLS and our organization. All parties put in a great deal of effort to reach a solution that allows every fan the ability to celebrate the incredible achievement of Sounders FC's first MLS Cup championship."
The Alliance Council worked, at times aggressively, with all parties to ensure that any Sounders fan could wear a star on a jersey they purchase, whether through the club or any other licensed retail partner.
"The Alliance we represent - the passionate, vocal supporters of our club - stood up and were heard. We thank Major League Soccer and Seattle Sounders FC for resolving this," said Stephanie Steiner, President of the Seattle Sounders FC Alliance Council. "This is for everyone - and we are happy to let every supporter show their love for their team by proudly wearing a star on the jersey that best represents them."
Sounder at Heart has learned that the agreement around the applique stars is quite recent, and as a result there may be near term inventory issues.