Ranking The New 2017 MLS Kits

Another year, another fresh batch of new looks for each MLS team. Personally, I love soccer jerseys; I think it's fascinating to see how the history and culture of each club and city manifests in the kits thereof. As I'm sure we all know, even just last year, MLS kits ranged from beautiful to ridiculously ugly and everywhere in between (Full disclosure: I actually LOVE that NYCFC kit). With the start of another season of MLS action just a few days away, I thought it would be fun to rank all 24 of the new kits for 2017 from worst to best.

Now, before I begin my list, I need to preface this post with the following: I am a human being and therefore biased by my personal preferences. I happen to not be a very big fan of red, and really dislike light blue. I also enjoy more "unique" colors (so much freaking blue and red in this league) and find white jerseys to be, for the most part, boring and uncreative. I'm sure that every single one of you will disagree with me somewhere along the way; feel free to voice said disagreement in the comments. That said, let's rank some jerseys!

24: Sporting Kansas City Primary

So, this SKC kit...yikes. I literally burst out laughing when I first laid eyes on it. Though I never particularly like SKC's light blue kits, they're usually designed in a way that makes them a good-looking soccer jersey. This, however, looks like they're wearing a soccer jersey over a white collared shirt, and those thin, faint horizontal stripes don't do anything but make the jersey more frustrating to look at. Credit where credit is due though: the "No Other Club" inscription in Matt Besler's handwriting is a really cool touch.

23: Vancouver Whitecaps Primary

Vancouver managed to go from releasing one of the best-looking kits in the league last year to releasing one of the worst-looking kits this year. I guess the triangles are supposed to represent raindrops, but the pattern on this jersey just makes it look like one of those patterned shirts that are in now. From further away, it kind of looks like this kit has blue chicken pox. Admittedly, this exact pattern on a white button-up shirt would probably look pretty fly, but on a soccer jersey, it just doesn't work.

22: FC Dallas Secondary

I think a lot of the jerseys in this part of the list are examples of Adidas trying a bit too hard to be "unique" or "creative" or "original" or whatever. Sometimes these attempts result in really great looking kits. Other times, well, they don't (Columbus says hi). For me, the stars are just a bit silly. I get that it's eleven stars for eleven players, but isn't Texas the Lone Star state? Plus, while I'm all about fade patterns like this one, I thought Dallas was supposed to be "The Hoops". I've heard they're trying to shake that nickname, which would explain a jersey like this, but I'm not sure why. They were the only team in MLS who wore hoops and I thought they looked great and gave Dallas a really strong brand.

21: DC United Secondary

This jersey is definitely a unique look, and I can appreciate the attempt to do something more interesting than just a plain white jersey. However, the weird breast-plate looking design fading from gray to black just looks really dumb. When I first saw them, I thought they were alright, but the more I look at them, the more I dislike them. Plus I've seen footage of DC playing in these kits already, and they look even worse on the pitch. I think the design is supposed to resemble feathers à la the eagle in DC's crest, but to me, it falls instead of flies, and not with style either.

20: Real Salt Lake Secondary

If we were to categorize these jerseys into good, bad, and ugly, the above four jerseys would all fall into the "ugly" category. The next bunch all fall into the "bad" category, or more accurately, the "boring" category. I feel like I don't really have to say much more about this one. More like Yawn Lake City, am I right? (Yes, that was bad, and yes, I feel bad)

19: Montreal Impact Secondary

Blue trim on the sleeves and a silver triangle underneath the collar make this kit a little more interesting, but it's still really boring. Especially when you consider that Adidas could probably make a really sharp looking kit for Montreal using that silver color, which is in their crest and one of their official colors.

18: Atlanta United Secondary

Another team, another white jersey. It's clean, but it's still boring. I do appreciate the subtle stripe pattern on the body of this jersey, which gives it a boost over the white kits above it.

17. Minnesota United Secondary

The second 2017 expansion team also rolled out a white kit as their secondary. I would actually rank this jersey higher, but it appears as if the Target logo is off-center, which makes sense on their primary since it features a sash, but without a sash, makes OCD homies like me want to burn every one I see. That said, I do love the gray shoulders.

16: New York Red Bulls Primary

This Red Bull kit rounds out this year's collection of boring white jerseys. It's, well, white and boring. But, it has a cool little array of red lines to break up the monotony, so it's better than the other four white kits preceding it on this list.

15: Houston Dynamo Primary

Finally, some COLOR! We're finally into the part of this list where the jerseys start getting "good". I love Houston's black secondary jerseys, and this look is a solid yet unspectacular primary look for them, with the thin, horizontal white stripes a nice touch.

14: New York City FC Primary

I had these kits essentially tied with Houston's orange kits, but gave NYCFC's primary the nod due to the fact that they're apparently going to be worn with navy blue shorts, which provide a great contrast to the City Blue tops, and compliment their navy trim. The detail that really sells this kit to me is the orange stripe on the navy sleeve trim; I hope NYC incorporates more orange in their kits going forward.

13: San Jose Earthquakes Primary

For their 2017 Primary, San Jose went black. I like the idea of a mostly black kit (Pitch Black remains my favorite MLS kit of all time), along with the incorporation of the blue and black pattern present in their crest on the actual jersey, but for some reason I just don't like these as much as I feel like I should. Probably has something to do with the fact they're San Jose kits so I just picture Wondo in them, which, ew.

12: New England Revolution Secondary

See, not all white kits are bad! I love this look, the half and half red and white up front with the all white back looks great. It's super clean, simple, well-executed, and apparently supposed to represent the red and white stripes of Old Glory, which makes it even better.

11: Colorado Rapids Secondary

Colorado continues to produce great looking gold and blue Secondary kits, inspired by the Colorado state flag. This jersey is balanced and lovely to look at, but the two-tone crest really takes this kit to the next level. The best thing about these jerseys is that in combination with their burgundy Primaries, Colorado is able to trot out two very distinct looks, NEITHER OF WHICH ARE WHITE.

10: Toronto FC Primary

Starting off the top ten is this ravishing red jersey from Toronto. I didn't expect to like Toronto's Primary this year considering I knew it was going to be mostly red, but this jersey is just so well-executed. The subtle banding down the body in combination with the dope gray sleeves that continue down the sides (a look that I wish more teams were incorporating) make this jersey quite a looker. I was a huge fan of Toronto's gray kits a few years back, and hope they continue to incorporate gray into their looks.

9: Philadelphia Union Secondary

ATTENTION ADIDAS AND MLS CLUBS: THIS IS HOW YOU DO A WHITE JERSEY. Seriously, this jersey is striking. The contrast between the white body and the navy sleeves/sides (just like Toronto above) gives this kit a super sharp appearance, especially in combination with the gold stripes up top. The two-tone white and navy crest deserves a shout-out as well. This jersey looks so good I don't even notice the horrible and completely off-color BIMBO logo.

8: Minnesota United Primary

For their first season in the league, Minnesota makes up for their not-so-great Secondary with a superbly designed Primary. Rocking a very unique gray look with a sky blue sash that makes the off-center Target logo completely forgivable (and honestly kind of a dope touch), Minnesota will be looking good out there in this jersey.

7: Orlando City Primary

As my username may or may not indicate, I happen to be a fan of the color purple, and have always thought that Orlando has some of the best colors in the league. I'm also totally in love with the textured pattern on this jersey (not sure what the best word to describe it is; I like to think it resembles stainless steel, or metal in general), as evidenced by the fact that three of the final seven jerseys on this list use that pattern. Normally I don't really like polo jerseys, but for Orlando it works really well because it's a very "Florida" look.

6: Seattle Sounders Secondary

Yes, I ranked our very own Sounders outside of the top five, and to be honest, an objective observer would probably rank them even lower, but because I understand the history behind this jersey, it gets a significant boost. I think more blue (like down the sides à la Philly above) on this jersey would make it more interesting, but it's still better than pretty much all the other white kits in the league. PLUS IT'S NOT OLYMPIC WHITE, YO!

5: Chicago Fire Secondary

Chicago could have easily rolled out a white jersey here, but guess what? THEY DIDN'T. As it turns out, a lot of teams in MLS actually have gray or silver as one of their "official colors", and I wish more teams utilized that in their jerseys! The Fire will be rocking a silver jersey that uses the aforementioned "metal" texture, and looks absolutely dope. The silver color really sells that metal texture, and the navy trim with the thin red stripes framing the sponsor logo all make for a wonderful looking kit. Also, look out for Chicago this year, the soccer they play might just be as pretty as these jerseys.

4: Columbus Crew Primary

Well, at least they have one good-looking jersey. Columbus continues the trend of teams making an effort to incorporate elements in their crest into their actual jerseys, and this yellow kit looks awesome. I've always dug Columbus' all-yellow kits, but the checker pattern on the sides really takes this jersey to another level, and the Acura logo looks way cleaner than the Barbasol logo they had last year.

3: Atlanta United Primary

Atlanta aren't just coming hot out of the gate with their roster construction, but are also coming hot out of the gate with their jersey game. I love this look, especially in combination with the black shorts they wear with it; it's unique to the league, and gives them a very distinct brand. The monochromatic gold AmFam logo takes a rather obtrusive and potentially kit-ruining logo and makes it actually improve the overall aesthetics of the jersey. If these kits were just red and black with white trim I would almost certainly hate them, but the gold trim and accents boost them from mediocre to one of the best looking kits in the league this year.

2: Portland Timbers Primary

Yes, I know. I ranked Portland really high. If y'all have a problem with this, go to Adidas and tell them to stop designing absolutely gorgeous kits for them. For 2017, Portland is bringing back the darker green kits with a more amber gold trim that they had as their tertiary kits back before Adidas decided that the Sounders were the only team in MLS awesome enough to make third kits for (yes, it's awesomeness and nothing else that influenced this decision). Back then, those Portland kits were some of the best looking kits in the league, and they've undoubtedly picked up right where they left off. I like this color combination for Portland a lot more than their normal green and neon-ish yellow. I know I mentioned earlier that I don't really like polo jerseys, but for some reason I'm pretty fond of henley jerseys like these (and Colorado's gold kits above). Plus, the subtle, square pattern gives this kit almost a flannel feel, which is just so classic Portland.

1: Los Angeles Secondary

It literally pains me to type this, but this LA jersey is stunning. When I first laid eyes on it, my jaw dropped. The deep navy blue in that metal texture is really beautiful, and I love the decision to use just a sightly lighter and more grayish blue as the accent color instead of white or gold, then using white and gold sporadically throughout the rest of the kit to provide a really nice pop. Sorry y'all, but this really is a perfectly executed soccer jersey.

Well, that's it for my jersey breakdown. I'd love to know what y'all think about this crop of jerseys, and can't wait for MLS action to start!

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