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When it comes to accenting an outfit, accessories are key

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Stefan Frei’s got the bag.

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Adam Eberhardt / Sounders FC Communications

With the team on the road to face Chicago, we’re taking a slightly different approach this week. For road trips, the team all wears team gear to the stadium, so the outfits lack the flash and individuality that I like to focus on. The guys still have to carry their toiletries and personal items, though, so in this edition I’ll be looking at the bags and accessories that were on display Saturday morning.

Stefan Frei (above) showed up in a big way against Chicago, setting a personal record for saves in a win, and doing a lot of work to give the team the chance to go home with three points. That performance is the result of preparation and attention to detail, clearly on display as he packed for the trip. I’ve never been a huge fan of Yeezys, but they just seem right on Frei. It doesn’t hurt that they perfectly compliment the accent colors of the real star of this photo, a $3,450 Louis Vuitton Epi Keepall 50. This bag is great. It breaks one of the more commonly referenced “fashion rules”: the idea that black and navy don’t belong together in an outfit.

The thing with most “fashion rules” is that they’re not rules, they’re suggestions for those with less knowledge or confidence. Black and navy work great together, provided one is more of an accent to the other, and ideally if the navy is of a particularly dark shade so that the difference between the two is subtle. The inclusion of pops of a brighter blue and the orange do a good job of pulling some focus to themselves, making the apparent difference between the black and navy even more subtle and delightful. Surprise! Louis Vuitton are good at design.

Adam Eberhardt / Sounders FC Communications

Raúl Ruidíaz is a constant source of delight and amazement. His mix of finesse, relentless work, and instinct is something to behold. His style matches his game, in my opinion, with extravagant touches that compliment the more subtle beauty and unheralded aspects of it. Take a look at those earrings. They’re not big, and without looking closely you might not give them a second thought, but that’s some serious ice. Most players wearing diamonds in their ears might go for a stud, but not RR, he’s got wide hoops COVERED in jewels. I can’t even guess what they cost, but they weren’t cheap.

I figured the theme of pricey accessories would extend to the striker’s ever-present hats, with their large embroidered logos and parabolic brims, but it turns out they’re surprisingly accessible. This one is from a brand called SikSilk, and a hat will cost you less than $30. The brand also has a Dani Alves collection, and is geared towards athletes and sportswear, but I digress.

You can only see parts of them in this photo, but Raúl’s got two bags here. We’ve seen his Gucci toiletry bag before, but on Saturday he was also sporting a Gucci belt bag (a fashion fanny pack). I know he’s already got a few nicknames going, but with his accessory choices, I’m going to start throwing around ‘2 Bagz’ until he gives me a reason to stop.

Adam Eberhardt / Sounders FC Communications

Speaking of Gucci bags, let’s stop with the fullbacks here for a second. Brad Smith has already demonstrated a taste for the finer things, so his Gucci backpack isn’t much of a surprise. Now if only he’d address his Three Musketeers facial hair.

Adam Eberhardt / Sounders FC Communications

I’m going to finish up by taking some time to appreciate Brian Schmetzer. Coach sets a remarkable example for how to wear a suit here, with every detail and proportion perfectly accounted for. He’s all business from head to toe: the fit of his jacket is perfect — PERFECT — the shoulders are so exact you could believe it’s a custom piece, and the silhouette is trim without being overly-slim or too young or “fashiony,” the length on his jacket is short enough to be fresh and current without being too casual or awkward, and his pants are slim enough to fit his athletic build, and the hem is a textbook example of a “no-break” pant leg. Even his collar and tie are perfectly proportioned to each other: a slight spread collar that is perfectly filled with a fairly narrow full-Windsor knot. The length of the tie is perfect, stopping almost exactly at his belt. He’s perfect, and I’d expect nothing else.

Naturally, to finish everything off, Schmetzer’s got an all-business, Sounders-branded briefcase, because of course he does. It’s in his blood.