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Román Rising

Roman Torres has more to offer than just the best hair on the team

Mike Fiechtner / Sounders FC Digital

Román Torres may not have played a part in the 1-0 win against RSL, but he’s making a commanding first appearance in this column. El Mazinger seems to be taking some style notes from Tom Cruise in the Mission: Impossible franchise, which, honestly, is working.

Torres looks like a big, beautiful ninja in his all-black outfit. The pants are tighter than us mere mortals could pull off, serving only to make his broad shoulders look somehow more impressive in his incredibly well-fitting jacket. The cut of the jacket is interesting — with a high collar and a waist cut like a suit jacket, it’s almost a moto-jacket that you could wear to a kickass wedding or a blazer you could wear while you get into a high-speed chase on your motorcycle. Either way, the big man stands out, as always, and his ability to accessorize shows an understanding of style that proves him deserving of a place in Match Fitness. His watch and ring are both big enough and gold enough to look proportionate and at home on his large frame, while the zipper of his jacket echoes some of that color — the zipper isn’t gold, it’s definitely not a precious metal, but we’re talking colors and the overall visual feel of a thing here — and the little glimpse of a chain bracelet on his left hand lends some balance and contrast to the accessorizing. I also want to take a moment to shout out Román’s hair; I’m a firm believer in the importance of great/ridiculous hair on any soccer team, and the beautiful bouquet atop this man’s head is a bright spot in a roster full of pretty basic haircuts.

Mike Fiechtner / Sounders FC Digital

There’s not a lot to comment on here, Jordan’s working a pretty simple look with an open, slightly over-sized plaid shirt over a clean white tee. The plaid fits him nicely, it’s almost perfect for wearing as a pseudo-shirt-jacket with the added length and perfectly snug shoulders, and will serve him nicely as the weather turns and a real jacket becomes a bit too much.

The real thing I want to point to here are his pants and where and how they’re meeting his t-shirt. First, the color is great, an orange-y brown color that’s bold enough to grab your attention, but not so much so as to be odd or distracting. Secondly, look at how high those pants are sitting; for men, especially with casual pants, the style for a long time has been to basically wear your pants as low as you can without showing your ass, exposing anyone wearing a higher waist pant to ridicule. No more! These aren’t at Jordan’s belly button, by any means, but they’re definitely sitting closer to the top of his hips than his waist, and it’s working with the loose, full tuck he’s got going on. Take note.

Mike Fiechtner / Sounders FC Digital

Stefan Frei is a very good looking man. He dresses to his body incredibly well, with the kind of attention to detail that allows the fit of this shirt and the way he wears it to make a two-piece outfit look just as complete as any three-piece outfit might. The shirt is about as slim as it could possibly be without looking too small — there’s no pulling at any of the buttons, with the only creasing happening at the last button he’s got done as the shirt opens above it — the sleeves are a perfect length for his arms, and the length of the shirt is perfect for wearing casually untucked. The two open buttons at the top lend a cool confidence that is its own accessory.

Mike Fiechtner / Sounders FC Digital

There’s a lot to get to in this photo, and I’m going to start with Harry Shipp. Harry brings some real heat in his first appearance here, starting with his shoes. The weather in Seattle on Saturday was weird, and often gross. Harry laced a pair of leather chukka sneakers that would be stylish, but capable of standing up to what ever was thrown at them. The cognac color and white soles make them look elevated and classy, while still keeping them clearly in the realm of sneakers. The hem of his pants is high enough that the mid-height sneakers get a chance to breathe and shine of their own accord, while the pants themselves are slim enough to provide a contrast to the proportion of his coat. The grey car coat hits him perfectly at mid-thigh and fits him well, although it almost looks like the shoulders are a smidge too big. I like the pairing of a patterned navy top with his navy pants, as well. All told, he’s certainly done enough to earn continued opportunities in this column.

Gustav Svensson’s look is pretty simple, and almost quintessentially Gustav. There’s not a lot to be said about this outfit, but I’d like to note a couple different things. We’ll start with his shoes, which I can’t make out much detail on, but they’re either a REALLY dark brown or an ox blood color. Either way, they’re great, and the taste to choose this color when he was shopping and then later when he was getting dressed, rather than a more run of the mill sneaker, just exemplifies the kind of class that makes our Swede so special. Second, his coat is fantastic. it’s slim in a way that a wool coat often is not, the shoulders fit beautifully, the deep blue color is lovely, and wearing it with the collar flipped up is a lovely little touch.

Chad Marshall does not care that I’m breaking down outfits, and I respect the hell out of it. He’s here to work, his sleeves are rolled up, and he’s got (I’m pretty sure) boots on that absolutely mean business. Honestly, the Dad Style is working and somehow still improving. May he live forever and never retire.

Finally, we’ve come to undeniably the flashiest left back in the league. Brad Smith loves a designer piece. As much fun as I find trying to figure out the brands players are wearing, and ideally hunting down the EXACT piece, I don’t think that’s generally going to be what I do in this column. Brad Smith, however, demands that you notice his Givenchy shirt and Lanvin sneakers. It’s important that you see his Gucci bag, and that you notice his watch. Seriously, look at his watch. He buttoned his sleeves differently so that the right sleeve would rest naturally where his wrist and hand meet, but the left sleeve he tightened to that second button, making it tighter so that it would sit on top of the watch rather than extending over it and obscuring it from sight. I tried to figure out what his jeans are — Givenchy has a pair of skinny black jeans with holes at both knees, but I don’t think that’s what these are — but I couldn’t manage it. It turns out lots of brands make almost identical black jeans with holes at the knees, so these could be a $70 pair from Topman, or they could be any number of $200+ pairs from any number of labels. That’s all to say that Brad Smith can afford expensive things, he likes expensive things, and he wants you to see them. It’s not good or bad, but it’s certainly a thing.

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