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Match Fitness: Taking the good with the bad

At least the team looked good before the game against Portland.

Raúl Ruidíaz
Sounders FC Digital

Look, none of us were happy with the way the game went last weekend. I personally hate losing, and I really hate losing to Portland. We all hope that the game against Houston goes differently, and our attention should rightly be turned to that. It would be a dereliction of my duties, however, if I didn’t take some time to discuss how the guys looked before that Portland game.

To start things off, let’s take a look at Raúl Ruidíaz (pictured above). The most striking thing about this look is the well-defined color scheme. The stark contrast of the black and white here, elevated by how crisp and clean the shirt and shoes are, and the black-on-black hat really make it sing. I realize that distressed denim isn’t everyone’s thing, but I think it especially works with the kind of black denim he’s got on here. The fit of the jeans and shirt is tight, but not so much so as to be cartoonish. It’s a look that only really works if you’re as fit as a professional soccer player like our man, here.

I dig the shirt he’s got on here. I love a color-blocked piece, and I appreciate a good black-and-white look. The banded collar is definitely having a moment — this isn’t the only one you’ll see in this column — and it’s an interesting touch that the body of the shirt is your standard button-up fabric, while the sleeves are more like jersey, or a t-shirt material. All together, it’s a strong, interesting look finished with some surprising details.

Harry Shipp and Bryan Meredith not high fiving
Sounders FC Digital

Harry Shipp and Bryan Meredith are quite the pair. I mentioned above that we’d have another banded collar featured, and Meredith is wearing it well. I can’t always say that I’d wear the things that he wears, but the man’s definitely got his own style. I do like his shirt, but it feels a little bit goofy the way that it’s tucked in, in my opinion. I can’t tell exactly what his pants are, but they appear to be some sort of speckled material and I think they look cool. His belt is pretty simple, and I think that works with the overall vibe he’s got going here. He’s still rocking the same sunglasses, and they still look great.

Shipp doesn’t have a ton going on here. It’s definitely not a bad look, but it’s also not one to get excited about. The fit of his pants and shirt are borderline perfect, even if their style is a little simple. With better branding, a little more flash, this probably goes from a good but subtle ‘fit to, as I believe the kids are saying, “flames.”

I’d also like to note that, while people have jokingly suggested that my commentary has resulted in players upping their style, I’m pretty sure Shipp’s got his coffee in a tumbler to avoid getting roasted for drinking Starbucks by readers the way Meredith did last time around. Good work, everyone.

Nico Lodeiro without his mate gourd
Sounders FC Digital

The most notable thing about this picture of Nico Lodeiro is that he doesn’t have his mate gourd or thermos. I assume he got tired of having his hands full and just drank it before he left home. The look from Lodeiro is pretty simple this time around, opting for a less intricate version of the black-and-white color scheme that Ruidíaz went with. Lodeiro has a particular fondness, it seems, for designer tees and sweatshirts. He’s worn Kenzo, Moschino, and this time it’s a Dolce & Gabbana tshirt. If you can afford it, it’s certainly one way to elevate your standard jeans and t-shirt.

I really like his jeans here. The wash seems like a slightly glossy black with maybe some whiskering around the pockets, although that could just be the way the light is hitting them. The length is nice, not super trendy, with just the slightest break or stacking at the ankle. The fit is much straighter than what we’ve often seen Lodeiro wear in the past, at least this week opting to leave the skin-tight jeans in the drawer.

Stefan Frei
Sounders FC Digital

Stefan Frei is an angel, an acid-wash-wearing angel. This shirt is amazing, and Frei might be the only living being who could wear it and not look like an absolute doofus. The contrast wash of the pocket is cool as hell. Frei somehow pulls things like this off with a casual coolness beyond what a mortal is capable of. I also want to note how Frei carries his bag here. He’s got a several hundred dollar Louis Vuitton bag, and he’s carrying it around like it’s nothing. There’s a nonchalance about it that’s bewildering and awe-inspiring. Praise be, Stefan Frei, the patron saint of clean sheets and style.

Gustav Svensson
Sounders FC Digital

Speaking of casual excellence, Gustav Svensson looks really good here. This might be the first time in years that I’ve seen a guy in a v-neck tee and not thought that he looked like a dork. The v is pretty subdued, so it’s more of a small detail in a very simple outfit than the whole focus of the look. A white tee, khaki pants and sneakers could easily be a boring, unimpressive outfit, but Svensson’s attention to detail and personal styling make this an actual look. First we’ll take a look at his sneakers, which are a gorgeous dark brown color, like brownie batter was turned into a pair of shoes. They’re clean and simple, and the darkness and richness of the color makes them stand out from the rest of this light, simple ‘fit. The shoes are able to grab attention so well in part because of the tailoring of his pants. These khakis, which fit well but aren’t particularly slim or skinny, are cropped just enough that they’re fashionable and highlight his shoes while showing off some ankle without being, well, we’ll talk about Román Torres’s pants in a little bit.

Svensson’s got a new accessory this week: what appear to be a round-framed pair of Ray Ban sunglasses. I’m not 100% certain that they’re Ray Bans, but they look pretty similar, and it seems like a pretty safe bet. They’re a style that’s certainly en vogue right now, and I personally prefer them to some of the aviator or sports goggle-like styles we’ve seen recently.

Jordan Morris
Sounders FC Digital

Jordan Morris and Svensson have the same sunglasses, which raises a question: did one of them copy the other, or did they go shopping together? I’d like to believe that they went shopping together and decided to get matching sunglasses, so that’s what I’m sticking with until one of them tells me otherwise. Again, I like the glasses, they’re really working for me.

I love this look for Morris. He looks relaxed and cool, but also kind of sexy in a way that I don’t think we typically see from him. He’s a bucket hat and a cigarette away from some serious Hunter S. Thompson vibes, and I’m not mad at it. The shirt here is perfect for the heat, it’s light and airy, it’s loose enough to not feel restricting while still fitting well. In the video the team put out, you could see that his pants were cuffed to let his legs breathe a little and he finished the whole thing off with a cognac brown pair of chukka boots - I’m pretty sure that they’re a pair of the Timberland Lost History, a shoe that he’s got in brown and black.

Roman Torres
Sounders FC Digital

When Román Torres flexes, he does a whole body flex. I’m honestly not even sure where to start here, this look is like every Schwarzenegger and Stallone movie from the ‘80s and ‘90s distilled into one outfit; it’s a lot of flexing. I suppose I should start by saying that, try as I might, I couldn’t find these socks. They’re a tall sock, and they’ve got a tiger on them, and you’d think that would make them pretty easy to find. You’d be wrong, though, because they’re not Gucci, the most well-known tiger sock purveyor, and it turns out lots of people make lots of different tiger socks. I’m being conservative when I say that I spent three hours combing the internet for these socks with absolutely nothing to show for it. They’re ridiculous, and they’re amazing, and they lead perfectly into the next point of discussion.

Torres is rocking some serious pants here. I dig the pants, I really do. The plaid is really cool, and the fit is awesome. The structure of the pants almost makes them look like sweatpants, but I’m confident that’s not the case. Buying these pants is a choice, and wearing them is a big choice — I’m talking quitting your job and backpacking through the Andes, putting your life savings on a black jack game because you already dropped your rent check into a slot machine, getting your new partner’s full name tatted on your throat kind of big choice — mostly because of the crop. I don’t know where you find these pants. You can buy athletic pants that are this length, and they’re labeled as 34 length pants. These pants shouldn’t work. They’re going to look ridiculous on 999 of every 1,000 people who even think about them, but somehow Torres is that .1%. He’s a big man, and he makes choices of commensurate size. Somehow these pants work on him, and somehow they work with the socks. Maybe they work because of the socks, I’m not sure. This is really advanced math, and I barely passed the last math class I took over 10 years ago.

The shirt here is something, I kind of like it. It’s a ribbed, half-zip, short-sleeved mockneck? That’s a lot of descriptors, and it’s kind of weird to put them all together. Again, I don’t think most people could pull it off, but Torres does. You can clearly see his pecs and abs in this shirt, which helps, honestly, but I’m pretty sure that you could see how jacked he is in a parka, so that doesn’t really tell you anything about the shirt. I don’t know, the more I look at it the less I understand, I just know that he looks good.

There’s just one last thing before we’re done here.

MLS: Portland Timbers at Seattle Sounders FC
Giovanni Savarese
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

When the opposing manager wears something of note, I’m going to be trying to share a little bit about it with you all. Here, we’ve got Givanni Savarese, whose face I hate almost as much as I hate his team, but he’s got a nice suit on. The look, all together, is kind of weird. Each individual piece is fine on its own, but the look as a whole just doesn’t quite work. The shoes are Greats, and they certainly can work with a suit, but with the unbuttoned shirt — which is unbuttoned at the collar, but also at the cuffs for some reason — it just doesn’t quite come off. I’d have rather seen him keep the shirt, but wear a loafer or some other shoe, or keep the shoes but opt for a tucked in t-shirt. I really like the suit; the fit is really solid, which you could expect from an Italian. The combination of a cuff and a very slight break actually works surprisingly well, and the pattern and color of the windowpane is great. I do appreciate the similarity between the pattern and a cage, as I think that Savarese should be in jail for his record against the Sounders since he took over as Portland’s manager.

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