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Match Fitness: French Drip Sandwich

The French-Caribbean Alliance lead the team on Wednesday night.

Joevin Jones, Nouhou, and Jordy Delem
Sounders FC Digital

There’s something truly magical about a player whose off-field style so perfectly represents the way that they play on the field. This is one of the many reasons that I love Nouhou (pictured above along with Joevin Jones and Jordy Delem). He is iconic and singular in his approach to life; you instantly recognize him on and off the field for his style, and your day is made brighter for it. As was often said about Clint Dempsey, Nouhou tries shit. Does it always work? No, it does not, but you’ve got to appreciate that he’s going for it.

I don’t think that the shirt Nouhou’s got on here is one that I would personally wear, but I love that he owns it and that he saw it in his closet and thought, “yeah, that’s the shirt.” Beyond the shirt and the gargantuan watch that he’s wearing, the rest of this outfit is pretty paired down, which is a pretty smart styling move. For most people, if you’re going to try One Big Thing, it makes sens to keep the rest of the look dialed back a bit so that your different pieces aren’t fighting for attention. His sneakers look sharp here, and I’m intrigued by the way he’s wearing his jeans. I appreciate that Nouhou likes a super skinny pant, and I think I like that rather than cuffing his jeans or wearing a cropped pair he’s made use of how tight his jeans are and just pulled them up so that they bunch at the knees and have a cropped appearance.

The French-speaking/Caribbean alliance is a strong one with Jones, Nouhou, and Delem seemingly always arriving together. Joevin’s look here is an interesting one, as he’s taken a cool approach to the Canadian tuxedo. Typically if you’re going to do denim-on-denim, I would suggest using contrasting pieces with a darker wash, if not black, denim used for one of the pieces. Joevin doesn’t really care what I think, though, and this outfit is all the better for it. Part of what makes this look work is that, while the washes are both very light, the acid wash creates irregularities throughout each piece so there is some difference and contrast within the pieces themselves. It also helps that, by choosing moto pants, the ribbing at the knees lends a very different feel to the jeans from the clean appearance of the jacket. He also matches his red polo to his sneakers, which helps to create a uniform vibe throughout the whole look, which goes a long way towards making the outfit work and feel cohesive. Jones, also, finished his look off with a pretty big gold watch. I appreciate that.

Jordy Delem is, as he often is, the more under-stated of the trio. The silhouettes he chooses are slim, but not taken to the levels of Jones or Nouhou, and his prints and colors are often not as bold. He does like to make a statement with his shoes, though, and while they’re not quite as loud as the Christian Louboutin sneakers he recently wore, the Gucci sneakers he’s rocking here are still quite the pair. Jordy’s look here is a solid one, and is a bit more approachable for the rest of us. Grab a nice pair of sneakers, some slightly distressed slim-straight denim, and a cool graphic tee or sweatshirt and you’ve got the makings of a pretty decent outfit. It doesn’t hurt to throw on a bracelet and a chain if you’ve got them sitting around, either.

Kelvin Leerdam
Sounders FC Digital

Kelvin Leerdam, similarly to Jordy Delem, has a streetwear-inspired style that’s pretty consistent and slightly understated. He doesn’t do a lot, he’s not super flashy, but everything he puts together seems to work. He’s got on the same jacket here as last time, which works because it’s a really good jacket. Instead of the graphic tee, though, he’s opted for a big graphic stripe this time around. It’s a style that’s super trendy right now - big, graphic 70s stripes - and while it may not be for everyone it’s really working for Kelvin here. Even when he’s not at the top of his game, he’s still pretty good.

Gustav Svensson and Brad Smith
Sounders FC Digital

I don’t want to say that anyone was phoning it in for the second of three games in an eight day span, but some of the guys were phoning it in. It’s telling, then, that even with minimal effort Svensson and Smith still look pretty good. The styling of Svensson’s pants here is pretty fantastic, with a subtle cuff and a crease, and a semi-loose fit. The shirt matches the fit of the pants, giving the whole look a breezy vibe. He’s on. I can’t quite tell what they are, they could be Vans, they could be anything really. If I could see more of them I’d offer a real opinion, but for now I’ll just say he’s wearing them.

Brad Smith two-tone sweatshirt is nice. It looks cool and comfy, which are both good and valuable things. His denim is pretty rad, hitting the ideal skinny fit - not skin-tight, just skinny - and the wash is really interesting with a lot of contrast from the fading. As with Svensson, his shoes are ... there. They look like they’re probably water-resistant, if not actually water-proof, and are still pretty stylish in spite of that, so that’s nice.

Víctor Rodríguez
Sounders FC Digital

Víctor Rodríguez is back, which is great, and it’s been a little while so I’m going to cut him some slack on the ‘fit here. He’s got a pretty good rain jacket, which is an important part of any Seattleite’s wardrobe. I guess I appreciate that the SuperDry tee he’s got on is kind of close to Rave Green, so that’s cool.

It’s a little disappointing that we got pictures of some of the outfits that we did, when there’s so much heat in this video. Bryan Meredith stays almost exclusively hitting dingers, which I appreciate. I think if I saw any other person wearing a fedora as often as he does I’d hate them, but he really makes it work. If Meredith’s look is a dinger, though, Raúl Ruidíaz hit his pitch so hard that the ball and bat combined through nuclear fusion to create a burst of light nearly as bright as his smile. The ‘fit is absolutely unbelievable, it’s like the picture of the Rock from high school got cast in a street style remake of Terminator. It’s sexy as hell, and I’m absolutely shook. Nico wore a jacket that I’m pretty sure has a shawl collar, and I think that’s wonderful, Arreaga kind of looks like a guy who might come and fix your refrigerator, and Jordan Morris is clearly still feeling himself - for good reason - as there’s no way a person with less confidence wears those plaid cargo pants.

And now, one final outfit to discuss:

MLS: FC Dallas at Seattle Sounders FC Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Luchi Gonzalez’s outfit has been much-discussed of late, and I feel that it’s important that I share my thoughts (it’s not important, but just play along with the bit for another minute or two). The outfit on the whole is fine. That’s about it. I think the pants are really good, the fit is fantastic and I appreciate that he’s rocking the cuff to show a little more of his sneakers. The sneakers are fine, but the color and fabric seem a little out of place. The shirt is pretty solid, and I think it’s a banded collar, which I love. The real point of contention with this look is the cardigan. I’m here to tell you that the cardigan is bad. It could have been good, but instead it is not. Look, this sweater is meant to be oversized, it’s meant to be worn open and drapey, and I just don’t think Luchi understand what any of that means. Rather than getting the sweater in the appropriate size and having it fit his shoulders and arms while being intentionally boxy and oversized in the way that it drapes over his body, he seems to have decided that if big is good then bigger is better. The sweater is clearly too large, as the shoulders are pretty apparently a size or two too large, and the sleeves are weirdly loose and long enough that he has to roll them up and then still push them up his forearms. It’s all too bad, because it could have been good. It’s a rare styling misstep from him, and I hope he refocuses on his wardrobe in the offseason.

What looks did you enjoy? Whose style do you think has been most improved this season?

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