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Match Fitness: Kit Competition, pt. 5

A little goes a long way.

Photos: Favorites of 2014

As we round out the initial voting before selecting an overall winner, let’s look at some jerseys that took a slightly different approach. Boldness is an intrinsic quality of both the Seattle Sounders and OL Reign, and so it’s no surprise that bright colors would be a frequent part of the kits of both clubs. Even if they moved away from the full-kit highlighter look, the neon would still remain in the details. This group of kits are all unified by their use of bright colors as accents* in their color schemes.

*The 2016-17 Reign home jersey is an exception here, but you should try finding a way to neatly categorize 25 jerseys into five even groups.

2014-15 Sounders Third “Pitch Black”

Photos: Favorites of 2014

2014 may very well be the golden age of Sounders kits, as each of the three options the team wore that season has a legitimate argument for being the team’s best ever. Almost any person you ask would put at least one of these in their top-3 Sounders shirts. Pitch Black, the team’s third jersey released ahead of their Supporters Shield-US Open Cup double season, might be the best of the trio. After Electricity and Super Cyan, the team opted for a subtler approach, making the neon green - neon green is a mild description, this green was something closer to cartoon acid or comic book nuclear runoff - the secondary color, featured primarily on the shorts and socks, as well as accenting the black jersey. The gradient green stripes that ran down the shoulders and sleeves were an excellent detail, as was the lenticular crest in black and neon green.

2015 Reign Away

Reign vs FCKC

If 2014 was the best year for Sounders jerseys, 2015 might have been the best year for Reign jerseys. The black-and-blue jersey that had been released in 2014 was joined by the ultraviolet third and this away jersey for 2015. Sadly, those two jerseys only lasted for one year, but what a magnificent year that was. The two new kits for 2015 worked off of the same color-blocked template, but the away look utilized a different color for each band of fabric. The white, blue and grey look was outstanding, with the thinner band of blue creating a striped effect. The colors of the jersey provided a full-embodiment of the Reign crest, and it’s truly unfortunate that these were so short-lived.

2016-17 Reign Home

Reign vs. Sky Blue Photo credit - MikeRussellFoto

You know what I like? I like when women’s teams get to have more than one template for their kits. I like it when their two kits aren’t just the same thing with the colors changed. I don’t think either of the Reign’s 2016 jerseys were bad, but I do think it was bad that on three different occasions including that season, the team was given the same thing twice as two of their different options. That’s not on them, I don’t think, that’s on Nike, but it still sucks. At least the usage of the template for the two jerseys was different in 2015, and made two pretty different looking kits. This, though? Well, it’s fine. I’m sorry, I just can’t really get excited about it. There have been worse kits in this series, but I’m having a tough time coming up with anything to say about this one.

2017-18 Sounders “Heritage”

Parts of the Sounders fan base had been asking for a throwback jersey basically since the team started playing in MLS. When they finally got one, it wasn’t exactly what some had been hoping for. The Heritage kit hearkened back to the NASL Sounders of the ‘80s, the team that Brian Schmetzer had played for. Maybe fans weren’t excited about a white kit, after the poor results that came with the Olympic Whites, or maybe the teal-blue trim and collar seemed out of place. Regardless, the first new jersey to sport a star about the crest was, in my opinion, a good one. I love a collared shirt, and the decision to keep using bright colors like this particular shade of blue as an accent to highlight otherwise simple jerseys is a great call. The addition of “Born in ‘74” to the hemline of the jersey is just one of the nods to the team’s history on this kit, along with the NASL Sounders wave logo that the club used from 1978-82. Ultimately, I think this was a fun take on a white kit, and I’ll keep wearing mine until it falls apart.

2019-20 Sounders “Nightfall”

The Nightfall jersey absolutely goes, and the release video was an absolute banger. I know I’m not alone in wanting to see the team use pink on a jersey, and I wasn’t disappointed when Nightfall dropped. While I’d have loved a primarily-pink look, it’s hard to deny how well the pink-on-black works with this jersey. The only real complaint that I have is not so much a problem with the kit, as that I feel like with some of the details from Pitch Black, Nightfall could have been an all-time great. If the jersey had featured gradient stripes that ran down the sleeves, rather than just solid ones on the shoulder, or if the shorts were pink with black accents rather than the other way around, it would have been incredible. Instead, this jersey, inspired by a truly magnificent sunset at a truly magnificent game, is just very, very good.


Which kit is best?

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    2014-15 Sounders "Pitch Black"
    (231 votes)
  • 1%
    2015 Reign Away
    (6 votes)
  • 2%
    2016-17 Reign Home
    (10 votes)
  • 12%
    2017-18 Sounders Heritage
    (43 votes)
  • 14%
    2019-20 Sounders "Nightfall"
    (50 votes)
340 votes total Vote Now

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