Welcome to our second annual Ride of the Valkyries NWSL Jersey Rankings, where we provide the definitive ranking of NWSL kits, using the only medium kids these days understand: emoji.
As has become our tradition, we rate kits on color choice (spoiler alert: there's a lot of blue), layout and design, and the all-important sponsor logo, because above all else these players need to start actually getting paid.
This year we bring new contributor Jacob Cristobal into the mix, and early indications are that he has very questionable taste. So without further ado, from worst to first:
#10 Sky Blue FC
Last season: #6
Tumbling to the bottom of our new rankings is New Jersey's finest, after a serviceable wardrobe-enhancer in 2015. Forgive me for dipping into technical fashion jargon here, but this is a shirt and it is blue.
Well, actually there is no pattern. I mean, there's a stripe.
Blue and white? How novel. Some credit since blue is actually in their name.
Nice wordmark. Darkening it this year is an improvement.
#9 Western New York Flash
Last season: #7
Also dropping is Western New York, in large part because sponsorships and logos have improved league-wide, but the iconic Sahlen's logo hasn't kept up.
The side-bars are a nice template from last season, but not very distinctive.
Red and black (or Team Evil as it shall be known) is controversial among the grading committee. Overall not impressed.
Sahlen's definitely has a feeling of Woso 1.0 about it, and yellow and Team Evil don't really mix.
#8 Boston Breakers
Last season: #9
Boston bought themselves a little love by making an effort at pinstripes, but the compulsive need for a gradient and still-awkward sponsor logo don't win hearts and minds.
Pinstripes, but fake pinstripes. They gradient out and don't extend around to the back. Good job, good effort.
Blue and white. Next.
Still trying to play Tetris. Covers the gradient, which is a mixed blessing.
#7 Washington Spirit
Last season: #5
An unchanged Spirit jersey gets an unchanged rating from last season, but drops in the rankings thanks to an extra team and some other teams upping their wardrobe game.
Chevron still kind of cool.
Red and dark blue still a unique combination, but not eye-catching.
Still an inoffensive wordmark.
#6 Chicago Red Stars
Last season: #2
Oh how the mighty fall. The Red Stars chucked one of the best jerseys of last year, complete with hoops, and replaced it with the weird printer-error gradient of the USWNT.
Printer failure. But the four stars of the Chicago city flag are still there and that's still great.
Blue and white, and the red stars lose their punch on top of the gradient. Saved a bit by the black in the alternate jersey.
No longer looks like a sticker slapped on the players' bellies, but still looks weird.
#5 Portland Thorns
Last season: #3
Whoa, what happened here? Last season the Thorns had all kinds of custom elements, like micro-thorn patterns and jock tags and the shirts smelled like roses or whatever. This year they get a red shirt. Nice.
The burned sleeves are something, anyway. Nobody got hurt designing it. And the Thorns logo is still cool.
More like 'color'. If it was blue, this would be poop emoji all the way.
Inoffensive white wordmark. Hospitals are cool. . they help people.
#4 Houston Dash
Last season: #4
Another solid showing for the Dash, who could coast on their distinctive orange but are changing it up anyway.
Your choices are printer-failure gradient or some kind of triangle blend. Godspeed.
Orange and blue are still great. The colors get muddy in the blended jersey, which is a shame.
Nice white wordmark. Sharing a sponsor with an MLS stadium has some cachet.
#3 Seattle Reign
Last season: #1
The Reign fall off the top spot by going with mostly mono-color primary and alternates. And the new Volt alternate, while cool, doesn't have the punch of Ultraviolet. Big-time sponsor, though.
Big blocks of color with the burned sleeves.
Blue and (some) black pretty straightforward. Saved a bit by Electrici-- err, I mean Volt.
The Reign done changed the sponsor game. Microsoft is, by far, the most significant sponsor in the league and the logo looks sharp on both designs.
#2 FC Kansas City
Last season: #8
Huge improvement for the Blues, who apparently decided that winning consecutive championships justified putting a little more effort into their kits.
Three bar pattern is simple but distinctive and cheekily highlights that Domino's logo.
Three complementary shades of blue without using a gradient. Cheers.
If it weren't for Microsoft, this'd be the biggest sponsorship get in the league. We'll be craving pizza all season.
#1 Orlando Pride
Last season: n/a
Orlando might struggle on the field in their expansion year, but they didn't waste any time claiming the top of these rankings.
Not a lot going on, but the two bars on the arm give a little variety without compromising dat purple.
Dat purple. When you're starting with the most distinctive color in the league you don't need to do much more, but that light blue accent looks so good.
Back to a white logo for a medical company, but the brush-stroke circle actually adds a lot to the design.
The committee has spoken. Overall there was a weird trend downward this season, as clubs with distinctive looks from last season (notably Seattle and Portland) got homogenized. The biggest improvement was easily Kansas City (helped by not having a yellow cow in their sponsor logo), but Orlando had the biggest impact with their inaugural jersey.
What do you think? Rank the jerseys yourself and see how the community feels.