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Seattle Reign unveil new kits from atop Space Needle

Players gush about customized kits from Nike.

SEATTLE -- Let it be said that the Seattle Reign are doing everything in their power to make up for many of last season's slip-ups.

In an offseason full of dramatic moves - from trading for Sydney Leroux to convincing Megan Rapinoe to leave Olympique Lyonnais to moving to Memorial Stadium - the decision to unveil their new kits on the roof of the Space Needle seemed only fitting.

It was also a stark change from last season's jersey unveil, which happened in a non-descript classroom at Starfire Sports Complex.

Then again, everything seems to be in stark contrast to last year, in which the team was literally started from scratch just a few months before kickoff.

The new home, away and goalkeeper kits are just the latest example.

While last year's versions were effectively off-the-rack, the design process on these actually started before the end of last season.

"I think the kits have been an area of interest and excitement since Day 1 with Nike," Reign owner Bill Predmore told Sounder at Heart shortly after the unveiling. "We had conversations about what was going to be possible. I think Nike did a good job of setting expectations and giving us much more flexibility in the design process. We wanted something that reflected the brand more closely than what we had last year. Color selection was better and there was a lot more flexibility with the core jersey options.

"We wanted a more traditional kit. We didn't want a lot of stuff printed all over it. It's a very simple kit but something that really reflects the brand."

The primary kits will feature mostly black shirts with blue sleeves, all-black shorts and be paired with either white or black socks. There will also be a white Reign logo at the base of the neck.

The secondary kits will feature mostly white shirts with black sleeves, black shorts and either white or black socks. The team's sponsor, Moda Health, will be written in pink and the Reign logo on the back will also be in pink.

The goalkeeper kits will come in three colors: gray, black and "Hope Solo purple" and feature flashes of pink.

The team also unveiled so-called "anthem" jackets, which were all white with the Reign crest over the heart and will be warn during warm-ups and pregame.

"I think people liked the jerseys last year but they were pretty plain," Reign backup goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer said. "We definitely one-upped those for sure, maybe six or seven upped them actually. These are fun. They are cool, different, nothing like you've really ever seen before."

Beyond being a cool place to have an event, where having it at the top of the Space Needle had some added relevance. Not only was it within the city limits, one area that Starfire was sorely lacking, but it literally overlooked the Reign's new stadium as well.

"We didn't really know we were going to be up there," Reign forward Beverly Goebel said. "It was a little nerve-racking. Once we got up there, though, it was really cool, fun atmosphere."

While the the new kits might be the team's most superficial change from a year ago, the players seemed to understand that having something custome-designed for them also indicated a certain level of permanence that may have been lacking.

"When you go out and you're kid or your a fan, you don't want to buy something off the rack," Kopmeyer said. "You want something that has meaning, looks awesome and really represents what that team stands for and I think the staff hit it out of the park with these."

The shirts will be available from the team's online store -- which should launch late next week -- as well as at their NWSL opener April 13.

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