Historical Football Kits

 

Major League Soccer 2017

mls logo 2015

Two new teams have joined MLS this year, Atlanta United and Minnesota United. Los Angeles FC will be added to the roster next year. Although several franchises retain the American tradition of including a nickname in their title the trend among recent expansion teams has been to follow European naming conventions. Delays over the acquisition of land for the new Miami franchise continued into late 2016 giving rise to speculation that the team will not be in a position to join the league until 2019.

MLS rules stipulate that only one new strip can be introduced each season although for obvious reasons this does not apply to expansion teams.

MLS 2009 | MLS 2010 | MLS 2011 | MLS 2012 | MLS 2013 | MLS 2014 | MLS 2015 | MLS 2016

Logos are the property of MLS and MLS franchises. Opinions expressed on this page are those of HFK and not contributors.

 

Atlanta United (Eastern Conference)

atlanta united 2017 1st kit

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atlanta united 2017 2nd kit

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: American Family Insurance

atlanta united crest 2017In 2008 the owner of NFL team Atlanta Falcons, Arthur Blank, submitted a bid for an MLS franchise. Although this fell through, MLS remained keen to expand into Atlanta, the largest metropolitan area without a franchise and in 2014 Blank announced that his group's new team would joint the competition in 2017. Initially United will share Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium and expect to move into the brand new Mercedes Benz Stadium, currently under construction, later this year. This will also be the new home of the Atlanta Falcons. Its capacity of 71,000 will be reduced to 40,000 through the use of retractable stands and huge curtains to conceal the upper tiers and create a more intimate atmosphere.

 

Chicago Fire SC (Eastern Conference)

chicago fire 2016 1st kit

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chicago fire 2017 2nd kit

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: Valspar

chicago fire crestChicago finished bottom of their conference with the weakest record in MLS in 2016. Their secondary kit is new for this season and features a textured fabric on the shirt. Small stars, taken from the city's flag, appear on the right shirt cuff and socks.

 

Colorado Rapids (Western Conference)

 colorado rapids 2016 1st kit

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colorado rapids 2017 secondary kit

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: Transamerica

colorado rapids crestA much improved Colorado finished as runners-up in the Western Conference and reached the play-off semi-finals. Their reward is a place in the CONCACEF Champions League.

Their secondary kit is updated for 2017.

 

Columbus Crew SC (Eastern Conference)

columbus crew 2017 1st kit

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columbus crew 2017 2nd kit

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: Acura

columbus crew crest 2015Columbus have mercifully ditched the jarring "For Columbus" outfit. The black strip worn as first choice in 2016 is retained as the secondary strip and a brand new yellow first choice is introduced. This features checkered trim on the body that mirrors the team badge. The shirt sponsor is also new.

(Pat Carrasco)

 

DC United (Eastern Conference)

dc united 2016 1st kit

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DC UNited 2017 1st kit

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: Leidos

dc united crest 2016The latest second strip with its unusual grey feature on the front of the shirt, includes the new crest, introduced last season on the first kit. This also has a rather jolly jock tag - a DC licence plate with the lettering DC UNTD and the District motto, "Taxation Without Representation," a reflection of the fact that residents pay federal taxes but have no representative in Congress.

 

FC Dallas (Western Conference)

fc dallas 2016 1st kit

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FC Dallas 2017 secondary kit

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: Advocare

fc dallas crestDallas won the 2016 Supporters' Shield but were knocked out of the play-offs by Seattle: they did add the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup to their trophy cabinet, however. Their new change strip is a break with tradition and features eleven stars on a deep blue field and is plain white on the back. That's one star each for the players in a team and because "The stars are big and bright (bom bom bom bom) Deep in the heart of Texas."

The LH logo on the left sleeve commemorates their cup win and the late Lamar Hunt, a former owner (when they were Dallas Burn), founder of MLS and father of their current owner.

 

Houston Dynamo (Western Conference)

houston dynamo 2017 1st kit

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houston dynamo 2016 2nd kit

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: BHP Billiton

houston crestHouston finished bottom of the Western Conference last year. Their first strip is new and reintroduces "space blue" in the trimmings.

 

Los Angeles Galaxy (Western Conference)

la galaxy 2016 1st kit

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la galaxy 2017 change kit

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: Herbalife Nutrition

la galaxy crestGalaxy reached the play-offs last year but were beaten by Colorado on penalties in the Conference semi-final. They have a new change strip in two tones of dark blue and the texture effect seen on Chicago Fire's new outfit.

 

Minnesota United (Western Conference)

minnesota united 2017 1st kit

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minnesota united 2017 2nd kit

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: Target

minnesota united fc crest 2017MLS' latest new boys play in the downtown area of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul. Their colours represent the grey of the Iron Range and the blue of the Mississippi. The central motif of the crest is the Loon, the state bird. European visitors may be puzzled by the initials that appear on the crest: MN is the official abbreviation for the state of Minnesota.

When the team played in the NASL they wore an iconic strip that featured a large Loon's wing on the shirt. Many supporters hope this will return next year.

 

Montreal Impact Impact de Montréal (Eastern Conference)

montreal impact 2016 1st kit

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montreal impact 2017 change kit

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: Bank of Montreal

montral impact crestMontreal made it to the Eastern Conference Final where they were knocked out by their Canadian rivals, Toronto. Their change kit is all-white once again with updated detailing. The Vive 375 logo, adopted to celebrate the city's 375th anniversary, appears as a jock tag. The symbols on the socks, the Fleur-de-Lys, English rose, Scottish thistle and Irish shamrock. are taken from the city flag.

 

New England Revolution (Eastern Conference)

new england revolution 2016 1st kit

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new england revolution change kit 2017

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: United Health Care

new england revolution crestAlthough New England failed to make the play-offs they did reach the US Open Cup final. They have adopted halved shirts ("half and half" in American English), a style familiar in Europe but very unusual in North America.

 

New York City FC (Eastern Conference)

new york city fc 2017 1st kit

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new york city fc 2nd kit 2016

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: Etihad Airways

new york city fc crestThe New York teams dominated the Eastern Conference, NY City finishing second behind the Red Bulls. They lost heavily to Toronto in the conference semi-finals. The dramatic change strip is retained. By adopting navy shorts for the first kit, NYC no longer look like clones of Manchester City.

 

New York Red Bulls (Eastern Conference)

NY Red Bulls 2017 1st kit

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new york red bulls 2016 2nd kit

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: Red Bull

new york red bulls crestThe Red Bulls' won the Eastern Conference to earn a place in the CONCACEF Champions League. They were beaten by Montreal in the Conference semi-final.

The iron rule for all of the teams owned by Red Bull is that nothing about the design of their kit should detract from the aggressive product branding. In the small of the back "New York Red Bulls" appears in large lettering below the squad numbers and players' names.

 

Orlando City SC (Eastern Conference)

orlando city 2017 1st kit

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orlando city sc 2016 2nd kit

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: Orlando Health

orlando city sc crestOrlando had a mediocre 2016 season and failed to make the play-offs. Their updated primary kit differs only in detail from the previous version.

 

Philadelphia Union (Eastern Conference)

philadelphia union 2016 1st kit

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philadelphia union 2017 change kit

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: Bimbo

philadelphia union crestPhiladelphia made it to the play-offs but were knocked out in the first round. It is the turn of their change strip to be replaced this season and this now has dark navy sleeves and side panels that contrast well with the white kit.

 

Portland Timbers (Western Conference)

PORTLAND TIMBERS 2017 1ST KIT

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portland timbers 2016 2nd kit

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: Alaska Airlines

portland timbers crest 2016Portland were unable to match their MLS Cup winning form and indeed failed to reach the play-offs. Their new first choice strip has an elegant simplicity and revives the very popular all-green third kit introduced in 2015.

 

Real Salt Lake (Western Conference)

real salt lake 1st kit 2016

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real salt lake 2017 change kit

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: Life Vantage

real salt lake crestAs usual Salt Lake's secondary strip is white and this season has minimal trim and is utterly without character. Supporters hope that when the first kit is replaced next year, blue shorts will be restored.

 

San Jose Earthquakes (Western Conference)

san jose earthquakes 2017 1st kit

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san jose earthquakes 2016 2nd kit

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: Sutter Health

san jose earthquakes crest 2014For the past two seasons San Jose have worn a pretty nondescript first kit but that has all changed now. The dramatic stripes on the new shirt mirror those on the team crest and represent the geological fault from which the team takes its name.

 

Seattle Sounders FC (Western Conference)

seattle sounders 2016 1st kit

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SEATTLE SOUNDERS 2017 CHANGE KIT

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seattle sounders 2016-17 third kit

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: XBox

seattle sounders crestSeattle won the MLS Cup for the first time last year, beating Toronto on penalties after a goal-less 120 minutes. Their new change kit is white and cyan blue, a combination they wore in 1984.

(Pat Carrasco)

 

Sporting Kansas City (Western Conference)

sporting kansas city 2017 1st kit

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sporting kansas city 2017 2nd kit

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: Ivy Investments

sporting kansas city crestKansas have adopted a first choice strip in light blue and white, a change from the light blue and navy worn since they re-branded in 2011. The change strip is slightly updated to reflect a change to their sponsor's name.

 

Toronto FC (Eastern Conference)

toronto fc 2017 1st kit

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toronto fc 2017 change kit

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: Bank of Montreal

toronto fc crestToronto reached the final of the MLS Cup in what was their most successful season since joining MLS in 2007. Their new first kit stays firmly with tradition; all-red with grey trim. The textured fabric of the shirt is broken up by hosriizontal bands to give a two-tone effect.

The existing shirt sponsorship contract came to an end last year and there was speculation that another sponsor would step in. In the event, Bank of Montreal extended their deal for at least another year.

 

Vancouver Whitecaps FC (Western Conference)

vancouver whitecaps 1st kit 2017

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vancouver whitecaps 2016 2nd kit

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Designer: Adidas

Sponsor: Bell

vancouver whitecaps crestContrary to popular belief, it does not always rain in Vancouver but when it does rain in the winter months it can last for three weeks. The team's shirts are designed to reflect the local landscape so now we have "the rain shirt" featuring tiny triangles across the front and sleeves.