From all of us at WTR HQ, we hope you all are staying safe, healthy, and sane. This is a tough slog, made no better by the 24 hour news cycle, social media echo-chambers, and questionable updates from myriad sources.
We’re here to help with some more levity, and hopefully, stoke the fires of some passionate discussion.
Hot off the heels of a similar article on the MLS Mothership, penned by J. Sam Jones of Dirty South Soccer, we’ve decided to spin our own yarn, free of censorship and possibly, common-sense.
Jeffrey P. Nesker (JPN)
Seeing as J. Sam Jones chose the 2016 away kit featuring the blue that shouldn’t be named as the best TFC kit of all time, we feel very comfortable when we say the best ever Atlanta United Kit is the 2014 AC Milan home stripe,
Benedict Rhodes (BR)
Until their re-brand in 2020, Chicago had a fairly constant design for their home uniform, a red top, with a stripe (usually white) across the chest, so the 1999 home kit was one in a long line of kits just like it.
What sets 1999’s apart from the rest is the sleeves; the white hoop on the arms is a nice accent. The word “FIRE” across the chest is also darker than the previous season, making it stand out more and much more easy on the eye.
Mitchell Tierney (MT)
Cincy has the opportunity to do something really nice with their orange and blue colour palate, they just haven’t really yet. So to punish them we’ve picked their Parlay kit as the nicest kit they have worn... because it’s the truth.
Michael Singh (MS)
It took a few years for the Rapids to perfect the baby-blue x maroon combo, but in 2010, a year where they also won the MLS Cup, everything seemed to click. Fun fact: Uncle Drew was on this 2010 team, which even further cements my case because, well, Uncle Drew.
Aasim Hashim (AH)
Columbus has had their share of terrible jerseys but the 2015 away jersey is a thing of beauty. The contrast of the black and yellow makes works so well together that it makes you forget about the random checkerboard in the middle of the shirt. But all in all, hard to argue against this being the Crew’s best shirt.
One of the original MLS franchises, FC Dallas, which entered the league known as the Dallas Burn, has a plethora of jerseys to choose from, but the one that stands to me is the 1999 Home jerseys (also, the other ones just aren’t very good). From the collar to the shorts, every detail had to be aligned for these kits to work, and I don’t know if it was a miracle or some sort of genius, but it did.
Can you imagine being dominated in a match against a team that were wearing these? For whatever reason, I find that would infuriate me. And in 1999, Dallas Burn finished third in MLS, which means they probably pissed off a lot of other teams who fell them over the course of the season—while wearing these.
Another classic. If you want to learn more about this timeless jersey, MLS.com’s Charles Boehm has a great piece about the inside story of the 1996 D.C. United kit, which was, in a way, inspired by Real Madrid and Michael Jordan. Give me these, but TFC.
The 2018 alternate is a nice change from the usual loud orange jerseys the Dynamo wear. The orange trim on the shoulders and the gradient orange in the middle of the shirt provide a nice contrast to the classic black. Houston should definitely consider bringing a version of this shirt back more often.
There aren’t too many kits to choose from for LAFC, who entered the league in 2018, but they do have some of the nicest in the league, especially this season with the addition of the gold YouTubeTV sponsor on the front. Always a popular jersey that you see online for those who play FIFA Ultimate Team, this year’s jersey is super clean and seamlessly weaves in the three-striped shoulder that is universal around MLS this season. Dang, this franchise is good.
The LA Galaxy’s 2011 away kit is classy, like some of the players who wore it on their way to a Supporters Shield and MLS Cup double. Boasting a stacked roster with the likes of David Beckham, Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez, Chad Barrett and Robbie Keane, the LA Galaxy dominated the 2011 season, and did it in style.
The 2011 kit wasn’t the most creative design, but it was still pretty clean, and there isn’t anything negative to say about it. The stripes on the shoulder with the yellow trim are a nice change from the solid colour that covers the rest of the kit.
It’s funny to us that Minnesota’s 2020 throwback MLS25 offering is the only one to really nail both club identity and the throwback vibe. The loon detail on the torso is lit. The colour combo is ace. This is a sharp, sharp kit.
Serious Ajax vibes with this kit which earned it extra points. With the American football system number on the front of the kit and the Revolution text across the front and the baggy fit this feels like a designer sweater you’d pick up at Zara.
The 2017 home kit is as clean as they come. The kit features the three NYCFC colours, including the subtle orange stripe on the sleeve. Fun fact: New York wore this kit the day TFC thrashed them 4-0 at BMO. But hey, at least they looked good in that loss. It’s just the shame that of the MLS was subjected to the abomination that was the 2017 away jersey.
There have been quite a few good, even great, Red Bulls kits over the years, but this one mops the floor with the lot of them, as long as you ignore the tramp stamp on the back.
I wish this had been the new TFC away kit, even with the tramp stamp.
It was a toss-up between this year’s jersey and the 2017 Orlando City FC home kit for me, but in the end, the collar breaks the tie, especially when you get to see Kaka in it. Kaka in a collar just makes sense, doesn’t it? They’ve seemed to drop the gold from their colour scheme in 2020, which may make things easier for them moving forward, but I think they got this one right in 2017.
Despite having one of the worst sponsors in the league, the 2018 Philadelphia Union kit is up there with the best-ever kits in MLS. The gold highlights on top of the already stunning blue-on-blue stripes make for one of the prettiest uniforms the league has ever seen.
The Timbers have easily claimed the highest ratio of overall quality kits. We were split down the middle between this and the 2019 refresh. I guess this one edged out the challenger by virtue of the fact that it’s a very similiar template to the 2019 TFC big red.
This is undoubtedly a controversial pick but the Dexter-style away kit that RSL rolled out last season is different. I think it’s generally pretty hard to go wrong with red on white.
San Jose lowkey have some of the nicest jerseys in MLS year-in and year-out, and in 2017... they once again got it right. Check out those socks. This is how you make the best of a black-and-blue colour scheme...
SEATTLE SOUNDERS—2016 Third Kit
The Seattle Sounders third kit from 2016 is one of the nicer MLS kits in recent years. They have a great colour scheme, so not picking one of the green home kits may be controversial, but this one was hard to ignore.
It’s TV static meets Perry The Platypus, and if that isn’t the ultimate combo, then I don’t know what is.
To be quite honest, all three of Sporting KC’s 2014 kits could’ve taken the crown, but we’ve gone for that sweet argyle third kit.
Defending their 2013 MLS Cup triumph, Sporting KC would’ve won the imaginary trophy for best 2014 kit if it wasn’t for a certain kit close to the hearts of many Waking the Red readers... (@Jeff - set you up perfectly here)
TORONTO FC —2014 AWAY
2014 Away. Onyx. So nice I’ll say it twice. Onyx. Long sleeve with the old school MLS badge. Perfection.
The Whitecaps have a really nice colour palate to work with, and this year’s kit is a close second, but the 2019 Throwback has to take the cake. With the collar and simple sleek design it is far and away the most elegant kit the Caps have ever worn. The only drawback is the red lettering on the back that is hard to read.