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2021 MLS Kit Drops: The first trio out the gate

Judging by what Philly, the Galaxy, and even Atlanta United dropped this past week, the latest kits are going to be interesting.

MLS: FORWARD25 Tony Behar-USA TODAY Sports

It’s my favourite part of Silly Season: the new kit leaks and officially unofficial drops!

Let’s take a gander at the first three to land.

Watch this space for updates and breakdowns as more potential new kits enter the fray, and here’s a handy thread on the twitters vis Stateside Shirts for anyone who wants the scoops!

Like last year, expect me to do a deep dive into the rumours and leaks, and I’ve already got The Vocal Minority Host/Kitnerd xtraordinaire Mark Hinkley booked on a future episode of Waking The Red Weekly to grade and discuss the final release in maddening detail.

Shall we go in order?

2021 Philadelphia Union Away

The first one to drop, and also probably the safest bet at “official” of the three so far, this kit is simply wonderful.

Designed with input from the fans, the shirt turned many heads when it landed, because of just how different it is from the boring old white away shirts we suffered with and the near universal MLS-25 shoulder mounted three-stripe kits we saw last season.

I take serious issue with the claim that this top is inspired by the famous Arsenal 91-93 Bruised Banana—I just don’t see it—but there’s too much to like here. It’s absolutely overstuffed with sweet details, the colourway is fabulous, and yes, those electric bolts are in fact a tribute to one of Philly’s favourite son’s, Benjamin Franklin.


Grade: A

2021 LA Galaxy Away

Holy Crap, I love this kit. An almost pure update on the 1996 Nike LAG kit, once worn by none other than, you guessed it, former TFC gaffer Greg Vanney.

I mean, how’s that for serendipity?

It’s not an out-and-out home run, mind you. The solid black back is meh (but necessary for clarity of name-set according to FIFA) and it’s just different enough in terms of colour and design to be a solid second place to the OG kit. If they decide to go with the classic LAG badge over the newer one (as seen on the right of the initial tweet), there’s some bonus points to be delivered.

Grade: B+

2021 Atlanta United Home

Two things to set the table here -

  1. Unlike the others, this is a home/primary kit, so by nature cannot be as wacky as an away stripe. This must be considered.
  2. We don’t have to wear it.

While I don’t think this is as bad as most of the internet and all of Atlanta United fandom, it’s still kinda meh. Credit for trying to do the stripes a bit different, for sure, but just too much negative space here for me.

Still, if this ends up being the absolute worst of the 2021 kits, we’re SMILING.

Grade: B-

So what do we think about the first three drops/leaks? Are we getting excited to see what’s in store for our beloved Reds? I know I am.

Last year, Toronto FC introduced their new 2020 grey ‘Unity Kit’, which the players seemed to love. This season, we’re expecting TFC to introduce a new edition of their trademark red home kit, which by the way, is 60 per cent off if you move quick enough!