This year, it wasn’t Auro Jr. It wasn’t Jozy Altidore. It wasn’t even Admin to the stars Eric Giacometti accidentally/on purpose pulling a “Where’s the Onyx”? in an otherwise luke-warm humblebrag (Cute Doggo, as always):
Preseason packing going swell thanks for asking pic.twitter.com/RGEVokRAc6— Eric Giacometti (@Eric_Giacometti) January 7, 2023
No, this time around the TFCLive faithful got their collective first taste of our incoming 2023-24 Home Kit (A refresh of the 21/22 A41 Home kit) from one of our own, just hanging out (See what i did there?) at a store in the GTA, ignoring those pesky street dates.
And good on them to be a great spy and get that up on the socials post-haste, Heck, they even did an AMA on Reddit!
The drop/leak/whateve’s has crossed platforms and owned the discourse because, like almost always, and especially in the recent past, it seems every new TFC kit drop divides the fans like Yeferson Solteldo and Taco FC. Just take a perfunctory glance at some of these threads (See what I did there?) for proof (and pay close attention to the mock-up with shorts and socks, which themselves were apparently ‘leaked’ on TFC media day):
Ok, before I toss my hat in the ring, let’s do some rumour control.
a) Regardless of whether this is the final design or not, this example in the photograph is CLEARLY the Replica fit version of the shirt, maybe even the youth replica version. As is standard, these shirts are often missing lots of the details found on the authentic versions. The lack of a star above the badge has been the dead giveaway for years. So expect the actual player issue kit (again, if this is the final design) to sport a ton more cool details and mixed materials and easter eggs and whatnot.
b) It sure looks like the back of the shirt is a solid Red as opposed to more hoops, and while that SUCKS, we’ve seen it before in MLS kits, especially recently. Something something “want to be able to read name and number-sets clearly”.
c) Those solid red SHORT (more on that later) sleeves are hella distracting, yes, but remember the authentic will surely have sleeve sponsors to help break up those giant fire engine red blobs.
It’s certainly a divisive shirt, that has TFCLand in stitches (See what i did there? Cannot stop. Will not stop.), and I don’t think vitriol allows for the fact that is the wish.com version of the new shirt, at worst.
It’s busy, mostly because it’s a kit trapped between two worlds; the hoops on the body and the solid red elsewhere. They certainly aren’t the greatest bedfellows.
As for the hoops? 10/10. No Notes. It’s got Onyx in there. Nuff said.
But we cannot ignore the big solid red blobs that frame hoopsville and come precariously close to swallowing it. Hopefully the Authentic will feature zany sublimated details or whatnot to dull the oppressive red blocks and create more of a unified look because here it’s like the shirt is at war with itself.
All that being said - I could solve this issue in 10 nanoseconds. MAKE IT IN LONG-SLEEVE. Not only would be a quasi reversal of the 2017 Treble / 2018 Mexican Adventure kit of legend, but extending those little red blocks into full length red blocks, maybe capping them with a hoop-like hem, would really tie the whole thing together.
As it stands, I absolutely do not hate it, I’ll own my ire from the people that do dislike it calling for my head as I’ve been lobbying for Onyx since 2014. Is it too busy? Yes. Overdesigned? Hell ya (but remember Replica/Authentic). But those hoops are tremendous and Onyx. Forever and Ever. Amen.
Now release a long sleeve and take my money.
LETTER GRADE: B+
As always, the ying to my yang, and the kitnerd that stirs my kitdrink, Mark Hinkley, has been tagged in for his thoughts in advance of our yearly MLS kitcast. He wasn’t ready for the deadline (because I gave him 5 minutes, lol) so consider this a placeholder. I will add his shouts as soon as I get them!
MARK’s LETTER GRADE: TBD
But what do YOU think? Let us know in the comments!!