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Tweaking MLS Part II

mls hed 2

By Phil Hecken

You folks will recall that last week I ran the uniform concepts of Lance Hall, who had taken it upon himself to tweak the uniforms of MLS (Major League Soccer) — if you missed Part I, that article is here. He has done a fantastic job. Today, I’m back with Lance as he runs down the second half of MLS teams, plus he’s included two “bonus” concepts, for teams who will be entering the league in the future. In finest Casey Kasem with a Jim Vilkian twist fashion, here’s Lance with your “reverse-Top 10” (plus 2):

Tweaking the other Major League (Pt. II)
By Lance Hall

10. New England Revolution: That logo had to go. I can’t even call it a badge or a crest. It’s boring and dated and doesn’t translate well to merchandise. Is that a logo or the Flying Spaghetti Monster? For a new insignia, I went all symbolism and retro-actively claimed the best idea from the Philadelphia Union. The Revolution should’ve been using symbols like these from the beginning, so eat it Philly. The redesigned Revs crest has the historic New England flag, 6 red/white stripes for the 6 states comprising the New England region, star-style soccer ball, the 1776-1996 dates for the founding of the country and the founding of the team/league, and finally the famous “Don’t Tread on Me” rattlesnake. (See more on the snake below.) The coiled snake has become an unofficial symbol of American soccer since Nike started using it on US Men’s team kits and merchandise. The main uni designed itself. If there was ever a team that needed red vertical stripes it is the Revs. The green alt jersey is a nod to Boston and its unofficial hometown color. It’s perfect to wear for that drinking binge holiday this weekend.

11. Philadelphia Union: The uniform and badge are perfect. They are classic but modern, full of symbolism and city pride. Kudos to the Union and kudos again. I apologize for hijacking it all for the Revs. The only tweak I’d make to the current look is making the embarrassing sponsor more subtle by changing it to match the team colors. Now, about that snake… It’s very nice of the Union and Adidas to help Nike Soccer with their brand recognition. However, in their official literature the Union refer to the coiled rattlesnake as a symbol first used by Ben Franklin in the 1750s, but the Franklin snake was a chopped up rattlesnake that needed to be “joined.” The coiled rattlesnake image the Union (and Nike) use is famous for the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag originally designed by Charleston, SC native Christopher Gadsden. I guess the USL’s Charleston Battery have more right to use the Gadsden snake than Philly, but the Battery currently have a better crest, kit and tradition than most MLS teams, so we’ll let it slide.

12. Portland Timbers: I like the design for the new Timbers kits. It’s unique and evocative and most of all its interesting. My concept kept the basic elements and added a real collar. When I think lumberjacks of the Pacific Northwest, I think real shirt collars. I good alternate kit would be plaid flannel. I broke from the three striped Adidas socks for a faux-stirrup design meant to match the ax on the crest. This is one of those kits, the real one and the tweak, where the sponsor works well with the design and it actually helps the overall look of the shirt. I’d proudly wear my collared Timbers replica jersey to the match… leaping from seat to seat, with my best girly by my side, we’d sing… (Please tell me that’s a match day song in Portland.)

13. Real Salt Lake: I’m a big fan of navy, burgundy and yellow together. I didn’t change much other than losing the all white away kit. I tried to make the second uniform something as distinctive as the primary. The third shirt is for when they play Chivas USA.

14. Red Bull New York: Here we have the poster team for corporations ruling sports. The Red Bulls have managed a distinctive look that’s impossible to change. There’s nothing to be done with the shirt design, since the design is the corporate sponsor. My only suggestion is changing the away jersey to red and bumping the navy to an alternate. Red is in your name, you should wear it occasionally. I suspect the Red Bulls are cringing at the idea of the Cosmos being resurrected in NYC. If that happens, Red Bull New York will immediately become the LA Clippers of the MLS.

15. San Jose Earthquakes: You can tell a team is a founding member of MLS when their name sounds like a minor league hockey franchise. San Jose needs to follow Kansas City down the rebranding road. Become AC San Jose or Inter San Jose or Arsenal USA… or something. I went back to a design scheme used when the ‘Quakes were good and added my own Richter scale stripe, picked up from details in the logo. The Richter scale stripe is a departure from the traditional designs I was shooting for, but there are precedents, most notably the 2010 Slovenia World Cup shirt. The shirt sponsor does make me rethink my ticket price. What if I get 10 friends to buy season tickets, and then they get 10 friends to buy season tickets…

16. Seattle Sounders: If you gauge success by championships then DC United rules MLS. If you gauge success by butts in seats then Seattle is king! The new 2011 kit is too horrible to be described. Obviously they need a complete makeover. I like the distinctive colors, even if the shade of green is a little too conveniently XBOX green. Still, last year’s kit worked fine even when they went monochrome. The under arm swatches were a bit much, but it wasn’t bad for a first outing. The tragedy is that nothing in the Sounders look claims an identity like Houston’s orange or the hoops of Dallas. The team with the highest attendance in the league should be rewarded with a kit that at least has the chance to be iconic. The vertical stripe is one of those elements unique to soccer and sorely under used in MLS. As far as the tweaks go, I’m more happy with the two toned blue away shirt, but I think anything is an improvement over the migraine inducing conglomeration we’ll be seeing them in this year.

17. Toronto FC: They’ve staked claim to the monochrome red Liverpudlian strip. So be it. The gray sleeves are a nice touch, so I’ve left that in, but added a real collar to the shirt. I’ve also reworked the BMO logo to work with the crest. I wonder what Torontonians think of their team being sponsored by the Bank of Montreal? Maybe it’s not a big deal, but I know if you put a Bank of New York logo on the front of a Red Sox uni, there’d be blood in the streets by lunchtime.

18. Vancouver Whitecaps: The Whitecaps have a surprisingly long soccer history in various forms. The most memorable of their kits had a chest stripe with “Whitecaps” spelled out. In the current era of shirt sponsors that kind of design is impossible, but it doesn’t mean a chest stripe is out of the question. For the away shirt, I chose argyle. What other American sport could get away with argyle? If the Rays can wear plaid then the Caps can wear argyle, right? The real away shirt has a stylized version of the Whitecaps insignia sublimated throughout, which makes it look like argyle, so I’m not that far out on this one. The alt is green because well… I think there are lots of trees in Vancouver, and trees are green.

Bonus Tweaks

The Montreal Impact will join the league next year, and if the rumors are true the New York Cosmos will eventually follow as the 20th MLS team. Here are some designs for these two yet-to-be-seen MLS clubs:

19. Montreal Impact: I created a crest that’s pretty basic and incorporated the provincial flag of Quebec. While I was working on these MLS tweaks I’d been toying with the idea of a half vertical stripe shirt. The Captain America stripe. It’s ironic that I finally found a place for it on a Canadian team, but I couldn’t exactly use the stripes from Captain Canada.

20. New York Cosmos: The Cosmos are still legendary in American soccer even though they haven’t fielded a team in over 25 years. It’s about time the MLS added them to the table. If everything goes as destiny dictates, the Cosmos will become the 20th MLS team. My design of the Cosmos is basically just recreating their classic look. The badge is updated with a font that doesn’t drip 80s, a more modern soccer ball and a somewhat sharper swirl. Now all they have to do is sign Robinho and NY soccer is back!

That’s it fellow soccer enthusiasts. Hopefully these designs will generate some discussion about a sport that doesn’t get a fair shake when it comes to cool uniforms. If you think soccer kits are boring, then check out this guy.

~~~

Thanks (again) Lance. Fantastic concepts — I remember the Cosmos (back when I was knee-high to a grasshopper and they had Edison “Edson” Arantes do Nascimentando [you remember him as Pelé] and Giorgio Chinaglia and I actually played soccer back in grade school), so I’m mildly excited if the team name returns. Not that it will make me want to watch MLS, but it will be cool to see the retro gear.

Lance and I have been planning on something else special for you UW readers down the road — I’ve seen what he is concepting, and let me just say — once it’s read for publication, it will be pretty amazing. So until that time, thanks Lance. What say you, Uni Watchers? What do you think?

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fantasy hedIt’s just a fantasy…

I’m not into fantasy sports, and I never have been, but a number of readers are. Occasionally, I’ll be featuring some of their leagues, uniforms and logos. If you folks play in fantasy leagues and want to submit your drawings/sketches/pdfs/jpegs…whatever — you know what to do. After I ran an article on Patrick Runge’s fantasy league a number of you sent in your own fantasy league submissions. I’ll be getting to those periodically, but feel free to keep sending new ones in.

~~~

Today we have two sets. First up is Jeff Bahry, whose fantasy team is the “Beer Guzzlers” and they are a football squad:

Phil –

Patrick Runge’s article on Sunday inspired me to develop a logo and uniforms for my new FF team, the “Beer Guzzlers”.

Enjoy!

Logo
Uni Front
Uni Side

Jeff Bahry

~~~

Next up is Charles Weir, who has a bit more of an intricate writeup for his fantasy clubs:

I haven’t quite taken it to the extent that Sunday’s guest writer Patrick has but then again my league is only in its third year. I have a league logo as well as logos for 4 of the 10 teams although since I made the logos during the 2009 season one of those teams changed their name and rendered the logo useless. The league’s name is The Liquid Glory Fantasy Football League, liquid glory being a term coined by myself and used by most of the league members during our freshman year of college to describe chocolate milk. The divisions, which unfortunately don’t have a logo are Hershey’s Syrup and Nesquik Powder and I feel it necessary to point out that in a bizarre display of fantasy imitating reality, the Hershey’s division has proven infinitely superior to the Nesquik division as all 3 league champions hail from Hershey’s.

Anyway I’ve designed logos for a few of the teams whose names lend themselves easily to an amateur designer’s logo creation process. The Hebrew Hammers (owner is Jewish obviously) were easy enough, especially after I found a font that mimics actual Hebrew letters. The Special Eds (the owners name is Ed) were another easy one and I based the design on a smiley emoticon-ish looking thing I found online. Next up was Evil Shenanigans (an obvious reference to Super Troopers) and I simply took a picture of Snidley Whiplash and changed the colors to look more demon-like, unfortunately this team has sinced changed its name to Elementary, Ben Watson and gone 1-12 in the regular season (Changing a team name is just as much bad luck as changing a boat’s name apparently). Then my crowning achievement, my team: Preposterous Tomfoolery (I just enjoy both of those words) I took Brownie the Elf and meticulously turned him into a clown complete with ruffled collar and cuffs, makeup and brightly colored afro. This logo serves a dual purpose as my roommate and owner of the team formerly known as Evil Shenanigans is a Browns fan and I take every opportunity to point out how the Browns are more deserving of the new moniker The Cleveland Clowns these days than they are the once proud name of Cleveland Browns. The league logo was the only one I designed that was entirely my own idea, its pretty basic, a football (stolen from the Jets logo) and two Chocolate Milkshakes (our championship trophy is called the Chocolate Milkshake Trophy).

Speaking of our trophy I’ve actually designed a 3-d model of what I want it to look like using Google’s Sketch-up program and hope to have one built. I attached a file with the four team logos and the league logo as well as a screen-cap of the trophy design, the circular notch in the base is for a milkshake glass to sit in. I also have a uniform that I designed for my team as well as a sweatshirt that I’m planning on making sometime in the next few months since my team just won Milkshake Bowl 3 with the most dominant post season performance ever seen in the league, I attached my sweatshirt design too just for kicks. Love reading the blog, you guys do a great job.

Thanks to today’s fantasy campers. Check back periodically for more.

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Benchies HeaderBenchies

by Rick Pearson

~~~

On the bench, at the bar, so much time to ponder, to postulate…

d-sid-1

And as always, the full size version.

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all sport uni tweaksUni Tweaks

Once again, we have a very special set of tweaks today.

If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.

Remember, if possible, try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per tweak. You guys have been great a keeping to that, and it’s much appreciated!

And so, lets begin:

~~~

First up today is another set of tweaks from none other than Jerry Reuss. I actually had the pleasure of speaking on the phone with Jerry last weekend for almost two hours, and we covered just an incredible amount of topics, including, of course, tweaks. I’ll have more on that interview (including the very submissions you see below), but for today, here are Jerry’s concepts:

Hi Phil,

Here are two tweaks of the early Houston Astros home uniforms.

The Classic Look

This uniform tweak is comprised of three elements:

1) The hat, belt, stirrups and buttoned uniform top are from the 1965-1971 home uniform;
2) The logo, player name and number use the color scheme from 1972-1974;
3) The dark blue sleeve and pants piping are new.

Not shown are dark blue sleeves and black shoes.

The Retro Look

The same three elements:

1) The hat, belt, stirrups and buttoned uniform top are from the 1965-1971 home uniform;
2) The logo, player name and number use the color scheme from 1972-1974;
3) The orange/blue sleeve and pants stripes are new and refer to the 1972-1974 era.

Not shown are dark blue sleeves and black shoes.

Also, this link is for a future wire service feature.

My best,

Jerry

~~~

Next up is Richard Paine, who has a Bills logo for us:

Hey Phil,

As always, great stuff on the blog. keep up the great work. I’d like to contribute a simple concept for the Bills new uniforms. I know supposedly its all done, but I got to tell you, I think it would be great to take their 2 existing logos and move forward with this concept. I love the AFL unis and the white helmet to go a long with this design.

Thanks,
Rich

~~~

And finally, we have “Part 2” of Kaleb Stuckey‘s MLB uniform concepts. If you recall, last week we looked at his AL tweaks, this week is the NL:

Inspired by my frustration of keeping up with so many uniform possibilities for each team, I came up with the idea of establishing a few rules for MLB uniforms. Some of the uniforms I have submitted are concepts and tweaks and some are the actual current combinations. I only have a few rules, and they are as follows:

1) No vests
2) No more than two hats
3) No more than two styles of pants (home and road)
4) Must have home alternate and road alternate, which are not interchangable

I realize there are teams that are very hesitant to adopt any kind of alternate jersey (Yankees, Tigers, Dodgers), but for the sake of consistency and fun, I created them as well. Enjoy!

National League

East

New York Mets
Atlanta Braves
Florida Marlins
Washington Nationals
Philadelphia Phillies

Central

Houston Astros
Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers
St. Louis Cardinals
Cincinnati Reds
Pittsburgh Pirates

West

San Diego Padres
Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Colorado Rockies

Thanks,

Kaleb Stuckey
Broken Arrow, OK

Fantastic job folks. Back with more tomorrow.

~~~~~~~~~~

That’s going to be a wrap for today.

Make sure you guys check back in tomorrow — I’ll have a VERY special post featuring one of today’s Uni Tweakers, Jerry Reuss. I think you guys will enjoy that very much. Until then, you folks have a great Saturday.

~~~

“Shoe pornography:” If you regularly check websites like sneakernews, niketalk, nikeblog, playerexclusive.com etc, you would fall into this category of which I am definitely a charter member of. — Matt Powers

 

75 comments to Tweaking MLS Part II

  • JTH | March 19, 2011 at 8:06 am |

    Looks like our celebrity uni tweaker has good taste.

    If I may offer one suggestion: the original Colt .45s stirrups (possibly with the stars added to them) with any one of those options would be a nice touch.

    • JTH | March 19, 2011 at 8:07 am |

      Awaiting moderation? Aw, come on…

      • The Jeff | March 19, 2011 at 9:04 am |

        That’s what you get for saying those types of things

        • Broadway Connie | March 19, 2011 at 12:04 pm |

          Whoever that kid Reuss is, he did a creditable job, uni-tweak-wise. My sole quibble: can’t handle those stirrup stars on the Retro version. Other than that, the rook shows promise. A little seasoning at Wilkes-Barre, or even Pawtucket… well, you never know.

  • Chester's Dad | March 19, 2011 at 9:04 am |

    I agree that the Rev’s logo could use a makeover, and I like the idea of the New England flag as part of it, but the coiled snake has been hijacked by the Tea Party for their own purposes. I doubt any team ownership would go for it on their kits.

    • Dan O'Connell | March 19, 2011 at 9:10 am |

      And probably since the union use that already.

    • Broadway Connie | March 19, 2011 at 12:06 pm |

      Great enterprise by Lance Hall, really well thought-out. Agree, though, about the rattler and its contemporary hijacking. Besides, that Liberty Tree flag (Bunker Hill, after all) is a wonderful emblem.

  • JA | March 19, 2011 at 9:18 am |

    BMO has its headquarters in Toronto, so while it seems strange that they sponsor TFC it does make some sense…

  • Anil | March 19, 2011 at 9:22 am |

    I like the MLS tweaks for the Revolution. Good to bring some history back – I didn’t know there was an actual New England flag! My one critique is the year references – “1776 1996” makes it look like something ended – or died – in 1996.

    I think the biggest problem with the MLS are the team names. Whether it is a “concept” nickname without any connection to the city (they couldn’t do better than Montreal Impact?) or the fake athletic clubs (FC Dallas, Sporting Kansas City, etc.), they create unnecessary barriers between the fans and the teams. The teams need to sound like they’re connected to the place they represent and not just some traveling Cirque du Soleil show. They would get more casual fans who will root for any sport. At the least, they’d get more merchandise sales. Have you ever seen anyone with a Chivas USA shirt? And where do they even play?

    • The Jeff | March 19, 2011 at 11:07 am |

      Didn’t they try that approach first? The little jab above about the San Jose Earthquakes, for example. They started with normal American sports names… and no one cared. Now they’re using the (lame) FC and Sporting type names to attempt to appeal to Euro fans.

      The World likes soccer. The US only cares about it during the World Cup, if our team wins a couple games first. The only way the MLS is going to gain any real amount of fans is if the US perception of the game changes. Good luck with that.

      • Anil | March 19, 2011 at 11:22 am |

        I missed the Earthquakes commentary – thanks. I just disagree with that approach. Americans are parochial – most people aren’t going to support some Europeanized product. I just remember how awesome the NASL was (and the San Jose Earthquakes were the name of an NASL franchise too). I probably shouldn’t be citing a failed league, but I remember as a kid liking soccer because the teams seemed so cool and I liked the different team names, uniforms, etc. I’m not saying the marketing would make people like soccer, but they would at least support it somewhat (via shirt sales, etc). Now they just ignore it.

    • Gusto44 | March 19, 2011 at 11:21 am |

      The MLS Philadelphia franchise needs to eliminate the Union nickname, and replace it with Atoms(better name and logo possibilities)

      • Anil | March 19, 2011 at 11:32 am |

        I agree!

        An excellent discussion of this topic can be found here:

        http://www.philadelp...

    • KT | March 19, 2011 at 11:57 am |

      “Impact” is the name of the Montreal team (largely) because it has the same spelling, pronunciation and meaning in both French and English. And not a lot of words you could conceivably use for a sports team’s name can do that.

      And “Atoms” had its opportunity. It didn’t carry the day.

      I DO like the seismograph homage on the ‘Quakes re-imagined kits. Nice touch. Maybe if it was more subtle, it would be cooler, but very good idea.

      • Gusto44 | March 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm |

        KT, when you say “carry the day”, what does that mean? Was there a fan poll, and Union came out on top? Or did the Philadelphia ownership just want Union for their own purposes?

        I don’t live in Philadelphia, so I don’t know if there was public support for the Union nickname. The Atoms nickname did bring the advantage of a championship and tradition, and that’s not something one could say for all those old NASL nicknames.

  • Dupes in Columbus | March 19, 2011 at 9:42 am |

    I was wondering if there could be a separate Uni-Watch-News-Ticker page. I appreciate all the work that is submitted and different softball uni projects and comics, but I go straight to the news ticker every day. It is why I started coming here and it is the most relevant to me. If not, then I will still come here, but looking at fake jerseys in the MLS isn’t really why I come here. Once again, the custom jerseys people come up with are really good, but I like news on actual jerseys or upcoming fashion on teams that may have been leaked. I understand the “if you don’t like it, then don’t come” opinion, but I feel the reason why I came here in the first place is being over shadowed by microsoft paint and fictional jerseys. Not a complaint, just a suggestion. That’s all.
    Thanks for your work

    • LI Phil | March 19, 2011 at 11:21 am |

      there has never been a ticker on the weekends, even back when paul, vinny and bryan did them, so if you come here expecting one, that probably aint ever happening

      that being said…every so often, i speak to paul about changing the format of the blog, whereby we might be able to have all sorts of different topics going on in sort of a “vBulletin” (different software — more like chat boards have) blog; in that way, you’d have “main” articles, ticker, culinary corner, tweaks, collector’s corner, benchies, etc. all on the main page and one could choose to comment or read in any of the subject areas

      apparently it’s very difficult to do that “format” in wordpress (our blog software) but it is something we have discussed…and certainly something that we are looking into

      • mmwatkin | March 19, 2011 at 11:28 am |

        I would highly advise against vBulletin. With the amount of traffic this site gets, your site will be hacked multiple times weekly and I doubt you want to hire the full time staff to change and modify your code on a constant basis.

        Just my opinion on the matter.

    • John Ekdahl | March 19, 2011 at 11:54 am |

      Actually, it isn’t that difficult to format. We have discussed moving the site in a few different directions and haven’t completely nailed down which way to go. Your suggestion has definitely been on our radar. My guess is that we will eventually make that sort of change (don’t hold me to it, though).

      As for vBulletin… I’m not going near it. We’ve had some problems in the past with WordPress, but it’s been damn good to us overall and has improved a lot over the years. Any new features or changes will most likely be built into it.

    • KT | March 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm |

      “If not, then I will still come here, but looking at fake jerseys in the MLS isn’t really why I come here.”

      There is no ONE reason why ANYONE comes here. At least not one that fits all. One of the reasons for the success of this site (besides the slightly-crazy skew of its regulars) is precisely because it is so eclectic.

      I’m sure there are many things any of us can find to do in a day if Uni Watch (which we don’t pay for, by the way) doesn’t have enough of “our” content on a given day.

      I find – and am thankful for – what interests me and don’t really think to kvetch about the things that don’t interest me, because I’m sure they interest someone. And until and unless it’s your name on the masthead, you’ll just have to find the strength to muddle through. Somehow.

  • Coleman | March 19, 2011 at 9:42 am |

    So glad to see part 2 of Lance’s concepts! All around great job, and I especially agree with the two tone blue kit for the Sounders. Very nice concept.

  • M.Princip | March 19, 2011 at 10:10 am |

    Top notch Benchies today.

    http://farm6.static....

  • Mike D | March 19, 2011 at 11:09 am |

    Good job on the MLS kits.

  • pushbutton | March 19, 2011 at 11:21 am |

    I’m so glad that Mr. Reuss loves the shooting star as much as I do. I don’t know what it was about teams born in the 60s…they seemed to hit on the perfect combination of creativity and restraint, making for all kinds of classic looks…Astros, Angels, Expos, Padres, they just about all got it right the first time.

    The Astros & Expos did PFPS (when in doubt, add pinstripes). I guess they figured, add pinstripes and script and you can look like the Yankees and Dodgers. I don’t even know how to address that lack of pride.

    • Gusto44 | March 19, 2011 at 2:33 pm |

      Yes, there is something to be said about keeping the original concept in uniform design. The Astros should just be one of those clubs without pinstripes and script. The nature of the nickname doesn’t have that impression on me. I could see a futuristic, digital style number font for Houston, like the Bernard King Washington Bullets numbers.

      You’re right about PFPS, hopefully, Washington or Seattle won’t go there. The only caveat for me would be unique color of pinstripes, as in the old Phillies and Pirates versions. Those teams had different team colors used as pinstripes, which stood out, as opposed to the Expos blue pinstripes, which resembled the Cubs.

  • DenverGregg | March 19, 2011 at 11:24 am |

    Love the Whitecaps argyle and their green hoops! Those would be the best kits in MLS history on their first wearing.

    The concepts for Montreal and Cosmos are top-notch too.

    The yellow San Jose kit is way too reminiscent of this fellow.

    • Coleman | March 19, 2011 at 11:39 am |

      I totally forgot to mention the argyle! Definitely an amazing idea for a jersey, and you’re right Lance, only soccer could pull it off.

    • Jim Vilk | March 19, 2011 at 1:09 pm |

      Argyle rocks…and so does that Charlie Brown look!

  • Tony | March 19, 2011 at 11:37 am |

    I’m working on a DIY project and was wondering if anyone knew the font used for the numbers on the 70’s-80’s Phillies uniforms?

  • Bill Radocy | March 19, 2011 at 11:56 am |

    Lance,

    Absolutely fantastic job on the jerseys…….I would buy most of them!

    • Jim Vilk | March 19, 2011 at 12:35 pm |

      If they didn’t have sponsor logos, I’d buy most of them, too! Great work.

      My only problem:
      “San Jose needs to follow Kansas City down the rebranding road.”
      No no no no no no no…no. The ‘Quakes already rebranded, and for the better. They started out as the San Jose Clash, then wised up and went with the NASL name.

      So do the Bolton Wanderers need to rebrand as well, since they’re not as European-sounding as their English brethren? Plus, most teams across the pond have nicknames…they’re just not used as the official name.

      When we start playing more competitive soccer…and we will…the world will take our style of team branding seriously. Heck, they love everything else about our culture. They just don’t like our foreign policy. In a few decades, don’t be surprised if some European teams rebrand *their* names. I said some. I know Manchester United or Real Madrid or other teams firmly entrenched in tradition would never do it. But others needing a zing in their marketing will.

      By the way, Lance, most of this was not directed at you. Just an overall rant. Again, you did great work on these tweaks!

  • Broadway Connie | March 19, 2011 at 12:09 pm |

    Shout out to Richard Paine: Yes, what you propose is exactly what the Bills should wear.

  • Allan | March 19, 2011 at 12:46 pm |

    Thought Paul might like this column written about advertising on Australian jerseys. Enjoy.

    http://www.smh.com.a...

  • Michael Kramer | March 19, 2011 at 12:54 pm |

    “Toronto FC: They’ve staked claim to the monochrome red Liverpudlian strip.”

    Surely Chicago has, no? The Fire’s white chest stripe detracts from the monochrome aspect, but so do Toronto’s gray sleeves. I award it to Chicago based on seniority and my bias as a Chicago/Liverpool fan.

    Great work on the revamped MLS kits!

  • Pflava | March 19, 2011 at 1:07 pm |

    Excellent job on the MLS tweaks by Lance, first of all.

    But I am reminded once again why I don’t find soccer kits interesting or compelling the same way I do the uniforms in other sports. And it’s not just the corporate sponsor logos on the chest, but rather the combination of that and the generic feel of the template. When I see an MLS kit, the first two things I see are some corporation or product name and Adidas. Aesthetically,that bothers me. And I say this as a soccer fan who loved the NASL.

  • Pat | March 19, 2011 at 1:14 pm |

    Again love the MLS tweaks. I would say you should have kept the white sleeves on the Timbers unis. How many NBA teams have 12,000 in season ticket sales like the Timbers do? People can say all they want about soccer not being relevant in the US but I would beg to differ. Frankly as a person living on the west coast nobody cares about hockey out here. Hockey is even more marginalized the soccer in these parts. I would say that’s probably true of several sports in specific regions of the US. Just because you as an individual don’t like soccer doesn’t mean it’s not relevant, it just means it’s not relevant to you. Personally I’m a sports nut, but I’m also a soccer nut. If I had to rank my personal preferance for sports I’d say it goes like this:
    1 International Soccer 2 European Club Soccer 3 NFL 4 College Basketball 5 NBA 6 MLS 7 College Football 8 MLB 9 NHL
    Now for me there is a steep drop off after college football. So this does skew my perspective slightly. I suppose looking at the markets that have all 5 leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS) and seeing what the average attendance for the sports are in those markets would give you a pretty good idea of which one is more relevant. I’ll go do some research.

    • DenverGregg | March 19, 2011 at 1:48 pm |

      Great ranking concept:
      1. MLB; 2. NFL; 3. CFB; 4. MLS; 5. NHL; 6. International futbol/soccer; 7. Euro futbol/soccer; 8. MiLB; 9. NCAA hockey; here endeth the list.

    • Jim Vilk | March 19, 2011 at 1:53 pm |

      1. College basketball
      2. NBA
      3. Indoor soccer
      4. Ski Jumping
      5. Curling
      6. MLB
      7. Outdoor soccer
      8. NCAA/Olympic hockey
      9. College football

      • Jim Vilk | March 19, 2011 at 1:56 pm |

        Oops.

        9. (tie) Lacrosse

        • JTH | March 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm |

          How is it you’ve gone this long without being banned?

        • Jim Vilk | March 19, 2011 at 2:03 pm |

          I have incriminating pictures of Phil…

        • LI Phil | March 19, 2011 at 2:07 pm |

          How is it you’ve gone this long without being banned?

          ~~~

          he just hasn’t had a gilbert gottfried moment yet

          and here’s the real rankings:

          1. MLB
          2. NFL

          3->? — everything else

      • Broadway Connie | March 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm |

        1. Olympics Track & Field
        2. Inernational Soccer
        3. NFL (Jets)
        4. Mostly-non-BCS College Football
        5. Boxing
        6. International and NCAA Hockey
        7. MLB (Mets)
        8. International Rugby
        9. NCAA Soccer

    • Pat | March 19, 2011 at 3:46 pm |

      Ok so I just did some research. I want to thank Wikipedia and ESPN for making the stats readily available. I wish I could post my excel spreadsheet so you could really see all the numbers if you wanted to. Here is a brief synopsis.
      I took any city or area that had at least 4 of the leagues represented. So the cities were the Bay Area(San Fran, Oaktown and San Jose), LA, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, Boston, New York(including the Jersey teams), Philly, DC, Atlanta, Miami.
      I think on the whole that numbers are down as well due to the recession. Also if your team sucks people generally won’t be out to see them at the stadium.

      NFL-Obviously the king and the most healthy of the leagues.
      Most of the teams are pretty darn close to selling out and several teams average attendance is the stadium capacity. A couple of interesting tidbits, Dallas averages 7k more than the normal seating capacity of 80k which means that Jerry is selling a lot of those standing platform tickets. Chicago also averages above the seating capacity for their stadium by about 700. Miami is about 7500 under capacity. Even though DC averages 83k per game they are still way below their 91k capacity. The Lions have stunk recently and their attendance is about 8k below, but the worst is the Raiders:Stadium capacity 63,026 avg att 46,431.

      NBA: Definitely a little hit and miss depending on the market. Dallas, Chicago and Miami all average above capacity. New York, Boston and the Lakers all average at capacity or slightly below. Interesting that the Lakers capacity at the Staples Center is 18,997 and the Clips is 19,060. The worst of these cities is Detroit and Philadelphia with about 6k less than capacity.

      MLB: Yikes! Baseball is in trouble if you base it on these numbers. I mean the averages are decent when you look at the numbers and most are in the 20k-40k range but in comparison to stadium capacity it’s just sickening. The only teams in these markets that manage to sellout and are actually over capacity are the Red Sox and Phillies. The Yankees are about 3,500 short of a sellout on average. Some of the worst: (these numbers are all below capacity)
      Rangers 19k below, Rockies 15k below, Braves 20k below, Marlins 20k below, Nats 19k below, Diamondbacks 24k below, and the worst of the bunch Blue Jays 29k below capacity and the stadium is 4k from even being half full!

      NHL: Actually not bad and much better than I expected so well done NHL. I do believe that Hockey is a niche market just like Soccer is so you’ll be able to generate interest amongst a certain group of people. That being said, Philly, Toronto(Canada, eh) and Chicago all avg above their capacity. The Kings in LA and Sharks in San Jose do surprisingly well in warm weather climates. Most of the cold weather teams do ok except the Islanders who manage 10k to get out to their games and Avalanche who are 4k under capacity. Some warm weather teams with dismal numbers Dallas 3500 below, Panthers 4k below, Atlanta 5k below and Phoenix only getting 11k out to their 17k stadium but they’re going to be gone soon so that is understandable.

      MLS: Some decent numbers. Philly gets 19k out which is about 700 above capacity. Red Bulls get 18k even though that’s 7k below, Toronto 20k, Galaxy 21k. There are some pretty bad numbers too, Dallas managing 11k at a 21k soccer specific stadium and with a pretty good team. San Jose averages only 9600 but their stadium only seats 10300 so not too shabby. The teams with non-soccer specific stadiums have disproportionate numbers due to the stadium size. Houston gets 17k in a 32k stadium, DC 14k in a 46k stadium and New England 12k in a 22k reduced capacity Gillette Field. All of thsoe teams are in the process of getting soccer specific stadiums which will help.

      Overall, I’d say the NFL is healthy as long as they’re actually playing games. The NBA is healthy in some markets but not in all. the NHL is doing great in places where it is cold with a few established warm weather teams in big markets. MLS is doing really well in places where some momentum has been gained but needs to continue to grow. MLB is definitely on the decline and in serious trouble. I will give a shout out to the citizens of Chicago and Philadelphia who are really good about supporting all of their teams. I would also like to mention that the closest major city to me is Portland, OR and that our two major franchises are pretty successful. The Blazers avg above capacity and the Timbers have sold over 12k season tickets(myself included) in their inaugural season. Thank you Blazermaniacs and Timbers Army. Ok so that wasn’t brief in any way.

      • LI Phil | March 19, 2011 at 3:54 pm |

        I wish I could post my excel spreadsheet so you could really see all the numbers if you wanted to.

        ~~~

        do you use google docs? because that’s how you can post an excel file…if not, shoot me the file and i’ll put it in google docs for you (going out for a bit, but i’ll check back later)

      • Pat | March 19, 2011 at 4:36 pm |

        I forgot to mention the most interesting stat I came across in my research. The Washington Capitals stadium capacity is 18,398. Their average attendance is 18,397. You mean to tell me they can’t just give away that one seat to put them right at capacity. There has to be something to this like the seat is left empty in memory of someone or somethimg like that. If not then that is just a weird anomaly. If you happen to know if there is a reason then please post it.

      • LI Phil | March 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  • Jim Vilk | March 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm |

    “I suspect the Red Bulls are cringing at the idea of the Cosmos being resurrected in NYC. If that happens, Red Bull New York will immediately become the LA Clippers of the MLS.”

    Great line…even if there’s an extra “the” in it. ;)

  • Jim Vilk | March 19, 2011 at 1:32 pm |

    “…liquid glory being a term coined by myself and used by most of the league members during our freshman year of college to describe chocolate milk. The divisions, which unfortunately don’t have a logo are Hershey’s Syrup and Nesquik Powder…”

    Feeling tempted to start a rival Ovaltine Division…

    • LI Phil | March 19, 2011 at 1:41 pm |

      Feeling tempted to start a rival Ovaltine Division…

      ~~~

      why does that not surprise me

    • DenverGregg | March 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm |

      The jar’s round, why don’t they call it Roundtine?
      It’s gold, Jerry, gold!

      BTW Bosco FTW.

      • JTH | March 19, 2011 at 1:50 pm |

        Syrup conference: Bosco and Hershey’s divisions
        Powder conference: Ovaltine and Nesquik

        • jdreyfuss | March 20, 2011 at 12:01 am |

          What about Fox’s U-Bet syrup? Come on, I’ve never lived in New York. I shouldn’t be the first to suggest this.

  • interlockingtc | March 19, 2011 at 1:36 pm |

    I like soccer, though I do no follow it nor watch matches. I did in the ’70’s, when NASL was big for a while.

    I look at a soccer kit and am not moved one way or the other. Why is that?

    This is not to disparage the work of Mr. Hall today, which is quite good.

    I’ll tell you what it is about soccer kits: a see a corporate logo emblazoned across the chest and little else. This baffles me and disgusts me and I turn away.

    It’s not about the game of soccer, which is beautiful.

    • Jim Vilk | March 19, 2011 at 2:22 pm |

      I can still watch the game, but I can’t buy or wear a jersey with an ad on it…unless it was for a product I really liked.

      I made an exception once,
      http://i.telegraph.c...
      but I’m looking to sell or trade that if anyone’s interested.

      If any of my favorite teams start wearing ads I won’t stop watching them or rooting for them, but I will stop looking like them.

  • mole | March 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm |

    i disagree with the mls tweaks in that i dont like the whole mls rebranding idea, i wish the teams would stay with their original names

  • Jim Vilk | March 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm |

    Another great job by all three tweakers.

    The only things that jumped out at me were the road alts on the Dodgers and Giants. Not a fan of numbers being the same color as the jerseys. Oh, and I’d replace Kaleb’s Astros with Jerry Reuss’.

    Love Kaleb’s Diamondbacks, Bucs, Cards, Nats and Mets in particular.

  • DanKing9 | March 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm |

    Great job again Lance. Wasn’t a fan of the Charlie Brown stripe on Slovenia during the WC and still not a fan of it, but it makes perfect sense for San Jose. Marseille did the argyle look a few seasons ago: http://4.bp.blogspot...

    I’m glad some of the teams changed their names (i.e. Dallas Burn) but others chose wrong when the rebranded (Real Salt Lake or SCKC). I don’t have a problem with the SC if it stood for Soccer Club instead of Sporting Club.

  • Chris from Carver | March 19, 2011 at 2:26 pm |

    Another shot of the Angels logo stirrups courtesy of http://oldtimefamily... .

  • Jay | March 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm |

    Seeing San Jose equated with Arsenal makes me shudder as the Quakes have a partnership with Arsenal’s hated rival Tottenham Hotspur.

    Remember that a few years ago, when the Colorado Rapids underwent their logo change, they almost became Arsenal USA as the owner of the Rapids also owns Arsenal FC.

    I really like the Argyle Whitecaps shirt, along with a vast majority of these tweeks the last two weeks. But seeing the Earthquakes (who were actually out of the league for a few years) suggested to become Arsenal made me sad.

  • Jeremiah | March 19, 2011 at 5:47 pm |

    I really liked Kaleb’s idea to help limit the sometimes outlandish extremes teams will go to in order to sell more stuff. I really liked his StL set. I like the city name on the road jersey. I would only take the number off of the front of the away alt. The only troubling one was the black Reds jersey. I never liked them before, but I realize you had no other way to go for a jersey that was incompatible with the home set. I also loved the original teal Marlins cap and the reviving of ARI’s original workmark. Nice!

    Jerry Reuss’s tweaks were great! I’ve always liked that classic Houston look. Since they are probably the biggest offenders when it comes to uni combos, a little simplification would do them some good. And anyone who actually played for my Halos (albeit for one season)is cool to have contributing to this blog!

  • Chris Mayberry | March 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm |

    Canada’s major banks (of which BMO is one) all have head offices in Toronto. No one I’ve ever met has ever mentioned it.

    I’m not from Boston so I don’t know. Is there any angst there over its major arena being name-sponsored by a Toronto bank (TD)?

    • Anil | March 20, 2011 at 10:09 pm |

      No angst up in Boston. People have taken to just calling it the Garden. TD definitely wasted their money. Nobody even thinks about their sponsorship.

  • Jay | March 19, 2011 at 9:16 pm |

    http://a3.sphotos.ak...

    First MLS match for Portland, first uni snafu. Well done!

    • jdreyfuss | March 20, 2011 at 12:02 am |

      Maybe he’s in distress?

  • Pat | March 19, 2011 at 9:27 pm |

    Yeah I caught the upside down flag too and I was about to post it but you beat me to it.

  • Andrew S. | March 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm |

    Shabazz Napier of Uconn is wearing a long sleeve t-shirt under his jersey today. Not an Under Armour tight shirt type thing – but regular long=sleeve T.

    • Andrew S. | March 19, 2011 at 10:22 pm |

      And as I typed that, he is now wearing no undershirt. From what I can remember, all season he normally wears a regular T-shirt.

  • Dwayne | March 19, 2011 at 10:42 pm |

    The best soccer jersey ever.

    End of discussion. Thank you for playing. LOL

    http://lh3.ggpht.com...

    • LI Phil | March 19, 2011 at 10:57 pm |

      fittingly, soccer also gave us the worst. jersey. ever.

      • JTH | March 20, 2011 at 7:22 am |

        Heh. Look at the bottom of Dwayne’s photo.

        • Dwayne | March 20, 2011 at 8:19 am |

          The Caribou’s of Colorado!

  • Jim Vilk | March 19, 2011 at 10:43 pm |

    If I were doing the 5&1 thing for the NCAA tournament, I had an easy pick for best-looking matchup: Morehead State vs. Richmond.
    http://cache.daylife...
    Nice, simple, colorful.

  • Kyle Allebach | March 19, 2011 at 11:20 pm |

    I’m digging the powder blue/white gettup for the Union…I just wish I didn’t have to see monochrome Khaki for an away kit.

  • shane | March 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm |

    I love all these MLS tweaks. Most of the designs are better than the real thing (except the insane teak suggested for KC). It is great to see that I am not the only one who thinks SJ Quakes come off as a joke.
    MLS would be smart to check out this thread and/or hire Phil.