In the world of soccer, all kits must come to an end.
Just a few days before the start of the 2015 season, that end will come for Sporting Kansas City’s primary kit. For two years, the two-tone blue with a nod to the state line running across the chest has been at the forefront of Kansas City’s gameday attire — including the 2013 MLS Cup final.
On March 4th, Sporting KC will retire that jersey and unveil its replacement at an event called Sporting Evolution at the Uptown Shoppes Event Space. (Doors open at 6 with the “show” starting at 7. It will cost you $10 for admission, but you will get a $10 Sporting Style gift card to be used on merchandise. Parking, however, is free. More details here.)
The event will mark the beginning of a new, two-year cycle* for the club’s primary (home) jersey. The secondary (away) jersey — the striped shirt unveiled last year — returns this year but will expire in 2016.** Basically, this is the “new kit spin cycle” that all MLS fans must ride. The club will bring a new jersey (alternating primary/secondary) every year for the foreseeable future. (Plan accordingly, authentic kits run about $90 to $130 without lettering.)
*Most every kit maker in the world utilizes the two-year cycle for most clubs and leagues. This inclues Adidas, the only kit supplier for Major League Soccer.
**For my money, I wish the team would bump the striped kit up to the primary and keep it forever and make the argyle the secondary. If something works, why mess with it? That’s just the idea of a blogger with no business-sense, so take that for what it’s worth.
What will this new jersey look like, you might be asking yourself at this point. Based off the context clues in the name of the event (i.e. “evolution”) and the history of the team’s post-rebrand styling, I imagine it will be some sort of take on the current motif and color scheme.*
*At last year’s event, Sporting Style guru and vice president of stadium and brand revenue John Moncke described Sporting KC’s jerseys as a “collection.” Meaning, they have been designed to compliment each other. He also said “ we wanted to treat this club as a fashion company.”
Or, here’s a wild speculative stab in the dark: Since this is the team’s (and the league’s) 20th anniversary, might we see a modern twist on one of KC’s old rainbow uniforms from 1996? A retro rainbow with a modern, fashion-forward twist is a very interesting idea. Given the team’s recent track record, anticipation should be pretty high.
The team did tweet out a teaser of the new numbers Adidas is using this year (also note the new MLS logo on both sleeves).
The primary isn’t the only jersey going away though, as the “Pitch Black” argyle* is also at the end of its two-year cycle. Sadly for some, there hasn’t been any sign of an announcement (and there wasn’t when the “Pitch Black” debuted two years ago either) about a new third kit coming in 2016.
*The best jersey in the league, period, IMHO.
The argyle third kits were extremely popular, but it’s not a guarantee that KC will trot out another third kit soon. The league and Adidas sets a limit on how often a team can utilize a third kit in league games, which makes CONCACAF Champions League, Open Cup and friendly matches the most likely occasions for them.
It might be hard to justify a brand new kit this season without the CCL and only a handful of Open Cup/league games to wear them. Or KC might surprise everyone with a limited-run third kit at some point this season.