Category Archives: Team Updates

Keeping you updated on soccer news

Sounders Hold on to Early 2-0 Lead to Beat the Rapids

Official Seattle Sounders Reporter

By Ashley Savage // @savage_hart

While the 2-0 lead is the most dangerous lead in soccer, the Seattle Sounders were able to hold off the Colorado Rapids for over 80 minutes at CenturyLink Field Saturday after scoring 2 goals in less than 10 minutes.

While it was a shock to some and a joy to all, Kelvin Leerdam notched the opening goal for the second week in a row. In the fifth minute, Brad Smith sent a cross in to the box that created a mad dash of ricochets and poor clearances. Leerdam somehow ended up with the ball at his feet and hammered home a left-footed beauty that sailed past the Colorado keeper, Tim Howard.

Image: Jill Peck/mlsfemale

In the 8th minute, Raul Ruidiaz smashed home his second goal of the season by finishing off a stellar cross from Victor Rodriguez.

Starting Off Hot?

The Sounders have notoriously played catch-up their past few seasons, including their back-to-back appearances in the MLS Cup Final. With Leerdam and Ruidiaz both notching their second goals of the season and Morris bagging a brace the previous game, the Sounders now have three players with more than one goal.

Last season, the Sounders did not have more than one player with multiple goals until June. The victory on the night also signifies the Sounders first 2-0 start to a season since 2015. While it’s definitely early, the team is certainly making a statement.

Image: Jill Peck/mlsfemale

Keeping A Clean Sheet

While Stefan Frei wasn’t truly tested during the match, the backline and goalkeeper looked seriously solid while putting up a clean sheet. Brad Smith and Victor Rodriguez show signs of being an increasingly powerful wing combo, producing multiple strong runs and overlaps throughout the game. Leerdam’s ability to contribute goals is something he has accomplished at previous clubs and is a welcome change from the usually predominant defensive role he has played with the Sounders.

Image: Jill Peck/mlsfemale

Road Test Ahead

After two dominant performances at home, the Sounders now travel to Chicago next Saturday (3/16) and Vancouver at the end of the month (3/30), following a bye-week during International Friendlies. The road games will be a true test for the team who has always performed better at home.

Featured & all images: @jillmpeck on Instagram

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @savage_hart

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

FC Dallas – LA Galaxy

By Sahara Clay // @SaharaClayMLSF

FC Dallas played LA Galaxy this weekend in Toyota Stadium. It was a sunny Texas day in March and the stadium was packed full of adoring fans. However, there was one question on everyone’s mind: where is Zlatan?

From the beer garden, chants rang out of “Where is your Zlatan?” and “In the jungle, the mighty jungle the lion sleeps tonight,” obvious taunts at LA. However, these calls were incredibly valid.

FC Dallas made a huge mistake of marketing Zlatan and this game as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch him play when he was nowhere to be found. Even more embarrassingly, they ran these ads at halftime when it was painstakingly apparent Zlatan would not be found on the pitch.

For such a hyped-up match, nothing much seemed to happen. Yes, FC Dallas won 2-0, but was it the game of a lifetime? Hardly.

In my opinion, Paxton Pomykal was the standout of the match, even though Reto Ziegler and Bryan Acosta scored the two goals of the match. No one showed as much hustle on the field as Pomkykal in every single minute of the game.

In fact, Pomykal is partially responsible for Bryan Acosta’s first MLS goal. It’s going to be very interesting to see how Luchi Gonzalez pushes Pomykal in his debut season as FC Dallas’ coach.

I would love to see Pomykal as a starter this season as his confidence grows on the field. He only gets better. Gonzalez stressed the importance of possession throughout the preseason and Dallas did a great job of implementing that this match.

We ended the match with 64% possession of the ball and even had a whopping 59 uninterrupted passes.

Other notable moments of the match included Edwin Cerillo’s MLS debut after an awesome preseason. Although Cerillo only joined the game in the 79th minute, he had a solid start, with his first touch being a clearance of Joe Corona’s free kick.

Jesse Gonzalez also had a notable save on the field – arguably one of the best of the week – in the 91st minute. His short reaction time saves are some of the best in MLS. Gonzalez and the Homegrowns certainly had an amazing day on the field – pointing towards a promising season if we can keep it up

Featured image: @FCDallas

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @SaharaClayMLSF

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

Bye, Bye, Bye: Sundry Thoughts on New York Red Bulls

Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Matchday 2: Bye Week from League Play

Well… it’s not like I don’t have anything to talk about. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

“… And if they tell two people…”: Look. I’ve ranted about all those folks who complain about attendance at games. It’s forced me to examine the phenomenon myself. Red Bulls are not much different than a lot of MLS teams.

It all comes down to this: a lot of folks in the tri-state area can think of other things they’d rather do than go to a soccer game. Their loss, I say, and I leave it at that. It certainly isn’t my job to look at arena attendance as a problem I must solve.

That being said, the solution may be sitting in front of the average supporter. I work with eight other adults. Just by talking about my writing and the team I cover, two of them are thinking of heading to a game this season.

Like the 1980s shampoo commercial illustrated, word of mouth can be the best way to bring people to a product. The home opener is this weekend– tell your friends.

That old familiar feeling: This is not to say I haven’t been to Red Bull Arena yet this season. I have– twice. For the third year in a row, RBNY earned a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League. They started strong with a 5-0 aggregate win over Club Atletico Pantoja of Costa Rica (which meant they got to go to Costa Rica… my snow-shoveling self was a tad jealous).

But the quarterfinal round was a whole ‘nother thing. Liga MX team Santos Laguna, who wallopped their first opponent, Marathon (Panama) 11-2, rode that wave and eliminated Red Bull with an aggregate score of 6-2.

Fans may be asking, “Why,” or better yet, ”Why again?” It’s easy to say they aren’t in full season form, or injuries (Kemar Lawrence most notably) hampered their play. But it’s more than that.

Outspoken soccer pundit Ray Hudson said that CCL “holds a mirror” to MLS teams and says, ‘You’re getting better, but there’s still more work to be done.’ Houston Dynamo was eliminated as well, leaving Atlanta United and Sporting Kansas City to try and flip the script.

Kid and Play: (As if I couldn’t show my age enough…) The young and international talent that RBNY has gathered for this season is nothing short of impressive. From Bronx native Omir Fernandez, who made his first professional goal in the Champions League, to Danish phenom Mathias Jorgensen, who hit the field for the first time in red against Santos this week, the club has their eyes on the future.

Putting them alongside established veterans like Bradley Wright-Phillips and Daniel Royer is the best way for them to elevate their game. Romanian international Andreas Ivan has proven this strategy is beneficial, as evidenced by a goal each in MLS and Champions League. But what may be even more important is what this shows young fans.

Everyone wants to see someone who looks like them in a spotlight, and that includes young people. Fans across the league: bring your kids while teams play their kids. You won’t be disappointed.  

P.S. What– did you think I wouldn’t include the song?

Featured image: Bill Twomey

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @WhiteZinWench

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

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Sporting KC dominates in 2-0 home opener victory

Official Sporting KC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

Sporting Kansas City finally kicked off the regular season at home with a 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union to an electric crowd at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday.

After dropping the MLS season opener in Los Angeles and the first leg in Panama for the Concacaf Champions League Quarterfinals, Sporting KC switched gears and returned to Kansas City.

Missing Roger Espinoza due to red card suspension and Andreu Fontás to an injury – a reshuffled lineup introduced 16-year-old, Gianluca Busio, the youngest MLS starter in Children’s Mercy Park history.

Busio wasted little time proving his starting role, drawing a penalty kick in the ninth minute after Johnny Russell and Krisztian Nemeth exchanged passes in the penalty area. In a scramble to win the ball, the Union’s Auston Trusty tripped Busio from behind, and referee Chris Penso immediately called the foul. Ilie Sanchez stepped up and converted the penalty kick to give the home side the early lead.

Moments later, the Union would have a chance to equalize after Seth Sinovic was called for handball infraction inside the box, but as luck would have it – goalkeeper Tim Melia was a game changer as he dove low to push away Marco Fabian’s attempt, securing Sporting KC’s 1-0 lead into the half. Melia earned his eighth penalty kick save since joining the club in 2015, surpassing his former mentor; Nick Rimando’s record of five penalty kick saves.

The Union was reduced to 10 men after Fabian received a straight red card in the 60th minute. Graham Zusi sent a thunderous strike to see it miss the goal by inches and bounce off the post. Minutes later, Melia was called back into action catching the ball mid-air off a header by Cory Burke.

The 16-year-old midfielder earned a chance to score his first MLS goal in the 77th minute; after Ilie sent a pass over the top falling to Busio, who then try to run the ball into an open net but was denied by a last-minute save by Trusty.

Own goals. We love own goals.

In the 80th minute, Kelyn Rowe sent a pass to Gerso Fernandes but Philadelphia’s Jack Elliott intercepted the play; and instead of clearing out the danger, Elliott kicked the ball past Blake doubling Sporting’s lead 2-0. Even though it technically wasn’t counted as an assist for Rowe, we’ll make an exception.

The last ten minutes saw both sides exchange passes until the final whistle awarding Sporting KC a 2-0 shutout and three points.

Sporting KC will prepare to host Panamanian side Independent in the decisive second leg of the Concacaf Champions League Quarterfinals; before going back on the road to face the Colorado Rapids on Sunday, March 17.

Featured image: Peaty Romano

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @Aracelv1

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

LAFC chop down the Timbers 4-1 in second straight win

Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

The Los Angeles Football Club is proving they are the club to beat this season following a 4-1 dramatic win over the Portland Timbers at the Banc of California Stadium on Sunday.

After nabbing their first victory of 2019 against Sporting Kansas City last weekend, LAFC extended their winning streak – with goals by Mark-Anthony Kaye, Christian Ramirez, Adama Diomande and Carlos Vela.

LAFC had a chance to take the early lead in the 10th minute when Kaye intercepted Portland’s ball at the top of their box. He quickly chipped it over Portland’s back line to Ramirez, but it was just out of Ramirez’s reach – sending it over the net.

Just four minutes later, Kaye gets another chance to score and headed one home off a corner kick from the captain Vela, leaving a stunned Jeff Attinella in place. It was Kaye’s first goal since suffering a season-ending ankle injury last year.

After some back and forth, LAFC’s early lead wouldn’t last long. The Timbers’ first real threat came after a corner swung into the top of the six-yard line – Tyler Miller was quick to catch it. But the danger wasn’t over yet. Jeremy Ebobisse managed to break through off a free kick for the equalizer in the 29th minute.

LAFC had to adjust fast again after Latif Blessing – that played right back for the first time – entered for Steven Beitashour, who was subbed off in the 32nd minute due to injury. Beitashour had suffered a blow to the head while defending LAFC’s box before either team opened the scoring, and evaluated for a possible concussion on the sideline. But no further information has been released.

After an intricate sequence of plays starting in the back – Carlos Vela, passed two or three defenders to Jordan Harvey that sent it to Christian Ramirez; who gets the low cross and doubled the lead, 2-1.

The Timbers’ came close to closing the deficit with Ebobisse looking to level the match again. He ran up the middle and before the ball left his foot; Walker Zimmerman stopped him in his tracks with a goal-saving tackle.

Fresh off the bench, Diomande slides one home off of a cross from Vela in the 65th minute. He also delivered the game-winning goal last Sunday.

Carlos Vela secured LAFC’s win with his first goal of the season after curling his shot around Attinella and nestled the ball into the side of the net – Vela also earned three assists that evening.

Moments after Vela’s goal, LAFC gained an advantage as Diego Chara received a straight red on a second caution for a foul on Diego Rossi. Portland would go on to play with ten men.

The black-and-gold stayed focused for the remainder of the half, ending the match 4-1 – earning their second consecutive win at home.

LAFC will look to stay undefeated on the road as they travel to New York City to face NYCFC on Sunday, March 17.

Photo credit: Daisy Jimenez/mlsfemale

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @Aracelv1

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

Dueling goalkeepers keep NYCFC and DC United to 0-0 draw

Official NYCFC Reporter

By Keira Smith // @keiramunsmith

New York City Football Club opened its 2019 season at home against DC United on Sunday March 10th. What the match lacked in scoring, it made up for in goalkeeping theatrics. Both NYCFC’s keeper, Sean Johnson, and DC United’s, Bill Hamid, kept the game a nail biter with their superb performances.

DC United’s high and heavy press gave NYCFC’s back line a hard time from literally the first minute of play. Once NYC adjusted to the pressure, the midfield and wings started to put together attacking sequences.  The underlying theme of the offense was “Find Alexandru Mitrita” with one NYC counter attack sending “Mitri” into three DC defenders and almost beating them, before DC’s Wayne Rooney and his elbow destroyed the play.

For this match, Coach Dome Torrent tried a different formation with Taty Castellanos in a striker role and Maxi Moralez back to more of a 10 role.  Once again, James Sands started in central midfield alongside Captain Alex Ring. This season, Ring seems to be playing a lot more offensively and has been given free reign to shoot both inside and outside the box.  On Sunday he had two strong shots with one diving header denied by an incredible save by Hamid.  These are shots that would not have been taken in years past.

Johnson was credited with 3 saves on DC United’s on-target shots.  Officially, they had 7 total shots.  Hamid made 6 saves while City totaled 21 shots, with most of them off target. Most of the on-target shots were incredible efforts by both the attacker and the keeper.  If only there was a way to put a little gold star next to the particularly impressive saves by the keeper.

My takeways:

Taty Castellanos gave a strong performance.  He had multiple shots on target (most of them headers) was where he was supposed to be in attacking sequences and generally appeared to work in rhythm with Mitrita.  Does anyone remember the first two seasons when a ball would cross in front of the opponent’s goal and nobody was there to meet it?  That doesn’t happen with Taty.  If given time to germinate, the chemistry between Castellanos, Mitrita and Maxi can only improve.

James Sands played well and helped lead NYCFC’s efforts to control the middle third of the field.  He seemed to be everywhere adding pressure and then accurately redistributing to kick off our offense. Part of the reason Ring is free to push forward and attack is because Sands is handling the defensive role so reliably.

DC United's Wayne Rooney and NYCFC's James Sands
DC United’s Rooney, NYCFC’s Sands

The combination of Ring and Mitri could become very deadly.  Ring finds Mitri with long penetrating passes and Mitri seems equally comfortable taking shots from  outside the box and maneuvering around multiple defenders into the box.  Pair this with Ring’s willingness and ability to shoot from a distance, and opposing defenders will have a hard time dealing with City’s unpredictability.   

What’s going on with Ismael Tajouri-Shradi?  Last season he stepped up big as the second highest goal scorer on the team during a period when we were without the injured David Villa. I was happy to see him come in as a sub for Jesus Medina after not playing at all in Orlando, but he seemed to have lost his spark for firing off shots on goal.  Is he trying to settle into some new role?  I liked his old one.  You know, scoring goals.

NYCFC is back in the Bronx on Sunday, March 17th against LAFC.

Featured image: @NYCFC

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @keiramunsmith

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

LA Galaxy Fall 2-0 on the road Against FC Dallas

Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Lineups:

Starting XI: David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher, Daniel Steres, Diego Polenta, Jorgen Skjelvik; Sebastian Lletget (Efrain Alvarez 59’), Jonathan dos Santos ©, Joe Corona; Ema Boateng (Ethan Zubak 75’), Chris Pontius, Uriel Antuna

FC Dallas took full advantage of the Los Angeles Galaxy’s mistakes Saturday, March 9, 2019.

Real chances weren’t created. The first half was a battle for possession. Emmanuel Boateng and Sebastian Lletget both had chances to score early on. Uriel Antuna almost made a goal on what was meant to be a cross in the 28′ but it hit the corner of the post.

Dallas could have scored on a wide open net in the 37′ but Jimmy Maurer missed it.

In stoppage time of the first half, Rolf Feltscher had a shot right off the crossbar and moments later Chris Pontius almost had a header.

It was the second half when the Galaxy got punished. The home team were awarded a penalty after Diego Polenta kicked a defender right in his side in the box.

The absences of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romain Alessandrini were strongly felt.

Injuries are out of the control of the players and coach, so it’s how the team adjusts to these changes that is key.

They’re slow and it’s clear the team didn’t know what to do when they had the ball, which was dire in front of the net. Boateng bested an FCD defender and then missed a crucial shot on an open net.

The ones really let down are the fans. Traveling supporters kept their spirits up though and were the only ones heard in Toyota stadium.

The best and the only attack came from 16-year-old Efrain Alvarez, who hasn’t ceased to amaze in only his second game with the LA Galaxy. His shot came in stoppage time, right on goal. But FCD’s keeper made the save to deny the teen from scoring and maintained his clean sheet.

This match really showed the Galaxy need to develop structure and play as a team. The passion and attack were missing as well. There’s plenty of talent, but they’re utilizing their skills individually. Even Daniel Steres came through to defend until he didn’t. Feltscher did his own thing, earning himself a yellow card in the 21’ for his tackle on Michael Barrios. Joe Corona didn’t get much time on the ball. Pontius wasn’t coming through either.

Lletget had to be subbed in 59’ after taking an elbow to the face and getting a bloody nose that took him out of play. He just can’t stop getting injured. Prior to that though, he did have a fantastic curl that went just too wide.

Boateng was finally subbed in the 76’ giving homegrown LA Academy and LA Galaxy II rising player Ethan Zubak his debut.

Jonathan Dos Santos took on the role of captain, which was a good move as he’s also shown leadership skills and can step up when needed. He is integral to the midfield creating chances.

LAG problems with defense are not new. The backline hasn’t had any changes. However, General Manager te Kloese and Head Coach Schelotto have made moves to build offense and depth. Once again, this team is a work in progress. LA Galaxy II Open Tryout Diedie Traore has also just signed with LAG after acquiring an international spot from Columbus Crew SC.

Expectations need to be kept realistic, which doesn’t mean standards need to be lowered. At this point, fans are hoping just to qualify for the playoffs. Considering both teams had highs and lows this match, there’s still plenty of reasons to keep the faith as Galaxy fans.

The LA Galaxy’s next challenge is Saturday, March 16 against Minnesota United at Dignity Health Sports Park. Kickoff is set for 6pm PST.

Featured image: @LAGalaxy

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

Loons clean up on the road

Official Minnesota United FC Reporter

By: Bridget McDowell // @BCMcDowell 

Saturday’s match in San Jose was a night of milestones for Minnesota United FC. Not only did the Loons beat the Earthquakes for the first time in five matches, but Darwin Quintero notched the club’s 100th goal since joining MLS and a whole new defensive line earned Minnesota’s first clean sheet on the road since 2016.

For those of you who weren’t aware of MN United FC before their 2017 MLS debut, let me catch you up. In that final NASL season, striker Christian Ramirez led the league with 18 goals, fullback Justin Davis was the club’s all-time minutes leader and Jeb Brovsky gained the full confidence of Loons’ fans with his grit in the midfield before an ACL tear ended his season.

Back to 2019: A club plagued by defeats on the road for two seasons has executed a complete about-face in its defensive line and midfield and the attack is showing promise. Ike Opara and Romain Metanire were solid in their box and even led some counter attacks. Ozzie Alonso and Jan Gregus were powerhouses at the back of the midfield while Miguel Ibarra and Darwin Quintero fought to gain space up front to create scoring opportunities. Unfortunately, forward Romario Ibarra stood out for a different reason: his ability to hit the ball square to San Jose’s Daniel Vega.

Speaking of which, if San Jose ever wants to conserve Vega’s energy for the second half in future matches against this Loons squad, Amazon sells a perfect stand-in:

Found on Amazon.com

Unlike Vega the Weeble, a Loon did manage to go down inside the box, drawing a penalty kick for MNUFC. It was no surprise that Quintero buried it (his second in as many games), finally earning the club its 100th league goal.

Minutes later, Quintero charged into the box and gained just enough space from his entourage of Quakes defenders to send the ball out to Miguel Ibarra who beat one defender when a neat cut-back before burying a left-footed shot inside the far post, just out of Vega’s reach.

With 40 minutes left to play… the Loons kept playing. The two-goal cushion didn’t make them sloppy, they continued to communicate especially when substitutions caused shifts in the formation, and they didn’t allow the heated Quakes to knock them off their game (Rasmus Schuller earned the lone yellow card for the Loons).

For the second consecutive match, United played the full 90. And for the second consecutive match, they were rewarded, even benefiting from an own-goal in the 75th minute to cushion the lead.

I don’t believe many Minnesota fans could have predicted a clean sheet in San Jose, but they probably all predicted what three-word phrase would come out of the mouth of manager Adrian Heath when he was interviewed on the sideline after the match: “Goals change games.” They probably also predicted who he would blame for the club’s previous shortcomings:

There is nothing wrong with the gaffer taking credit for his squad’s improvements in Year Three. However, his straight refusal to take any credit for the failures in Years One and Two does not sit right with the supporters. Yes, he is one of many who make the roster decisions, but the manager does hold certain responsibilities as the face of the front office, namely owning the club’s shortcomings.

All that aside, Minnesota closed out Week Two second in the West (with, as of this writing, two clubs yet to play) with three road matches yet to play before landing at home in Allianz Field.

Come on you Loons.

Featured image: @MNUFC

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @BCMcDowell

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

A Tale of Two Competitions

Official Houston Dynamo Reporter

By Darbi Lockridge // @sonchyenne

Throughout 2018, the Houston Dynamo battled scheduling and defensive injuries through both MLS and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup competitions, shining a light on the lack of depth in the squad. In the end, the team failed to qualify for the MLS playoffs, but brought home the Lamar Hunt Trophy.

General manager, Matt Jordan, spent most of the off-season recruiting players that would improve depth, and the start of 2019 is putting his work to early tests. Juggling two competitions again – the CONCACAF Champions League as well as the MLS regular season – the Dynamo have started their 2019 with a grueling schedule, playing five games so far.

By the middle of March, the team and their fans will have pushed through seven matches over twenty six days – one match every three to four days.

The Dynamo’s second MLS match – against the Montreal Impact – on Saturday afternoon brought some of the biggest lineup changes from head coach, Wilmer Cabrera, to date. His usual switches are in the midfield and defensive lineups, always preferring to flank center forward Mauro Manotas with Honduran forwards Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto.

While he has occasionally removed one or the other, this week’s lineup surprised fans with Elis and Quioto starting on the bench, replaced by attacking midfielders Marlon Hairston and Memo Rodriguez. This is a big switch in strategy for Cabrera that shows the increased levels of confidence in the shooting of Manotas, who is quickly climbing the ladder of all-time Dynamo goal scorers.

Photo by Leslie Chairez, Official Houston Dynamo Photographer for MLSFemale

The recipe of two true midfielders further up the pitch may beat the backline shake ups as the answer to the Dynamo’s defensive lapses, as they triumphed over the Montreal Impact 2-1. The Impact scored in the 34th minute and were quickly answered by a Memo Rodriguez goal at 36’.

The match held even through a long stretch, though the Dynamo offense dominated most of the match. Cabrera replaced the midfielders up front around the one hour mark, bringing in his Honduran forward team. The switch paid off, as Quioto snuck a pass to Manotas inside the box in the 89th minute for the game-winner.

Despite the Impact scoring first, the feeling of the match and the statistics tell a story of an offensive victory for the men in orange. The Dynamo doubled the Impact’s offensive stats in shots and corners (14:7 and 6:3, respectively) and absolutely owned the on-target shots – Montreal’s goal being their only on-target shot to the Dynamo’s six.

The Houston Dynamo must take the confidence won in this MLS match to the CCL this week, as they face the huge task of beating the Tigres by three goals in Mexico to move on. They turn quickly from an undefeated MLS squad to an underdog away team in a matter of moments so both players and staff will need to carry Saturday’s lessons and confidence into Universitario Stadium on Tuesday night.

And just as fast, win or lose, they switch focus again to face the Vancouver Whitecaps at home the following Saturday.

Featured image: Leslie Chairez // mlsfemale

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @sonchyenne

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

A Completely Unbiased Review and Ranking of the New 2019 MLS Kits

Kirsten Hoogstraten - Sporting Kansas City/mlsfemale
Regular Contributor and Queen of Sass & Comedy

By Kirsten Hoogstraten // @Kirsten_Hoogs

Hey MLS Female fans, it’s been a hot minute but I’m back! (I have a habit of saying this every article…sorry) In all honesty, it has been really difficult to keep up with being a writer for a team that is halfway across the country. I don’t know how Araceli does it, but she’s great at it! So, I have stepped down from being the Sporting KC reporter. I still plan on writing, just different types of articles. This will also hopefully give you, our readers, some fun content that might not be team specific.

Now, down to business. It’s 2019 and we have new kits to critique! First thing though, I have a bone to pick with MLS and Adidas. Long-sleeved jerseys have been taken from us, and that means all of us. Ilie Sanchez now must bare his arms to the world and I’m not okay with that. Now how will you get you someone who loves you like Ilie loves his long-sleeved jersey? This is a travesty!

Please note the sleeves. Image credit: SKC

The Reviews

Atlanta United

Image credit: Atlanta United

Atlanta’s color combo is really solid. The red and black look sharp together, and the gold accents pop and add a touch of class. My favorite part of the jersey is the jock tag in the shape of Georgia. That is classy.

There is a slight problem though. Adidas has introduced this new back panel on some jerseys (the giant black thing) and it makes the Atlanta players look like they’re old-timey prisoners with striped shirts and a cape plastered to their backs.

Oh…and there’s a star now.

Chicago Fire

Image credit: Chicago Fire

My first reaction to these jerseys was not good. Every continued reaction was…not good. These are rough. They’re not that different than the old Valspar design, but something about the Motorola logo makes them look weird. The secondary kit is definitely not as good as the grey ones introduced in 2017. These are both far better than the Quaker jerseys of 2014…yikes.

Chicago, you have one of the coolest city flags. People love it so much! (If you think city flags are cool, check out this Ted Talk) I love it and I’m not from Chicago. You’re our rivals. We frequently chant to burn your city down. Again! (We don’t really mean it) Why can’t you do something cool with that? The Bulls did it, and it was amazing!

Image credit: @chicagobulls

FC Cincinnati

Welcome to the league, boys! Let’s see what you brought to the table.

Image credit: FC Cincinnati

Ummm…these are fine, I guess. Blue and orange is a super cool combo, there is so much potential! But there are a lot of these weird pixelly, stripey, not solid design elements in jerseys this year, and I’m not a big fan. Back in 2017 when Cincy surprised Chicago in the U.S. Open Cup, their jerseys were so good! Everyone loved the USA Bomb Pop jerseys and they were the same, just blue and orange! Bring those back!

Now these…

Image credit: FC Cincinnati

…are beautiful! Wear these all the time! I can’t say anything bad about these. The Mercy Health logo is sleek, the inaugural season patch is visually interesting, and the subtle striping is lovely. Well done!

Colorado Rapids

Image credit: Colorado Rapids

Colorado is only getting new secondary jerseys this year, and they also went with a mostly white design. I don’t like these near as much as the Cincinnati jerseys. The accent at the cuffs and neck along with the burgundy make it look more retro. If they lost the weird grey stripe it would probably be better.

Borussia Dortmund…I mean Columbus Crew

Image credit: Columbus Crew

Fun fact: I’m blonde. Another fun fact: I look terrible in yellow. Kate Hudson, I am not. Another fun fact: I love Borussia Dortmund’s jerseys and will stare at them longingly while I wear their black secondary that is far more complimentary to my skin tone.

This is a Borussia Dortmund jersey. They must be moving to MLS and we should all be scared for theirs will be a dynasty for the ages. But, since this looks exactly like a BVB jersey that means I like it.

FC Dallas

Image credit: FC Dallas

FC Dallas’ new secondary is way better than their weird half and half ones from last season. Like waaaaaaay better. The Lamar Hunt patch continues to be a nice touch while also looking exactly like the EPCOT ball. I am not a fan of the half collar and cuff. It makes it look like their moms ran out of trim and decided no one would notice the insides of their arms.

D.C. United

Image credit: D.C. United

The D.C. United jersey took its senior photos in its aunt’s backyard in the ‘burbs, obviously. Regardless of the location, these new secondary jerseys are really good. I love the white and silver. It reminds me of the Sporting KC argyle third alternates from 2015, and those are my favorite. The thing I don’t like is not the jersey’s fault, but the crest is big and obnoxious.

Houston Dynamo

Image credit: Houston Dynamo

How is DeMarcus Beasley still playing? Does he never age? Will he somehow make the next World Cup roster much to the chagrin of everyone?

It’s hard to make a completely orange jersey look good, and Houston did not succeed. The tiger stripe is weird and the three stripes on the side, paired with the wrong design, makes it look like a jersey for a kids team from the 90s. Just wear the cool black chevron secondary jersey a lot.

LAFC

Image credit: LAFC

This is a birch tree. Why are they cosplaying as birch trees?

LA Galaxy

Image credit: LA Galaxy

What is wrong with Los Angeles? Are they trying to see how bad they can make their jerseys before their ridiculously rich fan bases stop buying them?

The lighter blue vs darker blue works really well, but this pixelated look is not good. Why would you want to purposely make it look like the game feed isn’t buffering correctly? Oh, and the jock tag is so tacky.

Minnesota United

Image credit: Minnesota United

Minnesota United is heading into their third season, and they have yet to disappoint on a jersey. Though the Target logo is kind of obtrusive, it never looks bad. The light blue with the white is clean and sharp. This half collar here looks nicer than Colorado’s because it doesn’t have that awkward extra color in there. Nice job, Minnesota. Now give back Ike.

Montreal Impact

Image credit: Montreal Impact

Is this the season of not finishing designs? This looks like they were painting their siding and let the brushes get dry. Lucky for Montreal, this looks better than the Galaxy, Cincinnati, and the fighting Ents (LoTR joke, anyone?…anyone?) The blue with the black is a great color combo. I just wish the stripes went all the way down.

The BMO logo would be better if it was just the letters. The large white circle is rough. The jock tag in the shape of the North Star Bell is a really cute touch.

New England Revolution

Scott Caldwell, who hurt you? You look worried? Image credit: New England Revolution

I have, in the past, mentioned that The Revs aren’t real. They don’t actually exist, but that’s probably just because they’re living back in 1996 with their crest.

This jersey is so cluttered. The UHC logo is huge! It’s also not interesting in the slightest. It was designed by a robot who had access to two fonts, and it used one for the big letters and the other for the small. He also didn’t understand the spacebar. The weird color sandwich of pastel blue and white looks weird.

NYCFC

Image credit: NYCFC

So, I just talked about the Revs, but I guess they’re back because these are their primary uniforms in blue, navy, and orange. I do think the stained glass pigeon jock tag is a nice touch. I just don’t know what it has to do with New England…oh this is NYCFC…oops

New York Red Bulls

Image credit: : New York Red Bulls

If you look at the upper third of the front of the jersey and the upper two-thirds of the back then this is workable. Unfortunately, they let the designers from the Matrix put weird unreadable words on the front. They’re supposed to be glitchy, but the only time I want to see a glitch is during a speed run on Twitch.

Oh, and if you forget who they are, you can read their name on the back of their jerseys as they are walking into the off-season after losing in the quarter-finals of the playoffs. As is tradition.

Orlando City

Image credit: Orlando City SC

Orlando City is really hoping their fans dig the pattern on their jerseys because that is all they have. That’s not true. These aren’t polos, and that is the best thing about them. They also don’t have the ugly gold shoulder stripes that last year’s jersey had. So I guess I don’t mind these simply because they are not last year’s.

Philadelphia Union

Image credit: Philadelphia Union

I am torn on these guys. The more I look at them, the more I think they’re alright. I wish there was one more color in either their crest or the sponsor logo. But the light blue rays radiating from the little snake look pretty cool.

This is also the first MLS jersey with a customizable back tag. The back tag is the little guy above the player’s name. The Union held a competition and the fans voted on the winners. Nifty.

Portland Timbers

Image credit: Portland Timbers

The Timbers are masters of camouflage. It is next to impossible to see them when you watch on tv. These do look more vibrant in the light. If you check them out in the promo pictures in front of the Alaskan Airlines plane you can see.

The hoops are a really classic silhouette, and it’s refreshing to see a team use a full accent and not a weird incomplete thing. The gold is rough. Atlanta does gold really well, but they manage to get a real gold color and not the weird off-yellow. This is probably the best jersey Portland has ever had.

Real Salt Lake

Image credit: Real Salt Lake

Guys, someone spilled spaghetti sauce on my clean white jersey. At least they kept the sleeves clean. They also managed to pull all the color out of the crest. That’s weird. Must be some fancy spaghetti sauce.

San Jose Earthquakes

Image credit: San Jose Earthquakes

I give San Jose some flack for naming themselves after a natural disaster that ruined their city (I’m also looking at you, Chicago), but this jersey is really good. I like the clean lines and the one separate stripe at the bottom. I can’t say anything bad about it. Except for the jock tag. It’s dumb.

Seattle Sounders

Image credit: Seattle Sounders

Seattle is a lesson that a change in sponsor can ruin a moderately okay jersey. Zulily is a great website. I look at it at least once a week, and I buy something from there about once every 50 times I look at the site. Their shipping is too expensive!

So, the primary basically just changed the logo, and now it’s bad. The new secondary is kind of cool if you know the backstory or care about a Cascadia Cup game from five years ago. The pink is an interesting change. I can’t tell if I dig it yet or not, but it is better than the primary.

Sporting KC

Graham Zusi looking like he needs a nitro cold brew and a Vonnegut novel Image credit: Sporting KC

And now for my boys in blue, Sporting KC. My favorite thing about this jersey is that it has a crew neck. Sporting hasn’t had a crew neck jersey since the hoops in 2014, and as a person who likes neither polo necks nor henleys I think this is a great move.

The light blue is always a good color. They’ve paired it with a color they call “raw grey”. This jersey has gotten a lot of criticism from the SKC faithful, mostly because all the players look like they’ve been run over. I can’t tell if I like it or not. Sometimes I do and other times I don’t, but I do wonder what it would look like with long-sleeves…

Toronto FC

Image credit: Toronto FC

The winner for least original jersey combo goes to Toronto FC. They come to the field in 2019 with a red mock turtleneck and a Real Salt Lake secondary that someone scrubbed the spaghetti sauce out of.

Vancouver Whitecaps

Image credit: Vancouver Whitecaps

Where is the person who designed the 2015 Vancouver jersey? Please find them, bring them back, and let them fix this, or just bring back the 2015 jerseys. So polo collars are bad. These weird jerseys where it looks like they’re wearing a v-neck over a polo are worse. This is literally the worst neckline possible. If you changed up the neckline, Vancouver could go hang out with Chicago in the giant chest hoop club.

I’m just upset with you, Vancouver. You can do so much better. You have done so much better.

The Rankings

The Top Five

5. Columbus Crew Primary
4. Minnesota United Secondary
3. D.C. United Secondary
2. San Jose Primary

And the obvious winner
1. FC Cincinnati’s Secondary

The lesson here: if you have a really clean white jersey with a smart accent color it will be a hit.

The Bottom Five

This one is way harder…
5. Tie: Real Salt Lake’s super fancy ‘sketti sauce
5. Tie: The bottom two-thirds of the new Red Bull’s jersey
4. Vancouver’s unfortunate new collar
3. Houston’s response to William Blake’s “The Tyger”
2. Seattle’s over-priced shipping primary

The obvious loser
1. LAFC ode to a birch tree

There you have it folks, an obnoxiously long article talking about every jersey and TL;DR-ing the ranking at the very end with no pictures. Sorry.

I hope you at least had a chuckle. See you next time!

Featured image: Soccer365

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