We are approaching the closing stages of a fascinating MLS season and soon one team will be crowned champions of America. Fans have been treated to several months of drama, intrigue, and excitement, and the campaign is also notable for LAFC striker Carlos Vela banging in a record-breaking haul of 34 goals.
The likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Josef Martinez were also on fire, and the overall standard within MLS continues to improve dramatically. But the most pressing question is which teams looked the best while battling for glory this season? These are the top five jerseys from the 2019 campaign:
The red and black Five Stripes of Atlanta United harks back to the golden era for AC Milan, and the team has responded by delivering some sensational performances on the field too. The club was only launched in 2017, but Atlanta United surged to victory in last year’s MLS Cup after racking up a huge fan base and recruiting some superb players. Starman Miguel Almiron moved to Newcastle and manager Gerardo Martino left for the Mexican national team, but Atlanta United continued dazzling on the pitch.
They have been among the favorites all season in the MLS Cup odds at the top online sportsbooks, and their conference semi-final victory over highly-rated Philadelphia Union was seriously impressive on Friday. They red and black stripes are designed to represent pride, passion, strength, and power, while the dash of gold symbolizes a commitment to excellence, resulting in a classy jersey.
adidas retains a monopoly on MLS kits and there are hits and misses each season. This year’s Vancouver Whitecaps jersey is gorgeous, commemorating the 1971 strip worn on the franchise’s inaugural year.
They incorporated the original crest in the tag area as another homage to the team’s glorious past, and supporters have looked great all season long. However, the cool kit sadly failed to rub off on the team, as the Whitecaps lost 16 of 34 games and finished rock bottom of the Western Conference table.
This year’s Portland Timbers shirt provided a wonderful evocation of the verdant forests that dominate the Pacific Northwest. The hoops take the form of logs stacked up in another nod to the Timbers’ name, so adidas deserves credit for this bold and interesting design. It features a stylish gold trim and fans loved the attention to detail. Portland rallied after a sluggish start to the campaign and eased into the playoffs, but sadly they ended up losing 2-1 to Real Salt Lake a week ago.
The Sounders went with a bold choice of electric pink on a black kit and the result is fantastic. It was interesting to see Seattle move away from its traditional color scheme, and this franchise is clearly heading in a new direction after the takeover earlier this year. The performances on the pitch have matched the classiness of the kit, and the Sounders’ swept Real Salt Lake aside in their conference semi-final on Thursday. That followed a strong campaign in which they finished second in the Western Conference behind a Vela-inspired LAFC, and the future looks bright for this team.
The pink on black color scheme for the Sounders’ 2019 jersey is gorgeous. The club took a risk by making a full departure from its classic brand colors, and it has paid off. It is strong, but also dynamic and exciting, and the badge is not too overpowering. The sponsor’s logo is a little unwieldy, but otherwise, this is a great shirt. The shirt change seems to have sparked a shift in style, as the Sounders’ defensive solidity has gone out the window, yet they are up to third as a result of their offensive dynamism.
New York City FC
adidas has done a great job of linking New York City FC to parent team Man City, but adding a number of Big Apple-inspired touches. Look closely and you will see the NYC flag, a pigeon and a line through the badge, all of which represent one of the world’s greatest cities. The sky blue coloring is great, and once again it matched results on the pitch as NYC FC finished comfortably top of the Eastern Conference table. However, they suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat to Toronto FC in the semi-finals, so it is back to the drawing board for Domenec Torrent.