2011 MLS Kit Countdown: Chicago Fire

Posted In Features - By Jake Shapiro On Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 With 1 Comment

I apologize for the lack of kits counting down the past week. I was in London with school- and work-related shenanigans. Oh, and watching a certain game played by a certain London-based team.

So at #14 we’ve got the Chicago Fire. They’re one of the more “established” MLS teams for me to include on this list so far. They may not have the best logo, but this is the first club on this countdown whose crest I’m not begging to be replaced. It’s a clever, if somewhat cheesy, play on their “Fire” name.

Chicago’s kits this year are unchanged from 2010, except that the Best Buy sponsorship from last season is gone. Although Best Buy is relatively unexciting, it worked well on their shirts. Now Chicago is left in a conundrum: leave the shirts blank, or do what too many MLS clubs do and put the team’s name in big letters across the chest? Well, they did both. And it’s to the detriment of both shirts.

The home shirt features the club’s signature white stripe, where the sponsorship used to be. I  like this because it’s a non-standard way of setting their shirt apart. Unfortunately, for the last two seasons, the stripe has been angled up on the sides to turn it into some sort of bandage-like shape. The club needs a return to the classic stripe. In addition, the Fire decided to emblazon “FIRE” across the chest, which is more than a little redundant because the team’s name is already in the crest. But there is a nice little touch on the collars that you can’t see in these photos, because I couldn’t find stock photos of the authentic shirts (the ones pictured here are only the replica versions). As you can see in the photo I linked you to above, the collar features a nifty team lettermark running all along the neck. It’s little touches like this that make a good jersey.

For once, I’m not going to complain about a club having a white away jersey. It fits with the Fire because white factors into their color scheme. I’m not saying they shouldn’t experiment in the future, but it’s acceptable here. Anyway, for this shirt the club decided to leave the chest blank. What we get is a minimalist white shirt with the club’s badge being the only real detail on the front of the shirt. It’s not a bad design, but I’m looking forward to what Adidas does with the away kit next year.

Both in terms of fixing the home shirt’s stripe and creating a more interesting away jersey, have the Fire thought about incorporating the fantastic Chicago flag? The city’s women’s club, the Red Stars, use it extensively and have a more unique look because of it. I’m not saying sky blue should be the Fire’s new primary color (it shouldn’t), but it could be used as an accent, and the white stripe with four red stars could be used in amending the current “bandage stripe.”

About Jake Shapiro - D.C. United fan, jersey enthusiast. And by "jersey" I mean "uniform," not New Jersey.

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  1. [...] is a new Post at 2011 MLS Kit Countdown: Chicago Fire – The Allocation Order. So at #14 we’ve got the Chicago Fire. They’re one of the more “established” MLS [...]

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