2011 MLS Kit Countdown: Philadelphia Union

Posted In Features - By Jake Shapiro On Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 With 2 Comments

This was by far my hardest choice to make on the list. Last year the Philadelphia Union had some of the best uniforms in Major League Soccer, no question. But then they had to smack a BIMBO on the shirt. And introduce an inexplicable soulless white third jersey. Still, they make their way to #4 on this list.

The home shirt is at once both unique and full of class. The navy and gold (khaki?) with the sky blue accents is a fantastic color scheme. The single khaki stripe down the middle looks great-I just wish it would’ve gone all the way up to the collar. But if the piping above the chest has to be there, the sky blue looks great in the subtle horizontal line.

It’s nice to see a logo in the middle of a shirt; Philly is the only MLS club not to put the badge on the left side of the chest. Speaking of the logo, it is hands-down the best logo in Major League Soccer. The “Don’t Tread on Me” snake is iconic and very Philadelphian-Ben Franklin proposed the snake to be the symbol of the U.S. instead of the eagle. If you ignore the unfortunate political connotations of Don’t Tread on Me in 2011, it’s pretty badass and also a nod to the U.S. national team.

The away jersey is a simple palette swap, but it’s also a solid kit. Many people dislike this khaki look, but it stands out as being one of the few uniforms this color in the whole soccer world. Apparently Philly was listening to the haters, though, because then…

They introduced this white third jersey for 2011. Huh? It possesses zero of the personality that the other two shirts have. When I first laid eyes on it, I thought it was a practice jersey, but as it turns out, the Union have actually played home games in this kit. What a step backwards.

The real news of 2011, though: BIMBO. I understand Bimbo is the biggest bread company in Latin America, and much of the MLS fanbase is Latin American immigrants. I understand the word doesn’t have the same lewd meaning in Spanish. I understand some of the biggest clubs in Mexico have Bimbo as their shirt sponsor.

But we’re not in Latin America. To the majority of North Americans who don’t recognize this delicious bread brand, the word “BIMBO” is not what they’d like to see emblazoned across their chests in big bold letters. Not only that, but it completely breaks the flow of the great design of Philly’s shirts. The colors don’t even fit the rest of the uniform except for on the third jersey, which is probably the only good thing I can say about the alternate.

Still, I think I can overlook the bimbos enough to keep Philly at #4. Barely.

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

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  1. Alex says:

    Thanks for recognizing that our kit is, in fact, super sexy. I loved it last year. I do hear you on the sponsor slap being a bit tasteless, but since it’s afforded us the money and clout to pick up Mondragon and Ruiz, I, and a lot of the hardcore fans I know, are willing to overlook the meaning.

  2. Winston says:

    I saw a fan photoshop a sky blue stripe down the middle of the 3rd kit(like the other two). It looks amazing.

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