Over a week has passed since Orlando City last announced a player acquisition or departure. After the off-season the club has been through, with a dramatic reconstruction of Jason Kreis’ squad to truly fit his needs, no news feels like good news. However, such a void of hard news does finally open the door for an op-ed on a popular MLS off-season blood sport: new kits. I state this in plural due to the alteration coming to the traditional home kit: a refined sponsor logo. The new Orlando Health logo is a more streamlined version, using a new font and lacking the semi-complete “bulls eye”. Aside from the alteration, the home kits appear to be staying the same.
Such consistency does not hold true for Orlando City’s 2018 away and/or alternate kits. Traditionally, Orlando has sparingly worn their away kits in MLS due to a lack of disparity between our kits and the other kits of the league (because purple is uniquely awesome). City has also foregone a third alternate kit since the final USL campaign in 2014. It is my opinion that this should change, and that Orlando City should introduce their first alternate kit for an MLS campaign.
Now I’m going to save some of you who were there at the beginning the trouble, no, we should not bring back the red kit, not yet. Our red kit is indicative of the early history of the club and should be reserved for more celebratory occasions, such as the 10th anniversary of the club in 2021. Until then, I believe Orlando city needs to take a long hard look at a much more prominent and out of the box kit options: a gold kit
Gold has adorned the Orlando City crest since the club’s founding and deserves to be highlighted. Instead of the plain, generic white or white/purple hybrid, Orlando City should work with Adidas to create a dark gold kit. Sure, the club wouldn’t be able wear such a kit everywhere. Teams such as Columbus, LA, and LAFC rely on yellow or gold on their kits. Such a situation would require us to fall back on wearing our home kits or the secondary white with purple sleeves first introduced in 2016. Imagine watching the boys walking into Mercedes Benz stadium this year wearing shimmering gold kits with purple stripes, purple thread, and purple lettering (such as my rough mock-up below).
Adidas clearly needs to think more out of the box for the Orlando City secondary and alternate kits going forward. We should no longer rely on generic white kits to use sparingly in order to set us apart visually from the few clubs whose home kits are close to purple (San Jose, for example). Yes, the 2018 away kits have already been produced in bulk and will soon be announced at the Orlando City Foundation's Soccer Ball 2018 on February 23rd; but it is my hope that if not now, we will soon see an alternate kit that uses ALL of the colors we hold dear. Orlando City has set themselves apart during the off-season, and I believe we deserve a secondary or alternate kit which will demonstrate this to our opponents as we walk out onto their pitch. A unique, bold statement of the golden standard each player is held to, home or away.