Oh Happy Day!
And while we’ve known what it looks like for near a month (looking at you, Jozy Altidore, you absolute legend), we’ve been waiting here at WTR (Ok, mostly me) to discuss it in the actual.
But first, some kudos to the socials team at TFC for last night’s delightful pre-launch video. If you are going to lean into the skid, always give it 110 per cent (and give WTR pole-position in the shout-outs!)
We won’t get ahead of ourselves here and speak on where the kit resides in terms of the entire MLS 2021 releases. That’s in the mail on a special episode of WTR Weekly featuring KitNerd Extraordinaire Mark Hinkley (and undoubtedly a companion WTRticle). Instead, let’s discuss the new kit in detail.
The “A41” kit will serve as Toronto FC’s primary (home) kit for the 2021 and 2022 seasons, replacing the ‘Big Red” primary dropped in 2019. Our “Unity” away stripe remains in service this season, and will be refreshed for 2022.
The initial response at WTR HQ was uniformly (pun intended) positive—but that may have been a bit knee jerk—I managed to whip the team up into a frothy mousse with near-breathless anticipation. What can I say? My enthusiasm is contagious!
A few weeks removed from those blurry Instagram snaps, and we were a fair bit more measured in our takes. Concerns about the overall fit (skintight?!!) and finish (is that a black rimmed collar or bad lighting?) began to manifest. There were opinions on the solid red sleeves, and some of them weren’t very positive (Looks like a training bib over a red compression t-shirt).
Now that it’s here and we can see it in a decent resolution and from multiple angles—wow. Speaking only for myself: please just take my money.
While overall the kit is still a bit of a frankenstein monster, there’s more than enough here to satisfy.
I love the pattern on the shirt front. While it still reminds me of the 2018 Adidas GK Templates, as rocked by Alex Bono:
I’m okay with it. After all, any and all attempts to sneak any onyx or onyx-adjacent colour into the colourway is met with my resounding applause and respect.
I love that we again get the Adidas three-stripes as a subtle addition to the shoulders. I think the jock tag on this one is also pretty subtle. Subtle is good.
I LOVE the solid red sleeves. Would MELT if we get a long-sleeve variant for sale, as some other MLS sides (looking at you, LA Galaxy) are getting this year. I suspect the solid red sleeves may be the most divisive element on the whole kit, and agree that with short sleeves, it is a bit bracing, but not nearly enough to make this a bad kit. With long-sleeves, this is almost an inverse of the 2017-2018 champions hoop home stripe, and that is an awesome sandwich.
Most worrisome for me is the fit and finish. Last week, one of my spies on the internet found the kit featured on the Adidas Website, with new pictures:
That kit looks skin-tight, like a retread of the 2013-2014 Ed Hardy all-over print Canadian Flag kit that’s both aesthetically wonderful and an absolute horrorshow to wear on a standard human body. That gives me pause. Certainly plan to size up on this one.
Finally, it seems this kit is a bit of a mash-up of existing Adidas templates making the rounds in world football (hence the frankenstein tag earlier). We’ve seen that “almost collar” on kits across the big five leagues all season, usually married to a more loose and billowy shirt body, more in line with the boxy “MLS25” series of last year. The trim is tapered and tight here, more in line with the crew-neck simplicity of the other end of current Adidas templates. This is truly an amalgamation of the two furthest spheres in Adidas design, circa 2021.
My rating? Let’s give it a solid A.
So, that’s enough from me for now. What do you all think? Yay or Nay? Mine or Meh? Would you buy this kit? Are you already on the team store entering your details?