Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Good, The Bad, The WTF

The WPS(L) (i.e. the new American women's soccer league) introduced its Puma line of jerseys yesterday, and the internet is just abuzz about one thing--the damn shorts. Actually, I would call them skorts. Despite what Sepp Blatter may want, I'm going to go ahead and call this out as a marketing ploy to get people talking about WPS(L). Those stupid little flaps will not see the pitch, simply because they would impede play.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's take a look at what this column really cares about, and that's the shirts. There is one definite winner out there, some who came close, and then a host of also-rans.

Let's start with the loser of the day.

Poor Boston Breakers. Not only do you share the name and certain design elements of a USFL team, you also got stuck with the least imaginative look from Puma. It's Blue. It's White. It's symmetrical. Yay for symmetry, but otherwise--blah. Hope you stick around in Boston longer than your American Football counterparts.

The worst name in WPS(L) goes to FC Gold Pride. It probably wouldn't shock you if I told you that the team was located in California, would it? As you can probably guess, these shirts were made on a template. I'm not really big on shirts all looking the same, differentiated only by color, but that's pretty much what Puma does. This is slightly better, I guess, than the Breakers kit, but only just. While I guess that's supposed to be black and gold, I just see black and sand.

If you want to go for the prize of "least thought given to what we want to do," go give it to the Los Angeles Sol. Their badge mimics the old Galaxy one, and their colors do the same. I guess Anshutz Entertainment Group didn't want to mess with the winner it had on the MLS side of things.

Now things are starting to look up. For the next three teams, I feel there is a dead heat for second place.
I'm going to give the first of the seconds (I know, I know) to the Washington Freedom. Copious amounts of navy and red are perfect for the national capital's team. Plus that badge is well-done too. I definitely have a soft spot for the incorporation of the city's flag into the badge. Now if only they could steal the "Taxation without Representation" off of the license plates, they would be set.

Sky Blue FC do not operate anywhere where you expect these colors, but instead in New Jersey. While one would figure on the sky blue for the home kit, I really like the orange for an away shirt. That badge is nice as well, if a little abstract (what is that, a bird?).

Much like the above entry, I'm not sure if I equate Saint Louis with Emerald Green, but that doesn't make the shirt any less nice. I'm not sold on two parts of this team and its shirt--the nickname Athletica and the badge that looks like it belongs in lower-league England where the clubs just take the city crest. Still that green is rather swell, and, as you can see in the slideshow at the bottom, Hope Solo looks very nice in it.

Winner winner, chicken dinner!

THIS is how you do it. Chicago Red Stars (or should I say Rad Stars?) add a little flair to the shirt and it just pops. Plus, in so doing, they pull out the ü75 favorite--incorporating the city flag. As Precious Roy said in the emails earlier--this is what the Fire should be doing as well. And they could, but they wouldn't get the extra subliminal bump that the ladies get with the stars right across their breasts. I don't consider myself to be a mouthbreathing neanderthal, but that is marketing well-done. Now if we could only do something about those skorts.

The promised slideshow. Hope is toward the back

Find more photos like this on Women's Professional Soccer


The NY Kid said...

The kits in slides #10 and #13 are completely impractical.

Precious Roy said...

Hey, it's the super gay "fierce" guy from Project Runway.

Sarah said...

@NY Kid: You mean you've never played football in a cocktail dress?

The skorts are ugly. But some of the girls are pretty hot.

Andrew said...

@ Sarah: I like the way you think.

Not to dabble in douchebaggery, because Yay Womens Soccer!, but what's the over/under on this league's lifespan? 3 years? 5 years?

The NY Kid said...

@Sarah - I have! That's why I know they are so impractical.

@Andrew - Considering that WUSA went through their 3-year budget before Year 1, and then lost money continually, I would imagine WPS has much less leeway.

Andrew said...

When I saw the picture of Hope Solo next to her teammate, I was impressed with her size - what is she? 6'3? Turns out she's only 5'9; the redhead next to her is the shortest woman I've ever seen.

Adam said...

the last paragraph in that article reads as a nice "stupid crap puma's done" article

phil said...

If anyone cares, the Red Stars will at The Globe, en masse, for the CC final.

I'll be there, too.

It's doutbless whom will be the bigger attraction.

Hana Z. said...

What is The skorts are horrendous.

And woop woop for the Red Stars kit. Very classy.

Goat said...

I saw some guy at a Fire game with a Chicago city flag tattooed on the back of his neck. I think all Red Star players should be required to get one. Also, the jerseys remind me of my youth soccer glory days when every team had the same shirt but in a different color. One year we were purple. Man, that sucked.

The Fan's Attic said...

stolen idea.

Danielle said...

The press release to which you linked says that the "skirt" component will never be worn in a match--it's not intended to. It's there strictly as a fashion element and reflects a trend in women's sportswear.

jjf3 said...

to needlessly repeat Danielle, the skirt part is an "extra" that serves absolutely no function whatsoever, well, other than looking like CRAP. Nice work there, Puma...

Agreed that the best kits are the ones that generally went more for something different (I get sick of seeing the damn Adidas stripes everywhere in men's soccer, and how many companies are involved in that bidding? I almost want to thank them for not going to only one "style").

And I have to admit that I have some insane thing for Hope Solo, even with black hair...I had thought she was 6'0", but I'll take 5'9"...her height was never what really mattered...

Mike Georger said...

Avoid the clap.
- Jimmy Duggan

ü75 said...

To jjf3 and Danielle-
That was my point. There has been a lot of hand-wringing in the short time since these were introduced. I think it was a ploy to get people talking a little more about the league and its unis. It will not see the light of day on the pitch (or, likely, on any of these ladies anywhere after this day).