Welcome to the first ever EPL Staff Roundtable discussion. We will be holding these throughout the season. The topics will be wide ranging but they will always be centered on Minnesota United FC. With the release of the kits on Friday, we felt this would be a good time to hold our first discussion. You’ll notice some trends in our responses, plus some fire takes! Please join the conversation in the comments section.
1) Overall impression of both kits?
Siems: I like them overall
KatoSportsGirl: They are decent but severely lacking compared to the NASL kits.
mikestehlik: I like both kits.
Eli Hoff: Considering they are an "off the rack" design I'm happy with them.
Stephen Taylor: Overall I'm very happy. We've been building for a long time but finally seeing OUR jersey went a long way to developing our identity.
Alvaro Fernandez Fernandez: “Not bad”, as it has been the case with our whole preseason! There are some things I really think could be improved, sure; but they could also have been much worse! Personally, I think the away kit is much better than the primary one.
Garrett Denney: Overall impression of both kits? I don’t love ‘em and I don’t hate ‘em. Though they lack the epic wing design from kits past, the new threads will be serviceable as we head into our debut MLS campaign.
Birsch: I'm bummed that it takes so long for custom kits so we are missing out on something uniquely MNUFC, but at the end of the day it's just laundry. I don't see myself buying one right away, but that may change if prices change.
dvits14: I’d give them a “meh” response. I like them considering the time constraints working against the club, but I would be disappointed in these if this is what they came up with in a full design period. So I’ll say I like the design given the challenges but I am already looking forward to a more custom design for 2018.
2) Favorite aspects of the kits? Why?
Siems: Love the simplicity of the away kit.
KatoSportsGirl: Colors just because we didn't get stuck with some random ones on one kit and have team colors on both.
mikestehlik: I think the gray and white combo looks really, really good.
Eli Hoff: I love the sash design on the home kit. I loved when we had that white and blue sash combo a few years ago and I love bringing it to MLS. I also like the color scheme of the away kit.
Stephen Taylor: I love the color scheme on the home. Unique and sets us apart. And I like that shade of blue.
Alvaro Fernandez Fernandez: The secondary kit is almost perfect. I like how they have combined those colors, surprising me with a white jersey when I was expecting a black one. As for the home kit, I like the idea of the sash, though the execution is far from perfect.
Garrett Denney: Despite it being a different hue than the United logo, the blue sash turned out really well. I’ve long been a fan of sash designs, and ours turned out better than expected.
Birsch: I like that the colors of the kits don't require the team to use the "black field" logo.
dvits14: I like the lighter shade of gray compared to the dark gray from previous iterations. I’m kind of glad they went away from the baby blue road kits. I am not necessarily a huge fan of that look.
3) Least favorite aspects? Why?
Siems: Hate the fact the sash stops on the shoulder.
KatoSportsGirl: The grey on the shoulders of the road shirt.
mikestehlik: On the home kits, the collar cuts into the sash at an awkward angle. My OCD is not a fan. Also, something about the target logo just looks...off.
Eli Hoff: The layout of the away kit. To me it looks more like a training jersey than an actual uniform. I think entirely gray sleeves would look better instead of just the shoulders.
Stephen Taylor: The target logo is poorly centered on the home kit and the away kit is a little too vanilla for my tastes. Needs more accents of our colors.
Alvaro Fernandez Fernandez: I really can’t stop seeing how the bullseye of Target is not centered on the sash. I simply can’t, and it ruins the whole design for me. I also think the color-scheme could be better. As for the away kit, I think grey shorts would look better, but it’s not a big deal.
Garrett Denney: Under certain lighting conditions, the primary kit tends to look brown. Heck, even the club keeps posting pictures that look like a UPS uniform with a blue sash. That is … less than ideal.
Birsch: It isn't an issue with the kit, as much as it is an issue with the field we will be playing on at TCF. I want to see what the kits look like when they get dirty. A splash of mud across the keeper blues or either kit would be great. We won't see that home, with the turf but hopefully we will see it in some away matches.
dvits14: The funky collar sash cut-in. The Target logo not being centered on the sash is going to give me headaches.
4) What is one thing you would change with the kits?
Siems: I agree with the consensus and I would have added black in somewhere besides the Target logo. We are Minnesota Black and Blue after all, but the home kit is clearly modeled after the crest, so that would be why there is no black.
KatoSportsGirl: Literally scrap them and redo them.
mikestehlik: I would've added black somewhere. I like black on soccer kits and adding black wouldn't be too out there, it fits our scheme pretty well.
Eli Hoff: Switch the colors on the home kit. A blue shirt with a gray (or even white/black) sash would look sharper and more home-ish (if that's a word).
Stephen Taylor: Center the damn crest!
Alvaro Fernandez Fernandez: As I said, my main problem is with how the bullseye looks on the sash. I would change the angle or the width of the latter, or move the target a little bit down, trying to fit them.
Garrett Denney: Besides time traveling to announce our MLS entry earlier to give us and Adidas time to design a custom kit? I don’t know. Too many small tweaks to count. Maybe adding the word “Target” to the bullseye so it wouldn’t be so maddeningly off center.
Birsch: Maybe it's in the works, maybe it's not, but a black third jersey would be great. Throw really thin blue pin stripes or horizontal stripes and you've got a kit that I might throw down a small fortune for.
dvits14: I understand why they went with the bullseye, but I am torn if they should have gone with Target spelled out instead. I just keep thinking about that old Far Side comic strip with bullseyes painted on all of the deer chests. Then you add in the fact it is off-centered on the sash and it creates an avoidable problem.
5) How would you design the kits? You have free range to do whatever you would like.
Siems: I am not creative. So you don’t want me designing.
KatoSportsGirl: Last year's NASL kits with the Adidas stripe and the Target logo on the bottom of the back like the atomic data logo was.
mikestehlik: The home kits would look a lot like @marmadukezack (I think that's his twitter name) submitted when we asked fans to create their own kits. My twist on it would be that the Target logo and the names/numbers would be in red. The away kits would look a lot like the ones we have, but the shoulder would be the blue we used and the stripes being gray.
Eli Hoff: Use the home kit design as the away, and use a gradient (fade) pattern on the revised home kit. Light blue fading into white at the bottom with white shorts would look sharp and unique.
Stephen Taylor: I'm not a creative person so I will go to the fan base default of "put the wing on the home shirt".
Alvaro Fernandez Fernandez: I would, for sure, rescue the wing for our primary jersey. However, as there was no time to prepare something as “complex” as that, I would have simply design “plain” jerseys: light blue for the primary, and black for the secondary. And from there, I would play with the remaining “team colors” and with specific details on shoulders, sleeves and so to create a unique set of jerseys, comparting to other MLS teams.
Garrett Denney: I would lock myself in an overpriced studio in uptown with printed copies of the club’s “THE KIT IS LIT” tweets taped to the walls. Then, I would let Mother Creativity take me where she will. Would it result in a better kit than the current iteration? No idea. But it can’t hurt to try.
Birsch: I would go through Twitter and find all the complaints about the jersey, and combine all of the changes that were suggested and make some sort of Franken-kit. A kit by the people, for the people.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Someone contact Adidas; Birsch might be onto something here.
dvits14: I’ll get some gruff for this but I’d kick it old school and bring back the blue and orange of the Kicks. Then again, I would have rebranded to the Kicks when they first rebranded. I also think the blue and orange would be a unique look for the league and everyone would know exactly who was playing the second they saw the colors. As it is, MNUFC are now one of three teams with a baby blue color scheme.
6) Are you surprised the leak was accurate?
Siems: Not at all.
KatoSportsGirl: No I am not surprised, I frequent sportslogos and have never seen Chris Creamer and Conrad Burry wrong.
mikestehlik: Nowadays leaks are almost 100% accurate, I'm not surprised.
Eli Hoff: Not terribly surprised. The site is generally correct.
Stephen Taylor: Not especially. Kits leak all the times. Every time the USMNT gets a new kit I usually see it before it releases.
Alvaro Fernandez Fernandez: Not at all, as I’ve been following SportsLogos for a long time and I know you can trust on them in this kind of stuff. Also, it is 2017! So difficult to keep a secret nowadays.
Garrett Denney: Nah, those guys are pretty good at getting legit leaks. I’m more surprised it still hurts a bit to see all the missed potential. I know we probably have sick kits coming next season but that doesn’t dull the sting today.
Birsch: Nope. Basically every argument against the leak being valid (color scheme being off, "old template", etc) were easily refuted considering MNUFC only had a few months to prep the kit instead of years as most teams (including ATLU) had. And the source of the leak appears to be league-level so it wasn't just some random leak from MNUFC.
dvits14: Yes and no. I’m not surprised it was leaked or that it is was accurate. However, part of me is always hesitant to fully “buy-in” on a leak since anyone with a computer could come up with a design.
How would you answer the questions? Anything you would do differently to the kit?