The agonizing wait to see new Minnesota United MLS apparel may be over. Maybe.
Since announcing their promotion to the top league in American soccer last summer, United have released very little merchandise featuring their new branding. Aside from a backpack this week, fans have had very little new swag to throw their money at.
Kits? No sign of ‘em. New Scarves? Unknown.
Then, while browsing eBay for hard-to-find Minnesota United gear (no judge), E Pluribus Loonum reader weinerdog70 stumbled across this gem:
Hold up, is that some kind of metallic blue bill?
That’s ... that’s ... well, I’m not exactly sure what that is. The Adidas logo looks pretty sick in Minnesota blue. The hat? Well, at least it’s new, amiright, guys?
The shimmering snapback above wasn’t the only unreleased piece of United merch we found for sale. Feast your eyes on three other designs currently accepting (at the time of publishing) bids online.
#2: The Racing Stripe
#3: Blue Magnum
#4: El Tigre
So, what’s the deal here?
A United spokesman confirmed that these items are not from the club but are instead coming from the league. They certainly bear the hallmarks of official MLS gear (at least, the tags look pretty legit), though it’s difficult to know for sure without seeing them in person.
That said, you can’t find these anywhere on MLSStore.com right now. The seller looks established and carries a bunch of great reviews, but if these aren’t for sale publicly and the club doesn’t know about them, where did they come from?
Is this ethical?
Gear leaks are a difficult thing to tackle. On one hand, there are few things I wouldn’t do to get ahold of a grainy screenshot of this season’s United kit right now. On the other, purchasing one of these hats is definitely a bad move. Your best case scenario is that they’re fake. Though, I’m not sure how lucrative the counterfeit United market is, so that seems unlikely.
Alternatively, they could be real, which is even worse. If they’re authentic, someone swiped official MLS merchandise or paid for it under the table to get ahold of a few hats before they’re supposed to be released to the public. Definitely not the behavior you want to spend your money supporting.
In any case, it’s fun to see some new designs. They’re bold, they’re different, and if real they will be an interesting addition to a fairly limited stable of MNUFC merchandise.
Taking a look at MNUFC’s travel photos on Twitter, you can spot a few of the “Racing Stripe” hats.
We probably should have seen this earlier, it’s not even hidden. Woops!
#sleepcam @abudanladi9 welcome! pic.twitter.com/BpiHKcOc38— Christian Ramirez (@Chris_Ramirez17) January 23, 2017
Let’s go, you Loons!