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USL Top Five* – 2018 Jerseys

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 04/21/18, 12:58AM EDT


Which of this season’s kits are the leading style contenders?

Photo courtesy L.E. Baskow / Las Vegas Lights FC

Like a club’s crest, a club’s identity can often be dictated by the kits its players and fans wear week-in and week-out, with the unveiling of new jerseys a rite of preseason that adds to the anticipation of what’s to come in the year ahead.

We’ve looked around the league at all this season’s kits in the USL and come up with 10 of our favorites. Let’s face it, five simply wasn’t going to cut it for a list with this many options to choose from. Here are the jerseys we think make a major statement for their clubs this season.

FC Cincinnati (Home)

Photo courtesy Erik Schelkun / FC Cincinnati

FCC’s blue and orange hoops got a clever upgrade this offseason with the addition of a diamond pattern that adds a touch of flair to the club’s home uniforms for its third season. The jersey’s white collar and side piping are also a nice touch to one of the league’s instantly recognizable color schemes.

Fresno FC (Home)

Photo courtesy Kiel Maddox / Fresno FC

The jersey sash has been a beautiful design feature used regularly both at international level – hello there, 1950 United States jersey – and at the club level. The Foxes brought that look back to the league with their home jerseys for the club’s inaugural season, with the contrasting sky and navy blue setting making for a distinct look within the club’s overall color scheme.

Indy Eleven (Home)

Photo courtesy Trevor Ruszkowski / Indy Eleven

Pinstripes have a long history in baseball uniforms, but they’ve also been a noticeable feature in soccer kits since the late 1970s, and currently add a touch of style to Indy Eleven’s current home uniforms. Contrasting nicely with the club’s navy blue body and red trim, the light blue pinstripes aren’t gaudy, but bring enough to the table to bring the overall design for the jersey together.

Las Vegas Lights FC (Home)

Photo courtesy L.E. Baskow / Las Vegas Lights FC

There’s a certain love/hate relationship with Las Vegas Lights FC’s first home jersey, but it’s undeniable that the BLK designs make a major statement about the club in its inaugural season and have helped Lights FC capture the imagination of a wider soccer audience. Yes, it’s garish and gaudy, but that’s the point as the club aims to represent everything that makes the entertainment capital of the world the city it is.

Ottawa Fury FC (Home)

Photo courtesy Ottawa Fury FC

There’s a lot to love about Ottawa’s new home uniforms, which will be officially unveiled on the field this Saturday when the club hosts North Carolina FC for its home opener at TD Place. The vertical stripes in black and red are a classic look, after all, but it’s the underlying symbolism for what the five stripes represent that adds to the feel. This is, after all, Fury FC’s fifth season in the professional ranks, making the club’s first truly striped home uniform one to enjoy even more.

Penn FC (Home)

Photo courtesy Zach Bland / Charleston Battery

We knew going into the new season that the reborn Penn FC would have a new look to go with its new brand, but there’s a nice sharpness to the club’s new blue and white color scheme that comes from the Capelli Sport design that brings back memories of some classic kits from the 1960s and 1970s. The wide central royal blue stripe with white body and sleeve exterior just feels like it fits and gives the club a fresh look for its new era.

Phoenix Rising FC (Home)

Photo courtesy Michael Rincon / Phoenix Rising FC

Rising FC was ahead of the game a season ago with its design and Mad Decent jersey sponsor, and while this year’s uniforms from new partner Macron might not have created the same splash the details included in the club’s home jerseys more than make up for it. As with Cincinnati, we get a sleek diamond pattern in the red jersey that may be slightly more subtle than Rising FC’s Eastern Conference counterparts, but the understated nature of the style still shines bright under the lights on gameday.

Reno 1868 FC (Away)

Photo courtesy L.E. Baskow / Las Vegas Lights FC

1868 FC wanted to create a design that would echo its home in Northern Nevada for its second season, and with the mountain range that features prominently in shades of blue on this year’s away kit the club and adidas produced something special. Depicting the Sierra Nevada range that provides a beautiful backdrop to Reno as a whole, the jersey also includes a color-coordinated white and blue alternate crest, a great final touch to a beautiful jersey.

Sacramento Republic FC (Home)

Photo courtesy Sacramento Republic FC

Old Glory Red is so associated with Sacramento Republic FC in USL circles at this point that the club has to find new ways to impress each time a new home jersey is released. Ahead of the 2018 season, details like the jersey’s starred shoulders add a subtle yet distinctive look to the colors for one of the league’s biggest clubs. Add in an innovative unveiling that highlighted the best of what Sacramento has to offer from its community and you get a great design that was introduced in an unforgettable manner.

Tulsa Roughnecks FC (Black Gold Special Edition)

Photo courtesy Steven Christy / OKC Energy FC

Most teams produce uniforms that will feature on gameday at least a dozen times either home or away each season, but this season the Roughnecks brought out a uniform that not only carries a sense of style, but also the knowledge that it will only be used on special occasions. The Black Gold Derby jersey the club unveiled for its rivalry games against OKC Energy FC, which got its debut in the opening weekend of the season, is a clear departure from the club’s traditional orange colors, but immediately became a favorite due to the rivalry it represents.

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