The new LA Galaxy third kit has a long story, and now that it's finally here it almost feels anti-climactic. The above photo is the result of a Facebook design contest and a fan vote. It throws back to the first LA Galaxy kit of 1996. Jeremiah Oshan wrote that it's confused, and that's certainly one way to look at it.
The original LA Galaxy home kit, designed by Nike, was a mess of 90's design philosophy. Trying to be forward looking, it just ends up looking dated and tacky. Half teal and half black on the torso, with yellow pyramids, and a red collar, it pays tribute to the flag of Los Angeles.
The colors are supposed to represent olive trees, orange groves, and vineyards. Three major crops of California. The original LA Galaxy kit took those colors, made the green closer to teal and added in black (the two biggest design colors at the time) and even incorporated the zig zags on the flag to suggest edginess.
Having seen the design interface fans were allowed to use, I know there were limitations. There was no possibility for a two colored torso, or for spikes on the sleeves. So the design took the black, teal, gold, yellow, white, and red of the original Galaxy color set and made the best of it.
So it's not a throwback kit, it's a modern kit using throwback colors. Which, and I'm sorry to the designer that worked hard and adidas who mocked it up and to all the factory workers for produced them, has no reason to exist. It's a faux-back which throws away design sense out of an obligation to use all the colors of the past.
Look how little red there is in the original kit. It's the collar and it's the number. So why red three stripes and not gold? Why red piping on the torso instead of gold? It makes the gold look like an afterthought when gold compliments both the teal and the black. The red on green just looks like a colorblind test.
And why is the Galaxy Facebook page claiming it represents the California state flag? That would explain why the designer pushed forward red over gold but wouldn't explain why a small patch of grass underneath a bear became the most used color.
Kudos to the Galaxy for allowing fans to design the third kit, and to allowing fans to chose the winner. With the Facebook contest taking place a year ago, with the original release date pushed back from last fall to this summer, it feels anti-climactic that this is the end result.
What the LA Galaxy should have taken away from this vote is that there is a desire amongst fans for a throwback kit, or for at least a faux-back using those colors. Done right, this could have been so much more, but as is it's a busy color palate stuffed onto an adidas template unveiled before a reserve match.
No, I don't like it.