Once nicknamed the Men in Red, the Fire are turning blue in 2020.
As expected after teasers and leaks, the Fire’s primary kit unveiled Wednesday night is blue for the first time in team history. Featuring the maligned new primary logo on the left side of the chest, the Fire’s “Homecoming” kit is navy blue with thin red diagonal pinstripes. According to the team, the look will be completed by navy blue shorts and red socks.
Former league MVP Mike Magee modeled the jersey during an MLS-wide launch event.
The look is a departure from what the Fire had worn for the vast majority of their existence. Save for four years in the 2010s, the Fire’s primary look has been red shirts - with a broad white stripe across the chest - over red shorts. In 2012-13, the white stripe was replaced by blue, and the unpopular 2014-15 jersey did away with the stripe and replaced it with blue shoulders.
To the relief of many fans, the white stripe was restored for the 2016-17 and 2018-19 primary kits.
This kit, supplied by adidas, features a template strikingly similar to the one worn away from home by English Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers, albeit in different colors. The Fire’s secondary kit was not released but is expected to be revealed by the end of the month.
How the look was received by fans was going to be an interesting storyline to watch, considering it’s vastly different from the past look and features the new logo. At least judging on social media, the response to Wednesday’s reveal trended positively.
Of course, that’s in direct contrast to how that new crest was greeted. Last month, owner Joe Mansueto responded to the negative feedback to the new badge, hoping people give it time to take but not ruling out an eventual change.
“I think you have to give it time to reach a conclusion,” Mansueto said. “Since we can’t change anything in the short term anyway, let’s see how it goes throughout the season. Does it grow on people? Does it not? If it’s not working, ultimately, we’ll fix it. Hopefully it does. People will see it in context and come to love it. If not, we’ll fix it. But we’ll do what’s right for our fan base. Our interests are totally aligned. We all want a great badge.”
Unlike other kits that were revealed, the Fire’s did not include three bold shoulder stripes in commemoration of the league’s 25th season. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that’s because the Fire’s logo change came after adidas created a uniform based on the former look.