Captain Michael Bradley will be wearing Toronto FC's new home uniform when he leads the MLS team out Saturday for its home opener against the Columbus Crew.
And like many of the club's supporters, at least judging from social media, Bradley is split on the new kit.
"The jersey itself I like a lot. I don't like that it's our home kit," Bradley said after training Friday, echoing the view of some fans. "For me, our home kit should be all red."
"That's a personal feeling of mine," he added. "The design and the jersey itself, I actually think are very, very nice. I think people, when they see it on, will really like it. For me, in a perfect world, it'd be our second kit and you'd have all-red to wear at home."
While the club describes the new kit as "predominately red and onyx while white and silver are used for contrast in details," most will see a striking combination of red, black and grey.
The front of the jersey has grey and black hoops, framed by red, with the shoulders and sleeves red with dark trim. The red is an afterthought on the essentially dark back.
The darker colour combination allows the star above the crest — signifying TFC's 2017 MLS Cup triumph — to pop. The shorts are red and the socks onyx.
Toronto will also wear the so-called "community kit" that was launched last year with a third uniform likely to come. The team wore the white-and-silver (read grey) split kit in the first two away games of the season.
The new uniform gets a thumbs-up from Italian star Federico Bernardeschi and Canadian midfielder Jonathan Osorio.
"I love the new kit," said Bernardeschi, a fashion aficionado off the field.
"It's a very nice kit," added Osorio. "It was designed by our own supporter, which I think is very special."
Mark Hinkley, a Day 1 TFC season ticket-holder, helped come up with the new look.
The 46-year-old Hinkley, a graphic designer and avid jersey collector, was invited to help out in the design by Bill Manning after the Toronto president was a guest on The Vocal Minority, a podcast Hinkley has long been involved with.
It's described as essentially an inverse design of the 2017 championship home kit. Another inspiration was the 2014 onyx TFC away uniform, a fan favourite.
People seem to love or loathe the new kit, which the club says is its 18th since entering the league in 2007.
"Now there's a gorgeous shirt," tweeted one supporter.
"Our worst home kit in club history, regardless of the story or inspiration. Disappointing," offered another.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 10, 2023