Team: Kansas City Wiz/Wizards
As worn by: Preki, Mo Johnston, Alexei Lalas
As we approach the twentieth season of Major League Soccer, the generally pretty smart Adidas kits you see in the league these days are a far cry from the infamous outfits worn during its inaugural few seasons. We could do a series of posts on some of the worst offenders of the period (and we probably will), but a particular favourite is the “rainbow” series of shirts worn by Kansas City Wizards.
Perhaps the biggest problem with it was the way the front shirt numbers were placed in the bottom right-hand part – but as can be seen, this was a feature of all the league’s kits that year. It’s also notable that the shirt as worn in matches was slightly different from the one initially seen on the launch day above.
For 1997, to accompany the team’s renaming to “Kansas City Wizards”, the kit was tweaked – the words “KANSAS CITY” added to the front along with an Adidas logo:
Unfortunately, this lovely kit didn’t last through to 1998, where it was instead replaced by a shirt that’s known rather unaffectionately by KC fans as “the Charlie Brown”:
This unpopular shirt, which looked more like an attempt at a jazzy referee kit than a team’s home strip, was used for two seasons – but it also served as the death knell for the rainbow pattern. The away kit from the second of these years, 1999, was already a sign that design trends were shifting towards something a bit more conservative:
… and by the following year, the team had changed completely to a somewhat bland combination of blue and white. They’d stick with this right through to their 2011 rebranding as the annoyingly-named “Sporting KC”, which did at least bring an impressively lovely new colour scheme.