The Houston Dynamo are set to begin the 2013 MLS season on Saturday night against DC United. First, the club had to unveil the new kits they will wear throughout the campaign, and it did so by posting a series of pictures on Twitter.
While the changes to the overall style are limited, Jonathan Kaplan of the club's official site reports the streamlined design was developed to help the club survive the harsh weather conditions in Houston. Team president Chris Canetti was pleased with the result, stating:
Introducing a new uniform is always exciting for a team and its fans. We are proud of the new look and how it represents the club. The base concept remains the same, but the new version provides a fresh, new look for the club.
Let's take a closer look at the new home and road jerseys, grading them for their wow factor and overall design. Of course, winning in them will make a much bigger difference in the grand scheme of things.
Wow Factor: 5 of 10
In today's world, it seems like every professional and collegiate sports team around the country is trying to attract attention with the wildest jersey designs possible—flashing something that will jump off the page and get people talking about it on social media.
The Dynamo clearly weren't interested in any radical changes of that nature. They kept things relatively simple with the only standout portion of the jersey being the stark contrast between the bright orange and white.
There are no crazy patterns or unnecessary additions just to make it different. It's a pretty basic kit with a cool color scheme and normal patches—something that wouldn't look totally out of place if you saw it on a youth tournament field any given weekend.
Design: 8 of 10
The design category gets a much better grade. That's because simple isn't always a negative. Sometimes going with what works, and just making minor changes to make it more sleek, is just as effective, if not more so, than a major overhaul.
Houston certainly proved that with its new jerseys. Not only does the kit keep with the club's tradition, but when MLS fans look at it, they immediately identify it with the Dynamo. That's crucial when it comes to new kits.
Too many times a club will attempt something completely unique, but in the process lose their club identity. The Dynamo avoided that by sticking with the same scheme and upgrading it. The result is a really good overall design.
Overall Grade: 7 of 10
Ultimately, the new kits deserve a clear passing score. They are solid, albeit unspectacular, and keep the club style intact. If they really do help the team in the heat of Houston like the club claims, that makes them all the better.
Sure, they could have gone for something a little more outlandish and hoped it worked. But the risk would have far outweighed the potential reward. They made the right decision to stick with the basics with minor alterations.
The true test will be how the Dynamo fans respond in terms of purchasing the new kits. After two straight trips to the MLS Cup, fan enthusiasm should be riding high, and the fresh jerseys are another reason for them to get excited for the new season.