Credit to the LA Galaxy for at least trying something new with their recently released third kit. Major League Soccer's highest-profile team asked fans to both design and vote for the kit, a bold and risky choice.
Unfortunately, the result seems to be ... confused. As you can see in the picture above, the flare for this kit comes in the shoulders where the green with red stripes gives the shirt a decidedly Frankenstein's-monster look, like the old Galaxy third kit was stitched together with Mexico's green strip.
The explanations given by the designer and the one given by the Galaxy don't help either. Carlos Rodriguez says he was inspired by the original Galaxy shirts. While those had green and gold, it's nearly impossible to see any similarities. On their Facebook page, the Galaxy say the shirt is supposed to be evocative of the California state flag. I have to assume there was some confusion in this case, as the shirt has virtually no similarities to the "Bear Republic." It does however look to be heavily influenced by the Los Angeles city flag.
What's really too bad is that, at least according to comments on the Facebook posting, fans are not too happy. That's at least a little surprising, as the kind of fans expressing their opinions there would be the same ones who helped carry this design to victory. Of course, only about 30 percent of respondents voted for this design, which suggests about 70 percent actually preferred one of their other four designs.
That may end up being the biggest disappointment, as there appear to be a bunch of other designs that were both more bold, more evocative of the Galaxy's history or, even, both.
As much as I think this design is a bit of a disaster, I'm really hoping the public proves me wrong. I love the idea of teams allowing their fans to design and choose third kits, as there's a very good chance that something more creative will come from this kind of crowd-sourcing than simply asking a shirt designer who has done this a hundred times to do it.
At the same time, I just can't escape how bad this appears to be.