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adidas' new Nativo celebrates Major League Soccer ball's "stature in the game"

The Major League Soccer season has been over for only a day but the league and one of its primary partners, adidas, are getting a head start on next season.

The announcement was part of a very busy day in MLS that featured a lot of roster moves thanks to a half-day trade window that would help teams shore up their rosters before Wednesday's expansion draft.

Having just unveiled the Conext ball for the 2015 Women's World Cup and the Marhaba, the ball for the African Cup of Nations tournament, which begins next month, adidas followed it up with the new ball for MLS, named Nativo. All three balls feature a similar pattern but each one has its own unique designs with the Nativo ball being the most different of the three.

Nativo features a red and blue design scheme that matches the new Major League soccer logo. The ball uses the Brazuca's propeller-shaped interlocking panels but uses a graphical element shaped almost like the panels of the World Cup 2006-era adidas Teamgeist ball. The element is blue, white, and black and features a series of lines emanating from it to form two distinct icons in the middle of the graphic's loop. One of those icons is a star, representing the United States, while the other is a maple leaf, representing Canada, the two nations that make up all of Major League Soccer's teams.

adidas mls nativo ball

According to MLS and adidas, the ball "exemplifies the league's 'Next' identity with its red-white-and-blue color pattern, its US and Canadian iconography." The name, per the same release, is a nod to "the ball's stature in the game and pride in the domestic league."

Speaking in a statement about the new release, Ernesto Bruce, adidas America's director of soccer, said:

"Our partnership with MLS is incredibly important to us because together, we're ensuring our homegrown athletes have viable opportunities to play soccer at the highest level. Entering the league's 20th season, we're excited to bring our most advanced ball ever to the soccer pitch so we can help players perform at their best."

The ball borrows all of its technological enhancements from the Brazuca ball that made a real splash at the 2014 World Cup. The Brazuca was the world's most tested ball, having undergone some two-and-a-half years in the lab and at the feet of hundreds of footballers before its unveiling in December of 2013. Brazuca performed remarkably well at the World Cup and was the centerpiece of one of the most exciting tournaments to date.