Top 10 Best New Kits in Michigan Soccer

Posted by Jordan Stoddard on

In what is perhaps one of the most well-known quotes about football, Pope John Paul II once said, "Amongst all unimportant subjects, football is by far the most important." If we wanted to take that a bit further and think solely about the important parts of football, we would probably conclude that uniforms are among the more trivial aspects of the sport. That being said, there is definitely an understated value to creating and sporting unique and fun kits. A good looking kit can inspire confidence and swagger in players, not to mention it's an excellent vehicle for club marketing. In 2019, football kits, and the pomp and circumstance surrounding their release, have become big news and football fashion and culture is flourishing. With that in mind, I'd like to take a moment to recognize some of the best kits that Michigan soccer has to offer this year.

10. Kalamazoo FC Home

Photo via @kalamazoofc

Kit Manufacturer: Adidas

This will be Kalamazoo FC's first season with Adidas, after several years of using Joma as their kit provider. With that change, it seems like KZFC may have also settled on a signature look. The club has flirted with black and white stripes for a few years, but recently swapped the black for purple in move that better reflects their club badge. It appears like the club has shied away from teal this year, and I'm not sure if we'll see it back again. Don't be surprised to see more tweaks to the club image in the coming seasons, as they move forward under new ownership.

This shirt is available at Kalamazoo FC home matches at Mayor's Riverfront Stadium in Kalamazoo.

9. Muskegon Risers Home

Photo by Jason Goorman, Local Sports Journal via @muskegonrisers

Kit Manufacturer: New Balance

Over by Lake Michigan, the Muskegon Risers made big noise when they dropped the news that they'll be joining the NPSL Great Lakes for the 2020 season, as well as beginning the exploratory process of forming a women's side. Along with news of new teams and new leagues, comes a refreshed image for the West Michigan side. MKG recently debuted their refreshed crest and colors to positive reviews. The new darker green in the crest is the predominant color in the new home strip, with shaded blue hoops giving it some life and texture. Overall, this a solid shirt for the team in transition, but I'd like to see some of the more edgy elements of past Risers kits return in the future.

8. Inter Detroit Away

Photos by Endy Lopez and Gerard Welsh via @InterDetroit

Kit Manufacturer: Icarus FC

Simplicity and elegance; That's what MPSL side Inter Detroit and meteoric kit supplier Icarus FC have captured with the 2019 Away Kit. The away strip is an all-white affair capped off with a green and black sash that borrows from the club's crest. This clean, classic look makes Inter one of the best dressed teams in the entire state and is a perfect example of how a kit can elevate a club's image. Vamos Inter!

7. Detroit City FC Home

Photos via @detroitcityfc

Kit Manufacturer: Adidas

This new look from lower league darlings Detroit City FC consists of a maroon shirt highlighted by burgundy piping and gold graphics that absolutely pop. The centerpiece of the kit is the brand new shirt sponsor, Stroh's Detroit Lager. Stroh's is synonomous with Detroit, so it's particularly awesome to see City supporters so excited for this shirt sponsor, even if Stroh's beer is gross. A detail that fans are sure to love is the nod to the inaugural Founder's Cup competition that will commence later this year. One of the unique things I love about these shirts, is that they're available, at least to the players, in long and short sleeve versions. I've always been a sucker for long-sleeved jerseys, and the fact that they even made them at all makes my heart flutter.

This shirt is available at the Detroit City FC Online Shop as well as the club shop located inside the Detroit City Fieldhouse at 3401 E. Lafayette Street in Detroit.

6. Lansing Ignite Away

Photos via @lansingignite

Kit Manufacturer: Moneyball Sportswear

The only team on the list to be outfitted by a Michigan-based kit supplier is Lansing Ignite, who've contracted with Lansing's Moneyball Sportswear to create some of the top kits in USL League One. In my opinion, the Ignite away kit is second in the league only to Forward Madison's digs, but Ignite FC have sported this all-blue number just a handful of times this season. I really like the multi-colored stripes along the side of the shirt, and the "517" graphic is a great touch as well. I'd like to see Ignite FC push the boundries a little next time knowing what Moneyball is capable of. Will any Lansing soccer kit ever rival the beauty of the Geoff Sykes-designed 2018 Lansing United Women's home kit? I'm not so sure.

This shirt is available at the Lansing Ignite Online Shop as well as the Nuts and Bolts club shop located at 505 East Michigan Avenue in Lansing.

5. Oakland County FC Home

Photo by Magdiel Crisan via @OaklandCountyFC

Kit Manufacturer: Stimulus

Back for their second season with Minnesota-rooted outfitter, Stimulus, Oakland County FC debuted this foliage-flushed purple shirt earlier this season. The Clawson-based outfit worked with Corner Flag Collective, the team behind County's celebrated crest, to design 2019's kits, and they delivered again. This sublimated kit features oak leaf detailing on the front of the shirt with white trim, shorts, and socks. The white leaf, secondary logo on the back of the shirt is a slick touch!

This shirt is available at the Oakland County FC Online Shop.

4. AFC Ann Arbor Third

Photos via @afcannarbor

Kit Manufacturer: Capelli Sport

The 2019 AFC Ann Arbor striped kit was a surprise addition to the list. I didn't have an Ann Arbor kit release on my radar, so it was a real delight to see what are, in my opinion, their best kits yet with Capelli. I'm not always a fan of stripes that stop at the chest, a la Southampton, but I do really like the alternating shades of blue on these. The new shirts are being worn by both the men and women of The Mighty Oak this summer, and the kits come in sizes for men, women, and children.

This shirt is available at the AFC Ann Arbor Online Shop as well as The Treehouse club shop located at 3676 South State Street in Ann Arbor.

3. Harper's AFC Home

Photos by Chad Berkobien via @The_HarpersAFC

Kit Manufacturer: Rage Sport

The newest kit on the list comes from Detroit City Futbol League side Harper's AFC. This gorgeous green shirt is made by Italian anti-fascist brand Rage Sport, who are probably best known for their brilliant collaboration with London side Clapton CFC. The home kit stays true to the club badge with green and black hoops that fade into white. Michiganders especially will recognize how well green and white contrast, and this kit takes full advantage of that. As a vexillological nerd, I especially enjoy the Detroit flag on the sleeve, as well as the pride hearts on the back of the shirt.

2. Oakland County FC Away

Photos by Magdiel Crisan via @OaklandCountyFC

Kit Manufacturer: Stimulus

As a member of the Supporter's Trust, I actually had the chance to vote on this kit earlier this year. I have to be honest, it was love at first sight when I saw the concept, and this option immediately garnered my vote. Two bold stripes over the right shoulder in purple and gold, give this fresh, white outfit a nice burst of color. My favorite detail on the shirt is the gold oak leaves on purple that line each sleeve, like two oak armbands. In perhaps the most creative use of trim of any 2019 Michigan team, County kills it with this kit. A fantastic effort all around!  

This shirt is available at the Oakland County FC Online Shop.

1. Harper's AFC Away

Photos by Chad Berkobien via @The_HarpersAFC

Kit Manufacturer: Rage Sport

Another stunner from Harper's AFC, their Away kit is easily my favorite of 2019. The purple top features sharp blue chevrons with matching trim, graphics, and socks. I absolutely adore this color combination, and the pride hearts on the back look exceptionally chic on the purple field of the shirt. One aspect of the kit that is sure to draw eyes, is the Three Arrows (Drei Pfeile) mark of manufacturer, Rage. It's no secret that football, historically and presently has issues with far-right demagogues, and unfortunately, American soccer is no exception. There's no place for racists or xenophobes in football in 2019. That's why I think it's so rad that Harper's AFC worked with Rage, and will proudly sport the anti-fascist symbol when they take the field. Good on ya!

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Jordan Stoddard


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Stay tuned in the coming weeks for another piece focussing on Michigan soccer history and the remarkable story of Jimmy "The Jet" Walker.