Atlanta United’s third kits ... I’m curious

Atlanta United fan reacts during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday, October 24, 2020. D.C. United won 2-1 over the Atlanta United. (Hyosub Shin /



Atlanta United fan reacts during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday, October 24, 2020. D.C. United won 2-1 over the Atlanta United. (Hyosub Shin /

Atlanta United is scheduled to reveal a new primary kit this year.

That’s good.

The primary kit the club has been wearing the past two years — the Five-to-Nine kit — was an odd over-edit of the first primary kit — the Five Stripe kit — which seemed to be a hit among supporters and at cash registers when it was unveiled in 2016.

Atlanta United's Josef Martinez shows off the team's new kit during an unveiling Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. (Alyssa Pointer/

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

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Credit: Alyssa Pointer

The club hasn’t revealed when the new primary kit will be unveiled. The first unveil, if you are new to the area, was a fun event at The Tabernacle downtown. The unveil of the second primary kit before the 2019 season took place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Atlanta United has smartly tried to turn these unveils into happenings.

The first secondary kit — which I dubbed Concrete and Taillights to reflect Atlanta — took place when players switched into the red and gray unis during halftime of its first exhibition game in Chattanooga in 2017.

Yamil Asad models Atlanta United’s secondary jersey.

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The second secondary kit — the King Peach (With Invisible Numbers) — took place at the team’s training facility before an exhibition game in 2018.

Atlanta United players enter the pitch wearing the "King Peach" alternate kits.

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The third secondary kit — the King’s Kit (With Invisible Numbers) — took place at an MLS fashion show in New York before the 2020 season. Invited to the show, I rocked the khakis and golf shirt in a new look for the middle-aged man as I shuffled down the catwalk.

Detail shots of the King's Kit during the 2020 Atlanta United Media Day Content Carwash Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground  in Marietta. (Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United)

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That brings us to this season and the news broken by Footy Headlines that Atlanta United is going to introduce a third kit this season. The club, as is its habit, hasn’t confirmed there will be a third kit. Why? No idea. Simply confirming wouldn’t dampen putting on an unveil. But that’s another blog for another day.

MLS teams are allowed to change one of its kits every two years. That ensures a new kit, either primary or secondary, every year to goose merchandise sales.

Very few teams in MLS history have been allowed to introduce a third kit. Those teams are typically the ones that sell a lot of merchandise. Seattle, for example, has had one. Several teams did for a while in the early 2000s but those third kits were discontinued when sales didn’t meet expectations, according to The Athletic.

Footy Headlines, which has released images of Atlanta United’s new kits before the big reveal a few times and been correct each time, posted a partial image of the new kit this weekend.

It’s purple. Or maroon. Or Elk Tongue, for you 30 Rock fans. Or Two-Day Bruise. Or Purple Patch. Or Kind of Like Venezuela’s Kits But Not Exactly.

I don’t know if this will be the kit. Adidas has already put it out for sale as a training kit.

So, here’s hoping the reported third kit isn’t that.

But if it is, I’m sure there will be some well-crafted but kind of odd explanation as to what the color represents and what the gold secondary color represents. I suppose purple is the symbol of royalty, which fits the Kings of the South nickname Atlanta United has taken on.

But it seems like someone at Adidas threw a dart at a color palette and hit Chardonnay Dreams.

And that’s the kit.

It’s just kind of there.

There doesn’t appear to be anything unique to the club or the city on it.

Here’s hoping there will be some tweaks.

And that basic look is a prevailing complaint (on social media) of supporters of many MLS teams: the Adidas kits are typically just …. blech. Or Brain Matter, on the color palette list of descriptives.

I don’t envy the job Adidas has in trying to satisfy soccer supporters across North America.

Designing kits is difficult. What looks good on a computer screen may not look great in real life. Colors bleed, and then can’t be used.

Producing kits is difficult. Adidas needs a run out of almost a year between deciding on a kit with its partners to get those kits into retail. And I can only imagine that production schedules have been massively and negatively affected this past year.

But there are other companies that have designed a lot of great kits. I know. My stepsons have a massive collection.

It’s time for Adidas to step up its game.

Now, I’m off to think of other phrases for purple.

Coral Fantasy. Elite Eggplant.