The Portland Thorns held an event on Wednesday night to announce their custom Nike home and away jerseys for the upcoming 2019 season and invited some lucky fans and media along to get a first glimpse at what the 2019 Thorns would look like on the field. Well, not the first glimpse exactly—the jerseys had been leaked in low-res images in the weeks before the event and generated much discussion online, but there’s no doubting they look better in person than they did in those first few hints.
The home shirt features a black bar pattern (modelled on the pattern of the flag of Portland) overlaid on a photograph of the famous red smoke released by the Riveters for goal celebrations, with black shorts to match. Sinclair, who modeled the shirt on the night, said of the pattern, “I’ve always wanted to wear stripes and there’s a hint of stripes in it, so it’s pretty cool”. The away shirt features some subtle grey smoke patterning on a white background that looked nice in the press photographs but was a bit washed out in the bright lights: we’re looking forward to seeing how it looks in action.
The detailing on the socks was a particular hit in the immediate reaction: the thorn pattern that has been a part of the club’s design language for years has finally made its way into the uniform, and in a subtle pattern on the back of the socks, it looks pretty great.
Nike consulted with Meghan Klingenberg a bit in the process of designing the outfits, and Klingenberg said that she would be even more involved in the design of the 2020 kits; “(Nike) want to get to know the team, they want to get to know our DNA so they’re able to provide jerseys that speak not only to Portland but to us (players) and to the world”.
Jerseys go on sale at midnight on Friday, March 15 online at www.shopthornsfc.com and at the Timbers and Thorns FC Team Store at 1967 W. Burnside Street. More products are supposedly on the way: the club hinted at an “ancillary product line inspired by the jerseys” to come later this spring.
Let us know what you think of the new kits in the comments.