Miami United FC: A Piece of Art

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Sport has been closely intertwined with American culture for a long time. Baseball is considered America's pastime and the NFL is so popular, that asking for one's favorite team is considered a normal greeting. What about the young and developing hip-hop culture of the 90's that embraced the NBA through style? Soccer is on that trend in America: viewership numbers are increasing, soccer has become more accessible in the US than anywhere, and the soccer jersey is becoming an iconic fashion statement.

Even with the remarkable success of the Nigerian World Cup 2018 kit- sold out with three million pre-orders -most clubs are unwilling to take the risk in creating something unique. The Columbus Crew of 2016 reverted back to the old yellow jersey after the failure of its new City of Columbus inspired kit.  

While popular MLS and global teams continue to create dull and standard jerseys, clubs in the lower leagues have begun to create pieces of art. These clubs embrace creativity and reflect their communities. Miami United FC of the NPSL Sunshine Conference are one of the trendsetters in the South. For this week's Uni-formity, I will look at the MUFC 2017 home kit. This beautiful, sleek and luxurious kit is a working piece of art. The variety of details come together in a perfect blend of chaos, making this kit one of the coolest in soccer.

Pickin' The Palette

“We picked the colors that represent Miami: it's magenta and aqua. The club was born in 2012 and we used those colors, the art deco colors of Miami Beach, because no team used these kinds of colors in the world. We wanted to keep this unique, that's why we came up with the color and this new kind of design.”

- Roberto Sacca, founder and CEO of Miami United FC

The most important step to creating a jersey, or an  image for your club, is finding the correct color scheme. Each color must represent the club and the community, all the while serving its function on the field. Miami United FC has stepped out and chosen an iconic color palette that has been associated with Miami for decades. Teal and pink- popularized by hit 80s television drama Miami Vice -became widely associated with the world's view of the city: it's bright, bold, and expressive.

Bob Ross said, “You need the dark in order to show the light,” and perhaps he wasn't just talking about art; it is a rule of color that this kit’s designer was well aware of. The black puts a tight border around the colorful foreground, then fades perfectly into the background allowing each color to pop.

I Like GOOOOOOLD!

What is more luxurious than gold? Nothing! Each gold number and every piece of gold trim just helps create that perfect image of luxury without taking away from any of the other elements.

Hoop Dreams

Hoops have been a traditional design throughout soccer's long history. Most hoops are bold and continue to cascade to the bottom of the jersey. Miami goes with five different hoop variations: bold teal, medium pink, bold white with thin pink hoops inside, and transparent hoops that show the black background.

“United”

What does it mean to be united? The use of “United” has become so common within soccer culture that you almost forget the meaning. A soccer club has the power to unite multiple communities for one cause, but how do you design that on a jersey?

This Miami United FC kit is packed with elements: five colors, hoops of varying sizes, hatching, cross-hatching, a flag, some numbers and two logos. With so many elements within one piece it's easy to lose or even find any message, but that is the brilliance of the kit. The message is that chaos, all of those varying design elements, they all come together for one purpose: representing Miami United FC.

My Favorite Element

Every time I look at an art piece, I get fixated on one element; even though I try to view the whole piece, I always come back to that one element, the black background. The black background helps everything thrive and stand  out as its own element. From a distance, the hatching in the middle of the kit creates a gradient of black that gets strongest towards the back of the jersey. Once you get in close you get to see the variable line weights, blocked out patterns, and the subtle cross-hatching below the collar.

In the lower leagues, where financial support is scarce, a unique kit design can help a struggling club stay afloat. As our soccer culture continues to grow and evolve, clubs will need to strategize on how to cultivate their images, populate their clubs, and perform on the field. A fresh kit can help solve all those problems. This Miami kit rings up at $69.99, a premium price for premium style. On top of the style and quality of the jersey, extra points to Miami United FC for producing jerseys in XL for us beer-drinking, dad-bod having soccer fans! So,whether you rock this jersey out on the town or at a soccer match, you are guaranteed to turn heads and start conversations.

Steven Ramirez

Lola Vaughn