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20 Years On, We Look Back At The Seriously Funky Jerseys From The 1st Ever MLS Season

20 Years On, We Look Back At The Seriously Funky Jerseys From The 1st Ever MLS Season
By Mikey Traynor Updated

The MLS is celebrating it's 20th birthday this season, and we figured the best way to join in and share some love for the league that has housed a number of Irish internationals down through the years was to celebrate how great the league's jerseys were when it all began.

As the league has grown, the team names have become far less 'razzle-dazzle' and far more sensible, as evidenced by the 'Kansas City Wiz' becoming 'Sporting Kansas City' in particular, but back in 1996 it was pretty much anything goes in terms of team name and, most importantly, the kits and jerseys.

Having seen a commonly shared photo do the rounds from the league's launch way back then, we decided to go in for a closer inspection of some of the truly crazy jerseys from the 1996 season.

Tampa Bay Mutiny

You probably noticed the glorious barnet of Carlos Valderamma in the featured image, and sure enough he won the first MLS MVP award for his work in this crazy Tampa Bay Mutiny jerseys.

The font on the chest could not be any more '90s.

LA Galaxy

Long before Robbie Keane arrived the colour-scheme was a little bit different for the Galaxy.

This will not be the last time you see colours thrown about a jersey with sharp shapes coming out of the shoulders on this list.


DC United

Very sensible, and also very cool, you can tell that Adidas were far less fond of the wild designs than their counterparts at Nike.

This one has aged very well.

Dallas Burn

Good God, that's an ice hockey jersey.


Nothing says 'soccer' like a bucking bronco breathing fire from his mouth. Intimidating.

Kansas City Wiz

Wonderfully colourful, although it looks more like a lollipop you would buy for a child at Disneyland rather than a soccer jersey.

San Jose Clash

A big favourite in the office, this jersey is so ugly that it's awesome.


And the logo is sweet too.

NY/NJ Metrostars

Not nearly as crazy as the similar designs for Clash and Galaxy, the MetroStars had to settle for their 'Wrestlemania' style logo to catch attention for them.

Columbus Crew

It's pretty boring for sure, but that iconic Columbus Crew logo makes anything look better.


Almost a Pittsburgh Steelers throwback.

New England Revolution

The Revs have always been as patriotic as possible, right from day one as you can see here.

Again, the font choice so perfectly typical of the time.


Colorado Rapids

And Puma come to the party with a painfully boring effort.

Saved somewhat by that ridiculous rapids logo.

Keep on doing your thing, MLS, we love you for it.


SEE ALSO: 10 League Of Ireland Jerseys That Showcase The Beautiful Madness Of The 1990s

SEE ALSO: A Tribute To The Magnificently Mental Goalkeeping Jerseys Of The 90s

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