MLS Crests

On a recent episode of the Bar Down podcast (iTunes/Stitcher), the guys went through all of the crests of MLS as an extension of a broader conversation on branding. Get more from them @BarDownPodcast.

As they rightly mentioned throughout the pod, MLS crests (and kits for that matter) started in the 90s and that’s not a good thing. Almost everything was bad at the outset, truly cringeworthy, and only in the last couple of years has the league started to pull out of their Tom Cruise like tailspin from Top Gun.

As a result I gave it a crack and in reviewing the badges, I was conflicted between a straight up analysis of the crest or factoring my impressions based on where the team started. Example Colorado Rapids. Really like their shield right now (probably a 7) but it’s a 9 maybe a 10 compared to its putrid predecessors. Same with the Wizards. The current one is decent as well but it’s a 12 compared to the Wiz shit show that came before it.

So here we go. Share your comments below or hit me up on twitter @AustinLong1974.


Chicago Fire 9 Almost perfect. Since there’s no thing as perfection, I gave it a 9.
Colorado Rapids 7 Great color scheme, interesting design,  but get rid of the soccer ball.
Columbus Crew SC 6.5 Am liking the redesign but would get rid of SC.
D.C. United 5 Don’t like the redesign. Should have kept previous shield and updated the font.
FC Dallas 5.5 Love the shape, not sold on the steer.
Houston Dynamo 4 Meh, get rid of soccer ball to start.
LA Galaxy 7 I really like this one. At least one positive impact of Becks coming to MLS.
Montreal Impact 6 The Bar Down guys were pretty down on this on. Like the partially obscured fleur de lis. If home shirt matched the vertical stripes could go to an 8.
New England Revolution 2 The worst. Just the worst. So bad it’s now cool after 20 years.
New York City FC 7 Solid. Pretty much the only thing this club has done right so far.
New York Red Bulls 5 Red Bull logo—check. Words spelled correctly—check.
Orlando City SC 8 Really bold and totally agree that they should scrap words Orlando City. Imagine that will happen in the future.
Philadelphia Union 7 Great effort and love the snake and stars and patriotic components.
Portland Timbers 7 Evolution of this badge has been interesting. Get rid of the words Portland Timbers and could be a 9.
Real Salt Lake 5 Step up from original but either you’re a professional soccer team or a glorified AYSO super club. Pick one.
San Jose Earthquakes 5 Based on former incarnations, this is a 10. Current is tolerable and am still undecided on the faultline graphic effect.
Seattle Sounders FC 9 Class organization with a beautiful badge.
Sporting Kansas City 7 Interesting, modern, lovely shape.
Toronto FC 7 Really like some of the design elements (big T, banner, shield design)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 9 Really love their badge. Considering previous efforts, this a 13. Reflects mountains and reflection in the water. Too bad their 2016 away shirt doesn’t quite pull this off.
Future Clubs
Atlanta United 7 Very down the middle in terms of design but love the rich, dark red (victory red to be exact) and the metallic gold.
LAFC 8 Font of the letters and wing kick ass.
Minnesota United 7 The loon image is very inconic and grey is underused color. Get rid of the words and this is a real winner. Can’t wait to see this on a 2017 MLS shirts. Wait? What?!?
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