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Football/Soccer

Heaven is in the details: The 2015-16 Vancouver Whitecaps shirt

It was on sale.

I’d imagined I ordered a simple, white jersey. Another they all-look-the-same MLS shirt, brought to you by Adidas since 2004.

But a closer look revealed a delicate design, quiet even.

And unless you’re pulling the shirt over your head for Saturday morning pick-up, the small details are easily missed.

The shirt is both modern and retro. Harking back to the Whitecap’s NASL days, the tag below the collar reading: Since 1974.

“No that’s not the year I was born.” I explain to my teammates. It’s when the Vancouver Whitecaps were foun…oh never mind.

No. That’s not my birth year.

The club motto – Our all. Our honour. hides below the nape on the inside collar.

A perfect mental lift when playing indoor 5-aside, and all oxygen has escaped your lungs, but your team has no subs.

Our honOUR

The slogan reappears on the navy strip near the waist. Helpful again, when stricken with side stitch.

At the hip

Across the upper chest are the fade-to-blue-to-white jagged edges of the North Shore mountains. An homage to the local landscape. And yes, I googled “Mountains in Vancouver”.

The majestic North Shore peaks.

True kit aficionados know a classic shirt sponsor can unify the entire design.

See D.C. United’s all black VW shirts. Or Fiorentina’s Nintendo kit.

The Bell logo knits all the design elements together, and isn’t a too obnoxious plea for market share.

Kit diversity is missed when one brand sponsors a whole league. The styles become repetitive, homogeneous, dull.

Somehow the Vancouver Whitecaps 2015-2016 shirt escaped this fate.

Further reading: Graham Ruthven on kit designs and the MLS adidas partnership.


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FC Dallas – Underappreciated Contenders

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Oscar Pareja’s troupe of footballing artisans win with panache, but still aren’t headliners in north Dallas.

It was a night most Texans dream of. Cool, with a breeze from the east. Pleasant even.

Vancouver was in town with FC Dallas looking to clinch first in the west, with a shot at the Supporters Shield.

Yes. The team with the lowest budget, without a DP to its name, could lock up the west and hoist the regular season championship belt.

These are two of the league’s class teams, and it showed. The football was a joy throughout. A fine mix of quick combinations, accurate diagonal balls and slippery #10s (though the Whitecaps version wears #29).

The product? Exquisite. The support? Dismal.

Why wasn’t a butt in every seat? Where were the tifos? Where was the celebration of an excellent football club wrapping up a triumphant season?

It wasn’t there in Toyota Park.

Leaving the stadium I couldn’t help but think this wonderful blend of South American and local talent was underappreciated, taken for granted.

Just another one of the many entertainment and dining options in the metroplex.

It’s a shame, because FC Dallas should be more that.