The Vancouver Whitecaps are keeping with tradition.
The team unveiled its new uniform for the 2021 season, choosing to keep the slick hoop design that has been popular with fans, and is also a nod to their 1979 NASL Soccer Bowl championship team.
The Whitecaps brought back the hoop design two years ago, for the 40th anniversary of the championship. MLS uniforms have a two-year lifespan, with teams debuting either a new home or away jersey each year, but instead of going in a new direction this year, they’ve decided to tweak the classic look instead.
The new jersey features a blue hoop cut and sewn onto the front, not all the way around the back of the jersey like the previous version. This version also has a round neck instead of a collar, and blue hoops around the sleeves.
“The Village of Vancouver” is on the back of the neck, along with a jock tag with the Village logo. Jerseys will also have a two-colour cresting, inspired by the blue names and red numbers from the early 1980s look.
“Tradition is very important,” said Axel Schuster, Whitecaps FC chief executive officer and sporting director. “Our community is the heart of our club, and they have identified strongly with the Hoop throughout our history as the longest running professional soccer club in Canada and the United States. We are all looking forward to new memories in this edition when we start our season next month.”
As part of the unveiling, the Whitecaps gifted jerseys to frontline staff from the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and Whole Way House Society.
A year has now passed since the Whitecaps hosted a match at BC Place with fans in attendance, and it still remains to be seen where the team will play next season, which begins on April 17. The team could play closed-door matches north of the border against Canadian rivals from Toronto and Montreal, as they did last season, but they’re likely going to have to temporarily relocate to the United States at some point.
Last year the Whitecaps played home matches in Portland, with Salt Lake City the rumoured landing spot for them this season.