A soccer kit is a team’s uniform during a game. You will find different soccer kits for every team, competition, and league across the globe, including Major League Soccer, NWSL, Bundesliga, La Liga, English Premier League, the World Cup, and more. The kit is a complete uniform that typically has the colors of the team, sponsor logos, and sometimes even championships that the squad has achieved as a franchise. In addition, teams have a home, away, and a third kit to wear during the season, which are different from one another.
So, what does a complete soccer kit consist of for players to wear? Why do teams have three kits to choose from during a match? Why do they call soccer uniforms kits, and do the jerseys change every season?
Here is the complete breakdown of soccer kits.
What Does a Soccer Kit Consist Of?
A soccer team’s kit consists of a jersey, cleats, socks, shin guards, and shorts. Eleven starting payers are on the pitch during a match, making it easy to recognize your teammates and opponents since there are only two uniforms. The soccer kit closely resembles the team’s colors, like how Manchester City or Chelsea (Premier League clubs) play with a light blue jersey since those are the team’s colors. Meanwhile, a team like Arsenal, Liverpool, or Manchester United will have red in their kit since red is their primary color.
Regarding the FIFA World Cup, the kits resemble their country’s flag. For example, team USA will have red, white, and blue in their equipment. Meanwhile, a soccer team like Brazil will have their home shirt be yellow and green since that is the color of their flag.
Why Do Association Football Teams Have 3 Kits?
Soccer (association football) clubs have a home kit, an away kit, and a third kit to use on game day. The team will wear the home kit when they are hosting an opponent. The home kit is usually the team’s primary color since they are playing at their home arena. As a note, there are exceptions, like how NYCFC plays some home games at Citi Field, which is why they might wear their orange kit even though their primary color is blue.
Teams also have an away kit that uses a secondary color as their primary color for their kit. Teams will use their away kit during matches when their opponent’s home kit resembles their home kit. To help distinguish the two sides, the away team will wear their away kit if their colors help contrast against the home team. Otherwise, the away team can wear their home kit if it is different enough from their opponent’s home kit.
Finally, there is a third kit that teams do wear during the season. The third kit tends to get creative on the jersey look for a tea and gets creative with the style and patterns. Check out the Manchester United third kit to get an idea of how different this kit looks.
Why Do They Call Soccer Uniforms Kits?
The term “kit” is the same as a uniform or a strip for a team to wear on matchday. The football kit encompasses the entire outfit a player will have on them during a game, including the jersey, cleats, shin pads, and socks that all match each other.
Do Soccer Kits Change Every Season?
Teams make slight changes to their kit each season mainly due to new ad partnerships or highlight achievements for the squad. For example, NYCFC (MLS) won the MLS Cup in 2021 and spotlighted that achievement with a star over its logo. If NYCFC wins another MLS Cup, they will add another star above the logo, making their kit slightly different from the previous season.
However, for the most part, the kit for a team generally stays similar year after year. Besides the star change from the MLS Cup victory for NYCFC, their kit looks almost identical to the years prior. However, they did make some slight color changes to their kit a few years back, so there are times when a kit will look more different than other years.
Why Do Soccer Goalkeepers Wear a Different Color on the Pitch?
Goalkeepers wear a different color from their team to help them stand out on the pitch. Goalkeepers must stand out on the pitch to protect them from players crashing into them as they go after the ball. Sometimes in the heat of the moment, it might be difficult to distinguish between a player and a goalkeeper, so the different color uniform makes it clear to everyone that they are the goalie, and you can’t hit into them.
In addition to having a different color kit, goalies will also wear goalkeeper gloves during a match to protect their hands and get a better grip on the ball. The goalkeeper gloves are only for goalies, so no other player on the pitch can wear them during matches.
Why Can’t Footballers (Soccer Players) Remove Their Shirts?
Sometimes, a player will take off their football jersey in celebration after a goal. When a player does that, they receive a yellow card from the referee. One of the reasons football players can’t take their jerseys off is if they have an offensive tattoo on their body that the league doesn’t want to highlight, especially on a close-up from a TV camera angle.
Another reason why refs will call a yellow card on a player removing their jersey is because of the unsportsmanlike behavior. Taking off your jersey and throwing it away from you can be seen as classless, so refs discipline that behavior with a yellow card.
Conclusion: What is a Kit in Soccer?
In summary, a kit in soccer is the uniform that a team wears on matchday. The kit includes a breathable jersey, socks, shorts, shin guards, and cleats. Teams have three different kits to choose from during every game to help distinguish themselves from their opponent.
In addition, teams make slight changes to their kit each year to highlight an accomplishment or update a new sponsor advertising on the jersey. These changes are another reason why fans buy a new jersey, especially if it showcases a championship victory.