Palabras y Entrevista: David Barr
If you don’t know who the Cooligans are – you are missing out in a big way.
Alexis Guerreros and Christian Polanco are comedians who absolutely love soccer and more specifically Major League Soccer. Their spin on the beautiful game is as spicy as the tacos they love! You can find them on Twitter, Instagram and every Tuesday and Thursday at 8pn (Eastern) on FuboTVand FuboSports.
Alexis and Christian took time out of their busy schedule to chat with Eleven about the 2020 MLS jersey release and fashion show, retro jerseys and what they are most looking forward to in the 25thAnniversary season of Major League Soccer
MLS Is Cool!
DB: You guys have been everywhere lately including in your home of New York City at the MLS jersey reveal. Let’s talk about the fashion show because there were some heavy hitters there just like there were at MLS Media Day with Colin Hanks and then of course the late Kobe Bryant. There’s some real star power leading into this 25th anniversary of Major League Soccer.
AG: It seems like out of all the events that we’ve been to, the Fashion Show was coolest, dopest MLS event I’ve ever been to. Normally, some things feel a little forced, not in a bad way but like in a very like oh this is corporate trying to be hip, you know, in this event scene was hip more than it was corporate. Does that make sense.
CP: I think that. Yeah, I think the one thing over the years I mean we’ve been going to events for the last five years suggests it’s getting progressively like incrementally cooler in MLS is feeling like you’re less of a corny league. They are getting star power and those people that they’re getting are not just people that you know they just hired to because they’re, they have fame in some other avenue right like a lot of people actually care about soccer. That’s been a cool thing and it feels a little bit more genuine.
We Want Retro Jerseys!
DB: Yeah and you hope from a fashion standpointthat this isn’t like hockey jerseys in the 90s. It makessome quick splash and then it goes away. You hope there’s some longevity there’s some power to stick around. What retro jerseys do you want to come back? Sporting Kansas City has done the rainbow jersey a few times and they are very popular.
AG: We were talking about if the teams were going to bring them back and actually wear them in a match Not sure about that, but they should absolutely put it all on MLSstore.com to sell it. Right. I think something that I realized at the fashion eventwas the three Adidas stripes that you see on the 2020 jerseys that flashes across the shoulder. I think that is the retro throwback. I think it’s to sort of harken back to the days of like the early 90’s or the mid 90’s when Adidas had the three slashes across the shoulder. I think we’re going to see like sort of maybe the original 10 that are still around or something like that I think we’ll see kids come up and then it sort of throws back to the old school but I don’t think it’s gonna be like a league wide thing where they play in them but maybe in warm ups we will see some cool jerseys from back in the day..
The New Threads
DB: Let’s look at the new stuff, because there have been a lot of people that love them. There have been a lot of people that absolutely cannot stand them. There are some of the jerseys like DC Unitedwho have stayed with their kind of classic look through all the way through, give me your thoughts on the new kits.
AG: I wish DC United would have had the red shorts. And I love their old school kits with the slashes across the chest, and I gotta say their kits have always been kind of cool, but this kit for some reason seems relatively simple. I don’t know why this kit, for some reason, reminds me of their old school kits I think they did a really good job. In particular, and we were at the event last night for the NYCFC for their just sort of season launch and I really got to take a look at it theirs firsthand. I gottabe honest it’s a beautiful jersey in my hands, you know, seeing it in some of these photos, a lot of them do look plain and I don’t think a lot of them are like wildly inspirational, I think maybe San Jose’s is like the wildest one, but it’s because it’s so it looks like a golf shirt. I think Portland is an incredible jersey. I think a lot of us when you see them in person and when you hold them – they’re really dope.
CP: My favorite one is San Jose’s too just because it looks different enough from all the other ones, I think a lot of the templates are a little simple. But I think being at that fashion show and the fact that MLS are doing kit reveals is amazing and being a leader. I mean that doesn’t happen in the Premier League. It’s not like Adidas and the league aren’t trying their best they’re trying their best. It is a huge undertaking for designers to make kits for essentially, like 20 some odd teams. So, it’s difficult to make them all look different, or like figure something out because it’s so many at once, but I know they want some people. I said I post it on Twitter, I’m like, hey, I really liked the San Jose kit and people just lost their minds.
DB: No, you’re right, and then some of them are clean and simple like you mentioned. I dig the, the rosanegra with Miami. I totally like that and then you’ve got like the old kind of throwback with the design in the design like with Houston and with Columbus. That die sub stuff is in there that is really nice. Sporting Kansas City, that color blue is a bit of a takeaway for them they’ve done the black and the white and the and the baby blue for a long time, Minnesota, still has the loon wings and so they incorporated some of the logo in the jersey. There issome creative designs that still speaks to each individual club through these, it may be small and nuanced but it’s still there.
AG: That’s my problem and I don’t want to come across as I’m saying, yo, these kits are trash because they’re not and I mean even the event that we went to the show was great. What was the last soccer, jersey video that you can think of him might just be that video those like from the 70’s of those German people dancing all weird? I can’t think of any other fashion show for a jersey reveal. MLS are a few steps ahead and it seems dope right? But when you look at these kits, they all seem like they have this one thing on the back and this thing on the sleeve you know what I mean? I think MLS is in a position where they stand a better chance, globally, if they’re the ones that have wild ass kits, you know what I mean? Like if they do something big, if they go crazy people in other countries who don’t know anything about Houston Dynamo or have no clue where Houston is on a map might wear a Houston Dynamo jersey. Do something crazy and dope and wild like the Nigeria kit was a few years ago. I thought that would change everything for me, because people who don’t know anything about soccer waited in line for that jersey. I thought that this was going to be the year with this year especially for 25. It’s like dude at 25 you could rent the car; you know what I mean? After this is, is what retirement If you were a human being. No more major birthdays after 25. Come on, give me a little you know give me a little buzz give me a little heat, you know?
CP: Pablo Maurer of the Athletic wrote a great article about it. You get some insight into like how the design process goes and I think it’s based on read, I would put a little bit more of the responsibility on the league and the club, I think, given that the league is only 25 years old, but not every team is 25 years old, right? So, there’s a little bit the MLS has a sense of oversight over and what the teams are doing and from like my new details. The people at MLS probably over the years have given a little longer leash to the clubs to make these decisions, but I don’t think for every single case. I think they (MLS) want to make sure that that they’re (clubs) don’t go too crazy or that they even know how to do the process from beginning to end, I think people are giving the MLS clubs too much credit and this is not to insult any club, but in the people giving too much credit to the club themselves know what they’re doing and that’s why they (MLS and Adidas) handle this part of the design process…
AG: If I can just interject, I think there’s an easier way to handle it and something that I think I said on the podcast not too long ago. Every city now has, like, you know, some type of designer or artist or, maybe some type of something that’s art related that’s popping, like, if you’re in Columbus whoever the local, cool artist is or designer or someone who’s doing a lot of art and murals and stuff, pull them aside and teach them a little maybe they don’t know about soccer, teach them a little bit about the club and what it means. A lot of these kits are a two-yearprocess from what I read. You have a two-yearlease. You could pull a designer aside and say hey, we’ll give you $10–20,000 to design the kits for this year. The following year, that’s cheaper than hiring a design team, and now you have someone who is adept at doing it, and may come up with something that is locally relevant, something that feels like Miami, or something that feels like New York. If Christian and I were asked to design a jersey for NYCFC – being a local team here, we would put a lot of New York into it because that’s where we live. I think you can do that across the board, and I think it would be something that would be that again no other club, nor league is doing.
The 2020 Season
DB: Give me some of your top storylines going into the season. Some of the things you’re looking forward to most going in to this 25th anniversary season.
AG: I know until Thursday I would have said it was the CBA but that seems like it’s done so I think the biggest news item right now is Chicharito and how is that going to play out. Coming into the league probably the biggest name. The biggest name player from this continent, I don’t think there’s anyone bigger. So, you look at someone like that coming into the league and if he is going to take it easy. Is he gonna get gassed midway through the season?How’s he going handle the travel? How’s he gonnahandle the weather? Will that “retirement” video thing that he said is that going to come back to bite him in the ass? How’s the rivalry between LA Galaxy and LAFC going to impacted? I think that’s what everyone’s going to be watching. And they’ve got the All Star game, with the MLS and Liga MX, that’s going to be huge. I mean, I can’t even imagine whatthat’s going to be like. I’m assuming a ratings Bonanza.
CP: Pretty much, I think, Los Angeles is going to be kind of the heart of American soccer this year. Withso many big, big games that we know will happen there whether it’s the All Star game where there is a rivalry between MLS and Liga MX is going to be just tremendous and then I also think MLS have been very open and honest about, they want to play more games against the Liga MX teams. They want the Hispanic fan base to start watching MLS and I think that the League Cup is also going to be another thing with that they’re really going to try to push and make that tournament mean a little bit more. I mean, Liga MX is the most watched league in America and MLS wants some of that. I also think the expansion teams are going to be interesting to watch this year, given, not even what Nashville isdoing. Now they’re fighting with the mayor about that stadium deal not being finalized. I’m curious to see how they will play and it seems like Miami, are in a little bit better shape but the fact that Miami didn’t really find a huge, huge star is probably a little bit of a concern. You almost wonder what they’re going to look like. What the attendance will look like. So, I think those, those two teams, especially Miami, having success would be huge for MLS. I think that just something to pay attention to this year.
AG: Yeah, I’m interested to see what happens on the run up to 2026 I think a lot of the merging of players between Liga MX and MLS is just going to continue to happen. I don’t know if it’s going to be that full one league like everyone had sort of rumored about a year ago, but I just think there’s going to be a lot more players moving back and forth. I’m interested to see who the first American player that’s a big name goes to play in Mexico. I would love to see it. I’d love to see an American be like considered a superstar signing in Mexico, I think that would be bigger than Mexican signings in the US because that seems to be happening more and more.
CP: That already happened because Landon Donovan went to Leon and played for those 16 minutes….
DB: Stop! Just stop with that!