Ahead of their Fourth of July home match, San Antonio FC released the first images of their brand-new third jersey. The club has never had more than two jerseys in a season.
Images: San Antonio FC
The all-red shirt is not particularly original, as most USMNT fans are still trying to forget the cycle where the national team sported a very similar all-red kit.
But despite its simple design, the jersey conveys a very bold message: San Antonio FC is more than “the San Antonio Spurs’ soccer team.”
Where the other teams in the Spurs family have typically worn silver, black, and white like the NBA squad, San Antonio FC started 2018 with their first non-template kit sporting black, red, and grey.
The red and grey are relatively subtle in the primary kit, comprising the textured vertical stripes and sleeves respectively. Not including the club’s badge, the kits used in 2016 and 2017 only featured black, white, and light grey.
Intentional or not, by debuting a red jersey SAFC is staking its own independence in the Spurs-dominated San Antonio sports scene. While the badge may include the familiar spur logo, the kits are growing further away from the familiar silver and black – and that’s a good thing for both the soccer team and overall ownership.
In 2016 the Spurs brand may have been a gateway for San Antonio fans to latch onto the soccer club, but in its third season San Antonio FC staking its own branding separate from the NBA side will only bring more respect to the club and generate less of a “minor league” feel. If Spurs Sports and Entertainment continues to take SAFC seriously, so will fans.
Maybe it’s just a new shirt.
Maybe it’s a statement of independent identity.
Either way, SAFC is San Antonio’s best chance at long-term professional soccer. The more investment fans see put into the club, the more confident they can be that #OurClub is here to stay.