As we traipse through the annals of Real Salt Lake history (which is short and doesn’t take more than a few hours to skim, honestly), there is one jersey that stands above all others.
You’ve probably seen the kits. They’re gold. Or, more accurately, they’re yellow. They were Real Salt Lake’s third kit in 2010 and 2011, and
Hold on. Let me find a picture for you.
I, uh, hope that one doesn’t stir up any bad memories. We did tie that game, 2-2. It was pretty good that way. (I don’t know that this is the play that saw Kyle Beckerman receive a yellow card, but it might have been. If it is, tell me. And maybe — maybe! — I’ll apologize for it.
Anyway, the era of Victory Gold was a weird time for Real Salt Lake. We were really good in 2010 — historically good, even — and 2011 was even weirder. We went from historically good and on the precipice of a CONCACAF Champions League trophy to, uh, playing Jean Alexander and Luis Gil as forwards. Like I said, it was a weird time.
My understanding? Real Salt Lake only achieved victory once in Victory Gold. Once! And it was in the U.S. Open Cup.
So what made this kit so bad? Not winning in it probably doesn’t help, though we don’t really feel the same level of disdain for our first year’s kits.
So I’ve done some thinking. I’ve looked at photos. I’ve contemplated. Here, let’s share another one.
I have several issues.
First: This is just the same template Real Salt Lake was burdened with for their other kits. I don’t know that it’s bad, but for a third kit, uniqueness is key. That uniqueness can’t just be the color. It was.
Second: The red socks. I mean, I get why you want to incorporate the club’s colors in it. I do! I think it’s a nice thought. I don’t think this is a nice look. Please burn it.
Third: The abject lack of victory achieved in victory gold.
For those reasons, I’m out on victory gold.
But at the same time, I also love it.
Victory Gold was part of a Real Salt Lake era when we still played soccer (I mean, that time will come again, but I miss it), but it was also a time when we played attractive soccer, identity-fueled soccer, and smart soccer. We’ve spent several years on the opposite side of that. Victory Gold makes me feel wistful, nostalgic. Good things. It was a time when we didn’t have to worry about furloughs, quarantines, and billionaires. Not in the same way, at least.
So maybe it is Real Salt Lake’s worst jersey. But if you told me we could return to an era of identity-informed soccer, but we’d have to wear that kit home and away for eternity, I’d bite your hand off at the opportunity.
Figuratively, I mean. Biting off your hand wouldn’t really be effective social distancing.
At any rate, you know who did yellow kits justice? Utah Royals FC.
Yeah, that’s sharp.