This week at SB Nation we’re doing a jersey week, and perhaps the best place to start for the San Jose Earthquakes is at the beginning (of their MLS days, for photo availability reasons).
The San Jose Clash played in MLS from 1996-99, before the name was changed to the Quakes. Below you’ll find the selection of jerseys from the first four seasons and then you get to vote on the best one. We’ll do this through all the Quakes/Clash seasons to the present and do a bracket tournament for these, so check back this week for more polls like this.
Without further ado...
I mean, what.
The kits for the first season of MLS were truly wild. San Jose’s was no different. I have experience describing jerseys, both using the anodyne marketing language and my own gut reaction.
My reaction to this set is what is this? The above jersey is so odd it’s practically inexplicable. The colors don’t match. There’s a weird sleeve pattern.
Maybe you’re an ugly kit connoisseur, in which case, the 1996 kits are yours. But for me, that’s a no, dawg.
The only thing that redeems this version is the white kind of calms down the busy colors everywhere else. On its own? Still rough. Compared to the other version in ‘96, this one is better, in my humble opinion.
So now, after the monstrosities of 1996, things calm down and San Jose develop a reasonable and coherent kit. This was better than most of the rest of the league.
The black version is even better.
And the gray is fantastic, too. These are good!
Pretty similar in 1998, but the white is a bit boring for my taste. Yes, better than the 1996 ones, but not as good as the piped hoops.
Again, the black hoops jersey is terrific, something that could go into a design today easily.
I think this one is probably my favorite one, the gray getting a blue/teal cast and the piping including red accents on the hoops.
Again, consistency of the look is good, but 1999’s alterations show them to be a bit more of their time than the previous ones that were more plausibly timeless. These are the polo shirts every male college student wore in 1999.
This was the college student polo that was for the nicer family backyard barbecues.
Ok, I offered my commentary, time for you to pick the best of the Clash era. Please vote below and let us know who you picked in the comments below!
Which San Jose Clash jersey was best?
This poll is closed
1996 green on green on green
1996 with white
1997 white hoops
1997 black hoops
1997 gray hoops
1998 black hoops
1998 gray/blue hoops
1999 black hoops
1999 white hoops