Ahead of their planned launch later this month, an overzealous sports store employee may have let slip the jersey for Major League Soccer expansion franchise Charlotte FC — that is, if Twitter is to be believed.
Twitter user @theduohq posted a photo on Saturday, Nov. 6, that purportedly shows the CLTFC jersey on display at a Dick’s Sporting Goods location in Charlotte. It was subsequently picked up by another account, @CharlotteFCKits.
The photo shows an adidas kit with a bright blue body and white V-neck collar and sleeves. The adidas logo and shoulder stripes are black, while the logo of main sponsor Ally — a bank headquartered in Utah — appears on the front in white. The sleeve cuffs feature blue and black stripes.
The blue used on the jersey and in CLTFC’s crest is the same shade of blue used by the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Both teams are owned by billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper.
The lower left corner of the jersey features a silver map of North and South Carolina in the jock tag position.
In the replies, other Twitter users were quick to point out the similarities in the kit design to a certain Premier League club.
When CLTFC announced a sponsorship deal with Centene Corporation in October, the team said their inaugural home kits would be released sometime in November 2021. The Centene logo will appear on the front of academy jerseys and first-team training jerseys, as well as on the sleeve of first-team game jerseys.
If the photo is accurate, it would be something of a departure from what we’ve seen of the club’s branding so far. Their website emphasizes black over blue, and a fair amount of the training gear they’ve released for sale to this point is predominantly black, like this track jacket.
Charlotte FC was slated to begin play in the 2021 MLS season, but that was pushed back a year due to COVID-19. The other expansion team getting ready join the league, St. Louis CITY SC, won’t take to the pitch until 2023.
Feature photo courtesy @theduohq / Twitter