Sounders FC

Yellow-bellied Sounders? Proudly so

Soccer fans who thought rave green was the brightest crayon in the box have learned otherwise.

Sounders FC on Tuesday unveiled a third kit, this one featuring bright “electricity” yellow jersey, pants and socks, and relegating their traditional rave green to accent status. Sounders’ blue is totally absent.

“When I first saw it, it reminded me of Brazil. If we play like them, it will be perfect,” Sounders forward Steve Zakuani said while wearing the new uniform during its unveiling at a team shop in downtown Seattle. “It’s a good jersey. It’s different. It stands out, and I look forward to playing in them. ... When we see it under the lights in a huge game at Qwest Field or something, it will be fantastic.”

When that will happen hasn’t been determined.

“We’ll use them, not exclusively, but largely, in the friendlies,” general manager Adrian Hanauer said. “Potentially in the Open Cup or Champions League. And I wouldn’t put it past (coach Sigi Schmid) to mix it into a league game potentially if he thinks there’s a possibility of getting points by putting a different color jersey on.”

Earlier in the day, after the Sounders’ training session at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Schmid welcomed the idea of a third kit. While he acknowledged his favorite soccer uniform is the traditional white-black-white of the German national team, he added that he liked mixing and matching multiple uniforms when he coached at UCLA.

“For me, any time you get a new jersey, everybody gets excited,” Schmid said. “They want to wear it. What’s happened now in the world of soccer is sometimes you see a team in a color and you say, ‘Who’s that?’ A little bit of that is marketing, but players do get excited about something different and wearing a new jersey. ... You look good, feel good, play good.”

Hanauer acknowledged the marketing angle, noting that the Sounders already had sold a lot of green jerseys and blue jerseys. He said merchandising money is shared between the club and the league, but the club gets the larger share. The Sounders’ new look was driven by the club, the league and uniform manufacturer adidas.

The alternative kit won’t necessarily be a permanent part of the club’s wardrobe, as Hanauer said it will probably be replaced by new alternate looks from time to time.

The Sounders decided to add the third kit now because they believe the club’s identity has become well enough established in the region.

“We like the tie-in with the rave green in the kit,” he said. “You could play with the rave green short. I think everyone knows we’re a rave-green team. But (this adds) another palette and a little bit of fun. I know my girlfriend loves the color and will be wearing it, so at least we’ve made one woman happy with the color.”

Added time

Sounders forward Michael Fucito, who scored the game-winner Saturday against Kansas City, said he hurt his knee during a tackle in that game and isn’t certain he’ll be ready for the next match at Dallas on Thursday. ... Forward Nate Jaqua said his recent lower abdominal fascial surgery went well and that he is hopeful of returning to action in four to six weeks. ... Hanauer said he hopes to announce the opponent for at least one of the Sounders’ international friendlies “in the very near future.”

Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808

don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com

You can get a look at the new Sounders kits and read more reaction at blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer

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