Montreal unveil jerseys for inaugural MLS season

MONTREAL — There was a real sense of excitement in the Old Port of Montreal on Thursday evening as the Impact unveiled their new home and away jerseys for their debut 2012 season in MLS.

"This is a historic moment for the Montreal Impact," club president Joey Saputo told the team's official website. "The new team jersey represents not only the identity of the club, but also the city of Montreal and the entire province of Quebec. ... We are very pleased to have shared this unique experience with our supporters and our partners.”

Eight of the team’s new signings made the trip up to the city to be present in the anticipated event and even posed as models as they presented the teamwear collection for the 2012 season. Goalkeepers Donovan Ricketts and Evan Bush, defenders Nelson Rivas and Zarek Valentin, midfielders Davy Arnaud, Josh Gardner and Sinisa Ubiparipovic, as well as striker Justin Braun, joined local celebrities on the catwalk to unveil the home and away strips which will be worn next season.

Produced by adidas, the official supplier of MLS, the home jersey is blue, the traditional color of the club, while the away jersey is white.

Aside from the BMO Financial Group logo across the chest, the new design will contain many new elements, including an embossed cross made up of many small fleur-de-lys across the front, a strip with the colors of the Quebec flag around the collar, two silver stripes descending the length of the jersey representing the rivers around the island of Montreal, and the club’s new motto, “Tous pour gagner,” near the collar on the back of the jersey.

Going back on the embossed cross, director of branding and merchandising Stéfanie Bureau explained how the idea came to include it in the design.

“Designers from adidas came to Montreal and we spent two full days with them,” she told MLSsoccer.com. “They really wanted to know who we were and how we lived. The Mont-Royal really fascinated them and we explained them the meaning and what it represented for Montrealers.”

As for the ever-present fleur-de-lys, Bureau specified that it was a must to have it featured on the shirt.

“It was important for us to have it,” she said. “We asked them to have it and they integrated it really well with the cross."

More than 20 pieces of apparel were introduced in the event, including training gear and outerwear.

The Impact will open their inaugural MLS season at home on March 17, 2012, against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.