PORTLAND, Ore. – Timbers defender David Horst shaved off his mustache a few days too early.
The 1970s retro look he was sporting would have gone perfectly with Portland’s new third jersey, which was unveiled Tuesday at JELD-WEN Field. The kit is meant to pay homage to the club's roots, which go back to their founding in the old NASL in 1975.
"I've got to find out when we're going to be wearing those uniforms, and maybe I'll wear a small pair of shorts and a mustache and grow out a mullet or something like that," said Horst, who modeled the new kit along with attacker Darlington Nagbe during the launch celebration. "Anything can happen. It'll be fun."
Horst's mustache, grown last month to raise money for Movember, would have completed the look of the collared jersey, which features a classic white design. Though the design is retro, the uniform has modern features, including being constructed from 100 percent recycled materials by adidas at their Portland headquarters.
Even the club's jersey partner, Alaska Airlines, joined in the historical spirit by featuring a block-letter font that was used across the carrier's fuselage in 1979, the first year it started regular service to Portland.
“To hear John Spencer, the coach, say right after the ceremony, 'That's the best kit that we have. I want to wear that,' that again is an amazing validation that the team did," said Antonio Zea, director of soccer for adidas America. "It really has the right flavor to it."
The third kit will be worn for select matches during the upcoming season as the team continues to feature their primary green jerseys and secondary Rose City Red kits.
Horst remarked that the retro look isn't commonly seen throughout MLS or even in international leagues.
"There aren't many teams in our league that have the history that the Timbers have," Horst said, "and it's a great opportunity for us to embrace that history. You see it happen in a lot of leagues, but you don't see it in soccer that much, not even in leagues around the world. You don't really see them go with retro-inspired uniforms. I think it's a great opportunity, a great thing for a soccer team to show off and embrace their history, and I'm excited to be wearing it next year."
Dan Itel covers the Timbers for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org