After celebrating the anniversary of the first-ever MLS match, we also look at the current 26-team league with wonder on how much it has grown since 1996. But what if some of those more recent additions had been there from the beginning?
That's the question 2020 expansion sides Nashville SC and Inter Miami SC, as well as the Philadelphia Union and New York City FC asked on their respective social media channels with some interesting (and humorous) ideas.
In line with our fan poll asking which was the best original MLS home kit, Nashville imagined what their club strip might've looked like in 1996. (In the process, the also confirmed that yes, Dax McCarty has been around the league forever.)
Not to be outdone, Miami used a vintage edition of EA Sports' FIFA franchise to simulate a match against the LA Galaxy. Apparently back in the 90s, the Herons would've donned bright pink tops a la Palermo in Italy. Spoiler alert: Rodolfo Pizarro hit the winner from distance, helped by some ... um, generous ... goalkeeping in the Galaxy net.
The Union put it to a fan vote and unveiled their logo, primary jersey, secondary jersey and away jersey while putting Photoshop to use with current players rocking 1996 iconic looks.
⏪1️⃣9️⃣9️⃣6️⃣⏪— PhilaUnion (@PhilaUnion) April 7, 2020
Maybe he's born with it...maybe it's 💥1996 Fashion in MLS💥
Defender @jackells95 channeling his '96 @AlexiLalas & showing off our '96 @MLS secondary kit ⚡⚡⚡#MLSin96 | #DOOP pic.twitter.com/KdeSXfXEEZ
Meanwhile, the resourceful Carter Daly of NYCFC's creative content team posted what the Cityzens' home and away jerseys might have looked like back in 1996.