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Blue Links: The Return of MLS Third Kits, CBA Deal ‘Close’ and NWSL to CBS

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Plus high level MLS officials are in Kansas City for a meeting.

Sporting Kansas City v Philadelphia Union: 2015 U.S. Open Cup - Final
Will we see a new Sporting KC argyle kit?
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Welcome to Blue Links. A quick spot for stories that just don’t fit anywhere else. Sometimes they are Sporting Kansas City specific. Other times a bit more generic soccer coverage. Let’s get straight to it.

MLS Considering Bringing Back Third Kits

Pablo Maurer has a fantastic read in The Athletic about “clean” kits (read: boring kits). It goes deep into the design of kits. But buried in the story was this news.

“Those big [jersey] sellers may get an even larger platform in the future. According to multiple sources familiar with the situation, MLS is poised to allow a third kit next year for a handful of its best-selling clubs, an option clubs haven’t had for years. Those third kits, which briefly appeared in the mid-2010s, were phased out when they simply didn’t sell well enough — the same reason, one source said, the league did away with long-sleeved jerseys just last year.”

Sporting KC had a fantastic run of argyle kits (one of which won the fan vote for kit of the decade) that many fans would probably love to see return.

It’s not clear what “big sellers” will get kits. Pablo reports that some MLS teams “may only sell 5,000-10,000 jerseys in an entire two-year jersey cycle.” SKC went from being one of the lowest sellers when they were the Kansas City Wizards to one of the best.

If you are interested in learning more about the kit design process, Chad Reynolds of Sporting KC talked to Jimmy and Dan on No Other Pod to get deep into the process.

MLS Meeting South of KC

Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated broke a couple bits of news but one landed right near home.

“MLS’s chief soccer officers (GMs, sporting directors, etc.) are meeting for three days this week at a ranch one hour south of Kansas City owned by Sporting Kansas City ownership.”

The meeting is done every year but this time it features seven new officers. Whatever comes from this meeting will be put in front of “MLS’s influential product and strategy committee” next week.

MLS CBA Deal “Appears Close”

Also in Wahl’s SI.com piece is word that the MLS CBA negotiations, which were set to expire at the end of January but have been extended until February 7th, “appears close” to being extended according to Wahl’s source. The source goes on to say that “concepts are largely agreed” on between the league and MLS Players Association. In 2015 the players were near going on strike before a last minute deal allowed play to start as scheduled.

NWSL to CBS

Multiple reports are confirming that CBS will be the home of the NWSL in 2020. While some games appear to be on broadcast TV, it sounds like the vast majority of the games will be on CBS’ streaming service, CBS All Access.

All Access costs $5.99 with ads and $9.99 without ads. Just what everyone needs, another streaming service.

Kaw Valley FC Release Home Schedule

USL League Two’s Kaw Valley FC have announced their 2020 home schedule. They will play most of their games at the University of Kansas’ soccer stadium, Rock Chalk Park, in Lawrence, Kansas. They will also play three home games at Hummer Sports Complex in Topeka.

KVFC are coached by Istvan Urbanyi who is the Director of Talent Identification for Sporting Kansas City.

SKC Draft Pick Has No Contact with Team Before Draft

After the 2019 MLS SuperDraft when Sporting KC selected three players but ultimately only signed one (second round pick Camden Riley went to the Swope Park Rangers), I had hoped that the team would be in contact with players before picking them. According to our sister site Gobbler Country, that’s not the case.

Fourth round pick in the 2020 draft, James Kasak, apparently had no contact with SKC prior to his selection. The Virginia Tech defender told Gobbler Country:

“Prior to the draft I had not spoken to any Sporting KC representatives.”

As of this January 28th story, Kasak also hadn’t talked about signing with the first or second team. “I haven’t had talks with anyone yet about where I might end up in regards to first team or with SKC II,” continued Kasak.

Fourth round picks aren’t likely to amount to much, but it seems like an interesting way to fill out the SKC II roster. Kasak was in the first leg of preseason in Arizona and earned an assist in his only game.