The Montreal Impact aren't sure who their starting 11 will be when the club's inaugural Major League Soccer season kicks off, but they know what they'll be wearing on the pitch after unveiling the team's new jerseys Thursday.
The Impact's main shirt and shorts will be deep blue with white patches under the arms and white stripes from the shoulders down, while the away jerseys are the same except they are white with blue trim.
A splash of red is incorporated with the team's jersey sponsor BMO, the same bank whose logo adorns the shirts of Toronto FC.
“I think it's great, we'll see how our fans accept it,” team president Joey Saputo said.
A few hundred fans and season-ticket holders were at the Montreal Science Centre, and some sang the team supporters' songs as a handful of Impact players modelled the kits on a fashion show-style runway. Boxer Jean Pascal and former NHL players Patrice Brisebois and Eric Fichaud also posed in the jerseys.
Fans chanted his name as Colombian defender Nelson Rivas, the first player acquired by the team since their jump to MLS, was first onto the runaway in the new gear.
The Impact won three championships in various second division leagues before moving to MLS. They will play their first home game in the league March 17 at Olympic Stadium, where they will be based until Saputo Stadium is expanded to 20,000 seats to meet MLS criteria.
The team's new kit was designed by league sponsor Adidas, with input from the club.
It includes an embossed cross made up of tiny fleur-de-lys representing the cross atop Mount Royal that overlooks downtown. The two stripes down the sleeves represent the river that flows past the island of Montreal.
Near the collar on the back of the jersey is the team motto in French, “Tous pour gagner,” or “All for victory.”
There is also an MLS logo on the right sleeve and a Canadian flag on the left.
The team also unveiled it's training outfits, replica jerseys and other items that will be on sale for fans.
“Obviously it's very beautiful,” said Mauro Biello, a long-time Impact player who is an assistant to head coach Jesse Marsch. “They're Montreal colours. It's a big day for soccer in Montreal. Making a big splash tonight is great. We're looking forward to the season.”
Other players on hand were goalkeepers Donovan Ricketts and Evan Bush, defender Zarek Valentin, midfielders Davy Arnaud, Josh Gardner and Sinisa Ubiparipovic and forward Justin Braun.
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