What’s behind the recent uptick in MLS teams opting for distinctive kits this season? Maybe it’s the fact that the U.S. is hosting the men’s World Cup in three years; maybe it’s because of the league’s new broadcasting deal with Apple TV, MLS Season Pass. Whatever the reason, many of the league’s teams have announced jerseys that are thoroughly eye-catching — with a few teams, Nashville SC among them, opting to pay tribute to local heroes along the way.
The MLS 2023 season will include the Seattle Sounders utilizing a Bruce Lee-themed kit for some games and the New York Red Bulls collaborating with Daniel Patrick. Nashville SC’s new kit is a bit less colorful than either of those, but there’s a reason for that — if you’re paying tribute to Johnny Cash, the Man in Black himself, monochromatic is the way to go.
As The Athletic’s Pablo Maurer reports, Cash’s son John Carter Cash was involved with the project, and spoke of his own excitement about Nashville SC and sports in the city as a whole. “I’ve always been excited about professional sports in Nashville,” he told The Athletic.
John Carter Cash did stress that his father was not one for any sports — based on what the younger Cash told The Athletic, his father kicked a soccer ball all of once, during his time in the military in the 1950s.
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“From our opening match on Feb. 29th, 2020 when our supporters, The Backline, unveiled a Tifo with that famous Johnny Cash image, there has clearly been a strong connection between both The Cash Family and the NSC family,” Ian Ayre, Nashville SC’s CEO, said in a statement. “I don’t think there can be a greater tribute to Johnny’s place in music history or Nashville than to have a team full of Men in Black take the field on behalf of Nashville SC.”
As for when you’ll see the kit in action, Nashville SC revealed that the team will be channeling its inner Johnny Cash when they host New York City FC on February 25. Will they walk the line (in a soccer kind of way)? Tune in and see.