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San Francisco’s Soccer Team Keeps Making Unusually Good Jerseys

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Do you care about soccer? If the answer is “yes,” then good for you, carry on, beautiful game, etc., etc.

If the answer is “no,” you might be interested to learn that San Francisco’s City Football Club isn’t above trying to win you over by utilizing Excellent Graphic Design.

On Tuesday, SFCFC announced a partnership with Hollis Callas, the San Francisco artist and designer who cites the natural world as her primary inspiration. For those familiar with her work, it should come as little surprise that Callas’ jersey for the club features a wild parrot. The birds were, after all, included in Callas’ design for those vibrant, floral “I Voted” stickers. (Lest we forget that the parrots were also, somewhat controversially, voted San Francisco’s official animal in 2023.)

Callas’ design hit Instagram on Tuesday morning, posted to both her page and SFCFC’s.

A green t-shirt design featuring a green parrot with its red head nodded to one side.
Don’t care about soccer? Okay, but try and resist this parrot. (Instagram/ @holliscallas/ @sfcityfc)

SFCFC was founded in 2001, and is community-driven, both literally and figuratively — the club is 51% fan-owned. The team also leans hard into the motto seen on San Francisco’s flag since 1940: “Oro en Paz y Fierro en Guerra” — or “Gold in Peace, Iron in War.” (Variations on the phrase are already all over so much of the club’s increasingly desirable merch.)


Last month, the club collaborated with Church Barber and Apothecary on this limited edition jersey:

A Black man wearing a vertically striped shirt leans against a barber station with a mirror behind him.
Play soccer ever? Doesn’t matter if you like the design! (Instagram/ @churchbarber/ @sfcityfc)

Before that, the club embraced the logo of its sponsor, Muni, featuring its iconic wiggle on several team jerseys.

An orange football jersey featuring the red logo of San Francisco's MUNI.
Apathetic about soccer but love Muni? Try this on for size. (Instagram/ @sfcityfc)

In many ways, SFCFC doesn’t even seem to care if you pay them any soccer-related attention or not. Its official crest features the Golden Gate Bridge, the Transamerica Building, Sutro Tower — and nothing soccer-related whatsoever. In fact, its merch tells us over and over again that loving San Francisco is enough.

Why else would a soccer club have given us this Karl the Fog design?

A crewneck sweater featuring a cloud with a happy face waving a flag.
Can we cheer on this rendition of Karl going head-to-head with the Stay-Puft marshmallow man? (sfcityfc.com)

Or this nod to beloved local hero Robin Williams?

A red and black striped t-shirt with rainbow suspenders worked into the design.
A shirt that screams a love of ‘Mork & Mindy’-era Robin Williams and says almost nothing about soccer? Yay! (sfcityfc.com)

And, oh yes, here’s Sutro Tower again, though this one actually has a soccer ball on it, so… the beautiful game does have to come up now and again, I guess:

A black hoodie featuring the outline of a soccer ball and San Francisco's Sutro Tower surrounded by lightning bolts.
You kind of have to like soccer to wear this one, but still… cool idea. (sfcityfc.com)

Whichever design San Francisco City comes up with next, it would be cool to see the club collaborate with more local artists like Callas down the road. A Jeremy Fish sea lion/bear/bison? Just something to keep in mind, soccer people.

[March 25, 2024 Update: The Hollis Callas parrot kit is available to pre-order now.]

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