Sometime in 2013, Major League Soccer watchers might catch 2011 champion Los Angeles Galaxy -- and U.S. soccer star Landon Donovan -- wearing something new, something a little different than their typical white/dark blue/gold combination.
And that's by design. Literally. Because this year, through a Facebook campaign, the club let fans come up with their own ideas for the team's alternate third kit.
"One of the things that we're very proud of is the relationship that we have with our fans, number one," said Chris Klein, a former Galaxy player now serving as team vice president. "And number two, how innovative we are on the social networking side."
Which means the Galaxy didn't just put up a poll asking for color preferences; "We didn't want to do something normal," Klein said. The club created a Facebook app that allowed fans to manipulate all sorts of aspects of the 2013 third kit -- stripes, a patch with a special message, etc.
Again, all of that was by design.
"When we first started this, we were talking and saying, 'Well, it's really only color choice, and that's not that much fun," Klein said. "But once you got into it ... there became more and more choices for our fans to design."
To spread the word, the club commissioned some relevant names in the Galaxy universe -- former star Cobi Jones, sideline reporter Heidi Watney, Klein himself and more -- to show off their own designs via YouTube video.
In the end, the team says it received more than 8,000 entries for the competition. Now it's down to five finalists -- seen below, as chosen by representatives from the Galaxy, adidas and sponsor Herbalife -- with voting open through Friday.
The winner gets to watch his or her kit on the field next year, in about five MLS games, plus international friendlies.
Note: These are stills courtesy of the L.A. Galaxy. To vote, visit the contest's Facebook page.
Designer's thoughts (all as told to LAGalaxy.com): "I kept the classic Galaxy colors in mind and chose a complementary color, light blue for an edge, and added touches of the classic white and gold to stay true to the Galaxy tradition. The gold is a great representation of the 2011-2012 MLS Champions!"
Designer's thoughts: "I wanted the jersey to be a throwback to the inaugural season. Though there are certainly some people who might not place that jersey among the nicest L.A. Galaxy kits throughout the years for its somewhat flamboyant appearance, I have always looked at that jersey as one of the most iconic kits in MLS history."
Designer's thoughts: "[I was inspired by] the old-school Galaxy colors, the colors that I grew up watching when I was a little kid."
Designer's thoughts: "It was Los Angeles Lakers' playoffs when I decided to create this kit. So the colors were like theirs, but I wanted to keep the Galaxy's tradition with the slash."
Designer's thoughts: "My design was inspired by the old gold jersey with the green stripe. I wanted the third kit to be a throwback to the past with a modern twist."