Vermont Green FC reveals kits for inaugural season
Co-founder Matt Wolff adds set to his portfolio
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Last Fall, Vermont Green FC announced its impending arrival on the Burlington sports scene, bringing semi professional soccer to the Green Mountain State. The Club’s USL 2 schedule gets underway this weekend in Boston, and thanks to one of the club’s founders, they’ll be hard to miss when they step on the pitch.
“I grew up playing soccer,” said Matt Wolff. “I played through college. I actually grew up in London, England. So I saw when I was over there as a boy how soccer clubs, football clubs, as they call them over there, can really be a positive community asset.”
Like most of us who grow up playing sports, there came a time for Wolf to hang up the cleats.
“After college, it became clear that I wasn’t gonna have a professional career in soccer, but I still wanted to be involved in the game,” Wolff said. “So I took my second biggest passion, design. Figure out if I couldn’t make it into a career.”
Wolff has made a pretty big name for himself in the game, designing crests and kits sported by the best players in the world as a freelancer and with Nike, where he worked for four years.
“Iit was like being in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory,” Wolff said of his time at Nike. “I was able to work on the French World Cup jerseys, and they actually ended up winning the World Cup. I worked with the Nigerian Federation, I’ve gotten to work with Chicago Fire recently of MLS, and Los Angeles FC.”
About two years ago, Wolff and a few of his friends and former teammates had an idea.
“At the beginning of the pandemic things kind of slowed down a little bit,” Wolff said. “We started to reflect on life and priorities and soccer. Some friends and I got together and kind of hatched this idea to create a minor league soccer club, right here in Burlington, Vermont.”
And when it came time to settle on a visual identity for the new club, Wolff naturally stepped up to the spot.
“I wanted to bring a little bit of funk to it, a little bit of irreverence,” Wolff said. “As I was looking at Vermont imagery, like green mountains and trees, eventually I kind of stumbled onto the smiley face.”
And as for the uniforms?
“The way I like to approach crests and kits is the crest is forever, but the kits, they can change. It’s the timelessness of a crest, but then sort of the timeliness or fashion forward approach to kits.”
The club officially unveiled its first set of kits on Friday afternoon to rave reviews on social media and from the players as well.
“Especially being from Vermont, Vermonters are gonna love the jerseys,” said Riley Urie, a Lake Region and UVM men’s soccer alumnus joining VGFC this Summer. “I would say my favorite is the cream color.”
“This shirt in particular...It’s very colorful and makes me stand out and everything,” Nate Silveira, UVM men’s soccer’s starting keeper who will also spend this Summer with VGFC. “As for the keeper jerseys, I think I naturally I’d have to like those the best.”
Wolff says the designs were meant to represent the people and culture of Vermont, from the green tie dye home, to the maple creemee away, and of course the fall foliage keeper kit. But he mostly hopes they capture fans’ attention and support of the club’s larger mission.
“I like when you see a kit from across the pitch or across the pub or across the street and you know immediately what it is: that’s definitely a Vermont Green FC kit,” Wolff said. “That would be a success here for me. And then once they’ve been drawn in potentially by the crest or the kits, then we can go a bit deeper with fans on our environmental justice mission, what we’re doing as a club to try to fulfill that mission, and how supporters can also join in that journey.”
Putting their money where their mouth is on that mission, Vermont Green FC went through a company called Player Layer to get their kits made from recycled polyesther. For fans who want to get their hands on one, Wolff says they’re available in limited quantities on the team’s website and at home games at Virtue Field. The first one of those slated for Saturday May 28th.
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