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FC Tulsa focuses on community ties with unveiling of 2022 kits

 FC Tulsa's 2022 kits are made by new apparel partner Puma. The team will continue to wear a black "state" and a white "city" kit.
FC Tulsa's 2022 kits are made by new apparel partner Puma. The team will continue to wear a black "state" and a white "city" kit.

FC Tulsa will have a new look on the soccer field in 2022, though it’s more subtle than the 2019 rebrand from the Roughnecks.

The team has changed official apparel sponsors, moving on from Adidas and striking a multiyear deal with Puma. The new uniforms were unveiled during a Thursday night event at Circle Cinema.

Players will still don all-black “state” and all-white “city” kits, but they’ll have a few design tweaks and be made of lighter materials. Goalkeeper Sean Lewis said he’s pleased with them.

"You know, we always say, 'Look good, feel good, play good.' So, we're excited to get out there in some pretty sharp stuff," Lewis said.

Jerseys will continue to incorporate symbols showing the club’s ties to the community: A gold Oklahoma star on the state kit and a green Tulsa flag shield on the city one. A pair of crossed, gold wrenches on the nape of the neck represent FC Tulsa's Black Gold Derby wins over the past two seasons against cross-state rivals Oklahoma City Energy. Midfielder Eric Bird said they’re sources of pride.

"And so, being able to represent that on our jerseys on the field is really important to us. Just little details, like the Greenwood patch that we had last year, and we want to continue to have that on our shirts," Bird said.

The Greenwood Ave. patch designed by local artist Trey Thaxton will stay on the right sleeve of jerseys in 2022. Proceeds from sales of the patch will continue to go toward the Black Wall Street Memorial.

The team has stepped up its efforts to be part of the community, including hosting a soccer league for disadvantaged youths and learning about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. FC Tulsa President James Cannon said the Circle Cinema unveiling is another part of belonging to the community.

"We talk a lot about wanting to build a group of FC Tulsa insiders, the people that are close to the club, following the club and rewarding them with things of this nature. So, to have a tremendous turnout, about 150 folks come out on a weeknight to be the first to catch a glimpse of the new jerseys and what they mean is really exciting," Cannon said.

Cannon said despite the switch from Adidas to Puma, the team will continue wearing its mural kits, which were designed from the club’s mural project at north Tulsa’s Monroe Demonstration Academy.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.