Orlando Pride unveiled their new jersey for the 2021 and 2022 season on Wednesday. Released on the final day of Women's History Month, the "Ad Astra" kit will serve as the primary kit over the next two seasons, and pays tribute to Central Florida's Space Coast.
"While this jersey itself is special, all that it represents is truly extraordinary, inspired by our very own Space Coast and some of history's iconic women. As a Club that strives to break barriers each and everyday, we are proud to celebrate the women, both on our Orlando Pride squad and beyond, who do the same," Orlando City SC and Orlando Pride CEO Alex Leitão said. "Thanks to the dedication of our team and support of our partners at Orlando Health, we are thrilled to really 'shoot for the stars' in our unveil of this kit and to continue investing in the women's game, including the launch of this jersey. We hope our fans love it as much as we do."
The new Pride club jersey is just the latest in unique custom kits across the league, with Chicago Red Stars and Portland Thorns FC releasing iconic custom kits just last season. The Pride unveiled the kit on Wednesday afternoon by launching the jersey into outer space, a historic moment in league history as NWSL continues to engage with fans ahead of the upcoming season. The top of Orlando's kit features a black color with a scattering of stars, and carries an all-white crest, the first time the club's jersey has featured a knockout crest design. The galaxy inspired onyx top half transitions into the club's iconic purple on the bottom, with the two colors meeting in a star-inspired pattern.
In extra detailing, the words "Ad Astra" are included at the bottom of the jersey as part of the design, and is styled after NASA mission patches. The latin phrase, common to space explorers, means "to the stars" and is written in a NASA-inspired font and surrounded by three prominent stars.
Those stars are meant to symbolize the "Hidden Figures" of NASA -- Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson -- the three female mathematicians who broke color and gender barriers at NASA, and helped John Glenn become the first American to orbit Earth. The Ad Astra embellishment also features a space capsule in a nod to Apollo 11, the spacecraft that carried the first humans to the Moon, while the white and blue lines remind us of the paramount flight trajectory hand-calculated by Johnson.
The Pride will kick off their Challenge Cup campaign on April 10 when the team travels to face expansion side Racing Louisville FC. Fans will have their first opportunity to see the Ad Astra kit in person on April 14, when the Pride host Sky Blue FC at Exploria Stadium.