Major League Soccer’s official match ball for 2019 will commemorate the 1994 FIFA World Cup, the only time the tournament was held in the United States.
MLS and adidas unveiled the design decision Tuesday, just months after FIFA awarded the 2026 World Cup to North America, with matches planned in the U.S., Mexico and Canada.
The NATIVO QUESTRA ball features an outer space theme, one that has popped up throughout the years. It includes a galaxy-like design in red, white and blue, reminiscent of the ’94 World Cup match ball that honored the 25th anniversary of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission.
Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of that mission.
The new design is more detailed than the previous one and includes a shinier surface with a “metallic prism effect.”
According to MLS, the 2019 match ball will also include “improved internal materials” that allow for smoother movement and better force distribution. The ball also boasts the ability to not pick up water.
Before the NATIVO QUESTRA makes it to a 2019 MLS regular-season match, it will first see action in January.
Players at the MLS Combine in Orlando and the MLS SuperDraft in Chicago will use the new ball. Preseason matches in February will use the new ball as well.