Yesterday I gave you my ideas for renaming/rebranding the New England Revolution. Today I’m going to revisit my ideas for renaming/rebranding the rest of the league as well as adding in the clubs that didn’t exist yet in 2011 when I tried this for the first time.
Tackling the rest of MLS is a little more difficult as I don’t know as much about the cities/regions in question as I do about Boston/New England, but as there are no consequences (except where a certain Kansan club are concerned) I figure I will go ahead and spread my genius from sea to shining sea as it were!
All we really know about this franchise is that it will begin play in 2017 and it will play in black and red with gold trim. Plenty of possible ideas to work with, but somehow I don’t think “Hotlanta F.C.” is going to be the choice. HOWEVER, there’s something interesting about “ATL S.C.” or “ATL F.C.” For me, though, I think “Gate City S.C./F.C.” would be great. Too bad nobody has used that nickname in the last century, though.
This one is a bit tough. Chicago literally has a list of major and minor nicknames and none of them really lend themselves to a great club name. “Second City S.C.” which I proposed in 2011 is probably still my favorite, though I think I have a few great nicknames for the club! How about one of these: “The Toddlers” from the line in the song Chicago (“that toddling town…”) or the “Wheat Stackers” from the Carl Sandburg poem (did I mention my father taught American literature?) from his poem Chicago? On second thought, “Chicagoland F.C.” might be worth a look…
This is one of those franchises that really missed the mark when initially choosing its name. I know “Rapids” fell right in with the “Burn,” “Clash,” “Fusion” naming trend in early MLS, but if only they had tried a little! How about Rio Colorado C.F., or if you prefer the English version, Red River F.C.? Or, if like me you always default to the historical or literary, how about Centennial S.C., recognizing that Colorado became a state in 1876? No-brainers if you ask me!
Columbus Crew S.C.
Look, the new club crest is great, but the change from “Columbus Crew” to “Columbus Crew S.C.”- really? Not exactly a re-branding, is it? That being said, all of the nicknames for the city are pretty bad. Maybe something playing off the “Arch City” or “Discovery City” ideas? Seriously though, I got nothing.
No change needed here, one of the few franchises that got it right the first time- which is pretty good coming from a city that gave us such gems as the Nationals, Senators, Capitals, Wizards, etc.
Ugh. Look it’s better than the “Burn,” but what wouldn’t be? I realize it’s less Dallas-centric, but how do you not name this club “Lone Star S.C./F.C.” or “Lone Star Athletic,” or something similar? Not only does it scream “TEXAS!!,” but it would piss off the Houston Dynamo! Seriously, think of all the great star-motif kit designs that would naturally follow? Did you know that the demonym for those who live in Dallas is “Dallasite” or “Dallasonian?” That’s just terrible.
Speaking of Houston…this names still sounds like one that was rejected in the early years of the league. I know it comes from Houston’s status as an oil/energy city, but why not soccer-ize it and make in “Dynamo/Dinamo Houston?” Or, dump that whole theme and go with something honoring its role as American’s “Space City” with a modified NASA logo as the crest? Or maybe just “Purple Drank F.C.”
Apparently this is what they are going to go with when they begin play in 2017 and while it may be a little straight-forward, it at least gives the club a chance to have an organically produced nickname somewhere along the line. Although with Tony Robbins as one of the minority owners I was kind of hoping they might call it “Snake Oil F.C.” or maybe “Charlatan S.C.”
Los Angeles Galaxy
Another terrible holdover from the early days of the league. What in the world does the word “Galaxy” have to do with Los Angeles? Nothing as far as I can tell. For me there is really only one name for this club, and since “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula” would be tough to fit on a shirt, it has to be Queen of the Angels F.C.
Montreal Impact/Impact de Montreal
How do you join MLS and keep your terrible minor league name? Sure, it’s true to the awful names of early MLS, but it is still a faux-pas, no? What makes it so egregious is that a city like Montreal has so much more to offer and so many more options! I like A.S. Ville-Marie and Mount Royal F.C. (though in French it’s just, “Montreal F.C.”), but I LOVE Le Metropole 1642 and Olympique de Montreal! Historical, iconic, both lend themselves to kits with fleur de lis emblems and a light blue and white color scheme- perfect.
As much as I hate to say so with both Manchester City and the Yankees involved with this new franchise, I think they got it right. Their branding- from a visual standpoint- is great and if they are going to find a permanent home in one of the cities five boroughs then “N.Y.C. F.C.” is perfect and rubs the collective face of the “New York” Red Bulls in the dirt and that’s just fine with me.
New York Red Bulls
I think there are some great names available to this club- Empire S.C., Gotham S.C., Five Boroughs F.C., etc.- if they played in New York, which they do not. The best thing here would be for the club to adopt a name that has no geographical term(s) in it (like, I don’t know, “Metro-Stars?”), or a name that is more regional and thereby accepts the fact that they are not a New York club. Perhaps something based on the Port of NY/NJ? Or something industrial?
Orlando City S.C.
I don’t mind this one, mostly because it seems like this club is doing its very best to do things right- starting with getting a venture of this size off the ground without the almost expected help/involvement of Disney. I assume from their crest that they are nicknamed “The Lions,” not creative, but I’m fine with that too. Of the new teams joining MLS over the next few seasons they are the ones I hope do the best.
Again, as with Houston, if you’re going to do it, do it right, “Union Philadelphia.” I like the “Sons of Ben” as a supporters group name- though my personal experience with them is that they are a bunch of asshats. They have a great stadium in a great location (though not in Philly!). The club colors are fine. Short of renaming themselves “Cheesesteak Athletic” or “Joe Frazier F.C.” I don’t see many other obvious choices. Using the Liberty Bell or Independence Hall in the club nickname just seems too forced.
It’s kind of a dumb name, BUT, it does have history, an original, distinctive, and a bit goofy amalgamation of imagery and ritual has grown up around it, and that’s kind of the way it should be. Also, I am eternally grateful that these traditions were already firmly rooted before the hipster crowd latched onto this club, I shudder to think what might have happened had this not been the case…then again, would “Union Portlandia” really be that bad of a name?
Real Salt Lake
Everything about this club’s name and branding is just so phony. They’ve managed to steal wording and imagery from two great clubs- Barcelona and Real Madrid- that are rivals, they don’t play in Salt Lake City, and they’ve chosen a Spanglish name over and English (“Royal Salt Lake”) or Spanish (“Lago Salado Real”) one. Ick. I realize they probably want to stay away from Mormon-related imagery (“City of Saints”), but why not something incorporating the state nickname of the “Beehive State?” I can almost see the crest!
San Jose Earthquakes
They should have just changed from the “San Jose Clash” to “The Clash,” changed the club crest to include a silhouette of Joe Strummer and gone on from there- camouflage kits with “stencil” font names and numbers, supporters pogoing up and down as the P.A. blared “Wrong ’em Boyo!”- I could get behind that. Anyway, maybe something tying into both the Silicon Valley and the Gold Rush- a lot of mercury was mined near the city- Quicksilver S.C.?
Seattle Sounders F.C.
It’s funny how I feel so differently about this club that I do about the Portland Timbers. I can live with the name, but the kits are terrible, they need their own (bigg-ish) stadium, and a shirt sponsor that doesn’t make them seem like the creation of a video game company than they already do. Side note: is there a worse city flag than Seattle’s? It looks like something you’d find in a bad Sci-Fi movie.
Sporting Kansas City
Every other club with a terrible name, logo, color scheme should go to Sporting Park and take a class or something. This club was saddled with probably the worst name and the worst kits in MLS history and they completely- COMPLETELY- turned it around. So much so that they’ve made the ugly old look and name almost charmingly bad- almost. Also, if whomever is designing kits for this club could come up to Gillette Stadium and give a class, that’d be nice.
I kind of like “Queen City F.C.”- it reminds me of QPR in England and Queen of the South and Queen’s Park in Scotland, and honestly, this club needs to obliterate its history on and off the pitch and start off fresh. Or, embrace its history and call the club Perpetual Disappointment F.C.- or whatever the polite, Canadian version of that might be, “They Try So Hard S.C.?” Is “Rob Ford United” taken?
Vancouver Whitecaps F.C.
I get it- white capped waves, white/snow capped mountains. I know it’s a historical name as well, like that of the Sounds and Timbers, I just…I just expected better from a cit this cool. Like Chicago, this is a city with so many nicknames to work with that it has its own Wikipedia page. There’s got to be something better- Raincouver F.C., Van City Athletic, something?
Fire away commenters!!