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The United States Invitational (Forest Park Hearts Posted)

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Boston Young Boys, just after the war?

Thought it may be a bit more patriotic, patriots didn't start up until 1960

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Nice! I like Cleveland’s logo, plain and simple, but Chicago’s is my favorite so far. The classic c with the cleavers in the middle is amazing. Also I think you should use the greasers as Detroit’s nickname. It’s perfect for the time the league takes place in, and gives Detroit a separate identity from the other vehicle-based teams in the city.

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2 hours ago, tigers said:

Boston Young Boys, just after the war?

Thought it may be a bit more patriotic, patriots didn't start up until 1960

Well they are an organization that started way before war time as a place for youth to go and better themselves.. it just so happens that their soccer team took off and has become very well known.

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Team: Athletic Michigan

Nickname: Greasers

Founded: 1932

Owner: Russell Bucker

Stadium: New Detroit Stadium

Capacity: 6000

 

The team that rose from ashes, Athletic Michigan was once a below average team with below average fans that did not relate itself to the city of Detroit in any way shape or form. On the verge of folding in 1947, Russell Bucker bought the team and started to target the Michigan youth as the base of their fans, knowing they were the key to the future, and man did it work. By rebranding the team into an automotive subculture dream, the greasers flew up from the ashes without any flaw in the business strategy finishing middle of the table in their first year under new management. in their second and third year their fanbase, being the first true ultras in the United States who call themselves the Grease Jockeys, pushed their beloved team straight to the top of the Michigan Regional League. Biggest problem for Athletic Michigan right now is they are at capacity every game, causing dangerous overflow in the stadium if the traffic is not properly moved. A plan to expand by adding over 4000 seats to the classic New Detroit Stadium is in place for 1951, until then some fans must sit outside the gate, looking in and cheering on the most well backed team in the Invitation. On another note, Russell Bucker has recently toyed with the idea of renaming the team Athletic Detroit, but with the invitation coming soon he is having second thoughts, wanting to represent every individual in Michigan with a Football dream. What do you guys think?

When it comes to competition Michigan will probably be more of a mystery, William Miller picked this team not only based off their talent but because he feels they will bring the atmosphere the Invitation needs. Look for them to finish comfortably in the middle of their group. 

 

Nickname: The Greasers, meant to appeal to the youth automotive subculture of lower class Detroit, or anyone that had a deep interest in the automotive industry at the time, which was basically all of Detroit. Like said before, Athletic Michigan ate this name up, wearing it on their chest with pride, being able to own and relate to the name really drove interest in the new Football craze in the state. It also began a new, confusing hand and hand friendship between the Football and automotive community that no one could have guessed would happen.

 

Logo and Kit: Athletic Michigan's logo is a large part of the 1947 overhaul to include more of an automotive theme to their brand. Instead of a true roundel, Athletic instead went for a classy white wall tire to boarder their interlocking M and A logo with a fleur that sits nicely below the letters. The kits are an appealing light blue, this is the only thing that does not relate to Detroit, it is purely just Mr. Bucker's favorite color and he felt it gave a light/ hopeful feeling moving away from the dark red color the original Athletic Michigan used. A vertical line down the middle of the jersey, according to Russ, was suppose to give the look of the lines down the middle of the road without being too obvious. Honestly, many fans of other teams think that is a stretch , but, again, the AM fans love the meaning of it and embrace what their adored Owner says.

2TWCJiy.jpg

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The colors look amazing. My favorite part of this set is the crest, it looks like a perfect crossover between Detroit and a soccer logo. The fleur de lis is a great touch from the flag. I like the colors, but the uniforms are a bit out of the ordinary. They are not bad, just different.

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On 6/6/2018 at 8:38 AM, BellaSpurs said:

Detroit/Michigan is the best one yet good work!

 

On 6/5/2018 at 8:19 PM, SpartanDesigns said:

The colors look amazing. My favorite part of this set is the crest, it looks like a perfect crossover between Detroit and a soccer logo. The fleur de lis is a great touch from the flag. I like the colors, but the uniforms are a bit out of the ordinary. They are not bad, just different.

Thank you for the kind words! These uniforms were meant to be different. With no clash/away uniforms around for most leagues yet, unless they were just white shirts, teams wanted to separate themselves in leagues heavily populated by teams in the same area. Being unique helped draw fans. Work has been busy so if not tonight, you’ll be seeing Baltimore tomorrow.

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Team: Bayside Football Club

Nickname: Builders/Bees

Founded: 1927

Owner: Christopher Cooper

Stadium: Chesapeake Place

Capacity: 4000

 

A team dedicated to the ship building Baltimore is more than well known for, Bayside FC splashes into the invitation being the newly crowned champions of the biggest regional league on the East Coast, and only second in the USA next to the California league. If you are wondering, this league covers the entirety of Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland, including 42 teams, so Bayside is something to talk about. This has not always been the case though, the team has always been connected to Baltimore's ship building history it had no actual ties to the club besides logo and nickname. This was until Christopher Cooper, 62 year old millionaire, bought the team and injected as much cashflow as he could. Giving Bayside more money in one year than the club has seen in its whole existence. Being a huge fan of football, Chris always loved the sport and wanted to be associated to it in some way, but never thought it would go anywhere from regional leagues so he did not waste his time. This was changed when Mr. Cooper, being close friends with Will's father for many years, heard of little Miller's plan to Unite the best teams, and he saw potential in it. Not being from Baltimore, Cooper took interest in the team because of their nod to an industry he gained a good chunk of his money from and because it was such a large league. He knew that being on top of a league so populated must catch Will's eye and make Bayside a must have for the invitation. In their 1949-50 season Bayside went from 8th in the table to 1st, and the road to the invite was history from there.

 

There was a little bump though, unlike any other teams in the invitation PHILA Football and Bayside FC did get the chance to play a friendly 3 weeks prior to the tournament to get a feel for the competition. The games ended with PHILA winning 5-2 on a two game aggregate. Placing Bayside at less than likely to win it all for most.

 

Nickname: Bayside is the only team with multiple nicknames in this league. Of course Builders is what is pushed for most out of the organization to give recognition to an industry and the hard working people in it that built the city of Baltimore, but the "Bees" name is a very close second. The Bayside Bee name popularity came in the mid 30s when the team switched to Black and Yellow horizontal stripes to match their city flag. Yes, it was suppose to give a deeper feel of Baltimore, but fans found it a lot more fun to go the Bee route. Management is thinking to soon make the move to change the team official nickname to the "Builder Bees", but everyone is very unsure of it. Would it be too much to connect the history and the fun? What do you guys think?

 

Logo and Kit: This logo is pretty straight forward, a ship's wheel to represent the ship building industry that the team is so proud of with a clip of the Baltimore flag in the middle that was semi recently introduced with the black and yellow kits in the 30s. To follow up on that kit talk, again, these bad boys are black and yellow horizontal lines with black shorts and yellow socks that give the uniform a bee like vibe. You can look for variations of this over the years but if you hate the look get ready to hate the team because Baltimore loves its Bees.

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Thank you for being patient, just PHILA left to post before some simulation (Yes, this is more than concepts). Would love to hear your favorite history, logo, kit, and all around team so far! Want to know who you are cheering for too so I can gauge the fanbases! 

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The obvious way to change the team name is the "Worker Bees"

But I'm probably gonna throw my hat in with the Young Boys!

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2 minutes ago, Darknes said:

The obvious way to change the team name is the "Worker Bees"

But I'm probably gonna throw my hat in with the Young Boys!

Yea you would think so right? But I think it’s more of the history they have connected to that builder name. If any change were to come I think “Worker Bees” is the best way to commit to the merge with the backing of fans, you are right. Let us see the general feeling towards it.

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Well my Top 3 Kits so far have been 

Michigan

Bayside
Young Boys

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I agree that worker bees is a great route if you combine them. I think that something you could possibly do is something like what the MLB’s Oakland Athletics do and call them the Builders, and nickname them B’s (Bees) for short. As for the uniform, I usually don’t like heavily striped kits, but I actually enjoyed this one. Props on that. The logo definitely serves its purpose well.

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Team: Philadelphia Football

Nickname: Brothers

Founded: 1948

Owner: Franklin Procobe and Douglas Procobe

Stadium: Liberty Park

Capacity: 4200

 

What better story to have in the City of Brotherly Love than the one of Franklin and Douglas Procobe. Once feuding teenagers, the Procobe brothers both had their own teams playing as the biggest rivalry in the Penn Regional League, being known for having their games turn into brawls. Franklin's Keystones and Douglas's Kickers switched back and forth at number one and two through the 1940s when the league was still trying to find its footing. Then at the peak of all of the brotherly hate fueled drama their father fell sick and died from unknown causes in 1947. This left both brothers crippled with emotional pain to the point where Franklin decided to cease operations for his team, while Douglas still owned his team but decided not to play. This led to an unfortunate 3rd place finish for the team, making it the first time in 6 years that one of the brothers did not get to hold the trophy. After the season, Franklin and Douglas both realized they wanted back in on what made them happiest in life and a distraction from their pain. Their Father's death ultimately ended up uniting the brothers and the two failing football teams into one, PHILA Football. The combination of the two squads created a lot of feuds in the club that were eventually ironed out through the leadership of the brothers and if someone did not want to commit to the new team Franklin and Douglas made sure that they would tell that player to not let the door hit them on the way out. This power packed Pennsylvania team headed by the strike partnership of the Procobe brothers showed dominant in their first two seasons beating out second place by 10 points their first year and going undefeated in the 1949-50 season. This made them a must have in the Invite and an absolute force when it came to the competition. A fair amount of fans would put money on this team to win the group if not the whole thing depending on the teams they are put up against after seeing them tear through Bayside in friendly competition leading to the Invitational.

 

Nickname: Although united, the two were still up in arms about nicknames and colors. They were even at the point of going with "Keystone Kickers" up until their mother demanded they stop being ridiculous. They decided to end on Brothers, a name that would tell the history for years to come but not be wordy, it fit well for the two and the city itself.

 

Logo and Kit: This one took forever to figure out but after looking over the boards for awhile I got inspiration from @raysox and his Harrisburg City concept in his US Soccer 2030 thread. The keystone ball was perfect for the team, of course I modified it and placed my own ball, but the look fit like a glove. Franklin loved the Keystone and Douglas enjoyed that it took the roundel text from the logo originally on his team's chest. This logo might change if you guys feel like it does not show enough creativity or there is a better idea, but for now I really am happy with the look. The kit was a mystery as well, again, the brothers tooled around with combining the colors of their recently defunct teams but that would have smashed together orange, purple, yellow, and green. They realized that it would just not work after messing around with a look for a concerning amount of time. They settled and took inspiration from the cities flag, yellow and blue it was, and it looked pretty classy. With the traditional sash from the Keystones team and the two colored sleeves from the Kickers, the only actual combo from the two past teams that looked good together and unique enough to make them stand out.

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Next up is the 1950 US Invite results! Might be a longer post so strap in. Also, sorry it took so long with all the teams, I have seen a lot of fictional leagues absolutely ruined before they started here on the boards due to content neglect and I wanted to give you something visual that makes you feel like you were there. You guys have any bets on who will take it? Might be hard with such little information.

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I like Philadelphia’s soccer ball crest, especially the keystone. As you said, I don’t have too much information to predict from, so I am going to say that Detroit will win. I couldn’t say why, I just kind of feel like it. It would also be cool to see BYBC do good 

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Before we start here is what the Invite provided clash jerseys will look like. These will be worn in worse case scenario.

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The 1950 United States Invitational

 

On May 14th, 1950 the first ever invitational game kicked off between Boston Young Boys and Athletic Motor City which gauged the absolute war that was Group A. BYBC ended the game with a 2-1 win off an unlikely goal in the 85th minute from 16 year old midfielder Aaron Ward, who was subbed on in the 70th minute due to an injury to another young 19 year old up and coming star. From there group A duked it out and when the dust settled BYBC ended up on top when contending Bayside ended in a draw with Athletic to ultimately close the door on both clubs. No one expected this from BYBC, but that might have been their advantage in this competition.

 

Group B was a different story, without a doubt the two top teams were pitted together in this double round robin and Chicago took cover while watching the other two trade blows. Although Empire was able to grab a tie against PHILA their end was met when PHILA goalkeeper, Taylor Wright, put on a real performance stopping 8 shots by Empire, resulting in a 3-0 PHILA win. As for Chicago, they might as well have not shown up... well to be fair anyone placed in that division would have taken a beating from the raw talent of Empire and PHILA.

 

YR3NsLT.jpg

 

(On to the "Power Rankings", this is a short summary of most teams in the competition with some highlights.)

 

Power Rankings

 

1. PHILA Football

Everyone can agree that PHILA was dominant in the group. With highlight games of 7-2 against Chicago and 3-0 against Empire they proved to be a force that was not going to be stopped.

 

2. Empire New York

Poor Empire, if they were not in a group with PHILA there would have been a real heavyweight battle seen in the Semis. The performance they put together was enough to land them some high praise.

 

3. Bayside FC

Maybe most controversial pick, Bayside seemed to not have lived up to their full potential in this competition, but looked better than BYBC until a midway red card gave BYBC the opportunity to pounce on them.

 

4. BYBC

Great group of young lads that deserve to be taken a little more seriously. This is what gave them the opportunity to make it so far in this invitation, while people were sleeping on them they snuck up and pulled the rug from under them. With the hottest prospects in the United States there can only be up from here.

 

5/6. Athletic MC and Club Chicago

Some would say it is unfair to put Chicago down here due to their stomping of hopes from the beginning, but at the same time they were the only winless team. Both clubs were seen as equal at the end of it all, not far worse but enough to be last. These two will play in friendly games in the coming months to test their teams before the season.

 

 

The Semifinals - BYBC vs PHILA

What should have been some fun games for all, quickly turned into a nightmare for Boston and its fans. Although the kids kept pace for 49 minutes with the high flying PHILA team, the flood gates opened when Franklin Procobe connected on an absolute screamer outside of the box in the 49th minute then went on to retain possession off of a bobbled defensive play to loft one over the keeper to make it 2-0 in the 52nd minute. These goals quickly crushed hope and PHILA went on to win 4-0 in front of a pleased home crowd. The trip to Boston got worse, the fans were trying there best to keep hope but when Franklin again connected for his 9th goal in 6 games the crowd fell silent and braced for another 4 goals scored that day by the Brothers. This ended Boston's unlikely run with a 9-0 aggregate score.

F2UpaUf.jpg

 

 

The Finals - Cleveland vs PHILA

11,000 fans showed up to the first game in Cleveland franchise history on a warm May night with high hopes of their new team to be the best in the world, but they were sadly mistaken. If not for their goalie the game would have ended with 10 in the back of the Cleveland net that night but, thankfully, the best case scenario happened and they only got a 5-0 beating. Franklin again set fire to the opposing team with 4 goals, setting up a 14 goal tournament standard for top striker that would be hard to live up to. While Mr. White was struck by realization of his team being average at best the PHILA team was receiving the first ever Invite Trophy.

ZvLpyOx.jpg

 

Overall, the Invite was considered a success. This gave exposure to the teams involved and extra cash in the club's pockets from game revenue on top of Will's generous funding of the teams. In the next post we will learn about how this funding has helped these teams during their own seasons and track the growth of the clubs, whether it be uniforms, logos, players, or league success. We will also get to see the reconstruction of the tournament format and the new team that will even out the groups for next year. Want to guess where they are?

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Good for phila, that looked like a breeze for them. It would be logical to put a team in the same area as the other teams, maybe somewhere like DC or Indianapolis, but I think that expanding towards southern America to cities like Virginia Beach, Charlotte, or even somewhere in Florida would be great.

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Hey all, I know it has been a little while for it being so early in the history but I like some detail. Work really got going recently so I am going to try to sum up the time between the two invites fast.

 

Between 1950 and 1951 Invite

 

1950 World Cup

Like in our history, the USA made some noise by stealing a win from England, but lost every other game in the group. Apart from the home for the teams in our story, nothing else changed when it came to outcome.

 

Before Regional Seasons

Prior to the seasons starting for our beloved invitation teams, a couple of the clubs played friendlies with different motivations. Athletic and Chicago duked it out in a home and home series where Chicago wanted to prove that they did not have a fair group in the Invitation and Michigan wanted to keep Chicago in the basement talks of the tournament. Athletic ultimately came out on top winning both games combined for a score of 3-1.

 

The other two teams to play friendly games were less in it for the rights of who was better but more because the owners of the clubs got along very well, with a great amount of respect. It was PHILA and Empire going head to head in a couple of tune up matches prior to a season where both were heavy favorites. Knowing their status, the games were more of a celebration of how good they were, both teams leaving arms around one another going into the locker rooms. There was even a rumor of a few beers being shared on the sideline. This party ended with Empire edging out PHILA with one win and a tie.

 

Regional Seasons

 

There was no big headlines during the regional season whatsoever. All 8 teams participating in the tournament for 1951 ran away with their league with ease. The only problem had by anyone was from the smaller regional clubs expressing their distaste in the monopoly being built from the Invitation. The one team affected by this the most was PHILA, being threatened to be thrown out of their league if they were to renew their partnership with the Invitation after the 1951 event. This started to cause tension in the club and other clubs around PHILA in the tournament who quite liked the brother duo, such as Empire and Boston. But that was future problems, the 1951 Invite was set in stone and ready to go.

 

Player News

 

Boston's developing side was becoming stronger with previously mentioned Ward running the helm now at the age of 17. Him and the dominant young defense they have put together was starting to worry other teams in the tournament. Another notable player on their team that started to make noise durning the season was their goalie of all prospects. Mark Burd put up a total of 12 clean sheets in the 20 games he was in between the sticks and should be considered a threat going into 1951. Only thing that would bring them down is the old Sophomore year slump.

 

Other news includes Chicago's attempt to settle down their brutal play with some skilled players from around Illinois, of course this made the team look better but feuds in the locker room might be the unravelling of this teams play.

 

Bayside also made a statement when they forced the nearest club to them to collapse during the season. They then continued their quest for dominance by picking up the big names on that clubs side to really become a force contesting with the big dogs in the Invite. These players were only picked up weeks prior to tournament play so media seem uneasy about where they will really stand at the end of it all.

 

Jersey News

 

Two jerseys debut in the time following and leading up to the Invite. First was Empire, making history as the first team in the Invitation sporting their own clash jersey. They make this decision due to the popularity of black kits in the Regional league they are in. Their "Empire Orange" jersey gives them a lighter feel on the field making them unmistakable from the stands and they are adored, like everything about the team, by their fans. These kits were first shown in their home friendly against PHILA, giving an eye pleasing Orange vs Blue match for the fans. pKMTxSL.jpg

The other big jersey reveal came from Bayside a week before the Invite, the jersey being made specifically so they would not have to wear the clash kits given to them last Invite. The white was too light for the team the players said, it was so bad that their captain went as far as saying that he could not take himself seriously as a Bayside man wearing all white. The fix for this was a "Ship Steel" gray look that was trimmed in Bayside's usual gold color. Although still darker, this kit was vastly different from their normal "Bee" look and would do fine as a switch jersey. 

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The final, most exciting bit of news prior to the 1951 Invite was that the new team joining the pack would be a very small market team from the St. Louis area in Missouri. Where they lack in size, they make up in pure talent that deserves to go beyond their unrecognized league. The name of the team is the Forest Park Hearts and they will have a full reveal in the upcoming days. Until then, here is their crest!

oTUGnG9.jpg

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Let's go Boys! It's a long climb up!

That Crest seems to give me a Florentina vibe, so I'm ready for the Purple kits!

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Team: Forest Park Hearts

Nickname: Grads/Expos/Hearts

Founded: 1904

Owner: Forest Park Recreation Division

Stadium: Exposition Park

Capacity: 1200

 

The Forest Park Hearts are a tiny team nestled into the park they are named after in St. Louis, MO. Started in 1904 by the park as a part of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, they were more of a novelty act who played games to entertain spectators of the 7 month event. After their stint of fun play Forest Park decided to become serious about their game, entering the MO-IA Regional league and gaining a steady footing fast. For the next 40 years the team slowly turned into the most average team in football history at the time, finishing between 9th and 11th for 10 years straight in the late 20s/early 30s. Their success came when local college grads decided that they wanted to continue playing after education, but not do it at the most serious of clubs, and at the time Forest Park had to be the most laid back team in the league. These boys were good though and shot the Hearts straight to the top, becoming the most competitive organization in the MO-IA league. Although the lads are gaining age, they still have a steady stream of players coming from the local colleges that put out some top tier work day in and day out, this is what really caught Will Miller's eye. Being the first expansion to the tournament no one is giving the Hearts the time of day due to them being a year behind in their funding, but most Forest fans believe that they have a steady base of talent and the funds gained from the Invite would be to grow the club in a way to become top of their market rather than go towards players. It is likely Forest Park will end in the middle of the group, but put out a performance that will gain the attention and respect of other teams.

 

Nickname: This club have an absolute mess of names that switch from year to year depending on what the fans are feeling. Of course, their first name was the hearts because Forest Park is considered "The Heart of St. Louis", making the name fit perfectly. Another name picked up at around the same time was the Expos, based on their performance given to people who attended the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, but as time has gone by they no longer are  tied to the expo as much due to their success overshadowing their roots. Instead, many like to call the club the "Grads" now because of their large college grad population that wears the purple and gold.

 

Logo and Kit: The diamond logo has been around since the beginning in some way as a representation of St. Louis, and the heart that sits in the middle just like Forest Park is the pride and joy of the team. In recent years the team has added a diamond shaped H in the middle of the crest to give more character to the logo. As for the kits, on their main jersey they wear their thin vertical stripes with pride that show 4 evenly spaced gold stripes and one red stripe right down the middle to represent Forest Park, making it known they are there, bold and in the middle of it all. The clash kit keeps the same concept but moves the stripes and purple to the arms, making it different from their main jersey but represents everything that the club stands for still.

 

UISn4ru.jpg

 

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