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Major League Soccer 1996


raysox

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Today I saw a great article on the first MLS season

http://www.complex.com/sports/2015/05/oral-history-major-league-soccer-first-season

About half way down they talk about the team names, and jerseys. Here are some interesting quotes by former commish Doug Logan on the matter.

The Columbus Crew hosted a match against the Kansas City Wiz. They call the Ohio State stadium [where Columbus played at the time] “the Shoe.” Columbus beat Kansas City and the headline was perfect: “Crew Takes Wiz in Shoe.” I still have it in a scrapbook somewhere. Lamar Hunt saw the headline and decided that we had to do something about the name.

Most telling—and this story does not get told often enough—is that we not only had logos, graphics, and names for existing teams, but also for expansion teams in the future. We knew we were going into Chicago, we just didn’t know if it was going to be in year three, five, or seven. It turned out we went into Chicago in year three, and when Phil Anschutz put up the money we already had a package ready to go for Chicago. We knew where we were going to play, we knew what the team name and colors were going to be, and we had the graphics.

The name we had selected for the Chicago team was the Rhythm, playing on Chicago blues. We put it before Anschutz and he personally didn’t much care one way or the other. However, there was an important player in the Anschutz organization at the time who did care: his personal secretary, a wonderful woman and a devout Catholic. She objected to the name because she could not think of anything more insulting than to have a team named for the only permissible form of contraception for Catholics. She was persuasive enough with Anschutz that it killed the team name. The fallback position was something safe and traditional for Chicago, the Chicago Fire. And that’s how the Chicago team got named the Fire instead of the Rhythm.

The article talks about how Nike made all the brands, and names because they wanted to Americanize the sport for a crowd that may not put up with a traditional game. But I thought that those two stories were worth sharing.

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Very interesting. I always think it's funny to see how loose the jerseys from the 90's was, while today you have Puma making soccer kits for Arsenal, Dortmund, etc. that are super tight.

Anyway, MLS has come a long way from '96. But when you consider the nicknames from '96, it still baffles me that people get so upset over team names with "FC" and "SC" in them and complain about them being boring. Would you rather your team be called the Wiz? Or the Burn? FC Dallas to me is a country mile (pun intended) better than the Dallas Burn.

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My only problem with initials like FC are that it's Major League Soccer, so all the teams are Soccer Clubs (SC). Not to mention we call them teams, not clubs--which is much more fitting, since they were all created as league-owned franchises, not organically grown as local clubs of friends/coworkers/neighbors--so even SC is misleading. That's why I think Nike had the right idea with [city name] [nickname] in creating the original MLS team identities. That's the American sports team naming convention. The only downside is that the team names (and uniforms) were entirely 90s.

Arsenal (Gunners), Manchester United (Red Devils), Tottenham (Hotspurs), Chelsea (Blues). It's not unprecedented. The nicknames just have to be timeless.

I love oral histories though and I'm def going to read this entire article.

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MLS has come a long way from '96. But when you consider the nicknames from '96, it still baffles me that people get so upset over team names with "FC" and "SC" in them and complain about them being boring. Would you rather your team be called the Wiz? Or the Burn? FC Dallas to me is a country mile (pun intended) better than the Dallas Burn.

Bingo.

Arsenal (Gunners), Manchester United (Red Devils), Tottenham (Hotspurs), Chelsea (Blues). It's not unprecedented. The nicknames just have to be timeless.

I'm not sure what your point is. Those teams are officially named Arsenal FC, Manchester United FC, Tottenham Hotspur FC (nicknamed "Spurs," not "Hotspurs"), and Chelsea FC.
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Yeah, I didn't fully explain what I meant there. Basically, I believe that since most teams around the world have 3 names (the full name, like Arsenal FC; the shorthand name, like Arsenal; and the nickname, like the Gunners) then it's nothing new or unusual to have American teams with a city name and nickname, for those who feel an aversion to MLS teams having nicknames.

Seattle Sounders FC (should be SC or ST though), Seattle, the Sounders.

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Arsenal (Gunners), Manchester United (Red Devils), Tottenham (Hotspurs), Chelsea (Blues). It's not unprecedented. The nicknames just have to be timeless.

Hotspur or Spurs, never Hotspurs. Lillywhites is also acceptable.

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zzk9oodtavc6ytw6wco7.jpg

Today I saw a great article on the first MLS season

http://www.complex.com/sports/2015/05/oral-history-major-league-soccer-first-season

About half way down they talk about the team names, and jerseys. Here are some interesting quotes by former commish Doug Logan on the matter.

The Columbus Crew hosted a match against the Kansas City Wiz. They call the Ohio State stadium [where Columbus played at the time] “the Shoe.” Columbus beat Kansas City and the headline was perfect: “Crew Takes Wiz in Shoe.” I still have it in a scrapbook somewhere. Lamar Hunt saw the headline and decided that we had to do something about the name.

Most telling—and this story does not get told often enough—is that we not only had logos, graphics, and names for existing teams, but also for expansion teams in the future. We knew we were going into Chicago, we just didn’t know if it was going to be in year three, five, or seven. It turned out we went into Chicago in year three, and when Phil Anschutz put up the money we already had a package ready to go for Chicago. We knew where we were going to play, we knew what the team name and colors were going to be, and we had the graphics.

The name we had selected for the Chicago team was the Rhythm, playing on Chicago blues. We put it before Anschutz and he personally didn’t much care one way or the other. However, there was an important player in the Anschutz organization at the time who did care: his personal secretary, a wonderful woman and a devout Catholic. She objected to the name because she could not think of anything more insulting than to have a team named for the only permissible form of contraception for Catholics. She was persuasive enough with Anschutz that it killed the team name. The fallback position was something safe and traditional for Chicago, the Chicago Fire. And that’s how the Chicago team got named the Fire instead of the Rhythm.

The article talks about how Nike made all the brands, and names because they wanted to Americanize the sport for a crowd that may not put up with a traditional game. But I thought that those two stories were worth sharing.

Overall, I'd take those 1996 uniforms over what they have now, the defunct Tampa Bay Mutiny had a good look. The modern MLS uniforms have the sponsor name larger than the team nickname, and it just looks minor league.

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zzk9oodtavc6ytw6wco7.jpg

Today I saw a great article on the first MLS season

http://www.complex.com/sports/2015/05/oral-history-major-league-soccer-first-season

About half way down they talk about the team names, and jerseys. Here are some interesting quotes by former commish Doug Logan on the matter.

The Columbus Crew hosted a match against the Kansas City Wiz. They call the Ohio State stadium [where Columbus played at the time] “the Shoe.” Columbus beat Kansas City and the headline was perfect: “Crew Takes Wiz in Shoe.” I still have it in a scrapbook somewhere. Lamar Hunt saw the headline and decided that we had to do something about the name.

Most telling—and this story does not get told often enough—is that we not only had logos, graphics, and names for existing teams, but also for expansion teams in the future. We knew we were going into Chicago, we just didn’t know if it was going to be in year three, five, or seven. It turned out we went into Chicago in year three, and when Phil Anschutz put up the money we already had a package ready to go for Chicago. We knew where we were going to play, we knew what the team name and colors were going to be, and we had the graphics.

The name we had selected for the Chicago team was the Rhythm, playing on Chicago blues. We put it before Anschutz and he personally didn’t much care one way or the other. However, there was an important player in the Anschutz organization at the time who did care: his personal secretary, a wonderful woman and a devout Catholic. She objected to the name because she could not think of anything more insulting than to have a team named for the only permissible form of contraception for Catholics. She was persuasive enough with Anschutz that it killed the team name. The fallback position was something safe and traditional for Chicago, the Chicago Fire. And that’s how the Chicago team got named the Fire instead of the Rhythm.

The article talks about how Nike made all the brands, and names because they wanted to Americanize the sport for a crowd that may not put up with a traditional game. But I thought that those two stories were worth sharing.

Overall, I'd take those 1996 uniforms over what they have now, the defunct Tampa Bay Mutiny had a good look. The modern MLS uniforms have the sponsor name larger than the team nickname, and it just looks minor league.

You have to be kidding. Every single one of those would instantly be the worst in the league, save for DC and Tampa. Have you ever seen a soccer match? The sponser logo is always upfront on the kit, with the crest usually being above the heart.

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I never noticed back then that some of the team's shared the same template. Tampa and Dallas were the same, as well as the set of LA, SJ, and NYNJ.

New York New Jersey, a worse identifier than Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim?

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Arsenal (Gunners), Manchester United (Red Devils), Tottenham (Hotspurs), Chelsea (Blues). It's not unprecedented. The nicknames just have to be timeless.

Hotspur or Spurs, never Hotspurs. Lillywhites is also acceptable.

Also try to avoid The Spurs. It's just Spurs.

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My only problem with initials like FC are that it's Major League Soccer, so all the teams are Soccer Clubs (SC). Not to mention we call them teams, not clubs--which is much more fitting, since they were all created as league-owned franchises, not organically grown as local clubs of friends/coworkers/neighbors--so even SC is misleading. That's why I think Nike had the right idea with [city name] [nickname] in creating the original MLS team identities. That's the American sports team naming convention. The only downside is that the team names (and uniforms) were entirely 90s.

Arsenal (Gunners), Manchester United (Red Devils), Tottenham (Hotspurs), Chelsea (Blues). It's not unprecedented. The nicknames just have to be timeless.

I love oral histories though and I'm def going to read this entire article.

Club is the traditional way of referring to professional soccer teams. In soccer, team is more general than club--e.g., if you were to ask a player which team he/she plays for, the answer could be a professional team or a national team. On the other hand, if you were ask a player which club he/she plays for, the answer will always be a professional team.

Soccer is short for association football, so I don't care if Major League Soccer teams prefer to call themselves football clubs instead of soccer clubs. Soccer is an international sport, so it makes sense to adhere to the conventions like FC and club.

Yeah, I didn't fully explain what I meant there. Basically, I believe that since most teams around the world have 3 names (the full name, like Arsenal FC; the shorthand name, like Arsenal; and the nickname, like the Gunners) then it's nothing new or unusual to have American teams with a city name and nickname, for those who feel an aversion to MLS teams having nicknames.

Seattle Sounders FC (should be SC or ST though), Seattle, the Sounders.

The difference being that many (maybe even most) soccer teams around the world don't have official nicknames, their nicknames have been given them by media, fans, and opponents. Several teams have multiple nicknames, for example--

City, the Citizens, the Sky Blue for Mancester City

Villa, the Villans, the Lions, the Claret and Blue for Aston Villa

los Blancos, los Merengues, or los Galicticos for Real Madrid

los Groguets or el Submarino Amarilla for Villareal

And these unofficial nicknames are never used in combination with the team name--Mancester United Red Devils or Real Madrid Merengues, which is why it's feels weird for many soccer fans to use team name plus nickname combination when referring to MLS team.

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zzk9oodtavc6ytw6wco7.jpg

Today I saw a great article on the first MLS seasonhttp://www.complex.com/sports/2015/05/oral-history-major-league-soccer-first-season

About half way down they talk about the team names, and jerseys. Here are some interesting quotes by former commish Doug Logan on the matter.

The Columbus Crew hosted a match against the Kansas City Wiz. They call the Ohio State stadium [where Columbus played at the time] “the Shoe.” Columbus beat Kansas City and the headline was perfect: “Crew Takes Wiz in Shoe.” I still have it in a scrapbook somewhere. Lamar Hunt saw the headline and decided that we had to do something about the name.

Most telling—and this story does not get told often enough—is that we not only had logos, graphics, and names for existing teams, but also for expansion teams in the future. We knew we were going into Chicago, we just didn’t know if it was going to be in year three, five, or seven. It turned out we went into Chicago in year three, and when Phil Anschutz put up the money we already had a package ready to go for Chicago. We knew where we were going to play, we knew what the team name and colors were going to be, and we had the graphics.

The name we had selected for the Chicago team was the Rhythm, playing on Chicago blues. We put it before Anschutz and he personally didn’t much care one way or the other. However, there was an important player in the Anschutz organization at the time who did care: his personal secretary, a wonderful woman and a devout Catholic. She objected to the name because she could not think of anything more insulting than to have a team named for the only permissible form of contraception for Catholics. She was persuasive enough with Anschutz that it killed the team name. The fallback position was something safe and traditional for Chicago, the Chicago Fire. And that’s how the Chicago team got named the Fire instead of the Rhythm.

The article talks about how Nike made all the brands, and names because they wanted to Americanize the sport for a crowd that may not put up with a traditional game. But I thought that those two stories were worth sharing.

Overall, I'd take those 1996 uniforms over what they have now, the defunct Tampa Bay Mutiny had a good look. The modern MLS uniforms have the sponsor name larger than the team nickname, and it just looks minor league.

You have to be kidding. Every single one of those would instantly be the worst in the league, save for DC and Tampa. Have you ever seen a soccer match? The sponser logo is always upfront on the kit, with the crest usually being above the heart.

I think one sponsor on a soccer uniform really adds something to it most of the time (exception: 2014/15 Roma), but with less than one it looks bland, with more than one it looks cluttered and forced.

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it still baffles me that people get so upset over team names with "FC" and "SC" in them and complain about them being boring. Would you rather your team be called the Wiz? Or the Burn? FC Dallas to me is a country mile (pun intended) better than the Dallas Burn.

Yes. Being from KC, I would prefer KC Wizards to Sporting KC. Is it a strange name that screams "1990s"? Sure. But you know what, that's the history. For a league so into years of inception, they sure don't mind revising history. As a person who enjoys soccer (but isn't a die hard fan) I would prefer hokey nicknames to contrived plagiarism.

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The Chicago Rhythm story is pure hogwash. The name and its associated cobra branding were created by Nike, but got quashed by Peter Wilt and the other people on the ground level of founding what would become the Fire, not by some Helen Lovejoy at AEG's offices.

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I wonder if MLS clubs will have throwback kits next year to commemorate the 20th anniversary, even though some of the kits were Nike. I'd love to see KC be the Wiz and NYRB to be the Metrostars one more time.

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