Gothamite

North American Pro Soccer 2019

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I mean there's a bit of Euro-pandering on either side, I'd say?

 

Like the pro/rel truthers and franchise panic is generally insufferable.

 

BUT I also don't like the ease with which MLS is willing to toss aside its own history because it doesn't fit the current template of success. Take the Fire, or the Wizards -- maybe there's a whiff of corny MLS 1.0, but there's also strong branding and at least a couple title wins in there, and it feels like throwing the baby out with the bathwater to dump that because it doesn't sound sufficiently English (or...Portuguese?) in my opinion.

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So Andrew Hauptman is not going to be in MLS much longer. 

 

Of course, another MLS owner named Andrew got awarded an MLS expansion team after almost moving one of the original teams. 

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1 hour ago, Digby said:

BUT I also don't like the ease with which MLS is willing to toss aside its own history because it doesn't fit the current template of success. Take the Fire, or the Wizards -- maybe there's a whiff of corny MLS 1.0, but there's also strong branding and at least a couple title wins in there, and it feels like throwing the baby out with the bathwater to dump that because it doesn't sound sufficiently English (or...Portuguese?) in my opinion.

 

Spot-on assessment. Frankly, I'm sick to death of the trend that has seen MLS teams abandon long-existing identities in order to ape the branding conventions of clubs from countries that are considered more "traditional" strongholds of the sport.

Pardon me, but isn't one of the reasons for soccer's enormous popularity on a global scale the very fact that various countries and cultures have brought their own unique influences and twists to the sport's on-field, in-game tactical play? Isn't that international cross-pollination part-and-parcel of the "tradition" of the sport? Then why can't the same be true of an off-field aspect of the sport, such as club branding?   

There is absolutely no reason that Major League Soccer shouldn't strive to move forward embracing a variety of team-branding traditions. Yes, some teams -the likes of DC United, Los Angeles FC, Orlando City -  can be branded according to so-called "traditional" international parameters. Others - such as Colorado Rapids, New England Revolution, Portland Timbers -  can be branded according to North American pro sports customs. Still others - New York Red Bulls - might go so far as to adopt the name of a corporate parent. So be it. There is no reason that the embracing of such varied branding on the part of Major League Soccer's member-teams can't be a part of the sport's tradition and history. In point of fact, it already is.

One thing strikes me as being certain: it is damned difficult to build an authentic "history" and "tradition" for the sport of soccer at the professional club level in the United States and Canada if supporters in said countries aren't willing to embrace the sport's history in the nations... which has including team brands such as Chicago Fire, San Jose Earthquakes, and Vancouver Whitecaps.   
 

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For the record, "Chicago Fire" is a billion times better than "Chicago City FC". It just so happens that the city of Chicago is a zillion times better than the village of Broadview. The trade is worth it.

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12 hours ago, Brian in Boston said:

There is absolutely no reason that Major League Soccer shouldn't strive to move forward embracing a variety of team-branding traditions.

 

Look around MLS and tell me that isn’t exactly what they’ve been doing. 

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1 hour ago, Gothamite said:

 

Look around MLS and tell me that isn’t exactly what they’ve been doing. 

As of late they've all been European style naming conventions rather than US. FC Cincinnati is technically a German branding because they use Fussball instead of Football but if a league has too many United's and City's it's the same as the SEC with too many red teams and too many Tigers and Bulldogs. 

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1 hour ago, Gothamite said:

 

Look around MLS and tell me that isn’t exactly what they’ve been doing. 

 

Yeah, there are a couple SC's in there with all the FC's. 😂

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FC Cincinnati released updated stadium plans

 

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/2019/04/03/new-renderings-fc-cincinnati-stadium-show-every-seat-covered-protective-canopy/3347495002/

 

They toned down the roof, which was going to be fully wrapped in orange. I like that every seat will have coverage. 

 

Looks pretty awesome. 

 

 

 

In not great news, https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/crime/2019/04/02/fc-cincinnati-player-fanendo-adi-cited-ovi-unavailable-team/3346097002/

 

Yikes. I wonder what he was doing in Butler County. 

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2 hours ago, Gothamite said:

Look around MLS and tell me that isn’t exactly what they’ve been doing. 

 

Take a look around MLS and tell me which way the branding conventions of the league have been trending.

North American Branding
Colorado Rapids
Houston Dynamo
Los Angeles Galaxy
Montréal Impact
New England Revolution
Philadelphia Union
Portland Timbers
San Jose Earthquakes

International Branding
Atlanta United FC
Austin FC
D.C. United
FC Cincinnati
FC Dallas
Inter Miami CF
Los Angeles FC
Minnesota United FC

Nashville SC
New York City FC
Orlando City SC
Real Salt Lake
Sporting Kansas City
Toronto FC

Corporate Branding
New York Red Bulls

North American / International Amalgam
Chicago Fire Soccer Club (rumored to be rebranding as Chicago City FC)
Columbus Crew SC
Seattle Sounders FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC



 

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2 hours ago, MJWalker45 said:

As of late they've all been European style naming conventions rather than US. FC Cincinnati is technically a German branding because they use Fussball instead of Football but if a league has too many United's and City's it's the same as the SEC with too many red teams and too many Tigers and Bulldogs. 

 

So, assuming this Fire -> City thing goes through, the last half-decade's round of expansion/rebrands includes:

 

4 Generic FC/SC

3 City

2 United

1 Inter

 

I guess at least that Inter one isn't a traditionally English name. But you have to go back 10 new names ago to 2012 for the last non-European style name, to Montreal Impact, who were part of that batch of teams who dragged up their old North American style names from lower leagues. 

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1 hour ago, Brian in Boston said:

Take a look around MLS and tell me which way the branding conventions of the league have been trending.

 

Ah, but that's not what you said.

 

The early days of the league were heavily weighted in one direction.  Lots of singular names, abstract 90s nonsense. 

 

Yes, the trend is moving in the other direction, but that is only evening out the weight.  Which gets us back to "embracing a variety of team-branding traditions."

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4 hours ago, MJWalker45 said:

FC Cincinnati is technically a German branding because they use Fussball instead of Football

From the FC Cincinnati website:

“Football Club Cincinnati” – the team’s full written name – will take the field in MLS. The name is to be shortened to FC Cincinnati on first reference. “FCC” is acceptable on second reference, as is “FC Cincy” if necessary. “FC” is not an acceptable reference at any time.

NOTE: The much-speculated name Fussball Club Cincinnati – or Fußball Club Cincinnati using the German character – is the formal, legal name of the club and its business units. It is not to be used in any sporting references to the team, or in any public discussion.

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32 minutes ago, Dilbert said:

From the FC Cincinnati website:

“Football Club Cincinnati” – the team’s full written name – will take the field in MLS. The name is to be shortened to FC Cincinnati on first reference. “FCC” is acceptable on second reference, as is “FC Cincy” if necessary. “FC” is not an acceptable reference at any time.

NOTE: The much-speculated name Fussball Club Cincinnati – or Fußball Club Cincinnati using the German character – is the formal, legal name of the club and its business units. It is not to be used in any sporting references to the team, or in any public discussion.

Then that's even dumber!

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Throwback to the halcyon days of “Red Bull New York is the club, New York Red Bulls are the team on the pitch”.

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2 hours ago, Gothamite said:

TYes, the trend is moving in the other direction, but that is only evening out the weight.

 

Well, to be precise, the trend has gone beyond "evening out the weight".

* Twelve of the last eighteen MLS expansion teams have opted to adopt international-styled team identities... including the last nine straight.

* Of the other six MLS teams to join the league via expansion in the past 14 years, two - Seattle and Vancouver - have hedged their bets and gone the "hybrid" route by affixing an FC or SC to North American-style city/nickname combinations.

* Two of the original ten MLS franchises - Dallas and Kansas City - have jettisoned their original North American-style team identities in exchange for international-styled sobriquets, while a third - Columbus - went the "hybrid" route and added an SC to its North American-style city/nickname combo.
 

Quote

  Which gets us back to "embracing a variety of team-branding traditions."


How about embracing a variety of team-branding traditions amongst the international-style names? If the league, its investor/operators, and supporters are so hell-bent on aping the branding traditions of the club teams in more "traditional" strongholds of the sport, could we at least have a moratorium on going the FC/SC/United route for awhile? I'm not advocating something as asinine as Real Salt Lake. More along the lines of what Sporting Kansas City and Inter Miami adopted.

For instance, once Houston 1836 was dumped amidst a backlash (understandably) from the Mexican-American community, why not go with Houston Rovers? It would have echoed such traditional club names as Rovers/Wanderers/Nomads, been an allusion to Houston's role in the space program (lunar rover), and a reference to the fact that the team had relocated to the city from San Jose. Why not Austin Athletic over Austin FC?      

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19 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:

How about embracing a variety of team-branding traditions amongst the international-style names? If the league, its investor/operators, and supporters are so hell-bent on aping the branding traditions of the club teams in more "traditional" strongholds of the sport, could we at least have a moratorium on going the FC/SC/United route for awhile? I'm not advocating something as asinine as Real Salt Lake. More along the lines of what Sporting Kansas City and Inter Miami adopted.

For instance, once Houston 1836 was dumped amidst a backlash (understandably) from the Mexican-American community, why not go with Houston Rovers? It would have echoed such traditional club names as Rovers/Wanderers/Nomads, been an allusion to Houston's role in the space program (lunar rover), and a reference to the fact that the team had relocated to the city from San Jose. Why not Austin Athletic over Austin FC?      

 

Well, Houston Dynamo is a good name, and one that echoes another tradition.  Not sure Rovers would be an improvement, especially since "Wanderers" and "Rovers" carry slightly different connotations in a country with relocation than they do in a place like England where clubs don't move.  And considering we do have Sporting KC and Inter Miami, as you note, that kind of reinforces my point.

 

I think there's another good reason that clubs are choosing nickname-less identity; it lets them establish themselves before commiting.  And in some special cases, it lets them involve fans in the process, as NYCFC did with our "Pigeons".  They deliberately avoided any nickname in the hopes that we would coin one for them, and we're all better off for it.

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12 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:

 

Well, to be precise, the trend has gone beyond "evening out the weight".

* Twelve of the last eighteen MLS expansion teams have opted to adopt international-styled team identities... including the last nine straight.

 

 

So, is that an issue?

 

12 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:


* Of the other six MLS teams to join the league via expansion in the past 14 years, two - Seattle and Vancouver - have hedged their bets and gone the "hybrid" route by affixing an FC or SC to North American-style city/nickname combinations.

 

 

It’s a nice way to preserve brand equity and follow foreign traditions.

 

12 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:


* Two of the original ten MLS franchises - Dallas and Kansas City - have jettisoned their original North American-style team identities in exchange for international-styled sobriquets, while a third - Columbus - went the "hybrid" route and added an SC to its North American-style city/nickname combo.
 

 

FC Dallas >>>> Dallas Burn, while Sporting Kansas City is far more dignified than the goofy “Wizards.”

 

12 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:


How about embracing a variety of team-branding traditions amongst the international-style names? If the league, its investor/operators, and supporters are so hell-bent on aping the branding traditions of the club teams in more "traditional" strongholds of the sport, could we at least have a moratorium on going the FC/SC/United route for awhile? I'm not advocating something as asinine as Real Salt Lake. More along the lines of what Sporting Kansas City and Inter Miami adopted.

 

I agree.

 

12 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:

For instance, once Houston 1836 was dumped amidst a backlash (understandably) from the Mexican-American community, why not go with Houston Rovers? It would have echoed such traditional club names as Rovers/Wanderers/Nomads, been an allusion to Houston's role in the space program (lunar rover), and

 

That’s not a bad idea.

 

12 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:

a reference to the fact that the team had relocated to the city from San Jose.

 

That’s why the idea falls apart. The league likes to pretend that the relocation never happened. “Dynamo” is more appropriate, given that the league blew up the Quakes to “grow the game.” How’s that working out?

 

12 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:

Why not Austin Athletic over Austin FC?      

 

That’s also a good idea. Athletic and AC are both acceptable names.

 

Let’s face it, guys, the European naming styles are very much an attempt by MLS teams to be “taken seriously” by Euro/Latin American fans. It’s an overcorrection at this point, but I don’t mind it.

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Outside of Real Salt Lake, I'll take the "Euro-poser" names over some of the more ill-advised 90s names like Burn, Wiz/ards, Clash, and Mutiny. Now don't get me wrong, I'm generally fine either way, I like names like Sounders, Timbers, Galaxy, and Rowdies. The only real issue I have is that we now have three Uniteds along with a Union which seems like overkill. The [City] FC template is generic enough that I don't care if there's a bunch of those.

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Hey, this is all the more reason to let Sacramento in.  :D 

 

500px-Sacramento_Republic_FC.svg.png

 

At the risk of thoroughly derailing this conversation, I'm pretty pleased with the relative diversity of MLS branding.  In particular, I'd put this color diversity up against any other American league.

 

D1sclkHWsAAQ6IV.jpg

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2 hours ago, MJWalker45 said:

Then that's even dumber!

Well they did change it. In their USL days they were Futbol Club Cincinnati.

 

Personally Im in favor of the hybrid names. It keeps some of the North American history while keeping with the current European style naming trend.

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