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The America League

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Fantastic as always. Absolutely love the histories. Are these histories something you already had developed, or are you coming up with these as you post them? Either way, great stuff. How long have you been working on this league?

For Carolina, did you ever consider calling it United Carolina or something like that? Of all the "United" names, one uniting North and South of something seems like a no-brainer. Maybe the Dakotas will be United (finally).

(edit) See on your blog that you started it about a year and a half ago. Still, as someone who also creates leagues from scratch, I'd be interested in reading about the history of your development of it. Maybe not a post in here, but definitely on your blog. The false starts, how you determine who was champion each year, etc. There are lots of custom leagues here on the forums, but something is more compelling about this one than most of the others. Whatever it is, keep it coming!

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Patrick, I just LOVE the details you put into your team histories. A classic example is the controversy that has arisen due to post-merger Chicago North combining the championships from all three of its antecedent clubs in order to "earn" a star signifying the 5-championship achievement. That sort of thing adds so much richness to this project.

I'm a huge fan of both of the Chicago North kits, as well as Emerald City's home kit.

Incidentally, Seattle is located in King County, Washington... not Kings County.

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Patrick, I just LOVE the details you put into your team histories. A classic example is the controversy that has arisen due to post-merger Chicago North combining the championships from all three of its antecedent clubs in order to "earn" a star signifying the 5-championship achievement.

Yes, this may be my favorite detail so far. BTW, as a soccer noob, is the "five championships equals one star" something that real world leagues do?

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Emerald citys home uniform is tha bomb, so are the entire Carolina set. I love this whole project and can't wait for more. You, sir, are a visionary.

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EMERALD CITY IS AMAZING.

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I'd say the histories are half developed. I did a ton of up front research into what the logos and uniforms would be. The on field successes and such were primarily made up except I did decide up front how many stars each team would have. Yes it is something that is done else where; In italian soccer a star equals 10 championships, however some teams like Bayren Munich in Europe have stars for European Championships. I wanted to spread the wealth a bit!

I have all the logos and uniforms done right now. I'm just creating the postings on each one. Some teams I honestly have more history on than others in my mind.

I did not develop season by season results or anything. I'm for the most part making that up as I go.

I'm working on the next post so should be within in the next 30 mins on the next 3 teams.

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As a part of this project there were a few teams I wanted to connect with some of the United States' European roots. In cities all across the country there are areas that are Italian, or Irish, or Indian, Muslim, Hispanic, etc. In my mind, some teams would take on the identities of their neighborhoods. I bring this up now because 2 of the 3 teams in today's post fit into that category.

Chicago South // Premier League

chicagosouth1.jpg

The other team that was created out the the "Great Chicago Merger" was Chicago South. Chicago South was built out of Pullman Company and Pilsen Atletico, both on the Southside of Chicago. The Pullman Company Team was originally started as a factory team for the Pullman Company. The team had much early success and had solid financial backing of the Pullman Company well into the late 60s dispite the fact they had lackluster on field results. Pilsen Atletico on the otherhand was a powerhouse. It was started in 1958 and strung together a number of championships in the 60s. The teams combined talent and money and instantly became a success.

Unline Chicago North, Chicago South won 5 championships in their first 12 years and earned a star. They've won 2 additional ones and have struggled a bit since many other teams have caught up in both talent and finances.

The team's identity is heavily focused on its Mexican roots. The Pilsen team originally was made up of Mexican immigrants in Pilsen and they had great success. The Pullman owners are still heavily involved but have chosen to take a more silent role in ownership.

The uniforms feature vertical stripes on both the primary and change being more bold with green flanked by gold on the primary, and the change featuring gold pinstripes on white. In the necktape is the team's nickname "El Viento" or in English "The Wind."

chicagosouth2.jpgchicagosouth3.jpgchicagosouth4.jpgchicagosouth5.jpg

The sketches for Chicago South are below and more or less the final is what was originally thought.

chicagosouth6.jpg

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Fresno SC // America One

fresno1.jpg

In 2002 a Fresno Fig grower had a dream of staring a soccer team to enter the America League. He felt that there were so many communities around California that had teams, why not Fresno? So they started chasing that dream and within 3 seasons they had moved from the 5th level, to America Two. 3 years later they are in America One and their rise has caught the nation's eye. Fresno's badge is the shape of a Fig leaf and their nickname is the Figs. They have an unconventional color scheme: Brown, Green and Light Blue but its taken from the city of Fresno flag. Their matches are played at Woodward Memorial Park in North Fresno.

The uniforms are clean yet still disruptive with their color scheme and blocking. Their eccentric owner makes most of the decisions when it comes to uniforms. The adidas stripes are each a different color on Fresno's uniforms while on the change, each sleeve is a different color.

fresno2.jpgfresno3.jpgfresno4.jpgfresno5.jpg

The sketch more or less ended up being the same as the final except I did reverse the change and primary. I felt a team with a tricolor scheme like that needed to be toned down most of the time and let their freak flag fly only on special occasions!

fresno6.jpg

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Forest City SC // America Two

cleveland1.jpg

Cleveland's entry into the America League is the other one that is heavily influenced by the ethnicity of its citizens. Forest City actually celebrates 2 of those: Polish and Czech heritage. The layout of the crest is similar to the Czech Coat of arms with the Bohemian Lion in the upper right and lower left quadrants (reversed from the actual crest so it wasn't "too Czech", but the Polish eagle sits in the other two quadrants. The team is naturally known as the Griffins and they play in Cuyahoga Park.

Why the duel heritage? When Forest City SC was created, the ownership group wanted to recognize the achievements of 2 amateur teams from the past. One of them being a team made of Polish immigrants, and the other Czech. They both called what is now known as Slavic Village home. Between the 2 of them they won many Ohio Amateur Championships as well as a few US Open Cups.

The uniforms take their cues from the crest featuring a tonal checkerboard on the primary kit with a louder checkerboard on the change. Local company Sherwin Williams is the sponsor. Inside the collar of both reads: Česká (Czech) Polska (Poland).

cleveland2.jpgcleveland3.jpgcleveland4.jpgcleveland5.jpg

This is one where the sketch was completely changed. Originally it was going to be a pretty bland "Cleveland Rockers" identity but I decided on adding some ethnic/civic pride to a few of the teams and this was one of them.

cleveland6.jpg

http://pcgdstudios.com/america-league-day-5-part-b-chicago-south-fresno-sc-forest-city-sc/

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I love the idea of Forest City as the name, but not as much with the colors. I like Fresno as well as Chicago South, but the Forest City isn't doing it for me. ll the others are works of art. Maybe replace the green with something like a red or crimson? Love the work you've done so far! :notworthy:

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Forest City SC // America Two

cleveland1.jpg

Cleveland's entry into the America League is the other one that is heavily influenced by the ethnicity of its citizens. Forest City actually celebrates 2 of those: Polish and Czech heritage. The layout of the crest is similar to the Czech Coat of arms with the Bohemian Lion in the upper right and lower left quadrants (reversed from the actual crest so it wasn't "too Czech", but the Polish eagle sits in the other two quadrants. The team is naturally known as the Griffins and they play in Cuyahoga Park.

http://pcgdstudios.c...forest-city-sc/

Most people will argue that ethnic identities won't work in American sports. I tend to disagree. The way things like your Forest City SC works is when it is based on heritage and community. Where it fails is when it is commercial and exploitive. Forrest City SC, I think, would succeed as a brand, while exploitive brands like CD Chivas USA will always fail.

A real life example of ethnic branding and success is Bavarian Soccer Club Milwaukee. They have a long history and prominent part of the Milwaukee community. They are german founded and have pride in their heritage. While they have not had any teams in a professional level, it is clubs and organizations like this that would rise up in soccer systems like England and become successful.

So kudos to you for tapping into area ethnic identities and ignore the nay-sayers.

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For a few of the clubs not obviously named after cities, such as Carolina, I find myself wondering where they'd be playing. Maybe everyone else got it right away, but it took me a while to get Camden, for example.

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Charlotte is where I saw them. I intended to put that in the write ups for each, my bad.

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Chicago North // Premier League

chicagonorth1.jpg

Chicago had a number of neighborhood teams throughout the early 20th century. At one time they had 8 teams competing in the top 3 flights of America League. By the 1960s there were only 5 teams still standing and they were struggling.

In 1970 a merger was discussed to split Chicago into 2 teams: Chicago North and Chicago South. Chicago North was built out of Gold Coast SC, Ravenswood, and Logan Square. They took on the colors of the Chicago flag and mascot and stadium of the most successful of the 3 teams: Ravenswood.

The single star came with some controversy amongst other teams. Chicago North "earned" the star by combining championships from the 3 teams. They have won 3 on their own however the star is still viewed as "tainted" by many fans.

The kits are made by adidas and feature the Chicago Flag on the chest. The team has struggled to keep primary kit sponsors because of this feature but stand their ground as they see it as a source of pride with Chicago residents. The home kit is light blue and the change kit is white.

chicagonorth2.jpgchicagonorth3.jpgchicagonorth4.jpgchicagonorth5.jpg

Below is the initial concept for Chicago North.

chicagonorth6.jpg

I like! That's a lot like my UIC concept. (Not saying you yanked the idea from me... Chicago's flag begs to be used for soccer shirts.)

That said, I couldn't help but feel Chicago South's identity would be more appropriate for a place like LA, San Diego, or Houston where it'd make more sense to have one club for the general populace, and one for the Mexican/Chicano community. The names Chicago North and Chicago South imply two clubs equally representing their "half" of Chicago; yet one gets to wear the city's flag and colors... thus making them the default "home" club... and the other has a foreign identity that doesn't even represent the entirety of the side of the city it's supposed to represent (lots of Irish and African-Americans as well). I get the historical aspect with Pilsen Atletico, but how often do two clubs merge, yet retain the identity of only one? (Seriously... I really don't know. :) )

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Chicago North // Premier League

chicagonorth1.jpg

Chicago had a number of neighborhood teams throughout the early 20th century. At one time they had 8 teams competing in the top 3 flights of America League. By the 1960s there were only 5 teams still standing and they were struggling.

In 1970 a merger was discussed to split Chicago into 2 teams: Chicago North and Chicago South. Chicago North was built out of Gold Coast SC, Ravenswood, and Logan Square. They took on the colors of the Chicago flag and mascot and stadium of the most successful of the 3 teams: Ravenswood.

The single star came with some controversy amongst other teams. Chicago North "earned" the star by combining championships from the 3 teams. They have won 3 on their own however the star is still viewed as "tainted" by many fans.

The kits are made by adidas and feature the Chicago Flag on the chest. The team has struggled to keep primary kit sponsors because of this feature but stand their ground as they see it as a source of pride with Chicago residents. The home kit is light blue and the change kit is white.

chicagonorth2.jpgchicagonorth3.jpgchicagonorth4.jpgchicagonorth5.jpg

Below is the initial concept for Chicago North.

chicagonorth6.jpg

I like! That's a lot like my UIC concept. (Not saying you yanked the idea from me... Chicago's flag begs to be used for soccer shirts.)

That said, I couldn't help but feel Chicago South's identity would be more appropriate for a place like LA, San Diego, or Houston where it'd make more sense to have one club for the general populace, and one for the Mexican/Chicano community. The names Chicago North and Chicago South imply two clubs equally representing their "half" of Chicago; yet one gets to wear the city's flag and colors... thus making them the default "home" club... and the other has a foreign identity that doesn't even represent the entirety of the side of the city it's supposed to represent (lots of Irish and African-Americans as well). I get the historical aspect with Pilsen Atletico, but how often do two clubs merge, yet retain the identity of only one? (Seriously... I really don't know. :) )

When the north stars and barons merged they kept the north stars identity and completely dropped the barons.

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They also weren't expecting to keep the support of Ohians since the merger meant no more games at the Richfield Coliseum. When two (or more) soccer clubs in close proximity to each other merge, they (presumably) want to continue facilitating support from both fan bases.

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Yea I guess so, I just wanted to point that out

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You bring up some excellent points both in terms of the identity and that a Mexican inspired team may work elsewhere. I'm more familiar with Chicago and that's why I put it there. I think the merger maintaining one identity could be explained that it was more of a one sided takeover which I somewhat was attempting to alude too. The Pilsen team was more successful on the field and had a diehard fanbase. The Pullman team had a ton of money but wasn't too successful and perhaps felt they were best off joining instead of beating. That's what I was thinking at least.

Anyway...onto the next 3!

Dallas Athletic // America Premier

dallas1.jpg

In 1963 Dallas was booming. But the only sporting outlet for its citizens was the new Football team formed only 3 years previous. It wasn't oil that started this team, but technology. By 1960 Dallas was actually one of the biggest hubs of technology production, and an owner of a local company, who grew up watching the Beacon Hill team in Boston, wanted his own team. Dallas Athletic was born. The team has been success having won 4 titles over its 50 year history, yet they've been stuggling to "Earn that Star" for the last 10 years.

The logo took its cues from the Dallas and Texas Flag as well as one of the most well known symbols in the state, the Bull. (Interesting note, much like most logos in and around St. Louis use the Arch, most Texan soccer teams use Bulls, stars, or oil in their logos, at least in the America League!) Their biggest rivals are the team just an hour south, Austin SC. The fans do not get along with Dallas claiming Austin stole their logo yet Austin claims "its different enough..."

The Nike made uniforms are best known for their chevron design which has been a fixture since their first year in the league. Their primary colors are Navy and Grey with red only really being used in the logo. The chevron also is on the left leg and somewhat on the socks as well.

dallas2.jpgdallas3.jpgdallas4.jpgdallas5.jpg

The sketch for Dallas only really changed when it came to colors in the logo. I felt it needed something with a bit more contrast to the Navy plus it matched the flag much better. Yet I saw them as a team that still stuck to the Blue and Grey color scheme.

dallas6.jpg

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Jackson Tigers // American One

jackson1.jpg

Jackson was part of the Southern expansion that happened in 2002 and they are one of the more successful of those teams. They've gone from the 5th level to 2nd level in just 10 years which is quite impressive. Their owner was of Scottish decent and wanted some of that history infused into the design. The prowling Tiger that sits above the words Jackson on the badge is also a statue in front of Mississippi Stadium.

The uniforms feature the same argyle pattern from the crest for the primary kit jerseys and socks. The cut remains the same but the pattern is dropped for the change kit. They also have a unique shoulder construction that has been a part of their identity their entire history that is on both sets of uniforms.

jackson2.jpgjackson3.jpgjackson5.jpg

The final result is pretty much as I envisioned the Jackson Tigers.

jackson6.jpg

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