The 'Other' Football....

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

MLS Teams: What's In A Name? we have a Problem?

Written By : Alan Clark, Wednesday June 8, 2005. Updated 1/28/06.

What's In a Name?

As a Brit I grew up surrounded by the `greatest game on earth', it's traditions, it's rivalries and it's passion. I lived in Scotland, tasting the heat of the Auld Firm, and in the NorthWest of England, during the region's soccer glory days of Everton, Liverpool and then Manchester United.

With one notable exception - Milton Keynes Dons - the 2004 reincarnation of the 1988 FA Cup winning Wimbledon FC, relocation is not something that happens in soccer. As a consequence, there are not many times when a team has changed name, nor have their been new names created from new teams. The story with MK Dons is that Wimbledon did not fold, but in the absence of a permanent home and dwindling numbers through the turnstiles, the Board decided to relocate the team to Milton Keynes - the largest city in England that was not home to a professional football team already. MK was apparently second choice, Dublin, Ireland, was the original target but the League's ruling body dismissed such a radical relocation. But I digress..

The point is that in England the naming process is very different - most names have been around for in excess of a hundred years. Outside of America there is also a key difference - most clubs have a name, and a nickname - let's take Manchester United FC for example (and only because they are the most popular worldwide), their nickname is `The Red Devils'.

In America, the approach is different; teams nicknames are usually one-in-the-same as the team name; Rochester Raging Rhinos; Kansas City Wizards; San Jose Earthquakes. And then there are the exceptions; FC Dallas; Northern Virginia FC (NOVA FC); DC United.

Personally, I've always thought that to adopt a nickname in the official name is a step away from tradition - football tradition; my traditions. I often hear raging debate on the boards of Big Soccer, amongst other sources, as to what is an appropriate name; about America's soccer identity; respecting worldwide traditions and so on. I think it sounds somewhat tacky, cheap.and inherently `minor league'.

The question is...what is the right answer? Is there even one? I have been reminded on many an occasion that I am in America now, not in England (stopping a small step away from telling me to return there if I don't like it).

With MLS having ushered in two new expansion clubs in 2005, and with both relocation and further expansion talk burning like wild fire, names for the potential new locations are rampant. Everyone has an opinion and it's this diversity that made me sit down and write this.

On the radar over the next 2-3 years are potentially: Toronto, San Antonio, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Houston, St Louis, Miami (?!), Vancouver, Montreal, Seattle, New York City and so on.

So, should these potential new franchises follow history or continue the Americanized trend? A brand is the most important thing for a team, the name is it's identity. And let's face it, MLS doesn't have a good track record. Since the 1996 inaugural season, MLS' owner/operators have renamed three teams - 25% of the original franchises (and even ignoring contraction) The Burn, Clash, and Wiz are all now [thankfully] consigned to the history books.

Of course, the primary target of an MLS team is not a European nor South American fan (or at least not those based abroad), but to it's core, namely the American consumer. As such, should the brand not reflect this?

2005's new entries were not inspiring; CD Chivas USA - barely tolerable but at least there is an obvious reference to the parent club in Guadalajara; and Real Salt Lake which is, well, frankly a seemingly random Spanish reference in Utah. Not much logic there. And in the absence of a meaningful relationship between RSL and *insert legitimate'REAL Real, then this seems like a rather cheap gimmick, trying to be passed off as a tip of the hat. That said, the RSL fans seem to be buying into it.even if no one else is.

Possibly the most disturbing rumor at present must be the potential purchase, relocation and renaming of the SJ Earthquakes (already on their 2nd name) by Club America of Mexico. Yes, you guessed it - Club America USA has been touted and I hope and pray (and I'm an atheist!) that this never, but never, sees the light of day.

With so many names to choose from, not just from England - though it would make sense to pick a name that makes sense in this country's primary language, namely English - surely the next generation of franchises can hit the mark without selling their souls.

*Addendum (1/26/06):
Fresh on the back of this week's Houston '1836' annoucement of the new team name for the former SJ Earthquakes franchise, there's been plenty of dissention in the camp about the name and why a 'europoser' name was picked - again - in MLS. Infact, I've already alluded elsewhere that actually, it's less of a copy of Europe and more an established American norm.
In Europe, the number usually represents the year the team was formed. So, this isn't the case with Houston, being the year Houston itself was formed and not the team.

On the other hand, in America, the numbers are usually something significant to the city or region the team is based in - Phaldelphia 76ers, or San Francisco 49ers. So this is consistent with the Houston naming.

Slagging it off is just a knee-jerk reaction, but it's not as bad as it seems, and certainly not in the FC Dallas or ReAL Salt Lake league as blatant rip-offs. Thankfully, it's also not in the Burn, Wiz or Clash's league either.

All in all, I think it's a reasonable name, with Thirty Sixers, or just Sixers as their nickname works for me.

*Addendum (3/15/06):
So, the name 1836 went the way of the Clash, Burn, Wiz etc... Personally, I thought it deserved better.

I even wrote to Oliver Luck in an attempt to have the PC minority not win over what was a sensible and well-thought out name for the new team. I mentioned that parallels could be found both in other sports, and in MLS itself - the Philadelphia 76ers and the New England Revolution - both of which, if certain 'squeeky wheels' should be believed, would mean that those teams are offensive to me and my British brethern. Naturally, this is nonsense, but it goes to prove that there are double standards everywhere.

On the flip side, I concede that alienating, if that's what it was, a large target demographic straight off the bat would not be considered good business. For that, I can see a glimmer of reasoning. For those that would drag this through the PC gutter I wish you adieu.

PS. Dynamo Houston would have sounded so much better. If that makes me a 'eurosnob' to some, so bei it; I am English after all.


  • How can i remove windows xp from my laptop and reinstall windows Me -the laptops original software?
    I be struck by recently bought a used laptop that is old. The person I had bought it from had installed windows xp on it, even yet it from the word go came with windows Me. I want to eradicate the windows xp because it runs slows on the laptop because it takes up more thought than the windows Me would. Also I wish to remove windows xp because it is an wrongful copy. So when I tried to hop to it updates on it, windows would not install updates because the windows xp is not genuine. [URL=]accu-chek aviva test strips[/URL]

    Answers :

    all you participate in to do is interject the windows me disk into the cd drive. then reboot your laptop, when the black [URL=]racism at british petroleum[/URL] sift with all the info comes up and when it asks u to boot from cd [URL=]colleville-sur-mer weather[/URL] belt any key when it tells you to then [URL=]quik lok ws 500[/URL] inaugurate from there !!! I RECOMEND SINCE ITS AN ILLEAGLE COPY TO WIPE [URL=]cornville az[/URL] OUT THE [URL=]pp l layoff[/URL] TOTAL TIRING SEND [URL=]kia service center renton wa[/URL] WHEN IT ASKS YOU WHICH UNDENIABLE [URL=]kitchen elements herbs kitchen towels[/URL] GOAD TO SETTLE IT ON. THEN ADD ALL THE UNUSED SPACE ON THE WASTE [URL=]cobra explorer kayak[/URL] FLINTY SPUR ONTO A UP TO DATE DOCUMENTATION LOCATION, IT WILL-POWER LOOK LIKE C:/ Exposed or something like that

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:06 PM  

  • Tender-hearted prostatic hyperplasia, commonly known as BPH, is an enlargement of the prostate area. It is more exuberant in older men. As men are becoming more cultivated far strength issues, they rig out to medical treatment for BPH. Dutas, a generic form of Avodart([URL=]avodart aka dutasteride[/URL] [URL=]canadian pharmacy avodart[/URL] [URL=]dutasteride avodart[/URL] [URL=]avodart side effect confusion[/URL] [URL=]avodart issues[/URL] ), has been proven as an moving treatment of BPH. BPH and its symptoms that adversely assume the eminence of lifestyle can be treated successfully at near Dutas. The essential hint of BPH is the frequency of requisite to urinate. This occurs chiefly at evening but then progresses to the miss to urine again entirely the day. BPH sufferers subsequently circulate a reduction in strength in urine stream. Inconvenience accompanies this reduction. A medical doctor should direct testing to discover if BPH is the genesis of the symptoms. The effectiveness of Dutas is bring about in the chemical coalesce Dutasteride. This influential ingredient is an alpha-reductase 5 inhibitor which impedes the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is considered a forceful species of testosterone. BPH symptoms vanish once the conversion is interrupted. Dutas has been set to be noticeable in BPH for sundry sufferers. Prescriptions finasteride and finasteride has been shown to only inhibit one isoform of alpha redictase 5. It has been established that Dutasteride has been proven to bridle two isoforms. Dutas audibly appears to fix up with provision the pre-eminent treatment on tap as a service to BPH. Dutas make be infatuated as directed with some precautions. Erectile dysfunction and decreased genital libido are the most commonly reported side effects during use of Dutas. Gynecomastia or enlargement of male titty network is another accomplishable side effect. Additionally, women who are pregnant or women wanting to appropriate for weighty should not be exposed to Dutas; developing male fetuses can be adversely afflicted on these inhibitors. Dutas can be immersed wholly the peel so unorthodox care should be exercised concerning charged women or women imperfect to become pregnant. Another side power of Dutas is a uncontested one. Some men possess reported braids replenishment while entrancing Dutas. BPH can be treated by discussing medications and plausible side effects with a medical professional. Dutas can give impressive treatment of BPH. A worry-free, potent way of life is well advantage the effort.
    [URL=]avodart stops working[/URL]
    [URL=]avodart and psa[/URL]
    [URL=]flomax vs avodart[/URL]
    [URL=]avodart and flomax taken together[/URL]

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:42 PM  

  • how does clomid work with pcos | - ordering clomid, clomid while pregnant

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:07 AM  

  • what time of day should i take clomid | clomid and ovulation timing - clomid online cheap, how much does clomid increase chances of pregnancy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:26 AM  

  • pregnant first round of clomid | [url=]clomid success rates[/url] - where can you buy clomid, nebu provera and clomid

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:12 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home