- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On March 25, 2008
- 8 Comments
MLS Commissioner Don Garber said today that no expansion club in the near future would have the same name as any other club currently in the league. Meaning that say for instance St. Louis (who is being backed by a grup called St. Louis Soccer United) will not be called United, since DC is already know as that.
“There have been a number of teams that have been interested in using the name ‘United’,” Garber said. “Team trademarks are owned by the league, as they are in all professional sports, and we felt that our teams should have individual identities. It’s not to say there will never be another United, but for now, we are very focused on our teams creating separate, distinct identities.”
While I am not opposed to another club being called United in this league, it makes sense for a young league like the MLS to want to have their clubs with different identities for now. I would say down the road we could see a second United in the league. We have already seen two ‘FC’s in the league and probably soon to be a third with Seattle.
Speaking of Seattle, many are still wishing to keep the Sounder name but Garber was quick to put that name down:
“The good thing about team branding is that it involves a lot of people and there are passionate views on different sides of the issue. I believe our league and the sport has come so much further than the days of the NASL. While we have the name ‘Earthquakes’, I am very focused in trying to have our teams look forward as opposed to look back. That’s not taking away from the value of the ‘Sounders’ … I think there is tremendous history there and a very passionate fan base but I am thinking about what this team is going to be 20 years from now or 50 years from now because that’s how long team brand names should exist.”
Again, this is something I am alright with. I have said before that this club shouldn’t be called the Sounders and Garber gives a good reason to why the league is against that name right now. I know many hate the three names that will be voted on later this week but the MLS wants to build a new identity with this club next year and they actually have every right to do so.
Team naming has been a hot topic for the last couple weeks and I can bet it will only continue to do so until the league stops expanding.
Are you all fine with DC being the only ‘United’ in the league? Also, are you fine with Seattle not being called the Sounders? As much as I am tired of every other club being ‘FC’ in this league, Seattle FC won’t upset me nearly as much as the clothing store names of Alliance and Republic. Far worse names could be given to these clubs, even though we are living with the likes of Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA.