The soccer news starts with the Chicago Fire's new logo. Part of following MLS is playing part-time graphic designer and fashion critique. Very little stays the same in this league, including logos. The new one for the Chicago Fire is divisive only because the team changed so little since joining the league in 1998.
It's an old story that the original investor/operator decided not to follow Nike's recommendation to call the team the Rhythm. Instead, they went their own way and chose to follow the example of the city's World Football League team that played under that name in 1974. The logo was meant to look like something appropriate for a fire department, with the alternative logo featuring a firetruck.
Over two decades later and under a new investor/operator, the revamped logo and tweaking the name from Chicago Fire SC to FC doesn't lean on the fire department motif at all. Instead, it moves to fire itself. It's an interesting choice considering the rumors that the team was going to drop "Fire" entirely as part of their return to Soldier Field. No more web searches that bring up the network TV show of the same name. Instead, Fire stays in a new disassociated form.
"At the center of our badge, the fire crown - with flames inverted to become a crown - tells the story of a dramatic rebirth, and how it became the legend of our city's people."
Ok then, the kind of explanation that normally runs alongside a new logo that somehow makes it even more confusing in a league with another team that calls itself the Spanish word for royal. At least it's not a riff on United or City while keeping the Fire name. Speaking of those City teams, it's probably worth noting that one of the word marks in the Fire's graphic is the initials CFFC along with dropping the part of the logo that spells out Chicago Fire Football Club.
"The new badge is built around a bold icon reflecting the powerful origin story of modern Chicago and the legend of its people. The mirrored icon – with flames inverted to become a crown, hence the Fire Crown – tells the story of a dramatic rebirth and a city’s triumph. After the Great Fire of 1871, the people of the city resolved to rise from the ashes. The bold efforts of those who called the city home would ultimately transform and build the skyline of one of the world’s great cities. Chicago today is a monument to the efforts of an extraordinary people – a people undefeated."
It's an interesting choice to link a sports team with disaster, even if you take steps to put a positive spin on what happened next. The Earthquakes in San Jose, the Hurricanes in Raleigh, the Avalanche in Denver, and so on guarantees one thing. It's not an homage to foreign club naming conventions and it's not likely that anybody else uses it. Well, except the actual Chicago Fire Department and perhaps a network TV show.
American Soccer Now's Brian Sciaretta profiles USMNT player Cameron Carter-Vickers. The Guardian's Graham Ruthven on what Bradley Wright-Phillips means for MLS. Pro Soccer USA's Kyle Eliason reports on Miguel Ibarra leaving Minnesota United. Inside World Football's Paul Nicholson has MLS commissioner Don Garber talking about expanding to 32 teams.
AP's Rob Harris on Jose Mourinho's arrival at Spurs. The National's Richard Jolly makes the case for Chelsea as a contender. iNews' Robert O'Connor with what is happening to Manchester City as they chase Liverpool. The Independent's Ton Evans takes a critical look at Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson.
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Graphic courtesy of the Chicago Fire