Monday’s soccer news starts with the Chicago Fire announcing their revamped rebrand. After public dissatisfaction with the club’s new logo, they regrouped and tried again. The result is closer to the traditional version of the Fire crest, but minus the overt fire department branding. If social media is the judge we all pretend it is, the result is another reason to revert to the original logo. That may not be fair, but it does point to the same scenario we saw play out in Columbus just a few weeks ago. Tradition requires actual tradition, like keeping the same logo in place.
That’s not an east concept when established teams decide it’s worth another look at their established logos. Juventus is the clearest example of that, opting to trade their version of a standard Italian soccer crest for a stylized initial a few seasons ago. Juventus stuck with the new design, perhaps giving any club considering a rebrand another lesson. Don’t back off of a decision even if it’s initially unpopular. The problem with not heeding that lesson is obvious if the choice isn’t reinstating the old logo. You’re probably going to need to continue tweaking.
Look, it’s easy enough to dump on most logo choices that happened in the 1990s. That was the era of an NHL team named after a movie, what we’ll politely call vibrant colors and a fondness for action words as team names. It’s always worth the reminder that Galaxy is another way to say Cosmos and the same with Fusion filling in for United. Then, years after the best practices should’ve suggested otherwise, MLS allowed multiple FCs, Uniteds, and Citys.
The easy critique is that speaking to a lack of ideas, and that makes sense. There are a lot of professional sports teams in the United States and plenty of colleges opting for pro sports style athletic logos trying to differentiate themselves. Add in the rest of the world, and it’s tough to come up with something that’s not just unique but also heavily marketable.
Keeping that in mind, the current Chicago Fire ownership deserves credit for listening and trying again. It may not be the old logo, but the main one is close enough that it looks like a tweak rather than a full revamp. It’s still the Chicago Fire, a team trying to get back to its earliest seasons and show they can compete in the new look MLS.
Also in the soccer news, Major League Soccer officially announced the creation of their new not-quite reserve league. As MLS president Mark Abbott explained in the press statement, the new league is between the academies and MLS itself. “n addition to providing more opportunities for MLS-caliber players, the new league will develop a diverse talent pool of coaches, referees and front office executives while also attracting fans who previously were unable to support a local club in their hometown.”
Without announcing a name for the new league or the teams, what we know today is very little. They’ll be 20 teams playing a March-December schedule starting next season. The press release also specified that some teams could be what would pass for independent in MLS. “Alongside MLS club-owned and operated teams, the new competition will also open the door for new owners and markets, not affiliated with MLS, to join the league, bringing professional soccer teams to additional communities throughout the country.”
Moving to the soccer news, MLSsoccer’s Matt Doyle has his review of week 8 in Major League Soccer. The Independent’s Miguel Delaney explains why Italy is taking the biggest step forward at EURO 2020. The NY Times’ Tariq Panja updates the situation with Ligue 1’s economic issues. Marca’s David G Medina explains the impact of the Atletico Madrid academy.
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Logo courtesy of the Chicago Fire