Not a single ball was kicked, but yesterday was a big day for the future of the Seattle Sounders. Team management held a press conference to announce the launching of Seattle’s much awaited USL Pro affiliated team. The team will call Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila home, and will have a 20% stake owned by fans through an organization called the Sounders Community Trust. But you know all this. You’ve read the news, watched the videos, etc. What I really want to talk about is the name of the club.
Much to the chagrin of this blogger, the team will be called “Sounders FC 2” or “S2.” I know the name of the thing is a lot less important than the training, minutes, competition and experience it affords young, developing players like Sean Okoli and Aaron Kovar. But sheesh. For such a slick group of suits that pride themselves on one of the best expansion launches in US sports history, that name is a clunker. A dud. It stinks. Okay, maybe I am being harsh. The name is just like a pair of khakis: practical but uninspired. And that disappoints the most, as I am used to fireworks (literally, and flame throwers) from this club.
I understand we followed Los Angeles’s lead by launching a USL Pro team, but we didn’t need to copy their naming strategy. I don’t understand the uninspired branding here. Why didn’t we give them their own name, like Tukwila FC? MLS tries hard to honor the culture of the world’s game while also staying distinctly American (the playoffs). It is a red-blooded American tradition to give minor league teams their own identities. The Tacoma Rainers anyone? How cool would it be to wear the distinctly unique kit or scarf of a minor league club. Too bad S2’s logo is just a whited out Sounders crest that looks like a bloated snow crab. The name was bad enough, but that crest just floored me. Hopefully they’ll never rock that on their uniforms.
With a chance at being progressive and setting a new standard in American soccer, Sounders FC, usually infallible at this kind of thing, really underwhelmed today. The pressure is on us, the supporters, to create their real name. We need to see this team in action and bestow them with a true identity, not some soulless brand.