Newest generic NASL branding: California United FC

Honestly, what are they thinking over there?
NASL branding

Photo credit: NASL

When the group bringing NASL soccer to San Francisco announced their branding on Jan. 30, 2016, I remember thinking “this is the most corporate, boring, design-by-committee crest in soccer.” And at the time it was, by miles.

However, the ownership group behind the long-rumored Orange County team decided to get an early start on the Northern vs. Southern California rivalry by stripping the Deltas of their biggest accomplishment: being ridiculously generic and uninspiring.

They have announced officially that they will be California United FC, playing next year in the NASL. And the crowd goes mild.

Look, I get the idea of using the traditional soccer names for your team, and there have been a load of great Uniteds in both England (Manchester, Newcastle, etc.) and the USA (D.C., Minnesota, Atlanta), but we don’t need more of them, and definitely not something as vague as this.

And here’s crystal-clear proof that the team itself knows that this name is garbage:

“The word United is so common in the soccer world that it’s lost much of its meaning. But California United Football Club, one of the newest clubs in the North American Soccer League (NASL), has made it the watchword for their entire operation.”

That’s verbatim from the team’s official announcement on their website. They’re basing their entire operation on something that has lost much of its meaning before day one.

This is not how you succeed in soccer.

To put into perspective just how easy it would be to find a better name, here’s a few far superior names that are available for this team to use, right now:

They could resurrect one of the brands from the original NASL: California Surf, LA Aztecs, or something like Orange County Clippers. Those brands are all owned by the current NASL, so getting the rights is trivial, and they’re all a noted improvement.

Or, actually play to the culture of Orange County, with a long history of Hispanic influences, and go for something like Club Deportivo California, or Club Deportivo Los Angeles. Much more interesting, and a wonderful nod to the Latino heritage of the area. Plus, they’d be original and unique for the USA, as the only pro Club Deportivo we’ve seen was Chivas USA, another example in shitty branding.

They claim to want to build from the grassroots up. Maybe they should reflect this with their branding and mission statement.


You can follow John on Twitter @JohnMLTX.

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