UPDATE: Club president Darren Eales confirmed the name to MLSsoccer.com
Atlanta’s Major League Soccer franchise isn’t schedule to enter the league until the 2017 season, but it’s just about time for the team owned by Home Depot co-founder and Atlanta Falcons (MLS) owner Arthur Blank to enter the “unveiling our identity/brand” phase of the build-up to their debut MLS season.
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On Thursday, a report by SI‘s Brian Straus shed the first bit of light on just what that identity will sound and look like. According to Straus’ report, the Atlanta MLS franchise will, unfortunately, be called Atlanta United FC.
What’s with the “unfortunately,” you ask?
First things first, it’s generic, lame and woefully overdone throughout the soccer world — particularly in the UK, which despite what many would have you believe, isn’t the end-all, be-all for soccer history, culture and quality. On a related note, what, exactly, is Atlanta United…uniting? Unless they’re merging with the NALS’s Atlanta Silverbacks (highly unlikely), it’s nothing more than a grab at relevance and relation to something — anything — in this vast soccer world.
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I’m painfully aware that the explanation from Blank and Co. will be “Atlanta United will unite this city under this team” when the name is made official next month. With more than a year to get the club’s identity and “brand” right, MLS’s third United (D.C. and Minnesota) is what they came up with.
For the record, most (if not all) of Twitter is in agreement with the above opinions.
Atlanta United = #Boring FC = #PetPeeve We call it soccer. It’s called Major League Soccer. They should be Soccer Clubs. SC. Let’s own it.
— Jimmy Conrad (@JimmyConrad) June 25, 2015
So, MLS has added Atlanta United FC and Minnesota United FC. That’s… original.
— The Full 90 (@TheFull90) June 25, 2015
MLS should kick Atlanta United FC out of the league on account of there being no good emoji for a team name like that
— Ryan Rosenblatt (@RyanRosenblatt) June 25, 2015
I can’t believe they went with “United” when everyone knows Atlanta is a Delta hub.
— Jason Davis (@davisjsn) June 25, 2015
My girlfriend is from Atlanta. I just told her about “Atlanta United FC” pic.twitter.com/Fkgd0JcV7a
— Seth Vertelney (@svertelney) June 25, 2015
If you run with United, FC, Sporting, Athletic or any of the European standards, you’re not building a team, you’re building a brand.
— Maxi Rodriguez (@FutbolIntellect) June 25, 2015
In the end, does a club’s name really matter? Of course not, because we’ll all end up calling them “Atlanta” in everyday conversation. As long as the fans show up to support the team, and the product on the field is good, that’s what they should/will be judged on. But for now, while no team exists with games to be played, all we have is a name to discuss, dissect and destroy.
The club’s name will be formally introduced on July 7, along with a logo that is “thought to feature a prominent ‘A’ and the club’s red, yellow/gold and black colors.”
Advice to David Beckham: Miami United FC — because we all know it’s been considered at some point — should be shelved immediately.