20 November 2010

Wizards Become Sporting KC; new precedent in MLS?

On Wednesday, 17 November, the Kansas City Wizards become Sporting Kansas City (most people like to abbreviate it KC). I, for one, think it was a brilliant move by the SKC management to try to move toward a more European style name and I think the rest of the MLS should follow in KC's footsteps. There is obviously no precedent for having to keep the club names they've had for years. Some teams, like DC United and FC Dallas have always had this Euro-style name, but most teams in the MLS simply have their city name + their nickname. Some, like Seattle Sounders FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC use both their nickname and a "designation".

For those readers that are saying to themselves "Sporting?? FC? United? I don't understand what the heck that means", I can break it down for you.

- Sporting: short for Sporting Club (you can see the SC on the new Sporting KC crest)
- FC: Football Club
- United: simply a traditional addition to association football club names (i.e. Manchester United, Newcastle United, etc.)

These designations don't bear any special meaning, they're only part of the name.

Anyways, this is yet another step in the right direction for the MLS to be headed. I personally think all MLS teams should adopt simply their homecity and a designation, but I guess I would be willing to settle for a combination of the two.

My argument for this change is that most (if not all) clubs in the worlds most popular and well known league, the English Premier League, have nicknames that are not officially part of their club names. Clubs like Liverpool FC are also known as the Reds, Chelsea FC the Blues, and Man U the Red Devils. Not all teams have these simple nicknames though, teams like Newcastle United FC is known as the Magpies or the Toons, West Ham United is known as the Hammers, and Everton FC is known as the Toffees. Point being, it is quite possible for nicknames like the Crew to stay with a team even if its not part of the official name.

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