Why the name United? Some fans asked how can you have multiple United’s? Since DC United is already here in The MLS (Major League Soccer)? First you have to understand that it’s not uncommon to have multiple “United’s” in one league.
Manchester United the most successful team in English history, with one of the largest fan bases in the world first used the name “United” when it changed owners and switched from Newton Heath LYR Football Club (that’s a mouthful huh?) to Manchester United in 1902.
Other teams in the English Premier League use it as well, Newcastle United (in England’s Northeastern corner), their uniforms look like NFL referees with black & white vertical stripes. And West Ham United, (West Ham is actually in East London) I know it gets confusing at times, you ever hear a Cockney accent? That’s usually East London. Almost every cabbie in London is a West Ham fan.
In some cases United is used to incorporate two former teams from different parts of town into one as in Newscastle’s case back in the day. Or to give a broad sense of the civic unity behind the team, got it?
So what’s the FC thing all about?
Outside of the US & parts of Canada, Soccer is called Football. FC is the abbreviation for Football Club.
As in my favorite team and 2015 English Premiere League Champions… Chelsea FC or Chelsea Football Club. But everybody just says Chelsea.
Or as in Juventus FC a famous Italian league team based in Turin.
Sometimes the FC for football club comes in front like legendary FC Barcelona (home of Lionel Messi) although most fans just call it Barca or Barcelona.
You also see AC used in Italy… as in AC Milan, Associazione Calcio, basically Association Calcio (the county or region in Lombardy region of Italy where Milan is.)
Or AS Roma for Associazione Sportiva Roma. Or in some league’s you get an Athletico or Athletica prefix.
Real is popular too… Real Madrid the perennial powerhouse of Spanish Football is a global brand like Manchester United and picked up Real or “Royal” in 1920 when the Spanish King bestowed the royal grant on them…
Since yuppie soccer fans and now millennials love all things Old World or Euro-centric, the MLS picked up on European naming traditions using prefixes of “United”, “Sporting” and “Real” as well. With English Soccer doing great ratings for NBCSN it’s easy to see why European type branding exists.
So we get DC United or Sporting KC or Real Salt lake…
City is often added on as in Manchester City, Manchester United’s powder blue arch rivals in The EPL. In the MLS we have Orlando City. New York City FC by the way is the little brother team of Manchester City with the corporate tie in to Etihad Aiways.
There’s 2 teams in Los Angeles, The Galaxy and Chivas USA. Chivas (pronounced chee-vahs) is an associated club of Mexican powerhouse C.D. Guadalajara. CD in Mexican means Club Deprtivo (Club Sport), their nickname is Chivas or “Goats”…and is not be confused with the Chivas Brothers from Aberdeen who make the scotch.
Sure there were other suggestions for the Atlanta MLS team. I would have gone with Terminus Legion. That’s the name of the passionate soccer fans here in town who have pined for an MLS team for years. They have their own non profit organization to promote soccer in Metro Atlanta. Check out terminuslegion.com.
I might have named the team Perimeter FC or had fun with the name and called it Atlanta Traffic FC. So to some the name is mehhh…
But Atlanta United FC it is. The logo kicks ass, I love the black red & gold, which looks a bit like AC Milan’s standard. Lets get behind our newest pro team!
Next week I will explain why the field is called “a pitch”…