Good Monday morning Caps fans, hope you all are settling in for a week filled with good vibes.
The Whitecaps gave us some good news over the weekend. While the viability of the “scores from set pieces and hope for the best” strategy is not great long term, the 2-0 win over CF Montreal gave the team a needed boost ahead of an intense three-match week in which there will hopefully be some goals from open play.
For now, I’m going to go on a rant that is not directly Caps-related, something I’ve tried to do less and less because, well, you’ve got to know your audience here.
But news leaked out Sunday that Columbus Crew are gunning for a rebrand when they move into their new stadium. The OG MLS side are looking to ditch their current logo, as well as the Crew moniker, for a bland Columbus SC name. The Crew will be their team’s nickname, much like “Spurs” are the name used for Tottenham Hotspur.
The logo leaked and it is admittedly better than similar rebranding efforts in Chicago and even Montreal (although this is a hotly contested point on the interwebs):
Chicago fire: our rebrand was atrocious and there’s no way any MLS club could ever outdo it— Pablo Iglesias Maurer (@MLSist) May 9, 2021
Columbus Crew: hold my pic.twitter.com/Fy236TucS5
Most Crew fans were furious and understandably so. The fact that the organization is getting rid of one of the most enduring pieces of MLS history, one which scores of supporters fought tirelessly for in the #SavetheCrew battle, is a slap in the face to basically anyone who cares about the league.
It is not so much that the rebrand is anathema to soccer. These things happen, for better or worse, and you have to look no further than Juventus or Nantes to see that badge tweaks happen on a regular basis in Europe.
But no other league in the world gets as ginned up to erase history as MLS, which is ironic given that it has less of it than any other major league in the world. If this move goes through, where will the powers at be stop? Will any team be safe from the Photoshop monster, encroaching on its sense of self-identity in pursuit of what we can only imagine is a short-term financial gain?
This should not be interpreted as wholesale opposition to change; I get in some cases a rebrand can be a needed refresh or reconceptualization, a way of redefining what a team means in a given city and a way of introducing new fans to an old franchise.
But this just isn’t necessary in Columbus, one of America’s best soccer towns. And that is what is so alarming about it.
Vancouver, for instance, possess one of the best crests in American soccer, a NASL-era name that has loads of meaning and a color scheme that produces decent kits every year.
Would ownership, in consultation with MLS, be comfortable chucking all of that out the window at some point in the future? Would they do the same for Seattle or any other team? And, if so, do we have a soccer league or just one big fashion lineup, which changes with the seasons or whenever is financially convenient for all involved.
Perhaps I’m overdramatizing things. But the uproar on social media suggests I’m not, that there is a real, critical mass of people who don’t understand this move and find it upsetting. There will undoubtedly be pushback to the move and the team may well ultimately back off its plans because of it. But the undercurrent here remains disturbing, no matter the outcome.
Now, on a more positive note, some links...
Shameless Self Promotion
We have all the content you could want from the Montreal win, including the post match recap and a slate of report card grades from yours truly.
Meanwhile, Caleb asks if Ranko Veselinovic is ... starting to come good?
Best of the Rest
Another perspective on the Caps’ win over Montreal from BTS
More on the Crew’s potential rebrand
FC Cincinnati is reportedly close to landing former USMNT defender Geoff Camereon
Fans return to complete a wild year in the Seattle-Portland half of the Cascadia Derby
The Caps’ opponent on Wednesday, Minnesota United, is 0-4 in league play, meaning they will probably win big