If MLS’s Next campaign is really about bringing in a new era, the demise of Chivas USA gives the league a perfect chance to walk its walk. Out with an old, tired, failed brand, in with an opportunity to create something special – to show new fans that the league understands the special connection soccer can make with a broader pop culture.
“LA2” is also a chance to show Angelinos that the league understands the market. As SoCal residents know, Los Angeles is a rare beast, one that carefully walks the line between fueling the zeitgeist and precipitating its own demise. Remember: One big shake, and the cornerstone of the southland becomes the Pacific Ocean’s Atlantis (though given both Lindsay Lohan and Justin Beiber call LA home, it’s unclear that’s a bad thing).
Long before that watery future arrives, Los Angeles will be able to enjoy the arrival of its fourth major professional soccer team, one that builds on the legacies of the Aztecs, Galaxy, and that franchise we’ll soon try to forget. If MLS Next does it right, these names should help that process:
Major League Soccer has become obsessed with derby rivalry-ness, shoving Cascadia this, Cascadia that down our throats. LA’s Clasico, though? There was nothing Super about it.
Name the new team the Universe, however, and a rivalry’s sparked before the first kickoff. You’re the Galaxy, huh? Cute. Remind me what’s bigger than a galaxy? Oh, yes: A fucking Universe.
Scared declining education standards kill a good science reference? Then stick with something everybody knows: Mobile devices. We may not be able to tell our nebulas from our quasars (those are both things, right?), but hell if we can’t tell the difference between a Galaxy and an HTC One.
If you really want to offset a Galaxy, however, you go with an iPhone. You say, with your brand alone, “We are diametrically opposed to everything you stand for.” You spit in the face of every claim that values utility over style. You put Steve Jobs’s face on your crest.
Good Kids of m.A.A.d. City
Los Angeles has an insanely rich history of hip-hop stars – people who have influenced a style and sound that rivals the genre’s New York roots. From Dre, to Cube, to Snoop, L.A. deserves its own branch in the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame (a building Suge Knight would definitely try to shoot up).
Kendrick Lamar is the new incarnation, and just as Chivas USA is going to fade into silence ahead of its (triumphant?) rebirth, K.Dot’s TDE Crew has ended LA’s hip-hop sabbatical. Lamar’s Good Kid m.A.A.d City reminds us the City of Angels is good for more than Chuck Lorre sit-coms. Good Kids MC is for the kids.
Real Soccer Club of Orange County
Real, or Real? However you want to pronounce it, the new name would embody LA’s trademark lifestyle: white wine; plastic surgery; professional shopping; and the inability to navigate an unnecessary SUV.
On the field, this would mean satin kits. Instead of marching single-file out of the locker rooms, “Real of OC” would get dropped off in the center circle by golf carts. Players would walk to the sidelines during the run of play to get worked over by masseuses. Yoga mats would line the six-yard box.
You’re either SoCal or you’re not, LA2. Name your team “Real of OC,” and you’ll leave no doubt.
Then again, there is one surefire way to say “we know this market”:
In and Out FC
Because the team’s going In and Out of the league. Geeeeeeeeeet it?
But there’s also an LA connection.
Five percent of the country has eaten an In and Out burger. Ninety-eight percent wants to. The burger chain is as synonymous with LA as palm trees, kind waves, and collagen, which you can get on your Double Double if you order it “Pam Anderson style.”
The logo begs for the front of a soccer uniform. You could sell kits in the drive through. Contracting concessions would take care of itself, and the whole stadium would smell like grilled onions and fresh potatoes.
Top that, LA1.