Sunday, February 16, 2014

Buffalo Bills

 The first version of this logo was originally drawn last fall. It was a Buffaslug looking Bills logo. The current just seemed so static, so I wanted to give it a more realistic look, and provide a sense of motion.

The rebirth of this concept was done a few months ago. I finally drew the logo on inkscape, and then for some reason, i stopped. Fast forward to two weeks ago, and I needed the shape for my Winnipeg concept for my US Soccer series. I drew the full body logo. Then I was like "hmm that logo looks done. I'll just recycle the standing buffalo and pass it off as a fauxback!" And here we are now!

The script stayed the same, no outlines like what they have in the endzones now. There are things I'm not sold on their uniforms thatI hoped to fix. So the idea was a uniform based on the current nike rebrands happenig in the NFL. The old red helmets returned. Then I did a blue uniform with white pants, something that worked way better than the all navy look. The sleeve stripes and number font are the Michigan State numbers, because the fauxback looked too much like the home. The white/blue look they have on the road also looks very good, so that stayed. The alternate is a classic looking helmet with plain uniforms. I tried to match all the stripes over many background colors. This was a pretty quick concept, but I thought it was up to my quality of work.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Rivalry Cups

A few more things for everyone! My good friend Jeremy and I decided to make logos for the derbies/cups/trophies. We worked on a similar, yet very customizable, template. We wanted each logo to have the same look but be unique. So below, I'm gonna give you some information on the cups we did.

401 Derby- Toronto FC vs Montreal Impact
 Alberta Challenge- Edmonton Drillers vs Calgary Owls
 Atlantic Cup- DC United vs New York Red Bulls
 Big Apple Open- NYCFC vs New York Cosmos vs New York Red Bulls
 Brimstone Cup- Chicago Fire vs FC Dallas
 Buckey Derb- Columbus vs Cleveland vs Dayton vs Queen City
 California Clasico- Los Angeles vs San Jose vs Chivas vs Anaheim vs California vs San Francisco
 Canadian Championship
 Carolina Classic- Carolina vs Charlotte vs Charleston vs Wilmington
 Cascadia Cup- Seattle vs Vancouver vs Portland
 Checkered Classic- Indy Eleven vs Charlotte
 Commonwealth Cup- Richmond vs Northern Virginia vs Norfolk
 CONCACAF Champions League
 Desert Derby- Las Vegas vs Phoenix vs Albuquerque
 Governer's Cup- Kansas City vs St. Louis
 Heartland Classic- Chicago vs St. Louis
 Heritage Cup- New York Cosmos vs Tampa Bay Rowdies
 Independence Cup- Boston vs Philadelphia vs DC United
 Keystone Cup- Philadelphia vs 3 Rivers United vs Harrisburg
 Lone Star Cup- Austin vs Dallas vs Houston vs West Texas vs San Antonio
 New England Derby- Connecticut vs Providence
 Pan-Am Super Cup- CONCACAF Champion vs Copa Libratadors(South America) Champion
 Lamar Hunt Pioneer Cup- FC Dallas vs Columbus
 Rocky Mountain Cup- Colorado vs RSL
 Rust Belt Derby- Buffalo vs Cleveland vs Detroit
 Sunshine Shield- Tampa Bay vs Jacksonville vs Orlando vs Miami
 Trillium Cup- Toronto FC vs Columbus
 Upstate Derby- Buffalo vs Rochester
 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
 Volunteer State Cup- Memphis vs Nashville vs Chattanooga

So that's it! I'll have some more things in a few days!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Real Salt Lake

The club was one of the most successful in the MLS, consistently building teams and getting them into the playoffs. With stars like Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman, RSL made back to back MLS cups in 2013 and 2014. They would lose both to Sporting and the Red Bulls, respectively. They consistently hung around, but eventually fell behind with the retirement of Rimando and Beckerman in 2016. They were replaced by former Tampa Bay Rowdies teammates Luke Mulholland and Jeff Attinella, and RSL tried to rebuild. After a year in financial purgatory, and a possible move to Calgary, they got out of it using their own system, cutting down on cost. They had a good youth system that brought in talent in immediately. For 2017, they featured two rookie defenders, and a striker that they loaned to Charlotte. They were alright, but the players got some needed experience. They added a player from Honduras to help at attacking midfield, and left back that had been in the NASL to put in reserve of the starters.

Going into 2019, the team was trying to deepen themselves. Using the MLS free agent market, they brought in some journeymen from all around the league. With 24 teams, the value of players that you could rely on as subs was very high. They picked up a player from Seattle and one from San Antonio to put up front. With no real stars, the team banded together and shocked the sports writers. They were over achieving, beating teams that were geared for the championship like Portland and LA. At midseason, they brought in a youth striker that had been training in Las Vegas. They had a chance to make a deep playoff run, so getting a talent up front was crucial for them. They made it all the way to the MLS cup only to lose to Houston. After the championship run, they eventually had a fire sale of their most expensive players. Mulholland went to Vancouver, and Attinella went to Boston. They continued to use their own system to raise players. They made a deal with Real Madrid to harvest their talent, and earning future Spanish super stars while another team pays their fees is a great business move. The club made their clash kit all white to make the players feel like home. A few competitive seasons later, they found themselves in playoff contention, the team had an average age of 23, which was the lowest average for a playoff team in league history. Eventually the Madrid signings became less to the new loan rules. They boast a strong youth core that attracts players from all over the state. They’re still looking for their first Cup since 2009. They’re shuffled behind the high profile teams in New York and Los Angeles, but RSL is a small market team that has the pieces to make a run, they just need a manager to get them there.

I hate the blue side of their reds. I made the whole thing symmetrical with heavy on the red and navy accents. The clash is all white like I said. I made a minor change to the logo, which is make the wordmark-less crest the primary since it’s much cleaner than the current.

SC Phoenix

The base of the team in Phoenix was started with Phoenix FC of the USL. The Wolves were still around after the NASL picked the USL dry. They were rumored to make the jump to the NASL, but the USL shot down those rumors in an attempt to get them to stay in the 3rd tier. The team really did want to move to the NASL, but the league felt they needed such a big market to sustain the league for the future. By 2019 the team and the league were at each other’s necks. But what they did was declare that they were going to fold at the end of the year, and a new team would begin playing in the NASL the next year.

After all this drama, the team began playing using the SC Phoenix moniker. Using desert colors, the team tried to get the soccer interest of Phoenix and the surrounding area. They got the backing of some rich people from Arizona, and the team started to make moves. In addition to the same basic roster, they picked up a MLS player looking to get back into the top league to put at midfield. They also picked up a former Mexican international that had gotten kicked out of Liga MX due to a match fixing scandal to put in defense. The support was growing, thanks to the more marketability of the new league. Playing teams like the Cosmos and Indy Eleven was more appealing to fans than playing teams from Charleston or Harrisburg. But the team was still playing in the Padres/Mariners spring training stadium the nearby city of Peoria, the home of Phoenix FC. They began looking at places in downtown Phoenix that could hold a stadium. In 2024 they signed a deal to bring an 18,000 seat stadium to downtown, near the Suns’ arena. This was huge because the promotion/relegation deal had just been made, and everyone was gearing themselves for promotion. The owners then wanted to spend and spend to bring the very best team to the area in time for the move. The cost was split 50-50 between public and private money to build the “Phoenix Soccer Complex”. They began signing good players to huge contracts, and building a better youth facility. The previous players had been training on surrounding baseball fields at the spring training complex. A Mexican U-20 team player was brought in to help out at attack, the main area for Phoenix’ lack of trophies. They also picked up a player the Cosmos were in a contract discussion with, but didn’t want to shell out the money the player wanted. Him at defense would help the whole back line. The team had a mix of US and Mexican players, and the community was getting really into it. In 2026, the team made the playoffs for the first time. Everything was on pace for promotion. They had won 3 straight Desert Derbies over Las Vegas and later Albuquerque. Going into 2027, the fans had a new stadium, and two former top division European players to look forward to. Specifically, a player from the Dutch league, and a player from the Czech Republic. The Saguaros were picked as a team with a chance to win the Soccer Bowl, but the week leading up to the championship, the worst thing happened. Their rich owner was arrested for insider trading on the stock market. This was a huge blow, they didn’t have the main source of income for the team. A month into the season, a story broke about the players not being paid. By the end of that year, the team was bankrupt. To save face, and the risk of only fielding 23 teams in the first promotion/relegation season, the league ran the team. With the help of the city of Phoenix(who didn’t want to spend public money for a stadium to have them fold), they sold off all of their players, and picked up the cheapest free agents they could. The 2028 team was historically bad, but that was because the league ran everything but the lineup. The coach did show some class and took what he could with the team he was given. He accepted a pay cut to help the team. In 2029, the team averaged 22.4 years of age, mostly youth players rushed into the starting lineup. Decent USL players were brought in too. In June of the season, the team got out of the red, and the owner of the Cardinals picked up the tab, and SC Phoenix finally got to their feet. They did go out and pick up some former MLS players to help train the youngsters, but a lot of people have Phoenix as being relegated. They still averaged 9k fans a game, even though all the trouble. If they can save themselves for one year, and build upon it, they might be able to turn everything around and make the top tier down the road.

The colors were the colors of a Diamondback concept I did at one time. It was the old colors with black instead of purple. I used a shape I played with and some cacti I made last year, with the Arizona flag on top. I went with a Manchester United type look for them, and matched with the rare teal uniform, I thought it looked halfway decent. The clash has some of that bronze I used, but I didn’t want to pull the trigger on a metallic top.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Anaheim Blues

The Los Angeles Blues were playing in the USL since 2010. Playing at Cal State Fullerton, they were in the shadow of the MLS teams in the area. Los Angeles Galaxy II started playing in the USL for 2014, and the team made the decision to move to Irvine. They rebranded as the Orange County Blues and started play at the stadium at UC-Irvine. From there, the team started to build an identity. Attendance slowly got better, and they averaged into the thousands in attendance, a number they had never achieved.

In 2016, Chivas’ plan to play downtown fell through, ultimately resulting in their move to San Diego. The fans still continued to support Orange County, growing in support as the team separate from the LA teams like the Ducks and Angels have done before. Los Angeles Galaxy shut down their USL side in 2019 due to losing money to run them. This made the Galaxy and Blues as the two teams in the LA metropolitan area. The Blues somehow survived to this point after a very turbulent time. In 2020 the Galaxy signed a deal with the Blues to send their youth players there to get experience. This deal worked in favor of both teams. The Galaxy could focus on the MLS, and the Blues were getting good players to help draw fans. The team enjoyed a few studs to come through the system. A USMNT U-20 player anchored the midfield for the 2020 and 2021 season. The Galaxy fans who wanted to see him drove down and helped in attendance for Orange County. They eventually started a summer soccer camp for the kids in Orange County. This was the early building blocks of a youth system. They claimed Orange County as their own, and would take some players from the Galaxy that they wouldn’t want. The Blues were stuck in idle for a few years. In 2025, the team made an announcement to build a small 9,000 seat stadium near the Ducks’ arena. The moved marked a big moment in the team’s history, they were now their own team with aspirations of possibly promoting to the big leagues. The team started playing in Anaheim in 2027. The move caught attention with the signing of Frank Lampard as a manager. The Englishman was trying to break into the coaching circuit. Why did he choose such a small club? They offered him 49% of the ownership, and to sweeten the deal, the Blues rebranded looking a lot like Chelsea. He agreed and brought an English style of play to Orange County. The team hangs around .500, but Lampard is still manning the bench, and Anaheim now can move up. They most likely won’t any time soon, but the soccer culture is there.

Literally between the time I did the concept and typed this, the team rebranded and moved so I had to cover my ass. The colors are blue and orange. One for the club, one for the county. I felt like Los Angeles could support two teams so I kept them around just as a lifetime achievement award. They were close to being rebranded as the Aztecs too! The crest shape comes from an old concept I did. But it’s pretty basic if you ask me.

San Jose Earthquakes

San Jose was one of the better MLS teams back in the early 2010s. With the new stadium that opened in 2015, the Quakes were continuing to add to the deep history of the team. After another 2 playoff runs in, the team of the early 2010s started to be dismantled, whether it was due to age or trades. After that, the team went in a slump. For 6 years, the team missed the playoffs. Their youth stars would come up and move on because San Jose was considered a lost cause. The fans were showing up, but they were disgruntled. But in 2023, the team made some smart moves.

They brought in a former MLS American coach that had been coaching in League One in the UK before getting axed by new management. They gave him the heavy task of turning the team around. He brought over a striker from his English side, two defenders from the MLS, and a Japanese national team midfielder that had been playing in Australia. They also rebranded back to a mix of their old logo. The curse may have been broken, because the team made a run to the playoffs and snuck in on the last game. Now they were cooking with fire. With the announcement of the promotion/relegation system, they knew that they needed to improve the team on all aspects. The new coach retained a whole class of youth players, and stole a player from Los Angeles that they weren’t wanting to give his desired contract to. They brought in a player from the Panama national team to help in defense. The team had a great starting XI, but weren’t very deep. They made a move to bring up a NASL player from Sacramento that had scored 14 goals the previous season. The 2024 team made a deep run to the playoffs before being knocked out. The community had soccer fever, HP signed a sponsorship deal, and they were selling out every home game. This wasn’t good enough for the Quakes. They retooled their offense and got runner up in the MLS after losing to Philadelphia in the finals. That year they opened up a deal with San Francisco SC as a place for their youth to gain some experience. Fast forward to the 2027 season, and the MLS writers were writing off San Jose, considering them mid-table and nor going to make the playoffs. The manager took that personal. They brought up a goalkeeper from their youth system the previous year and he earned the starting spot when the previous starter retired. This was the final piece they needed. Their team had 7 starters that were from their academy, the Earthquakes probably had the deepest team in the last 10 years. The team finished 2nd in the league, surprising everyone that wasn’t the Earthquakes. The team carried them to a championship over Philadelphia, who had bested them two years before. San Jose has built a deep team, but is declining in strength since the championship. A few players have left to the MLS or Europe. They should finish in the top half of the MLS, but anything is possible.

I waited to see what the rebrand would look like, and I just hate it. The old logo was better, but I wanted to change a few things. I replaced the clip art looking soccer ball with the default one of this project. The shape was way better so that stayed. I did shockwaves on the crest that get smaller the farther away from the ball it is. The blue/black/blue look is back on the home, and the clash is a black version of the home. I wanted to focus on blue and black, but kept red as an accent color.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Kitsap Pumas

The Pumas were playing in the USLPDL, and tearing it up. They had won 2 championships from 2014 and 2019. They were known as one of the best teams in the league. The USL was looking to expand to bigger markets not taken up by the NASL. Teams in cities like New Orleans and Buffalo were popping up. There was a rumor started that Kitsap was going to make the jump to the USL. Everyone dismissed this as the team trying to spark interest in order to make the move. But the team had no idea where the announcement came from. Turns out, some people at the Sounders started it in an attempt to bring up a team in the Seattle market to send players to. At first, the USL denied this move. But together, the Pumas and Sounders worked out a deal and pitched it to the league. The deal included an expansion to Bremerton Memorial Stadium to make it 10,000 seats. They were accepted and the Pumas would begin to play in the USL in 2020. 

The small time team was helped out a lot thanks to the Sounders. In the 2020 season, the Sounders had their brightest academy midfielder start in Kitsap for the first year. Playing a relatively weak league, the Pumas made the playoffs their first year. They continued to get better with the support of the MLS side, and people closer to Kitsap preferring to go to the USL games than drive to Seattle and see the Sounders. The deal hit the climax when Kitsap won the 2023 championship with 7 Sounders in the starting lineup. The teams of the USL were upset due to the Sounders using Kitsap as a minor league team, instead of the Pumas just having their own team. Fan groups in the league began calling them “Sounders Jr.”. After one more championship run, and a loss in the finals to Buffalo, US Soccer started a rule where MLS teams can only have 6 players from one team on loan to another. This rule hurt Kitsap because they couldn’t draw many free agents. They were near Seattle, but they weren’t a big team to draw players. They signed 2 players that were knocked out of Seattle’s lineup, but they would leave 2 years after to their respective MLS sides. A player from Senegal came to Kitsap and scored 12 goals in his first 24 games, and became a fan favorite. Kitsap has decreased in skill and attendance, but still has the chance to contend with the Sounders in a few years. It might be unlikely, but with the new system, anything is possible.

Kitsap is one of those PDL teams I know about that I just kind of like. Their logo is simple and smart. I could’ve easily put a team in Tulsa or something, but I wanted this team in my league because I like what they’re about. A small team in a market of a big team. That would be a cool rivalry if either team was in the same league. I did a Puma jersey with the white and blue hoops, pretty simple. The clash is black with the same piping as the home.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Calgary Owls

The Owls were the dream of a rich soccer fan in Calgary. He attempted to lure a team there, mostly for his own satisfaction. When Real Salt Lake was in trouble, he started a movement to buy the team, and move them up north. He released an identity for the team, named the Owls (the provincial bird of Alberta), with an Owl sitting ontop of a ball like his favorite EPL side Tottenham. He even had the plans for a 20,000 seat stadium to be built, nicknamed the Bird House. RSL was saved, and remained in the beehive state. But two struggling USL franchises were his next target. Tulsa and Colorado Springs began play in 2015. Both teams were on the verge of folding in 2019, when he bought Colorado Springs, and moved them to Alberta. The stadium plans were released, and construction on the privately funded 15,000 seat stadium started. 

They started playing in McMahan Stadium for the first two seasons. Attendance was mediocre, and the Calgary press called the team a bust. The highest attendance was from a friendly against Edmonton, the first game in the history of the Alberta Challenge. He was a firm believer in the club, saying how they’re going to be built for the MLS. The academy was set up, and the team claimed to be set for the future. The first big signings were in 2020. Former Whitecaps Corey Hertzog and Bryce Alderson came to the Rockies to play for the Owls. This sparked some interest, two former MLS players came to the team to help them grow. The team made a run for the 2021 championship, before being knocked out by Dayton as they won 3 straight cups. The Owls got national attention for a fight that broke out between fans of Edmonton and fans of Calgary. The Calgary fans claim something was said involving a cow. Calgary’s supporters are known as goons by the rest of the Canadian soccer community. After this incident, the supporters went by the moniker “The Whooligans” When the tier announcement was made, the Owl’s owner might’ve been the most excited. Finally, a chance to jump up to the MLS. He vowed to make the team competitive by 2030. The team has had a few youth players go up through the system and play first team. One midfielder in particular earned a USL best starting XI in 2025. He was sold to Houston in time for the 2027 campaign. They bought two players with the money from that deal, both from NASL sides. The Owls can definitely compete for promotion, but League Two is very competitive. They’re gonna have to get by teams like Dayton, Hearts, and ATX before they can make League One. They do have the support for a team that could play in the MLS one day.

I had this logo drawn way back before I even did West Texas. The idea was simple, but I couldn’t get it right. I decided it needed to be simple, and have no detail on the bird, just to make it easier on myself, and your eyes. The logo was inspired by Tottenham obviously. I actually really liked how it turned out. The uniforms are pretty damn basic, but that was from me wanting a simple identity that would look like it has existed for years.

Winnipeg Bison SC

Soccer in the ‘peg has a short history. WSA Winnipeg began playing in 2011. The USLPDL team was playing under the World Soccer Academy umbrella. This brought up a lot of talent for the team, which started to play pretty good for a team buried on the 4th tier of the Canadian soccer pyramid. The players would get picked up by larger Canadian clubs. In 2024, the announcement was made for the new tier system to be in place. WSA Winnipeg had a great team, winning two championships in the 2020s, and producing some players that went to the World Cup. Winnipeg wanted to make the jump and grab a spot in the USL while they could, but the funds weren’t there. That is when the True North Entertainment Group stepped up to fund the move. Under the deal, the same personnel would run the team, but TNEG would be the source of the funds. They worked out a deal with the Blue Bombers to split Investors Group Field. This was the 4th team to split a stadium with a CFL franchise. They rebranded to a simple crest, based off of many Bundesliga looks. The crest featured a bison and wheat to represent Manitoba.

The first team was made of a lot of players looking for a way back into the top flight. NASL and USL free agents from all over came to Winnipeg. They were teamed with the team that WSA Winnipeg built up over the years. The first game was against the Calgary Owls, starting a rivalry between the two clubs. Winnipeg was known for being good on the youth front, but that was good for the 4th tier, not so much the USL tier. With the teams and systems getting better all around Canada, they don’t have much of a choice than to go to free agency to bolster the team. Competing with Halifax and Calgary on the 3rd tier, the teams wanted to best eachother. Winnipeg’s first big signing was a player from Manitoba that had been playing on Richmond. He had a first team spot, but knew that he was going to be forced out by a youth player, so he bolted back to his home. The Bisons had their best season in 2027. They brought in a keeper from Columbus that had been replaced by a draft pick. He proceeded to be a wall in back, with the help of defenders from Saudi Arabia, and Mexico that have floated around in US soccer. Winnipeg claims to have the best fans in Canadian soccer. The Voyager’s group in Winnipeg has the largest fan base in the group, and the Prairie Boys fan group is known as the Timbers Army of the north. Promotion might be a stretch for this team, because they’re so young, and don’t have the market like other teams that started in 2024. That, and the academy is still being tooled up for assault on the Soccer League.

I had no idea what I wanted to do for Winnipeg. On my spreadsheet, I wrote in brown and yellow just as a place holder for the color scheme. My girlfriend was saying how Providence City’s crest is so different from all the others. That logo was pretty German in origin, no words, just icons and numbers. So in my head I kinda just did the same thing. The wheat is from the Winnipeg yakball team I did, and the bison is a full body version of a Bills rebrand I worked on a while ago but never posted. I thought an all-checkered team might be a good unique look for a team that stood out as one of the cooler teams in the series.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Ottawa Fury

The Fury’s new reincarnation started playing in the NASL in 2014. The first team was a lot of free agent players from around the league, playing in the new Redblacks stadium. 

They weren’t that great, but that was what was expected of the first team. The second year, the main focus of the team was signing Canadian players. Several free agents from American MLS teams that were from Canada. They tried the hardest out of the now 5 Canadian teams to stay domestic in the free agent market. They also wanted to build up a youth system from the get go. They built a facility outside of the city to grow the team. Led by a Canadian manager, the team was contending for the playoff spot in the NASL before running out of gas at the end of the season. Going into 2018, the Redblacks were struggling financially, before the Fury owners bought up the team. They now had two teams to manage in the capital. The Fury had 22 Canadian players on a 26 man roster. But the team wasn’t getting better thanks to how far behind Canada was in the soccer world. They worked on a deal to bring a player dropped from his SPL side to Ottawa. He was the cornerstone of the 2020 team, helping out at mid and being the main form of offense on the counter attack. After two years and the first playoff birth in team history, Vancouver picked him up with a better contract. The team is known for overachieving in the Canadian Championship. A fierce rivalry between Ottawa and Toronto was formed after matching up in the domestic tournament 6 straight years. The soccer RedBlacks have no league or domestic trophies, and normally they’re in the bottom half. Expect a bottom half finish in 2030, but not bad enough to be relegated. The problem with the team is that they rely too much on domestic players. The team has some future with a pretty good youth system, but eventually the bigger Canadian clubs scoop them up. With the increased Soccer League salary cap, the team has some room to spread their legs if they want to compete. 

The half red, half black uniforms return for this team. But the one thing wrong with them was the current have the pattern continue to the pants. The clash is white, different from the black current clash, which is kind of stupid. Just one of those teams I had to do kits for. I had a harder time vectorizing the logo than I did doing the concept, to be honest.

Halifax United

The team is truly one that is from two teams uniting. There were two Canadian league teams in Halifax. They were competing with each other, and had a bitter rivalry, but the proximity of each other made it hard to attract talent. Both teams couldn’t sustain themselves with the talent split. The CFL announced a 10th team in Halifax to start play in 2019, and a new 22,000 seat stadium would be built downtown. Both soccer teams were losing a lot of money, and worked out a deal to merge the rivals in order to better the chance of surviving. They would begin playing in the USL in 2019 at the new stadium. After that, Halifax United were born.

The merging the funds and fields helped out the academy for the big team. A player that came up through the system for Halifax was the team’s first big player. In attack, he only had 5 shots not on target his rookie year, and scored a total of 22 goals. The city took notice, and started to come out every weekend to support both the soccer and football team. He became the first big name. The team didn’t do so hot, but had a lot of talent from the merger of the two teams. 5 new players were in the opening day starting XI the second year, including two players picked up from Ottawa and Montreal. Their superstar came out and had a hat trick in the first game. He went on to score 26 goals, a USL record. In the offseason, Halifax sold him to Montreal. He had been starting for the Canadian National Team, so his stock was rising and the deal was too good for United to refuse. That was the first deal in the history of the two franchises, who Montreal agreed to send their youth players to Halifax for seasoning. The team became stronger with the mostly Canadian talent. Many pro players from the Maritimes would play there to play in front of their home crowd. The former player led Canada to their first World Cup win in 2022 over Qatar. He was sold from Montreal to Everton after the 2022 season. Canadian soccer was blowing up, a lot of youth players came in, which would feed the team for years to come. The team had a miraculous run to the Canadian Championship finals in 2025, but lost to Montreal due to the deal not allowing their players to play against the MLS club. Halifax has no trophies, but they are always in the mix, and a scary team to play when they get hot. They’re an outside shot for promotion, but they are responsible for growing the game in Canada.

The crest shape was taken from nas’ Halifax team in his Canadian league. The colors are taken from the color of the Renault F1 team from 2007 or so. I thought I could do something cool. The crest has the fort shape, the kingfisher from the Halifax flag, and some more symbols from the same flag. I went navy on the home, and yellow and orange on the clash jersey. I wanted unique and colorful for them, and I think I accomplished it.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Northern Virginia Cavalry

This team almost never happened. They began building a baseball stadium in Ashburn, VA for the Cavalry and an independent team to play there in 2014. The stadium wasn’t finished, and they delayed the start until 2015. 

The first NASL season wasn’t one to write home about. The team finished last, and almost folded. They hung in there, trying to stay afloat with NASL free agents, and USL players looking to take the next step. They were late in the game to build a youth system, and in such a competitive soccer state, they weren’t able to get many good athletes. Their first good player they got was a defender from the University of Virginia, who wasn’t drafted in the MLS draft. He helped the team out, earning a NASL best XI. That year, NoVa signed a deal with DC United to host players for them to get first team playing time. With that deal, DC United scooped up their best player. The team had another down year with only a few players from DC playing for them. They went out and signed an Israeli player from FC Ashdad trying to take the next step in his career. They still weren’t doing great on the field, but the supporters were coming. The location in Ashburn was closer and less crowded than getting to Buzzard Point in downtown DC. They knew that the players that took the field were playing for a glorified minor league team. They signed the assistant coach from DC United during the Spanish manager’s regime as their new head coach. He turned the team around, and earned the first over .500 season in team history. Another positive season, and he was hired as the manager for AC St. Louis. NoVa’s biggest rivals, the Richmond Kickers, were starting a fierce-one sided rivalry. The Kickers won the first 8 meetings between the teams before the Cavs beat them on the stretch run of a season so Richmond would miss the playoffs. Northern Virginia is the weakest team in League One. They should be relegated if they continue to sputter along. They have the lowest capacity stadium in League One, so they might feel more at home in League Two.

I replaced the grey with pewter because that color scheme was overused. I also changed the name to Northern Virginia, because I thought that was the team name until recently! The kits are Under Armour, and I just kinda made what I thought looked good.

DC United

DC United might be the most storied franchise in the MLS, but they haven’t won any trophies since the 2013 US Open Cup. United was still playing at RFK Stadium in 2014, when they made the announcement that they would begin construction on a stadium at Buzzard Point, near Nationals Stadium. They had an awful season in 2013, holding the record for the least wins in a MLS season. DCU rebounded in 2014 after signing a few players like Eddie Johnson, Fabian Espindola, and their draft picks. But the team was still far off from a playoff spot. 

After almost losing crowd favorites Kyle Porter and Chris Pontius, they fired their coach and hired a manager that had been fired 6 games into the La Liga season. The fiery Spanish manager wasn’t messing around, and tried to change the team’s style. He brought in one of his favorite midfielders from his Spanish club as a designated player. He then attempted to make the team play a tiki taka style of offense. Teamed with the arsenal of high draft picks DC gathered over the years, and a few more MLS players added through free agency, the new style of play shocked the MLS. No team had seen anything like it. In their last season at RFK, they won 10 of their first 15, and shot out to first in the east. As the season went on, they were figured out and weren’t as hot as they had been. With such a good start, they earned the 3rd seed in the playoffs. They were ousted in the first round. That next year, they moved into Buzzard Point, rebranded their logos, and continued to try and build upon what they had the previous season. The tiki taka strategy wasn’t as effective, and the team had a slow start. They picked up a player from Spain on loan for the off season trying to get more playing time to get a World Cup bid. With him at attack opened up the offense and DC United was firing on all cylinders again. But he bolted back to Spain at the start of the season, leaving DC United out to dry, and unable to advance upon their 2nd seed in the east. The youth team started to provide players for the senior club, which helped them out on both offense and defense, two places they lacked top talent in. They signed a deal to send their young players to play for the Northern Virginia Cavalry as a feeder team when they finally started playing. The Spanish manager left DC United when given an offer by a Spanish team in the relegation zone in an attempt to keep them up in the top flight. DC United had success with a European coach, so they picked up a coach from Serie A that had been fired around Christmas. But his style was typical Italian, very strong defense play, and very little offensive imagination. He completely dismantled the team that the previous manager had built, and went for a defensive style. This angered the players who thought they had something going for them. The defensive focus helped out in back, but not up front, and DCU scored the 3rd least goals in MLS in 2018. DC United missed the playoffs for 3 more seasons before firing that manager. They brought in a coach from the NASL to help out. He became the face of a franchise for not taking any crap from other teams. The players respect him, and play started to get better, and with the young talent he gave opportunities to, DC United made their first playoff in a long time in 2024. The manager is still there, but DC United is on a downswing talent wise. But their owners are ready to spend some cash to keep them in the top flight. A mid table finish is likely, with the goal being a playoff spot.

I was gonna rebrand this team from day 1. But the first couple of drafts weren’t that good. I was using the current logo too much as a crutch. Then I decided to just go all out. I love the DC flag, so that was the base of the white and red swap on the crest. Then I put the eagle from the current logo in it, with no poorly drawn details from the current. The kits have stripes and stars like the flag, and the rest is pretty similar to their current look.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

FC Norfolk

The Destroyers were one of the team that rushed into being a team thanks to the announcement of the new system in 2024. The team made waves before the first season started in 2025. They picked up a 35 year old MLS player to help the inaugural team in the attack position. They signed a deal to play at Norfolk State’s football stadium for the first half of the season then come football season, play the remaining home games at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. They brought in all sorts of talent from the Norfolk Region, mostly former college players. They had a decent year, but fans were angered by miscommunication about a home game against Connecticut, where the team changed to the VBS at the last minute.

Season two was a lot better front office wise. They picked up some USL players in the free agent market, and got a good player from SC to groom at mid. Norfolk State wasn’t happy about the field condition, ending the contract to play there. The 27,000 seat stadium was too big for the team anyway, FC Norfolk began playing at the 11,000 seat Virginia Beach Sportsplex, but it was out of the way from a lot of the fans. They saw the attendance drop to 5,000 fans a game. The team almost closed up shop before the 2027 season, but they signed a deal for a soccer specific stadium to be built down town near the Norfolk Scope. This excited fans, leading to an increased attendance at the Sportsplex. With the many fields all around the stadium, they started a youth club for their academy. They attracted the best players all around with the reachable goal of professional soccer. The team started playing for a rivalry trophy with the Kickers and Cavalry known as the Commonwealth Cup. The team moved into the new stadium for 2029, which was a great way to grow the team. Located in the center of the market, the Chesapeake Bay Stadium would lead to an average of 9,000 fans every game. They also built a front office building at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex to run their team from. The practice fields, and academy would continue to play there going into the 2030 season. They aren’t expected to be promotion worthy just yet, but the fan base is being built.

This was the last team I did! I wanted a navy theme. The crest shape represents the hull of a destroyer. I made the crest two tone like the shading of a battle ship. The stripes represent the naval stripes of a commander. The kits are pretty bold. Giant chevrons matching the crest. I moved the sponsor down just so you could easily read it. The kit is also split down the middle like the crest. Nothing too crazy, I think it was a mix of things I thought looked good and eagerness to say I’m done.

Wilmington Hammerheads

The Hammerheads were one of the teams that survived the period in the USL that almost caused the league to fold. They were battling fierce rivals like Charleston and Harrisburg for the championship in the transitional period of the league. With the number of teams low, the talent was shifted to the remaining teams. 

One of the older teams in US soccer weren’t able to capitalize on the time before the USL got its footing back in larger markets. By the time the league expanded back, the time had passed for Wilmington. The Hammers couldn’t attract free agents to the North Carolina city to play in the 6,000 seat Legion field with teams like Baltimore and San Francisco starting to appear. What they decided to do is create a very strong academy program. Taking East Carolina as their region, the Hammerheads were able to groom some talent. A keeper from Wilmington came into the league and won second team all USL in his rookie year. Up front, they added an academy player. He scored 2/3rd of every goal the Hammerheads scored that year. Going into year two, he was sold for a big contract to Charlotte FC. They flipped the money and went out and picked up two NASL players looking for jobs. They became cornerstones of the team, helping out in defense. The Hammerheads then sold their goalkeeper to Atlanta to be a backup. They took that money and helped out their offense through free agents. The Hammerheads became the favorite trading spot for clubs to pick up talent. The system has worked for them, each player they sell, they pick up two players that will help them before a new crop of talent comes in and replaces them, only to be sold away. This is how the Hammerheads have done it. The have shown improvement, but need a manager who can harness the talent and get the players to perform in the USL. They’re geared for a mid-table finish, but they have some talent coming up in a few years that might help the Hammerheads earn promotion into League One.

The Hammerheads got a new logo for this season, and it’s pretty bad. I played around with a shape and put a modified shark logo that I had from a different project as the icon in this (modified to the right kind of fish). The sky and white stripes are the main focus for the team, because it’s something that is unique enough that they can hold as their own. The clash is obviously taken from the Dutch World Cup kit.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Memphis Rogues

The team was formed after the announcement of the 3 tier system. The team was rushed into formation, just to make sure they had a team in the city. The name was taken from the NASL club that was there in the late 70s. The owners wanted to act as if the team was still living today. They inked a deal with warrior, and let them go nuts, as long as the home remained head to toe red. The crest featured an elephant, which was featured on the original crest. 

They would begin the 2024 season playing in the same place the old team played, the Liberty Bowl. This was way too big for the small time team. The initial support was due to the rivalries with the Metros and Chattanooga. The fans called for a team that would beat those teams every time they would play. The owners went out and picked up a French player that had bounced around the US leagues. He found a home at midfield, and became a fan favorite. They scouted the Gold Cup, and brought in two player from Belize, and one from Martinique. The team wanted a quick start and they got it, their second year they finished over .500. The team surprised everyone, and turned some heads when they stole a player from Orlando City who wasn’t getting any playing time. They signed a deal with the city to build a small 10,000 seat stadium right next to the Liberty Bowl. The Rogues might be the best team in Tennessee. Their academy is very basic, so they’re going to have to rely on free agency for a few years. The support is there, and they can almost sell out their stadium. But it’s a few years off from the Rogues being back in the big time.

The logo was kicking my ass. I was talking to a good friend from Memphis, and he was vouching for dual blues because every team in Memphis is that color scheme. The logo was the same, but I replaced the light blue with white because it just wasn’t working for me. I thought that the colors matched the flag, so it would work. The home kit needed to be all red because of the old look. As far as design, I just went nuts with it because it was Warrior.

Nashville Metros

The new Metros started up kind of abruptly. A businessman who graduated from Vanderbilt was captivated by the 2018 US World Cup team thought he could bring a team to the city. Doing some research, he found out about the Nashville Metros. The team started play in 1989, but folded in 2012. Nashville has hosted US games, so there is a soccer culture. But they haven’t had anyone to run them like a franchise. He contacted the AO club in the city, and selected members to help him out. The team landed a USL team to start play in 2020. With the AAA baseball team Nashville Sounds moving to a new downtown stadium in 2015, the owner looked into the status of Greer Stadium. The old stadium was only holding high school baseball games very rarely. He talked to the owners and got the OK to play the Metros home games there. They got the rights to the Metros name, but would use black and gold as the colors as an ode to his alma mater.

The inaugural team was made up of USL free agents, and college players from around the state. Obviously, they didn’t do too well on the field. But the team was showing more support than the team had ever gotten pre-folding. They averaged 6,000 fans a game their first year, which was something to improve upon. In the off season, they did some minor renovations to the stadium, and famous guitar-shaped scoreboard. The team went out and picked up an aging MLS veteran from the city to help out at midfield. As an attempt to score more goals, they picked up a player from Iceland that had played one year in the NASL before getting cut. The Metros showed more life on the field and finished a few games under .500. They fired their manager, and picked up a coach from the NPSL as a way to bring the team together. An intense rivalry was formed with Chattanooga. The Metros fans showed up big and loud to Chattanooga and helped the Metros steal some wins. In 2024, the Memphis Rogues began playing. The three teams started to play for the Volunteer State Cup. All playing in the USL, the Metros were win the first trophy. They never were that great in league play. The team hasn’t had a true soccer professional in the front office, just a rich owner listening to fans. Only recently they started constructing a youth facility for the future of the Metros, but Nashville has a lot of soccer talent, so they have had some players get into the system, and make the front office optimistic. They go into 2030 with some new toys. They picked up a player from Uganda to put in at Defense, then they added a former MLS all-star at attack. They are predicted to finish around mid-table in 2030, but anything is possible.

The crest shape is taken from Stoke. I wanted something very basic. Just gold and black with a star. I thought music themed had already been done by teams in the city, so this is just a conservative concept. I thought white/gold/white was a pretty good home look. I thought about doing yellow and navy, but then all the teams in Tennessee would have some sort of blue, so I decided against it.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Queen City SC

A team with a short history, but still have accomplished a lot. The AO group in Cincinnati got together to build the foundation of a USL side. They had very little fan support initially, but made the smart deal to harbor Columbus Crew players, seasoning them until they were ready for MLS. The team played their first season on the campus of Cincinnati at the Ben and Dee Gettler Stadium soccer field. After year one, they knew that this wasn’t going to work for the future. It was just too small, and kinda hard to get to. They couldn’t play in the Bengals stadium because it was too big. They began talking to city council about a small soccer specific stadium. After they initially were turned down, they got backing from local companies, and wanted to pay for it privately. They found a spot along the Ohio River near the rest of the pro stadiums in the city and began building. On the field, the team was about half Crew players, and half young players picked up from college teams. QCSC worked out a deal with local soccer clubs to breed talent for the future. They went out and signed a player from Edmonton who had been cut by the Drillers to put in attack. They also signed a player from El Salvador who was a free agent for their defense. They were showing signs of life, and the influx of talent from Columbus helped out. Their first over .500 season was in 2024, which could be built upon. For the new stadium opening in 2025, the team went out and signed some players. A goalkeeper from Uruguay, a Canadian midfielder, and a player bought from Nashville helped the team out in depth. The players from Columbus they were getting were better and better. Matched with the new support at the new 13,000 seat stadium, the team went on an unbelievable run. They went 14 games without a loss. Eventually, Connecticut cut them down on the road, but the team captivated the city and drew well against the Reds. The team went into the playoffs 2nd, but would host the championship and win for their first trophy in team history. The team has been dismantled by higher up clubs, but the deal with Columbus should help them out and possibly promoted so more talent can come to Cincinnati. The shape and color was something I had in mind from the beginning. The waves and leaf crown are from the city flag. It’s pretty basic, but I felt like it was strong enough the way I had it. The jerseys are pretty simple too.

Columbus Crew

The Crew are one of the most storied franchises in the MLS. The team was sold to a new owner in 2013, with the vision of making Columbus the Green bay Packers of soccer. So after the 2014 season, the Crew rebranded for a simpler design. The logo featured a bright shade of yellow to stand out, with a gear making a C as the center point. But all new uniforms wouldn’t help the play on the field. The team struggled due to big market teams taking all of the free agents. What they needed to do was set up a strong academy system fast. So in 2017, a new facility was built for the senior and junior players outside of town. The best they could do was build through the draft, the last few years the team hadn’t been drafting that well. They signed a new scout and head of youth development to help with the future of the team. The team had another losing season in the MLS, so the head coach was axed. They signed a coach from the USL to come in and turn things around. He had a 5-2-1-2 formation with the idea to bring in players that could help in the front. He signed an rom the Japanese National team, and paired him with the 4th overall pick in the draft. To bolster the back line, an Australian right back that was unsigned by Houston came in and got a starting position. The team showed signs of life, finishing above .500 for the first time in several years. The academy was showing progress of development when a core of 4 players from a state champion high school team joined the academy and turned heads. The spending spree wasn’t done, a midfielder that impressed in Charlotte was signed to help out, but the biggest acquisition in the off season was a goalkeeper from Akron taken 5th overall in the draft. The team had another solid season and went into 2020 as one of the teams to watch in the MLS. They were building an all around team. Going into that 2020 season, they picked up a 23 year old midfielder from Atlanta who was born in Mississippi. They never really had a strong leader, just a bunch of role guys, but after half a season it was apparent that he was a guy to watch. He led Columbus to their first playoff bid in a long time. This galvanized Columbus. The Crew and Blue Jackets were now potential championship contenders, and with their seasons hardly overlapping, the fans didn’t have to choose who to root for. The player began playing some games for the US National Team as the Crew improved. Ultimately, he made the World Cup roster. With the time for the academy to grow, and the increased support, Columbus became self sufficient in players. They eventually sold their free agents, only to replace them by draft picks and great youth players. The system was to bring them in as a reserve for one year, then would be a starter the next. They made a run to the semi finals before losing on a late goal to be denied the MLS cup. After the 2022 season, the Crew sold their big player to Schalke, and used the money to improve facilities at Crew Stadium. They also made a deal with the new Queen City SC out of Cincinnati. The team now added a step to the process, a year in Cincinnati then to the reserves as a way to get experience. The Crew were very talented and deep, but no one took control and that was the big reason they haven’t won a cup. Their players did win a USL title with Queen City, but the team couldn’t sign everyone, and many of that roster was dispersed among US Soccer. I wanted a new crest, but I felt like the 3 burly guy look wasn’t strong. I went with my simple gear logo. The crest is very rigid, and I thought that was better than any curves for a team like this. The kits have darker yellow lines like the crest. Nothing else is really that crazy!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Indy Eleven

The Eleven started play in 2014, and immediately captured the attention of the city. With such a big following before the team ever kicked off, they sold out almost every game their first year at the IUPUI soccer stadium. In the first off season, they were looking for places to build a new stadium. After a few months of planning, they staked out a place for a 20,000 seat stadium in East Indianapolis set to be completed in 2017. The plans came with a great training ground and 4 more fields for their academy to play. The team wanted to build up for that year, they went out and signed a midfielder away from Colorado, and brought in two defenders from the USL to bide time for their academy to catch up. Along the way, they formed rivalries with teams like Carolina and Tampa Bay. Indy couldn’t be taken lightly, since they hit the ground running. Their goal was to be able to compete with MLS teams and make the jump some day. The club was a great destination for players graduating from the soccer hot bed of Indiana University. The team became very vocal in the community and couldn’t hold everyone at IUPUI. So the opening of the Eleven Grounds was very welcome in the 2017 season. To celebrate, the team went out and purchased a forward from Bolton, a midfielder from a second tier French side, and a backup goalkeeper from Atlanta. They were geared for the championship run with the home grown talent supporting cast. They went on to win the 2017 Soccer Bowl. This caught the attention of a lot of people in the US Soccer community. Rumors had Indy moving to the MLS, but those were squashed eventually. One of their defenders coming from IU worked his way into the USMNT roster for the 2018 World Cup, which was a huge deal. Upon returning home, he got trade offers from MLS sides, and the Eleven eventually dealt him to RSL. The team finally got some young players to come into their system, and got some action in 2019. This included a 20 year old GK from Anderson, IN. He played very well for his inexperience, and carried the team to a playoff birth. The team picked up a 36 year old Spanish player for the 2020 season to play in the middle of the field. Learning from him, the core of young players matured incredibly for the 2021 season, and won the Soccer Bowl title. The Eleven are one club known abroad for the production of soccer talent, mostly the player go to the MLS, but players have been known to be sold to Spain and Germany because there are younger talent coming up to replace them. They haven’t won any titles since 2021, but the Eleven are a candidate for promotion, and could compete in the Championship immediately after they do get promoted. The logo is the same current logo, I almost changed it but it would’ve been pretty similar to Omaha. The kits are pretty simple. Blue sleeves with a checker pattern running down the middle. I based it off an Aston Villa concept I did last year.