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.

1 comment:

  1. I think Anaheim should put Disney instead of Fujitsu