Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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 They brought in a keeper from Columbus that had been replaced by a draft pick.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.

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