When Austin FC was announced as what will be the 27th club in Major League Soccer earlier this month, they unveiled a simple and well-designed logo to be the badge of the new team.
The new MLS club announcements in recent years have arrived with some fantastic badges for the squads – see Austin FC, Inter Miami, Minnesota United FC and LAFC). Even FC Cincinnati is arriving from the USL to MLS with an already well-designed badge to accompany them.
This got me thinking – there are some clubs in Major League Soccer who are in serious need of a brand refresh. The majority of the clubs who have been around from the league’s beginning in 1996 have gone through a re-brand (and for the better), but some could still use a hand.
Here are the five worst:
Easily the worst logo in Major League Soccer. This looks like a logo that would be available in a stock version for download, requiring only a name change to make it your own. It tells you nothing about the city of Houston and it tells you nothing about what a “Dynamo” is. And can we please stop forcing a soccer ball in the logo – it feels very 5th grade.
The Chicago Fire joined MLS in 1998 (the league’s third season) and have not re-branded or refreshed their logo once. The base idea isn’t bad – paying homage to a firefighter’s badge (and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871), but the execution just leaves you bored. That’s literally it – a firefighter’s badge with a “C” in the middle. I would love to see the concept expanded and modernized.
San Jose Earthquakes
Sadly enough, this is actually a re-brand from 2014 and an improvement on the previous version. The crest still falls short, though. Another egregious use of a plain soccer ball and just a complete lacking of inspiration. The logo tells you nothing about San Jose or the team’s nickname itself. It looks like someone’s idea of what a European badge should look like, but comes off just lazy.
Red Bull New York
What would be the winner for the most blatant use of corporate branding in a logo, the Red Bull New York logo is awful as a team badge. They simply used the Red Bull logo and added a soccer ball and the words “New York.” That’s it.
New England Revolution
The concept of the New England Revolution logo is solid. Despite what I said earlier, this is one use of a soccer ball that plays well – aided by the fact that it is more abstract. The American flag it creates pairs well with the team name. The style of the execution (the paint stripe look) is what makes this version feel dated. I wouldn’t change the concept – simply give it a refreshed look, as it has not been changed since the league’s inception in 1996.
Logos courtesy of SportsLogos.net