Friday, October 13, 2006

Odds & Ends

A roundup of some recent American soccer news:

1) Jamaica is out of the Gold Cup. The defending Caribbean champions go down in the first round of the Digicel Cup in a tough group with Haiti and St. Vincent. However, they were playing at home. The 2-1 defeat to St. Vincent was embarrassing despite missing their foreign players. This news is good for the USA because it means less competition for the final tournament. I feel the same way about World Cup qualifying, whatever helps us most is what I want to happen. So in a perfect world all the best teams will fail to qualify. Even Euro 2008 qualifying is important, because it affects seeding and the pots for the World Cup qualifying draw.

2) Toronto Lynx will move down to the PDL after losing $4 million in ten years. The USL-1 is going through the same thing MLS is going through: teams need their own stadiums to survive and make money. The good news is that those teams don't need huge stadiums; a Charleston Battery-type stadium will suffice. When you talk about the dreaded promotion/relegation, if the USL-1 becomes a league where every team has its own stadium and is profitable, then maybe eventually teams could enter MLS after all.

3) Rapids rebranding. Anything is better than the non-descript bore of a logo that the rapids have been using, and any new jersey is better than the current Inter Milan ripoff. Like the fans on Bigsoccer are saying, it appears that the new colors will match the Colorado Avalanche, also owned by Stan Kroenke. And yes, there will be a soccer ball in the logo so fans know what sport it is. MLS still isn't past that yet.

In response to Tim's post yesterday, I would have to say with the new stadium opening next year, it was now or never. This is the perfect time to make a change. Unless for some reason you're attached to a ball with a circle around it (they have a different one with a river and mountains but it doesn't seem to be used any more). They're starting fresh with a new stadium, and the money to market it (they should have a lot after skimping on it this year). Of course they never should have switched from the green in the first place, but I don't see why they can't change again.

How many hardcore fans do the Rapids have? A couple thousand? How many of them will stop following the team because of the color/logo change? None. The point is that worrying about changing the brand identity is a waste of time when people aren't paying attention.

The Rapids can afford to change their logo/colors (and even the name if they had chosen) because they don't have the fan base. It was the same situation for Dallas and New York. Teams that are popular can't. Galaxy is a stupid name, but you're not going to see Los Angeles change it.

And for those of you complaining about too many red teams, the Eredivisie is just as bad and probably worse.

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