Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ranking the Logos: USL-2

It's time to forget about David Beckham for a second. I wanted to get away from that, and from all the usual number crunching and do a fun post. So that type of thinking has led to this: which soccer logo (or crest) look the best? I can't do MLS, since I'm so used to them and it would next to impossible to be objective. So I decided to rank the ten teams in the USA's third division, USL-2, instead.

All logos are taken from the team's pages on the official USL site.

NR. Crystal Palace Baltimore

I don't think it would be fair to rank this one, since they just copied their English parent club and added USA at the bottom. Having said that, for a team with a lot of history behind it, this really isn't very impressive. I like the "70s" crest here better, mostly due to the ball not being red. Without knowing the history, I'm guessing they just touched it up a bit since then. It definitely feels old and unpolished.

A lot of the Premiership teams over in England have spectacularly bad logos, BTW (Bolton and Birmingham to name two). Although, I bet very few of them were designed to be appealing like they are here in America. That's one for the club vs franchise debate.

9. Western Mass Pioneers

Easily the far. First of all, there is no logo here. It's just the team's name, how uncreative is that? Then, of course the soccer ball itself has to be on fire. Of course. And it unsurprisingly replaces the O in Pioneers, which makes the flames even more ridiculous since they cause the word to have a huge space between I and N. Just awful.

It appears that this may be an older logo, since the one on the team's site is slightly different. It solves the spacing issue, but now the flames obscure the I. It's only slightly better, and doesn't affect the ranking.

Richmond Kickers

It's not the ugly mess the Pioneers logo is, but it's still just a name and a soccer ball. Unless you're the Seattle Sounders and you have thirty years of history behind it, you shouldn't be able to get away with that.

7. Cincinnati Kings

Not great, but at least they're trying. Every logo has to have a soccer ball, so people will know what sport it is (that's what the marketing executives say). At least they've attempted to incorporate it creatively into the logo with the lion pawing it. Not sure if that works. Overall it's just pretty uninspiring. I like the crown above the K and how the crest itself is not flat on the top, but it's pretty boring. Why is the bottom black? Having a white lion, you would think it would be a more traditional, classy logo. But there's nothing else to it.

6. Charlotte Eagles

Looks nice, but I'm not a fan of the eagle being between the cross. I also have a big problem with the eagle's wing coming outside of the crest. Why do that? That really bothers me. The cross itself is there because the team is run by a Christian organization whose mission is to "communicate the message of Jesus Christ through the environment of soccer." The colors and the eagle look nice.

New Hampshire Phantoms

Very interesting approach with the evil face lurking in the crest. They're trying to combine traditional and "Americanized" logos here, and I think it actually works somewhat. The eyes are red, which can be more easily seen here on the official site. The "sash" approach to the crest is interesting also. I think your eyes are drawn to the face, for better or worse. I don't like how Phantoms is spelled in big letters while "of New Hampshire FC" is much smaller and below (not to mention that awkward phrasing). I'm torn between whether this is brilliant or stupid. I guess it'll half to settle for halfway through the ranking.

4. Harrisburg City Islanders

Now this is great. The Sports Logo Pundit critiqued it here. The team itself plays on City Island in Harrisburg, so they named the team after that. They even had the sense of humor to put it a palm tree, which is the I, and they make perfect use of the obligatory soccer ball by turning it into the sun. I like the curving line and letters which isn't boring. It's not much of an actual logo, but as far as "name only" logos, it's possibly the best you can do.

Wilmington Hammerheads

The use of color here is great. Sky blue is an underused color in sports. The ball itself being blue looks good, although it may get a little lost in the background. The way "Wilmington Hammerheads" is written straight across the top and in different colors stands out and is clearly read. I'm not exactly a huge fan of the shark, but the color fits in.

Cleveland City Stars

Classy all the way. Basically a FC Barcelona ripoff, but putting the city skyline in the logo is brilliant. Looks great. Are there any other soccer teams who've done that? Apparently based on this, I guess "stars" is the nickname while the team name is Cleveland City. Huh. The one thing I don't like is the half soccer ball/half globe. It would look better as a full soccer ball. In general I think stripes look very good as part of any crest. Way better than a solid color like the Cincy Kings.

1. Bermuda Hogges

I generally prefer traditional logos over Americanized logos in MLS. So why do I like this one so much? First, the circle. I really think it makes for the cleanest, nicest logos in soccer. See Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Dortmund, and Inter. Plus you have the soccer balls on the side. Visible, yet out of the way and not the main focus. And no, the animal isn't kicking them or impaling them on his snout like a minor league baseball logo would. It's just his face. Nice use of color, very simple and effective. I love it. Vaguely reminiscent of Derby's.

Future rankings will see me critiquing the USL-1 and the PDL (not all 60-something teams, just the best).

Comments on "Ranking the Logos: USL-2"


Blogger Brandon said ... (12:29 AM, July 12, 2007) : 

Awesome list, I look forward to reading your other rankings. I think my list would be...

10. Western Mass - that logo was designed on either Word or Paint
9. Crystal Palace
8. Charlotte Eagles - that poor crucified eagle!
7. Richmond Kickers
6. Cincy Kings
5. Cleveland City
4. Wilmington Hammerheads
3. Harrisburg City Islanders
2. New Hampshire Phantoms
1. Bermuda Hogges

Thanks for the link!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:33 AM, July 16, 2007) : 

A bit of more European taste, without being asked, would be:

10. Charlotte Eagles - Is the presumably dead eagle Swedish or crucified? A no-no in both cases.
9. Western Mass Pioneers - Nothing with the ball works, and the rest of the logo saves none of it.
8. New Hampshire Phantoms - The 4 stars without as many titles won are lame, and the 96 standing for 1996 (vs. Hannover 96) is as empty.
7. Cincinnati Kings - Is a mixture of several things, none of which really want to come together.
6. Cleveland City - Just their own ideas and this could have been nice, now just another Forest Green Rovers.
5. Richmond Kickers - USA '94? The best one can do without using any imagination I guess.
4. Bermuda Hogges - Sort of funny, but would do better with a pub team. Lacks quality.
3. Crystal Palace USA - No points for imagination, but works with an academy team.
2. Wilmington Hammerheads - Things work good together, somewhat classical crest.
1. Harrisburg City Islanders - Is this a logo at all? In any case everything works good, is original, and makes one want to buy a T-shirt of theirs.


Blogger henryo said ... (6:09 AM, November 23, 2007) : 

I like the logo of Wilmington Hammerheads though, sea creatures don't feature often on these...

Any post on USL-1 logos soon?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:37 AM, February 16, 2009) : 

I totally agree with you on the circular logos. They generally are forgotten when people wax poetic about the "traditional" logo and yet they are also traditional. I wish at least a couple MLS teams would have a logo style like that, just for some variety. The crest style is so overdone in MLS nearly every team has it.

PSG is another circular logo that I like.


Anonymous El cajon condo said ... (9:48 AM, October 29, 2010) : 

I am a soccer player. I am willing to know about natinal soccer teams in all contries.I got your blog on google search.
But you gave soccer logo ranks in your site. Can i get any links for what i am searching? If yu can, please give..


Anonymous price per head said ... (3:35 PM, January 26, 2013) : 

Beckham has made a legend there.I don't think. It is a pity that he isn't playing any more.


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