The genius that is Emilio Sansolini is at it again. He has featured several times on this blog with his ‘Vintage Kit Designs’ (here), ‘Patterns and Jerseys” (here) and his NBA mashup (here). Now he has turned his attention to creating kits that mix fashion with football. By looking at iconic fashion labels that are associated with different countries he has designed strips that blend the two together. The results are great…
A stunning victory last-night for Jamaica against the USA sends the ‘Reggae Boyz’ through to the CONCACAF Gold Cup final.
Goals from Darren Mattocks and Giles Barnes were enough to secure a 2-1 victory and a meeting with Mexico to determine who are champions of North America and the Caribbean. Despite constant pressure the USA side could not break down the Jamaicans. In the other semi-final it was a night of controversy as Mexico were awarded two very late penalties (one in extra time) to beat Panama. Disgusting scenes involving rioting fans and players marred the match. Mexico will win a seventh Gold Cup if they beat first-time finalists Jamaica at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.
The final of the Women’s World Cup was won by the United States last night. The US ladies ran out 5-2 winners in a thrilling match that was blessed by a series of great goals and individual performances. One player that stood out was Carli Lloyd who scored a 13 minute hat trick at the start of the first half. The third of her goals was a stunning lob from the halfway line that drifted over the Japanese goalkeeper. It was a fitting end to a tournament that was enjoyed by fans from all over the world. The near 55,000 crowd in Vancouver celebrated the end of the World Cup in style, and the United States walked away with their third world title.
In the individual awards Carli Lloyd won the Golden Ball, Germany’s Celia Sasic won the Golden Boot with six goals and Hope Solo of the United States won the Golden Glove. Kadeisha Buchanan of Canada won the best young player trophy.
Heartbreak for England. Last night the English ladies team crashed out of the World Cup semi-finals in the most cruel of all possible ways. With the match balanced at 1-1 and the clock ticking down it was an injury time own goal that sealed the tie for defending champions Japan. English defender Laura Bassett tried to clear the ball out for a corner at the edge of her own box but in doing so she somehow managed to knock the ball off of the underside of the bar and in. The holders Japan looked on is astonishment as a freak own goal sent them through to the final against the USA.
The English will still feel as though they overachieved in this tournament and they now have a 3rd place playoff against Germany on Saturday.
The 2015 Women’s World Cup is now up and running. It is the biggest in the tournament’s history having been expanded to 24 nations. The hosts Canada expect huge crowds and a record breaking tournament (as well as a controversial one with the introduction of artificial pitches). Favourites for the trophy are Germany, with the USA and Japan close behind.
Here are some images from the first few matches…
As the mighty Forfar Athletic take on Alloa in their playoff final first-leg tonight, you might need a bit of an education when it comes to the nickname of the Station Park side. Forfar are known commonly as ‘The Loons’ but what does that mean exactly? What is a ‘Loon’? Well for those of you not familiar with the term it is a Northern Scottish or ‘Doric’ word for ‘young man’ or ‘boy’. You would think that with an unusual nickname like ‘The Loons’ Forfar would be the only club in the world with that tag. You would be wrong.
Across the Atlantic Sea, thousands of miles away from Angus, lies the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota home to the other ‘Loons’. Minnesota United FC are a relatively new side having formed in 2010 but they have already enjoyed success in winning the North American Soccer League (NASL) Championship in 2011. They were previously known as NSC Minnesota and then the Minnesota Stars FC before reforming in 2013 as Minnesota United. This rebranding was part of a process that would lead to a bid being submitted for the team to be entered into the MLS as a franchise. That bid was successful and as things stand they are due to enter the MLS in 2018.
As for the nickname, well it is a sad fact that unfortunately the term ‘Loon’ is in no way influenced by Forfar Athletic. It would be lovely to have some kind of backstory involving former Forfar players or Forfar fans setting up roots in Minneapolis only to then form a football team but the truth is actually far more boring. It is a fact that Minnesota play matches wearing the same light blue as Forfar (well their away kit is light blue) but the term ‘Loon’ is really just a reference to the Loon bird, the state bird of Minnesota. They even have a large Loon bird as their mascot as well as a Loon bird on their badge. So, not as amazing as it could have been.
You never know though, maybe there will be some kind of connection in the future, a few glamour friendlies or some tie-ins with the fans, but for now the clubs share nothing more concrete. A pity really.
Football clubs can vanish, we have seen it many times before and we will see it again. Usually this happens due to financial instability and liquidation however the MLS in America have set a new standard of making a football club disappear by announcing a decision to simply get rid of an entire team. Later on this week the governing body of the MLS will officially announce a new slot in their league setup for a team specifically based in Los Angeles, California. The league feels as though LA Galaxy holds too much of a monopoly in the City of Angels so have decided to award an additional ownership opportunity to interested parties (Cardiff’s Vincent Tan has already been linked to the future investment). With an urban area population of over 12 million people it probably makes sense to allow for an opportunity for another football team to have roots and develop alongside the Galaxy. However there is already another team based in the LA area.
Club Deportivo Chivas USA (or simply ‘Chivas’) have operated in Los Angeles since 2004 as a ‘little brother’ to Mexican side C.D. Guadalajara but as of today they simply no longer exist.
The side shared their home with the LA Galaxy (the ‘Stub Hub Center’) but rarely got close to filling the stadium. Attendances were dwindling and that all important buzzword ‘revenue’ suffered. Fan numbers started to drop below 10,000 for the first time and the MLS did not see Chivas as a viable franchise. The club did have some slight success in the initial few years after forming but it has suffered badly in the last few seasons, finishing bottom of their division in each of the last four campaigns.
In their last ever match the side managed to defeat San Jose Earthquakes 1-0, fittingly the match was played at their home ground.
Afterwards the following letter was posted on the official Chivas website –Dear Fans and Partners, Later this week, Major League Soccer will announce that a new ownership group has been granted the right to operate a second soccer club in Los Angeles. So as to allow that LA-based group the ability to develop and market a club with its own identity, the League has also decided to cease operations of Chivas USA effective immediately. While the new club promises to be inclusive and will benefit from residing in its own soccer-specific stadium in Los Angeles, the news is obviously bittersweet for our loyal fans and dedicated partners. Over the last decade everyone associated with Chivas USA has worked earnestly and with deep devotion. Staff, players and coaches have defended the Red & White with the same pride and honor that you exhibited on our behalf. You have been unconditional in your support of the club, only asking that in return we give our best each and every day. As like any team in any sport, we have suffered unimaginable heartache as well as enjoyed moments of unbridled joy. We have felt the pain of the cruel ricochet, the unlucky bounce and the wrong clang off the post. However, we have also been blessed to witness Cubo’s golazos, the grace of a Claudio Suarez tackle and the superhero saves of Brad Guzan and Dan Kennedy. History will say many things about Chivas USA, but the one, undeniable truth will be that in every instance – no matter the circumstance, setting or outcome – our resiliency was supported by the indomitable spirit of our most loyal and proud fans. It has been my honor to be associated with you and Chivas USA. Thank you. Nelson C. Rodríguez President
Stirring stuff from the Chivas president. On the flip side this is the letter sent from the MLS to the fans of Chivas…Dear Chivas USA Supporters, Later today, the League will announce a new strategy for the Los Angeles market. After conducting a comprehensive strategic review of the market and Chivas USA’s operations, we will announce that effective this afternoon, Chivas USA will cease operations. This was a very difficult decision. We want to thank you, the fans, for ten years of unconditional support. We are grateful for your commitment to the club and to the sport. As part of our new Los Angeles strategy, we will launch a new MLS Los Angeles club for the 2017 season and will announce the new team’s ownership group later this week.
I believe strongly that a new MLS Los Angeles team with passionate local ownership and an inclusive approach targeting all soccer/sports fans will be very successful.While I will wait until Thursday’s formal announcement to get into specific details, I can assure you that this new team will have world-class ownership with local connections and residency and a commitment to a new soccer stadium in the greater Los Angeles area. I believe that our new strategy for Los Angeles provides the best opportunity for success and is the best way to connect with an engaged and impassioned fan base in Southern California. I am confident that this new direction will help us achieve our goal of becoming one of the top leagues in the world. Sincerely, Don Garber
You can’t help but feel a little bit weird when you hear words like ‘strategy’ and ‘market’ when referencing the death of a club. The MLS has always ran the league like this, they have always relied on the franchise method and it works alongside other US sports but it still doesn’t sit well with regards to football and the supporters that live and breath their local clubs. Chivas were never very successful, they were never the biggest but they were still a club followed by thousands of supporters and to be simply cast aside due to a better ‘marketing opportunity’ just doesn’t feel right.
It will be interesting to see if the tens of thousands of Chivas supporters will now get behind whatever team appears on the horizon but the MLS probably don’t really care as long as they can get a slice of the few other million potential ‘customers’ out there.
If you follow football there are always a few things that you notice about other teams visually. Its usually their kit and sometimes their stadium but you also usually notice their badge and try to decipher what the badge might mean or might represent. There are countless examples of very good badges out there and ones that have the club’s history and prestige at heart. However sometimes club crests can seem a little bit odd and leave a bit to the imagination.
For now lets leave the good examples of club badges and focus on the not so good and the downright bizarre.
Here are a few of the world’s worst/weirdest football club logos…
Columbus Crew (USA)
It would be very hard not to do a post on terrible badges and not mention this horrific effort from the MLS side Columbus Crew. A weird Village People inspired construction worker logo was meant to represent the “hard working values of the people of Columbus” but it just does not work in the slightest. As a rule, actual people should not form part of a club crest.
It is important to note though that with the MLS undergoing a new rebrand the people at the ‘Crew’ have also decided to rebrand themselves so they now have a brand new club crest, which is a world away from the original one and is actually pretty nice.
Carolina Dynamo (USA)
Staying in the United States but moving to the lower leagues and the state of North Carolina. Imagine using Microsoft Word and Clipart to design a badge and you might produce something like this. The club were founded by a former Nottingham Forest shareholder so they decided to basically steal the Forest badge and add “soccer ball” from clipart. This really is something special…
There is every chance people might look at this logo and think “that must be a club from the 1980s that no longer exists”, but this is actually the current club crest used by the Carolina Dynamos.
FC Avenir Beggen (Luxembourg)
To Luxembourg now and the second tier of their footballing league system. The 2nd division in Luxembourg has the single greatest name for a league ever…’The Division of Honour’ (that is genuinely true, look it up). FC Avenir Beggen are a big deal in Luxembourg having won the domestic title 6 times and the national cup on 7 occasions. However it is the badge that is the most interesting part of this club. The term “elf riding a football” doesn’t get used very often, but on this occasion it sums things up perfectly.
Eleven Men in Flight FC (Swaziland)
To be honest the easiest thing to do would be to fill this page up with the amazing names and badges of the teams in Africa, but that would be too easy. However I can’t not include a couple, starting with the unbelievably named ‘Eleven Men in Flight FC’. What a name! The badge basically takes that name literally.
There are eleven windows on that plane. They maybe should have put eleven tiny faces in the windows just to add a bit more realism. The club motto is good though; “In Flight Forever”.
Missile FC (Gabon)
Yet another wonderful name for a football club. Who wouldn’t be intimidated facing a team called ‘Missile FC’? There isn’t a huge amount of information available on Missile FC (staying under the radar probably….) other than they play their football in the capital of Gabon, Libreville. Anyway, behold their badge in all of its destructive glory…
KAA Gent (Belgium)
Based in the beautiful town of Ghent is a team known more for its badge than its footballing pedigree. KAA Gent have won a few honours in Belgium with the 2009-10 season the most successful in the club’s history (they won a league and cup double). The city of Ghent is steeped in history so would assume that this would influence the club and maybe its logo. However it was actually a visit by a travelling American ‘Wild West’ circus and the original ‘Buffalo Bill’ in the early 20th century that led to the club being known as ‘The Buffalos’. This then led to a new badge for the club that has stuck ever since…
Not very Belgian is it?
FC Jazz (Finland)
It is no coincidence that many of these logos belong to teams with ridiculous names is it? Back in 1992 a team called ‘Porin Pallo-Toverit’ wanted to change its name. What better way to do that than by naming your side after the local jazz festival? In turn ‘FC Jazz’ were born. They currently play in the Finnish second division and have a badge that does look like it is advertising a jazz concert rather than a football team.
Bangkok Glass FC (Thailand)
What better way to entice young fans into the game than by using fluffy bunny rabbits on your badge? That way the club seems family friendly and approachable. It might mean that your opponents don’t take you seriously though, so maybe you could make the rabbit look tough in some way? Try not to make it look evil and demented though, that might freak people out…
Calais RUFC (France)
It is safe to say that playing in the fifth tier of French football might not get your club noticed, which is okay if you have a badge like this one. Earlier on the phrase “elf riding a football” was used, this time another unique phrase is getting an outing. Presenting “a ginger haired football with feet”. You don’t hear that every day…
Sheikh Russel KC (Bangladesh)
The Bangladeshi Premier League has been on the go for past seven years. Most of us have not heard much about the Bangladesh Premier League and sides like Sheikh Russel KC. The former champions relinquished their title to Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club last season and finished 6th in the table. Lets cut to the chase though. What comes next is undoubtedly the weirdest club badge of any football team in the world. It does actually look like it should maybe be on a poster (and this is morbid) of a funeral for the person on the crest. Words would never do this badge justice, so here it is…
If anyone has any idea of what is going on here then please do try and shed some light on the situation.