Over at goal.com, Shane Evans has a good article on the naming of Philadelphia’s new MLS team. Overall, I agree with his opinion that MLS names need to reflect the simple majesty of club names worldwide (Manchester United, Real Madrid), rather than being used as marketing tools as they are in the US. The Columbus Crew are an example of a team who try to milk their name for all it’s worth as a marketing tool, constantly referring to themselves as “America’s hardest working team”. That may have been an acceptable consolation when Columbus was miserable, but Columbus Crew still feels a bit forced, especially when combined with the men-in-hard-hats logo.
As a name, however, Crew could be an acceptable nickname like the ones that organically occur in other countries (such as the Canaries of Norwich or reffering to Wolverhampton Wanderers FC simply as ‘Wolves’). The same cannot be said of the New England Revolution, LA Galaxy, or Colorado Rapids. No one would ever casually refer to LA as the ‘Galaxy’ in such a way that it would gradually catch on as a nickname. That is how most college nicknames developed, and that is how club names should come about: organically, rather than artificially.