A few people have asked me what I think of the plans to put a USL-Pro team in Phoenix. Given I’m not privy to the financial plans of the group involved, and that the jury is still out on what sort of experience they are going to bring in to their effort over the next few months, I told them to wait until we hear the name.
Why? A name indicates how seriously the folks involved take soccer culture and how much care they are taking with details. A bad name can be a sign of people that have no idea what they are doing. It works in other sports too: anyone remember the Tucson Scorch?
The fact that you don’t tells you everything you need to know.
(By the way, the current trend of lower division and youth teams appending the word “Real” to their names is a bit silly. Sorry, Rosario.)
So, according to José Garcia’s twitter feed, the name will be the rather traditional, tasteful and tame Phoenix City FC.
What, they are named after a town in Alabama?
Just to break down the name, they are going for a couple of English traditions: the word “city” (Manchester, Birmingham, Stoke) and the FC after the name instead of the Spanish FC before the name the way FC Tucson does.
Bear in mind that FC Tucson had a bit of trouble from the PDL over their name. The league wanted los Tucsonenses to go for the American standard “City name + noun.” I don’t know if the league gave them the same grief that they gave FC Tucson or if the precedent is set now.
More important is the choice of coach, which Garcia also revealed yesterday: David Robertson. Nope, not the David Robertson who earned one cap for the US and played eight seasons with the Brooklyn Wanderers in the 1920′s. It would have been quite a feat to put him on the coaching staff. No, this is the former Aberdeen and Rangers player who is director of boys coaching for the Sereno Soccer Club.
Robertson’s previous coaching career consists of a couple of seasons coaching Elgin City in the Scottish Third Division and an abbreviated spell coaching another third division team, Montrose.
Garcia was careful to note that there is not a venue for the team yet. Given the way the bid process works, I find it hard to believe that a franchise was granted without the USL getting assurance that the team had a place to play. Speculation centers on the Peoria Sports Complex, but there would need to be improvements to meet the USL’s standards.