Dan Creel's Best of the new Badges
Welcome back, badgekateers, for another scientific discussion of the relative merits of football club badges. In this installment we’ll be looking at the top 10 clubs recently introduced to join the not-formally-an-actual-division-but-helps-us-better-understand-the-chaos-of-US-soccer Division IV men’s leagues.
#10 La Máquina Futbol Club
La Máquina FC returns to UPSL following a year off and a move from California to the Houston suburb of Fulshear, Texas. The badge is simple and iconic. Gets you the information you need. This machine scores goals. And, I guess per the torches on either side, leaves the lights on when you stumble home from the bar after a well-earned victory celebration.
#9 Valeo Futbol Club
Based in Newton, Mass., Valeo F.C. will join the NPSL’s North Atlantic Conference in 2020. If you want a classic badge Valeo’s got you covered. Shield? Check. Lion? Check. Cannon? Sure, why not? The name’s right there at the bottom including an abbreviation of Futbol Club with honest to god periods. No pretense there, and I’m here for it. The shield reminds me of playing old school turn-based combat board games on an old Macintosh. Attacker gets to pick one unit and chooses the lion. Defender gets two units: glass cannon and a soccer ball. The ball is obviously only there just as fodder to absorb all the damage so the cannon has one extra turn to defend.
#8 Somerset Soccer Club
The team recently began the UPSL season in the Central Conference’s Division III UPSL. The club is based in The Colony, Texas. I believe it’s common law that when a community has a capitalized “The” in front of its name all residents above the age of 16 are required to have a maintain a max handicap of 12. But I digress…
Another classic shield and traditional American soccer blue and yellow colors. Props, as always, for calling itself a soccer club and not a football club. Do you see any pads or helmets? Is the game stopping every 10 seconds? No. It’s soccer, you Philistines.
The club’s motto is prominent. But, points off for not making the phrase an infinite loop by incorporating the final “TO FAIL” as the beginning “TO FAIL”. Remember your ouroboros style points, folks.
#7 Palm Beach Flames SC
HOLY @&^%!!! GET THE HELL DOWN!!!
“Don’t try to slide tackle PBFSC’s comet ball or your legs will get melted into a torpedo-like stump” is the club’s motto.
Points for the eighties-style balloon letters on “FLAMES”.
It’s a fever dream. I love it. Wait… do I love it? What’s happening? I’m sweating…
Palm Beach… call me...
#6 Fort Wayne Football Club
Expansion club joining the NPSL in 2020. Now this a modern, professionally crafted badge. Nice blue color palette. But, the “FWFC” at the top is a bit extraneous. Supporters are automatically gonna figure that out from the jump and hashtag it all on their own. Maybe put a little boat around it sitting on the waves?
Points for the full name. Points off for not embracing that it’s soccer we play in America. If anyone ever has the cajones to call themselves a Soccer Football Club they will win all the points. I mean, you gotta know that some recent Notre Dame grads are gonna launch a club with a crest shaped as an Edison bulb and literally put “South Bend Soccer Football Club” on it. The kits will be sponsored by a hard seltzer company that uses locally sourced ingredients and Mayor Pete’s gonna kick the first ball making South Bend S.F.C. the most authentic club in the state of Indiana. Fort Wayne’s gonna be stuck with just being a “football club” and a bunch of Gen Xers for fans who are fine with that because we’re slackers who don’t care enough to be the change the world needs.
#5 Jaguars United FC
Another Greater Boston team on the list, Jaguars United FC, is joining the UPSL this fall. Big black cat on a gold shield. Nice. But something’s missing. Can you guess?
Yeah, there’s only one jaguar! It’s not Jaguar United. It’s Jaguars. Plural. I want to see a bunch of jaguars. Or one big jaguars made up of a bunch of smaller jaguars. Like Voltron. During each match the supporters group should yell, “Jaguars, unite!” and the fans clump together to form a huge jaguar soccer robot tifo.
#4 Association Soccer Los Angeles
AS Los Angeles has joined the SoCal Division of the UPSL for the fall season. I love the club’s commitment to recognizing that the sport is literally “association football”. It would be a perfect name if they made it Association Soccer Football Los Angeles. ASFLA just rolls off the tongue.
The badge has a lion and stars and a soccer ball. Not sure why the lion is so mad at the soccer ball though. And, too bad that Los Angeles’ abbreviation is LA rather than LAN. If it was the latter the badge would read ASLAN which would go perfectly with that lion.
#3 Universidad de Chile USA
I had to use Google translate, but the name of the club in English turns out to be “University of Chile USA”. Huh, I would never have guessed. The club is based in the Miami metro area and has joined the UPSL’s Florida South. The badge has an owl. Owls are awesome. Therefore, by the transitive property, this badge is awesome.
#2 Sarasota Metropolis FC
Based in the bustling metropolis of Bradenton, Fla., the Sarasota Metropolis FC joined the United Soccer Leagues League Two this summer. I know that’s not that recent, but this kid named Joss (Or Josh maybe? It was hard to read his scribbled handwriting.) wrote in and begged us to include it.
There’s a cool dragon and a stylized “M” on the head of the dragon. The font used for “SARASOTA” doesn’t excite me. But, overall, it’s iconic and well done. So, yeah, Jess, I like it.
Oh, and it’s blue, like Fort Wayne FC. Oof, now I’m starting to feel bad that I may have been too hard on Fort Wayne earlier. But, stiff upper lip Fort Wayne, tough love and whatnot.
#1 Las Vegas Legends FC
Vegas, baby! Fedoras! Pocket squares! Mobsters just daring you to take the ball as “Little Green Bag” plays in the background! Will you take that bet? Will you, punk?
The Legends, formerly a pro indoor soccer club, returns after a long hiatus and will join the NPSL’s Southwest Conference in 2020. Just when you thought they were out, NPSL pulled them back in.
Badge motto should be: “Club. Redefined.” You can have that for free. But the next one will cost youse guys.
- Dan Creel