Bringing Down the Hammer

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Within Saint Cloud, a Minnesota city just beginning to find its place in the modern amateur and semi-pro soccer world, a young club is making its mark on and off the pitch as a home for top tier designs, branding, and social media action. That club is Dynamo FC, a club with only two seasons in the Minnesota Amateur Soccer League (MASL) under its belt but ambitions to become one of the state’s top lower league clubs. The passion project of Eduardo Silva and Ed Johnson, the club now manages to challenge the social media power of fellow Minnesota clubs, even those in the NPSL and UPSL.

Speaking with the club via Silva, we discussed the nature of the dynamic kits and what they mean to a young club at the lower levels of Minnesota soccer. “It was extremely important for us at Dynamo FC to have a set of uniforms… that would show professionalism and a beautiful appearance, respect, and organization and shows our fans, sponsors, and community that we are a club that was created to stay in central Minnesota a long time.” Beyond the club, the Dynamo felt they could push the boundaries of the MASL when it came to design. “We are proud to have a uniform that combines class, beauty and respect, for the love of our beautiful game.  We also noticed that most teams in the MASL have a very simple kits, we want to bring something unique to the league as well. In the end we believe that a beautiful, powerful, and professional uniform is a must. It doesn’t matter what league the team is competing in.”

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Silva was sure to note that both the club and the kits are rooted in fostering community ties and fairness for soccer fans in Saint Cloud, even those representing the club on the pitch or sideline. “Dynamo FC was created with the intent to give a voice to everyone involved. From the staff members to players, we want everyone’s opinions and participation. At the end it’s our club. So we asked the players to vote on what was the best kit designs for the season, as well as the team colors.” Those colors would be the yellow, black, and white that have since made the Dynamo a locally famous club in Minnesota. That sense of uniqueness would be a crucial reason for the Dynamo’s explosion in social media popularity, but has also always been a goal when it comes to the match day experience. “The unique combination of yellow, black and white with the amazing design created by Stimulus makes it easy to identify when Dynamo is on the pitch.”

Brazilian born, Eduardo’s love for the game extends back to his birth, but his appreciation for football across South America would provide the inspiration for his recommendation of black and yellow primary kits. “When I was little I always heard about a team in Uruguay that was very good and every team in South America was terrified to play at their field, because of the fanatic fans and how powerful and intimidating that team was.” That club was 49-time Uruguyan Primera División champions and 5-time Copa Libertadores winners Peñarol. Inspiration in hand, the color scheme would go on to be a centerpiece of the Dynamo’s identity.

At the heart of the kit is a standout badge. “The badge design was created by Logan Lommel… The Hammer and the Pick represent the granite mining industry that was prevalent in St.Cloud for years. The workers used to mine granite in our city… The hammer and the pick are our way to represent our city.”

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The final product is a kit that features three good colors, a clever sleeve trim, and a superimposed hammer and pick logo that calls back to the era of Soviet constructivism. The Dynamo FC kits make an all-white away kit feel original. A large black horizontal line feels artistic and makes you question why you don’t see more yellow kits all at the same time. These are just a few reasons Dynamo struck gold, or granite, with this year’s strip.

The connection between Minnesota and local kit providers continues in Saint Cloud, as the Dynamo have teamed up with Stimulus Athletic to achieve their final product. “We are working with Stimulus now to create our new 2019 kit that we hope will be just as impressive and beautiful as last year’s.” The partnership has been a healthy one, turning out highly acclaimed kits and other merchandise. “There is not a question that looking back now, the partnership with Stimulus to build the kits, designs, and all our merchandise was the right decision. We did search for other companies to make our uniforms, but nobody could provide the help on design and the price that Stimulus gave to us.”

Clubs like Dynamo FC always need support from the community to remain secure, Saint Cloud has given the Dynamo the space to go beyond just maintaining security. “Our partnerships with Wilkie Sanderson, Innergy, and Joel R. Duray (Cosmetic Dentistry) are crucial to Dynamo. Those are local companies that decided to invest in this project that has been successful for this past two years and it will be for a long time. The collaboration and the involvement of the community in our club is the secret to being successful and respectable, and is what will make Dynamo FC be recognized as a potential great club from central Minnesota.”

Dynamo FC will be a club to watch in 2019 and its kits will surely be a key and impressive part of its third year of existence.

- Dominic Bisogno

Lola Vaughn