San Diego's MLS expansion team name: Please don't pick something boring!

Comments (0)
Don Garber Snapdragon Stadium
Getty / GOAL
San Diego is getting an MLS expansion club, but there is not yet a decision on whether to follow recent naming conventions.
  • San Diego given 30th club
  • But team details still being worked out
  • Naming decision particularly important

WHAT HAPPENED? San Diego beat Las Vegas to get an MLS team and has already determined that the club will play at Snapdragon Stadium, but no official name or crest have been determined. The recent trend has overwhelmingly been to select European-style names. The past nine new MLS clubs are Atlanta United, Minnesota United, LAFC, FC Cincinnati, Inter Miami, Nashville SC, Austin FC, Charlotte FC and St. Louis City SC (though a couple of those existed before gaining MLS entry). Essentially, the only piece of variety has been whether to go with SC or FC.

It seems likely, then, that San Diego will follow the trend and decide not to go the route of older clubs such as the Seattle Sounders, San Jose Earthquakes and Portland Timbers. Considering the instant attendance success of some MLS newcomers, including 2023 arrival St. Louis, there appears to be little brand marketing reason to buck the recent norm.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: But MLS is on far more stable footing than it was even 15 years ago, establishing more mainstream legitimacy as it has become a better developmental division for up-and-coming stars not only from the United States, but also from other soccer-obsessed countries. Whereas copying European naming convention in the past may have stemmed in part from survival instinct - looking across the Atlantic at something that's worked - there is no longer any doubt about the long-term viability of MLS. A record $500 million expansion fee paid by San Diego's prospective ownership demonstrates the financial lift-off the league has achieved.

Article continues below

San Diego is culturally rich, its diversity and unique traits making it a prime location for going with an official name that includes more local inspiration. It would be cool for the city to show that the boring way doesn't need to be the status quo, particularly at a time when the risk of the club failing is so low.


MLS Commissioner Don Garber

WHAT NEXT? An official announcement on San Diego's successful expansion bid is expected to come on Thursday, but naming details are not likely to be revealed until closer to the club's 2025 debut in MLS.

This page contains affiliate links. When you subscribe through the links provided, we may earn a commission.

Sign up here for MLS Season Pass through Apple TV and watch every MLS match, including the playoffs!