Our City is a weekly column dedicated to the fans and supporter's perspectives of Orlando City. Any feedback, comments, or questions? Find Kevin Mercer on Twitter @KevinMercer225
Well Orlando City faithful, our rivals to the north have a name, a logo, and at least 22,000 fans who've cared enough to at least put down a deposit on season tickets. Not bad for a team still two years from seeing the field. I, for one, am looking forward to having another team in the region, getting a friendly rivalry brewing, and a great away trip that I suspect a lot of Orlando City fans will make every season.
Atlanta has a reputation as a peculiar sports town, with two NHL clubs coming and going in the past 40 years and the NBA always seeming to struggle to pull in crowds. The Atlanta Falcons have done much better as of late, while the Atlanta Braves always seem to have a steady following. I think soccer will do well in Atlanta, but the fact that the Braves and their tedious baseball schedule will go right up against the Atlanta United schedule will be their biggest challenge.
So, from our biased perspective in Orlando, how did the launch party look?
Four thousand people showed up for the unveiling, which was wisely scheduled to coincide with a watch party for the U.S. Men's National Team's first Gold Cup game. From the video, the energy seemed to be very good and the new supporters seem excited about their club.
The logo itself was underwhelming to me personally. Much like the name, the club is playing it extremely safe.
The badge doesn't look very traditional, with many commentators proclaiming that Marvel's comic hero team The Avengers are moving to Atlanta to take up soccer. The crest provides nothing in terms of iconography, and nothing for their supporters to latch on to.
While most MLS teams have taken the more traditional naming approach in the league's modern era, most clubs have a badge that alludes to their identity -- in Orlando's case, the lion. D.C. United has the eagle. Even the LA Galaxy have a star to provide a little context for the club. Atlanta's fans will have two years to create chants in support of the "Uniteds" while they cheer "Go Stripes" or "Go As!"
As an extremely dynamic and historic city, the blandness of the team name and badge are disappointing.
The color scheme is similarly safe in Atlanta, as most teams in the area have red as their primary color. Ironically, the color scheme is extremely similar to the NASL club in town, the Atlanta Silverbacks. I'm not sure of the intention here, so I won't assume anything, but it is a bit strange.
Overall, the club seems to be following a rough blueprint of our fellow 2015 expansion club, New York City FC, with team presidents and owners proclaiming the club will be a winner from the start, despite the lack of a team or a coach.
If their supporters' scarves are to be believed, they've also become the self declared "Kings of the South" a solid two years before they can kick a ball in anger. With Miami declaring themselves the "Kings of Florida" it's starting to feel like an episode of Game of Thrones around here, with everybody feeling like they were born to rule.
Kings may come and go, there will always be a new challenger. Right now, in the "Soccer Capital of the South," Orlando can only wait for Atlanta to rise to the rivarly. #GoCity