Wednesday, December 9, 2009
AC St Louis is the name
The new St. Louis team name, logo, coach and the director of player development were all introduced yesterday. AC St Louis is the name. The logo you can see to the side. The coach is Claude Anelka, brother of Nicolas Anelka.The director of player development is Francisco Filho, who worked with Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United and at the French national academy for almost 30 years.
Starting from the top, I like the name. The AC (Athletic Club) goes with the direction that owner Jeff Cooper is going. Multiple clubs and youth sports under one organization. St Louis Soccer United is the parent organization of both AC St. Louis and St. Louis Athletica (WPS team). They also have worked to merge the many soccer clubs across St Louis and are part of the Development Academy. The name also pays respects to the Missouri Athletic Club which has been involved with St. Louis sports in general and soccer specifically for 100 years. The MAC has awarded the Hermann trophy to the best college players for years.
The team's logo is a green and yellow flame de lis (inspired by the fleur de lis) with a flame in the middle on an arch-shaped shield. On some versions of the logo, a star is between the AC and the St Louis. This is in honor of the St. Louis Stars of the original NASL. While I do not love the actual colors, they are unique and the whole branding is well thought out. I especially like the amount of thought given to the soccer history in St. Louis and tying that into the current club.
Claude Anelka coached briefly in Scotland in 2004 compiling 1 tie and 7 losses before being pushed out the door. He has been coaching FC Trappe more recently but I have not found much info on his record there. Coach Anelka is more recognized for being the brother and agent of Nicolas Anelka, the Chelsea player than he is for his coaching resume. Not sure they could not have found a coach with a little more experience. Perhaps he brings more to the table than I know about.
Francisco Filho, the Director of Player Development is known for helpind develop Henry, Cantona and Christiano Ronaldo. He retired in 2005 from Manchester United but somehow was lured back into the business. It is a good move if he is going to help the whole youth system and Academy teams for St. Louis as well.
St. Louis will compete in the newly formed NASL. They are planning on a single table with a 6 team playoff. The league will start around April 1st and run through November.
Overall a good day yesterday for St. Louis soccer.