USL Gets Facelift in Orange County

Since being eliminated from the USL playoffs in October, the franchise in Orange County embarked on a new season, a season of change. First came the announcement that the club had been purchased by Southern California businessman James Keston, who also serves as President. Then came the affiliation with MLS’s LAFC. Next was the appointment of Logan Pause as head coach. Now the club has announced a new name and logo.

Keston revealed the new name of the club is Orange County Soccer Club, emphasizing that the team wanted to draw attention to its home in SoCal. Art Machine, the company that helped to develop the brand for the Los Angeles Rams, provided the creativity for the new Orange County SC logo.

According to Orange County SC’s own announcement, the design elements of the logo have significance.

  • The orange key line represents the Orange County Line.
  • The sprigs represent the top of a citrus fruit.
    • The crest indicates that the club was established in 2013.

The indication that the club was established in 2013 is a bit misleading. The club was founded in 1998, joined the USL in 2010, and was part of the inaugural USL PRO season in 2011. Yes, the club moved from Los Angeles to Orange County in 2013, but why ignore the LA years? Those were the years that the LA Blues were the only USL team west of the Mississippi. The dedication and the patience of owner Ali Mansouri during those years kept the club alive and paved the way for additional USL expansion in the West.

Another confusing aspect of the new brand might lie the name itself. An expansion team in the NPSL called Orange County FC was announced in November. With only one letter differentiating the names of two new soccer brands in the region, Orange County soccer fans may struggle to remember which team they support.

Minor criticisms aside, the new look gets the overall seal of approval. The design is simple and clean, an upgrade over the previous incarnation. One knows that he is looking at the emblem for a soccer team without the inclusion of a soccer ball in the emblem itself. Connections to the community are included, but are not gratuitous and overstated. The color scheme lends itself to uniforms with a classic look.

What do you think of the new Orange County SC? Leave a comment below.

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