Ever since the dawn of the NASL in the 1960s, American soccer teams have tried everything under the sun to create iconic club names. From the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Dallas Tornado of the old NASL to modern-day Real Salt Lake and the short-lived Houston 1836, there have been some winners and many more losers. The new Louisville NWSL club might be going the Houston 1836 route.
Back in November, the National Women’s Soccer League announced Louisville would enter the league as the 10th team. The club was named Proof Louisville FC, after the city’s bustling bourbon industry.
The team is slated to begin play in 2021, playing at the new Lynn Family Stadium alongside Louisville City FC of the USL Championship. At the time of its announcement in November, the club owners were quite keen on the name. Fans were less thrilled, with some starting a petition to change the name immediately.
Don’t name the Louisville NWSL team Proof Louisville FC. - Sign the Petition! https://t.co/QPO3NptSDX via @Change— #NWSL2LOU (@ProofLouisville) November 12, 2019
Naming things is hard work, I must concede. (For proof, just look at the name of the website you’re currently reading.) I presume the Louisville NWSL team consulted with experts before deciding upon Proof Louisville FC for the city’s only major league team and first since 1976.
Nonetheless, with the club set to join the league in less than a year, it’s already considering a name change, according to a report in the Louisville Courier-Journal this week.
“It’s being reconsidered,” Louisville City FC president Brad Estes said. “We just wanted to involve our supporters more than we did before. We wanted to engage all of our stakeholders, really, everybody in the community, supporters, owners, players, we just wanted to do a more robust process.”
A name change before the team even takes the pitch is nothing new in the world of American soccer. Back in 2006, the San Jose Earthquakes were scheduled to relocate to Texas and become Houston 1836, named following an online fan survey for the year in which Houston was founded. But because 1836 was also the year Texas fought for and won its independence from Mexico, many Latinx fans in Houston opposed the name and it was eventually changed to the Houston Dynamo.
Maybe the Louisville NWSL team will look to its roots for a new name. Louisville was founded in 1778 and named for Marie Antoinette’s husband, Louis XVI, who was beheaded during the French Revolution less than 20 years later.
So perhaps the new team name should be Louisville Guillotines? Louisville Antoinettes? The Louisville Let Them Eat Cakes? Louisville Fried Chickens? Louisville Sluggers?
Anything’s better than Proof Louisville FC, right?