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Ranking the best and worst team logos of Major League Soccer

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The best and worst shields, crests and badges of Major League Soccer

When the Los Angeles Football Club revealed their new colors and logo last week, response was decidedly mixed. And I don't mean "mixed" as a euphemism for negative - it really was mixed. There were some very positive reactions along with some strongly negative takes. The disagreement provided a refreshing opportunity to talk about what fans do and don't want in a logo - albeit a logo for a team most of the folks giving opinion won't ever really care about. (For what it's worth, the reaction among LAFC's nascent fanbase seemed to be generally positive, and that's the strongest indication of whether a mark is successful or not.)

Anyway, that debate got me thinking that we needed a proper accounting of the best and worst in MLS logo design. Our pals down Georgia-way at Dirty South Soccer recently graded the color schemes of every MLS team, which provides a nice start. (Aside: check out those perfect scores for a certain team in Black-and-Red.)

We decided to take it to the next step and rank our favorite and least favorite MLS logos. Several members of the B&RU staff provided lists of their top and bottom logos, and I used the latest science to turn those lists into these rankings. Without further ado:

The Best MLS Logos

van

  1. Vancouver Whitecaps (2.25 average weighted rank, 3 first place votes) - Immediately evokes Vancouver's setting, unique, and no ugly fonts/shapes/colors. Occam's Razor. (ChestRockwell)

    DCU logo
  2. D.C. United (2.59 avg) - Among the best refreshes in sports in a while...still one of the best crests in MLS. (blazindw)

    por
  3. Portland Timbers (3.00 avg, 1 first place vote) - It's all about that axe, and while the version without the wordmark is even better, the Timbers killed it with this version, too. (Adam M Taylor)

    clb
  4. Columbus Crew SC (4.33 avg) - Their rebrand was painfully necessary. I don't like that they have a checkerboard pattern in their badge but not on their shirts (don't be a tease, Columbus!), but that's not the badge's fault. (ChestRockwell)

    mtl
  5. Montreal Impact (4.75 avg, 1 first place vote) - The fleur-de-lis is badge par excellence. (Touchline)

Also receiving multiple votes: Chicago Fire, LA Galaxy.

The Worst MLS Logos

ne

  1. New England Revolution (1.30 average weighted rank, 4 worst place votes) - 1990s X-games aesthetic is so 1990s X-games aesthetic. (Touchline)

    nj
  2. New York Red Bulls (1.76 avg, 1 worst place vote) - It's an international conglomerate's logo, and then it's also the least likable team on earth's badge. Belongs in the trash. (ChestRockwell)

    rsl
  3. Real Salt Lake (2.5 avg) - This leaves a ton to be desired. Nothing about this that stands out at all. (blazindw)

    atl
  4. Atlanta United FC (2.73 avg, 1 worst place vote) - Strangely muted colors, unnecessary bevels, a name that makes no sense given the Confederate history of the city, a lettermark that for some reason is sinking into the muck at the bottom of an increasingly overdone roundel shape. Basically the textbook example of how not to use a focus group. Next. (Adam M Taylor)

    dal200
    phi200
  5. TIE: FC Dallas and Philadelphia Union (3.75 avg) - Dallas calls themselves the Hoops, but they have a longhorn prominent in the crest? Needs a rebrand. (blazindw) Meanwhile, Philly's got hideous colors, unearned stars, and a snake that was easily photoshopped into poop. It's the badge the Union have earned on the field. (ChestRockwell)

Also receiving multiple votes: Toronto FC, Sporting Kansas City.

So, now that we've wrecked your mobile data allowance for the month with all these images, let us hear it in the comments. Or, more appropriately, let the teams with the bad logos have it in the comments. You may as well be productive with your anger.