Eight days before Christmas, MLS Commissioner Don Garber gave Charlotte soccer fans the best present that anyone could ask for: an MLS franchise of their own.
With team owner David Tepper and Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles seated to his left, Commissioner Garber proudly proclaimed that the Queen City had been selected to house the 30th MLS franchise. The event, hosted at the Mint Museum, was raucous. Soccer fans all over town, including this one, knew that a franchise was going to be awarded to the city as soon as David Tepper first started talking about bringing MLS to Charlotte.
The team has yet to receive an official title, however. Six names made their way around the internet as possible names for the new franchise. From several other media outlets, I have heard that the name of the team will most likely be: “Charlotte Town FC”. The name harkens back to November of 1768 when Charlotte was incorporated and known as Charlotte Town. After seeing some of the other names that could possibly have been chosen, I’m happy with Charlotte Town.
With every soccer team needing a rival, as is usual in all of sports culture, Atlanta United can only be presumed to be it. I personally wonder if that would work. With both cities connected by I-85 and only three hours apart, it geographically makes sense. But with the Five Stripes already having lifted an MLS CUP, I personally believe that it would be difficult to call it an instant rivalry. There will no doubt be some growing pains in the first few seasons, but I firmly believe that this team will dig in and root themselves into the sports fabric of Charlotte. 2021 can’t get here soon enough.
Written by Guest Blogger David Hodges