MLS expansion franchise in St. Louis to be called St. Louis City SC

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The MLS expansion franchise slated for St. Louis announced its name, logo and colors on Thursday, opting for the moniker of St. Louis City SC.

The announcement was made via a "virtual unveiling" due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The team will make its MLS debut in 2023.

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"St. Louis City SC is a reflection of the STLMade movement that is at the heart of everything we do, and truly represents our region's diverse and optimistic spirit," said Carolyn Kindle-Betz in a statement. "Our desire from day one has been to be bigger than soccer and to become part of the fabric of St. Louis and a symbol of our future. This is a significant step forward for our club -- and our region."

In an exclusive interview with ESPN, Kindle-Betz said the organization accepted over 6,000 submissions from fans, and 400 of them contained some form of the name "City". For Kindle-Betz, the name fits with the sport's deep history in St. Louis. Several members from the team that went to the 1950 World Cup from the region, as well as present-day U.S. internationals such as Tim Ream, Josh Sargent and Becky Sauerbrunn.

"We're a brand new soccer team here in St. Louis, brand new stadium, brand new everything," Kindle-Betz said. "And so we just wanted to make sure that we're very inclusive of the region, but also embracing our proud heritage."

The logo and colors were inspired by the city flag of St. Louis, and highlights two of the city's most iconic symbols; the Gateway Arch as well as the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.

"It's a vision that reflects a modern interpretation of our city, while paying homage to the icons that everyone recognizes both nationally and internationally," said owner and chief design architect Lee Broughton.

Kindle-Betz added that in terms of the colors, the goal was to "get somebody's favorite color in there" which explains the hint of pink in the crest and watermarks.

"The Cardinal red is so iconic and generations know Cardinal red, so we wanted to make sure that we base our color palette on the St. Louis city flag," Kindle-Betz said. "We wanted to make sure that our red was unique to St. Louis City SC with a little bit of that pink you can see if you look at it in the right light."

Broughton added that the logo is also intended to be a celebration of the city's diversity and neighborhoods.

"[The city's] neighborhoods have such an ingrained sense of passion for those that reside in them," he said. "And then there's a history in soccer that is arguably unprecedented in America. We often refer to ourselves as America's first soccer capital. We also wanted to make sure that we were pointing towards the future, and that we were united around the idea of this sport and a sense of aspiration together towards growth and a cultural renaissance."

Kindle-Betz added that while the virtual unveiling is less than ideal, she remains appreciative of the team's fans and the input they provided in the process.

"They've been very patient, very supportive and loyal," she said. "And we want to make sure that we continue to exceed their expectations."