SAN DIEGO — Calling all soccer fans: the name, crest and colors of San Diego’s new Major League Soccer team are set to be officially unveiled Friday night.
San Diego was selected as the location for the league’s 30th team back in May. Since then, the MLS team has been gearing up for play, including working with the community to help come up with the club’s branding.
In a conversation with FOX 5 ahead of the big reveal, Tom Penn, CEO of the club, said that the name, crest and colors for the team was designed to represent the “real San Diego,” symbolizing the county’s diversity.
It was something that Penn said Cody Martinez, chairman of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, was pushing for when looking at creating the insignia for the county’s newest professional sports team.
“We’re much more than the city itself. We’re much more than the coast,” Penn recalled of their conversation. “We’re the entire county, we’re the entire region. Give us an identity that weaves together the entire region, that’s what we’re after, because sports are a unifying force.”
“What brings us all together better than sports … when the Padres are rolling in the playoffs, this city is connected,” Penn continued. “We aspire to do that in the sport of football, in the sport of soccer, and we sought a symbol that weaves us all together as one.”
As far as the name for the club goes, MLS San Diego officials indicated early on that they were deciding between two different options: San Diego FC or FC San Diego.
These options, as Penn explained, were offered as a way to bring the new expansion team into the global ecosystem of iconic clubs across England and Spain — like FC Barcelona and Manchester City FC — with the FC designation. 10 other MLS teams have similar naming.
Local fans voted between the two options. While it hasn’t been officially revealed, Penn teased that about 85% of respondents voted for a name that puts the community first.
The club will take to the pitch starting in February 2025 at Snapdragon Stadium, which is also home to the local National Women’s Soccer Team, San Diego Wave FC.
In the club’s sophomore year, the Wave clinched the NWSL Shield, which is awarded to the team with the best regular-season record, ahead of a playoff run where the club will be earned a start in the semi-finals and homefield advantage.
“How about the Wave in their second season winning the Shield (with a) playoff coming (and a) championship here,” Penn said. “It’s an indication of what this market loves about (soccer) … we just want to bring that alive in the men’s game at the highest level.”
The official name, crest and colors reveal will be happening at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Snapdragon Stadium. A fan festival will be taking place before the event, starting at 6 p.m.
In addition to the branding, the team will also reveal a handful of the merchandise that will be available for fans to purchase during the buildup to the team’s inaugural season.
Ahead of the season, fans can also reserve their place on the list for season tickets for $18 at SanDiegoFC.com.
“Soccer thrives in San Diego and it has forever at all levels,” Penn said. “We intend to play on the global stage and really give San Diego a chance to shine on the global stage.”
Join FOX 5 at 7:30 p.m. for a livestream of the MLS team announcement in a player above.