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Major League Soccer: Looking for a nickname

Published August 6, 2004 2:20 am

Alliance, Highlanders, Real Salt Lake, and Glory revealed as early possibilities
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2004, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Get ready for the Salt Lake Alliance. Or the Salt Lake Glory. Or the Salt Lake Highlanders. Maybe even Real Salt Lake.

Dave Checketts, owner of Utah's new Major League Soccer team, gave a sneak peek Thursday into what the team will be named. And although the short list of names Checketts presented at a meeting of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah was not complete, it did reflect the team's desire to name the team for a worldwide stage.

"I would still like it to be traditional," Checketts said.

The team expects to announce its nickname, logo and colors by the middle of the month. Checketts said he has his favorites among the four possibilities, but would not elaborate. He also said that variations on the names are being considered. For example, Alliance F.C. (for Futbol Club) or Alliance S.L. (for Salt Lake) might be the final choice. Real (pronounced: Ree-AL) means royal in Spanish.

A few names, Checketts said, are not even being considered. The team will not be named Seagulls or Pioneers, and as a joke, Checketts said Cricketzz and Brine Shrimp are out of the question.

He jokingly suggested a team named the Highlanders might wear kilts instead of shorts.

Reaction to the names was mixed. Checketts suggested a vote on the names by applause, and Alliance, Glory and Highlanders each received a moderate amount. Real Salt Lake received very little applause.

Utah soccer fans also seem indecisive. Bingham High soccer coach Trisha Roberts said her favorites were Real Salt Lake and the Highlanders. She also said the team seems to be on the right track for naming the team for a worldwide stage.

"I don't think people around here realize the scale of this," Roberts said. "This is major league; this is the premier league in the country."

Connie Martin, owner of the sporting gear store Soccer International, said Glory is his first choice.

"The shorter the name, the easier it is to remember," Martin said. "And, it's easier to put on water bottles and T-shirts."

Alliance, he said, is his second choice because it reminds him of some Latin American team names. Real Salt Lake (apparently based on the Spanish team Real Madrid) would probably be pronounced wrong in America, he said.

"I've never heard [Glory] before," Martin said. "That's a good one."

Alyssa VanderVeur, a forward with Bingham's soccer team, also likes Alliance and Glory.

"It would be kind of fun to chant at their games," VanderVeur said. "It just kind of sounds professional."