As part of his opening remarks, commissioner Don Garber noted the Sounders' recent fourth U.S. Open Cup and their standing as the only MLS club to have clinched a spot in the MLS playoffs.
Here's the news from the league:
Today, at an event in New York City, Major League Soccer (www.MLSsoccer.com) unveiled its new brand identity and MLS Crest. A seminal moment in League history, the announcement caps off a near two year journey that has seen MLS scale new heights in its goal of becoming one of the world’s elite sports leagues by 2022. “We have etched a new milestone in our future today – a culmination of the many monumental changes that have positioned us for rapid growth,” said Howard Handler, CMO, MLS. “In the last 18 months, we have introduced new teams, new soccer-specific stadiums, an eight year, multi-million dollar media rights partnership, and our owners have made significant investments to sign world-class athletes. Together, these elements have led to the realization that our current brand is no longer a proper representation of the league we are and want to become.” The crest’s colors pay homage to the nations MLS represents – Canada and the United States – while the design is intended to say “soccer” without the literal ball and cleat of its predecessor. The flexible nature of the brand will also allow clubs to adopt the league crest in their own unique color schemes, reinforcing a focused commitment to put clubs, country and community first. In building the brand system, several factors were taken into account. The new identity is constructed to ensure longevity over time. Its versatility makes the mark applicable across mobile and digital environments equally as well as in broadcasts, advertisements and on the sleeves of jerseys and match balls. “Our new brand and crest are the result of an iterative process that has helped us better understand the world in which we operate in. The outcome is not an evolution, but a revolution.” The new league identity will begin to appear in 2015-related programs this year, including the NYC FC and Orlando City SC jersey launches in November. The full rebrand will take effect in preparation for the 20th MLS season. In an effort to create a “fans first” experience, the crest made its debut in EA SPORTS® FIFA 15 which launched today to a select number of Xbox One users via download. For more information on the new brand, including an in-depth look at the meaning of the MLS crest and downloadable club versions, visit www.MLSsoccer.com/NEXT. For media interested in video and photography from today’s event, you can access it HERE throughout the day.