U.S. Men's National Soccer Team: Pros and Cons of Five Possible Nicknames
Many national soccer teams around the globe are known by a simple nickname. The Netherlands are known as the "Oranje," England as the Three Lions, France as "Les Bleus," Argentina as "Albicelestes," and Nigeria as the Super Eagles.
The United States Men's National Team, however, does not have a nickname. Due to the surging popularity of both soccer and the national team in the United States, perhaps it's time they had a colloquial nickname that would be immediately recognized around the country and around the world.
Here are five possible nicknames for the U.S. Men's National Team, with both pros and cons considered.
The Bald Eagles
Pros: The Bald Eagle is the national bird and and has been a symbol of the country for a long time. There are no professional (or popular college) sports teams nicknamed the Bald Eagles, so there would be no confusion with anyone else. In addition, the Bald Eagle is a strong, fierce bird.
Cons: None that I can super think of, except that some might confuse the Bald Eagles with the Screaming Eagles (a D.C. United supporters' group).
The Stars & Stripes
Pros: "Stars & Stripes" evokes a popular symbol of the country. There would be no mistaking any other team in the world for the Stars & Stripes.
Cons: That nickname could refer to any sporting team from the U.S.
The White Stars
Pros: Stars would indicate what we would hope our team would become. Besides, there are fifty stars on the U.S. flag. Ghana (who oddly enough has eliminated the U.S. in the last two World Cups) features a black star on its flag, and are often referred to as the Black Stars. The U.S. also traditionally plays in white.
Cons: With such an ethnically diverse country, is "White Stars" an appropriate nickname? Then again, New Zealand's rugby team is popularly known as the All Blacks due to their all black uniforms.
Pros: The name has already has a connotation to U.S. soccer as it's the name of a U.S. supporters' group. Sam's Army would be a perfect link between an iconic American figure and the fastest growing sport in the country.
Cons: It's already the name of a supporters' group, so that might cause confusion between the team and the supporters group.
Pros: It's simple. Although soccer isn't the most popular sport in the country, the national soccer team seems to be most popular of the national sports teams in the country. Probably because their big prize is more prestigious (and even more popular) than that for other national sports teams in the country. The 2010 World Cup drew strong ratings in the U.S., and those ratings should jump even more for the 2014 edition in Brazil. Anyway, the men's national soccer team is certainly more popular than the national teams for basketball, ice hockey, and those for any other sport.
Cons: The name might cause confusion with baseball's Washington Nationals.