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VOL. 11 | NO. 35 | Saturday, September 1, 2018

Local Soccer Team Christened Memphis FC 901

Special to The Daily News

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The Memphis entry in the United Soccer League shall be known as Memphis 901 FC. The logo and team name were unveiled on Saturday, Sept. 1. at 9:01 a.m., a nod to the city’s area code. An accompanying video talks about the city’s legacy in the sport with shots of the Memphis Americans indoor team and the outside squad – Memphis Rogues.

The team branding was part of the celebration around a friendly between the Tulsa Roughnecks and the Colorado Rapids at AutoZone Park Saturday night.

Memphis 901 FC begins play in the USL next year.

Within the “neon-inspired crest” is a vinyl record symbolic of the city’s musical heritage. The 901 in white runs vertically through the middle. MEMPHIS, also in white, curves across the top of the emblem topped by a gold crown, representing the musical kings – Elvis and B.B., according to the team release.

“Since we announced this team in January, we have constantly sought input from people in our community and the soccer world about what our team’s identity should be,” Memphis 901 FC President Craig Unger said in the prepared statement. “All conversations led us to ‘901 FC.’ Our heart, and our uniqueness, is that we are Memphians. ‘901’ has come to define our community and is a rallying cry of our region. It quickly became clear that Memphis 901 FC was the perfect fit for the foundation of our club, which is Memphis’ club.”

The video announcing the team’s identity starts with a shot of the skyline and the references to the past teams, all referencing the soccer roots in the city. The promotional piece talks about how soccer never left the city with shots of people playing soccer at various locations.

In a symbolic shot, one boy falls to the ground grabbing his ankle with a “soccer injury.”

The video contains shots of landmarks from Beale Street to the Rendezvous, AutoZone Park – the team’s home pitch – the downtown trolleys and a glimpse of Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. The video visuals stretch across the city from M.L. King Jr. Ave. to Orange Mound to East High.

But the main theme continually returns to music. Studios from Royal to Stax to Sun make appearances along with the Elvis Presley statue Downtown.

Also prominent throughout the video is Tim Howard, the bearded Germantown resident, who not only serves as goalie for the U.S. Men’s National Team, but is Memphis 901FC’s promotional face.

Howard is shown interacting with youth players, soccer fans and others, pumping up the enthusiasm for the game and its arrival in the Bluff City.

The video reaches a crescendo with the narrator enthusiastically announcing: “This is your town. This is your time. And this is YOUR team! Memphis 901 FC.”

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