I had hoped to be at the Franklin Institute (I can't kick the habit, sorry) right about now for the unveiling of the name and colors of Philadelphia's forthcoming Women's Professional Soccer franchise, but other work obligations interfered.
So I turn to the press release I got from the team this afternoon, in which we learn that the name will be "Independence." It's rather obvious as these things go, but for my money, you might as well go for the obvious if you want to resonate in a market like this.
The team's colors will be yellow, "steel grey" (according to the press release) and light blue, and it will play at Philadelphia Union's stadium in Chester. Good for the Independence for going with a similar color scheme. If it works out, the blue-and-yellow scheme could come to mean for soccer what green does for football and orange does for hockey in the region.
(With apologies to La Salle and Drexel, of course, but you get the point.)
I haven't been able to talk too much to the Independence front office folks, but I have a hunch that the synergy with Union's colors is not by accident. Unlike WPS' predecessor, the Women's United Soccer Association, the current league has made a point of working with Major League Soccer teams in the markets where both leagues have franchises.
The WPS franchises in Chicago (the Red Stars) and Los Angeles (the Sol) are the most prominent examples of this, and they also play in their respective MLS teams' stadiums. The Washington Freedom don't play at RFK Stadium, but they will play three doubleheaders with D.C. United this year.
Speaking of the Freedom, let me start the drumbeat now for an Independence-Freedom game on July 4 every year. Even better would be a doubleheader with a Union-United game, which would produce a great atmosphere and further the rivalries between the teams.
In addition to the Freedom, northern New Jersey-based Sky Blue FC (which alternates between a minor-league baseball stadium in Bridgewater and Rutgers' soccer stadium) will probably be the Independence's main rivals. Other franchises include FC Gold Pride (in the Bay Area) and St. Louis Athletica.
Again, sometimes the obvious nickname makes sense...
Atlanta will join Philadelphia as the expansion franchises next year, by the way.
So you know the name and the colors, but you might think there's something missing. Like the logo, say. Well, you'd be right, and it's because there isn't a logo yet.
"The team is currently in the process of designing and developing the official team logo and crest," the press release says. It will apparently be introduced on the weekend of July 4 (which is a Saturday this year), along with player signings.
Since I wasn't at The Franklin (there we go), I can't tell you whether there was or was not a tent selling moderately overpriced team merchandise at the ceremony.
I can tell you that I've heard that the Sons of Ben will be organizing a supporters' club for the Independence, and I've heard it will be called the Daughters of Betsy.
I can also tell you that this blog will keep an eye on news relating to the Independence, so stay tuned.
(Yes, the Daily News had this story on Saturday, but I was busy all weekend and the official announcement was tonight,l so I'm writing about it now.)