San Diego’s NASL soccer team unveils name


San Diego’s new professional soccer team has a name: 1904 FC.

The FC stands for Football Club, a standard abbreviation for soccer teams around the world. The 1904 is not quite as obvious.

It is not the year the city was established (San Diego was in 1769), or the year the club began like Germany’s FC Schalke 04 and Bayer 04 Leverkusen, which both were founded in 1904. It is a numerical representation of “SD,” S being the 19th letter of alphabet and D the fourth.

19-04. Get it?

It’s not the first time San Diego has been referred to as “1904” for alphabetic reasons; the city has a 1904 tattoo parlor and 1904 crossfit gym. And in the movie “Anchorman,” Will Ferrell’s character, Ron Burgundy, famously and facetiously claims San Diego was “discovered by the Germans in 1904.”

“We believe in the people of San Diego,” principal owner Demba Ba, a Senegalese forward who grew up in France and currently plays in China, said in a statement. “Our name reflects our commitment to the city and street culture. The number is already iconic in San Diego. Now it will stand for the passion and pride of our region.”

It is certainly 21-14-09-17-21-05.

Fans, of course, will be the ultimate arbiter whether it is 03-15-15-12 or 04-21-13-02.

The new club hopes to begin play in March as an expansion franchise in the North American Soccer League, assuming there’s an NASL to play in. U.S. Soccer, the sport’s national governing body, denied its application to remain as the second division in the sport’s American hierarchy, effectively demoting it to the third division alongside semi-pro leagues.

The NASL responded by filing a federal anti-trust lawsuit against the federation and requesting that it be re-instated to second division while the case is pending.

A hearing on the preliminary injunction is scheduled for Oct. 31 in New York. Lose that, and there are indications several of the NASL’s eight existing franchises may jump to other leagues instead of playing as the third division next season.

1904 FC has secured USD’s Torero Stadium from March through July, then hopes to move into a new North County facility for the remainder of the 2018 season. The plan is for a 10,000- to 15,000-seat modular stadium that is constructed elsewhere, shipped to San Diego and then assembled in as little as three months.

The team’s colors are black and white. The official shield says “San Diego 1904 FC” superimposed over a telescope.

“1904 FC’s colors are as simple as the game itself,” a club release said. “A game where one team must score just one more goal than the other. Black and white also represent both the darkness (challenges) of sports and the light (victory). The telescope represents the club’s long-term vision and commitment to the region, along with its goal of developing local football talent and helping young players achieve their dreams of playing international soccer.”

Wednesday morning’s announcement came in the form of a press release and a video. A news conference formally launching 1904 FC, or Nineteen O’Four, is expected later this month.