The talks have simmered down a little since it was reported that Dan Gilbert was planning to bring MLS to Detroit. The situation with Gilbert and Wayne County fighting over the jail site in downtown was a hot-button issue that even the likes of Valenti and Foster covered.

It has been a little while since any major news broke on that front however, so we decided to whip up the imagination and think: what would be the best name for a Detroit MLS squad? Below are our top five picks for a Detroit MLS team name.

Photo Credit: ashleystreet/Flickr

Detroit Automation

This is the leader of the bunch. It symbolizes everything that works with the city of Detroit and has deep cultural roots.

Instead of something generic like the “City” or “United” tag at the end of the name, bringing in a unique name and branding would do great for this team. Soccer teams in America have already proven to be really unique in their team names like the Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes, and New England Revolution. Automation makes a lot of sense and it would fit right in as a recognizable name for the city of Detroit.


Motor City United

If the Gilbert-Gores brain trust truly wishes to use the cliched “City” or “United” titles in their club’s name, they better do it right. Combining both with the “Motor City” twist would be the best option.

It shows a sense of kinship which will inevitably strengthen the soccer culture in Detroit. The success of Detroit City FC is already proof positive that the soccer sect of our fair city is strong and close-knit. Having this name would be the best personification of it while not creating something boring like Detroit United or just simply Motor City.

Michigan Great Lakers

In the circumstance that the new Detroit team might move out to Gores’ neck of the woods, there might be a need for a more “inclusive” name. A team out in the ‘burbs would need to have a name significant to its role of being Michigan’s top-tier soccer club.

This brings in the “Michigan” portion of the name. The Great Lakers portion is a very personal bit that is something we all can agree with. In fact, Michigan has the largest fresh water coastline of any province of any country in the world and no point in Michigan is more than six miles from a body of water. That solidifies that we are the freshwater capital of the world, why shouldn’t the name exemplify that?

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Motor City Mechanics

This one may sting for some of Nation’s fans. While this is the name of a defunct semi-professional hockey team, it would be great to bring this name back.

The team has been out of commission since 2006 and the name is simply ingenious. A soccer team would be a great way to bring this name back into the foray of Detroit sports. Minor alterations would need to be made of course, but combining the city’s nickname with a strong cultural identifier simply makes sense. Naming rights and all of those complications make this very unlikely, but this isn’t a bad avenue to explore for Gilbert and Co.

Detroit Arsenal

This name takes a little bit of explaining.

Back in the 1940’s, Detroit had really come into its own as the manufacturing capital of the country. They were already putting out automobiles and had been tasked with providing much of the vehicles for the U.S. army during World War II. This gave the Motor City a reputation as the “Arsenal of Democracy”.

Bringing in a deeply respected and historical reasoning into the soccer team name would be a fantastic choice. It nods back to a proud era of our city and country, while having a recognizable and memorable name. It is such a good name that a defunct NPSL Detroit squad already tried out this name. The type of supporter group names from that are endless and it would be such a unique inclusion into the Detroit sports pantheon.

The only issue that may arise would come from naming conflicts with the United States Army Detroit Arsenal at 11 Mile and Mound Road. There could be a very fruitful partnership between the army facility and Gilbert if this name were to come forward, however. Pairing the new team with strong veteran and military ties could help the growth of the team in a very successful way.