Question submitted by Nick Valenti: “Can you rank the top 10 American soccer mascots of all time?”
Absolutely. Here are the 10 best American soccer mascots. It’s an objective list, and therefore cannot be argued with. This is the direct opinion of this writer and by extension, this website.
10) SPARKY (CHICAGO FIRE)
Might not be the most original mascot on this list, but once again I am struck by not just the Chicago Fire’s willingness to name their team after the greatest disaster in their city’s history (outside of maybe that thing that Kanye did with Marilyn Manson and DaBaby, because no one needed that), but the impulse to subsequently name their mascot Sparky. They are implying that this dog did it. He’s the reason Chicago burned down and the Fire players now get mistaken for firefighters on planes. It was Sparky.
9) JOSE CLASH (SAN JOSE CLASH)
Absolutely terrible naming conventions. Super lazy. But I appreciate the visceral body horror of this anthropomorphic scorpion. Eat your heart out, Gregor Samsa.
8) PHANG (PHILADELPHIA UNION)
To some, Phang is a tragedy of modernity. But me? I’m too invested in his narrative. Phang’s ancestor was dudes with Ben Franklin and was the snake model for a Revolutionary War flag! He gets struck by lightning! HE IS REBORN AS THE SERPENT SOCCER GOD OF SOUTH JERSEY. That’s not even half of the Phang lore!
7) ZIGGY (SWITCHBACKS FC)
I appreciate how unique the mountain goat is in the sea of American mascots. It’s just not an animal that gets used a lot and it’s fitting for a Colorado team. Plus, sometimes they put Ziggy in lederhosen.
6) KICKEROO (RICHMOND KICKERS)
Respect the classics. The Kickers decided they were going to be the American kangaroo team a long time ago, and you know what? They’re still the American kangaroo team. Even though they got rid of Kickeroo’s thunder thighs a few years back, which doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.
5) CREW CAT (COLUMBUS CREW)
The original one. Not the son of Crew Cat. Crew Cat with the hard hat. That is the only Crew Cat that exists.
4) PETE THE PELICAN (TAMPA BAY ROWDIES)
A pelican is just an objectively good animal to choose to be a mascot. It already looks like a cartoon, with the giant neck and the massive beak and all that. Throw a green mohawk or a little hat on that thing? Top tier American soccer mascot. TOP TIER.
3) COZMO (LA GALAXY)
I will warrant you that Cozmo’s early years were… ill-advised. And now, he’s a little boring compared to several others already on this list, in terms of design. Just a little alien, void creature standing on the sidelines. Everyone knows that the appeal of Cozmo isn’t necessarily the flashy exterior, but rather the persona that’s been crafted for Cozmo. He is the mover and shaker behind what is most likely the most important photograph in American soccer history. Cozmo is American soccer.
2) STANLEY STING (CHICAGO STING)
Throughout the decades, Stanley Sting’s basic concept remains iconic. It’s a bumblebee that also happens to be a cigar-chomping gangster, or bookie, or unsavory character of some sort. In a way, it’s once again a Chicago soccer team deciding to take some of the worst parts of their city’s legacy and turn it into a mascot. And I, for one, like that.
1) RAPIDMAN (COLORADO RAPIDS)
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
‘til Commerce City sees me in my prime
they think that they’ve seen the best of me?
Oh no no no
I’m a Rapidman (Rapidmaaaaaaaan)
Never burnin’ out because I’m so cool
Sunglasses make me better than you