by DAVE MARTINEZ
It looks like Arthur Blank won.
Following a report from Sports Illustrated detailing the tug-of-war between Atlanta and Minnesota over the “United” moniker, a MLS trademark filing uncovered by EoS seems to show Atlanta has won that debate.
As reported by Brian Straus, Minnesota and Atlanta are in line to make their MLS debuts for 2017. That presents the odd conflict of having two teams enter the league at the same time, with the same name. Unnamed sources told SI the team’s identical moniker would be an issue for the league, forcing both sides to jockey for possession of the United name.
While Minnesota United has established their brand since 2013 through the North American Soccer League, Atlanta gained entry into MLS first, giving each strong grounds for their stake in “United.” As reported, MLS was already close to backing Atlanta in their quest to keep the United brand — and it looks like they have already done so. In fact, the original SI report makes mention of “Minnesota FC” by name as a possible alternative to Bill McGuire’s club.
Minnesota United FC issued no comment. EoS also reached out to MLS, but did not receive comment by the time of this report.