So you think circles are boring?
by Alex Stefanescu
Ah, the roundel crest. Charlotte FC debuts one, and the internet goes berzerk. But there is no icon more common in the world of soccer than the dependable, infinite circle. In logo terminology, it is more widely known as a roundel, i.e. a circular disc used as a symbol.
Is it the most inspiring choice? Maybe not.
Is it the most creative choice? No.
Is it the safest choice? Probably.
Will it stand the test of time? Absolutely.
In MLS alone, there are currently five clubs rocking the iconic look: Atl*nta, Columbus, Miami, NYC, and Philadelphia. There are six if you want to count Portland, which is not technically a perfect roundel, but it comes pretty close.
The Premier League also has five: Manchester City, Chelsea, Leicester, Sheffield United, and Brighton. Brentford is fighting for the 3rd promotion spot in the Championship playoffs, and they have a roundel now too.
Bundesliga has seven: Bayern, Dortmund, Wolfburg, Frankfurt, Schalke, Mainz, and Dusseldorf. Dusseldorf did just relegate but never fear, Arminia Bielefeld will take their place, and guess what shape their crest is rocking? Yup, it's another roundel.
Serie A comes in at just two (Inter, and Napoli). La Liga has zero, but that’s only because they love to put crowns on top of their roundels in Spain. We also happen to have a soft spot for crowns around these parts; we just put ours in the middle.
This phenomenon is not just common in Europe and North America either. There are roundel logos on every continent where professional club soccer is played. In a way, it is the perfect shape for a crest in this beautiful game of ours. After all, the game is played with a round ball and a huge circle adorns the middle of every pitch.
Some of the most iconic crests are roundels. A personal favorite of mine is the Bayern Munich crest, which is as synonymous with the state of Bavaria as Oktoberfest. Just look at the history of their crest; they have only had to make slight tweaks in the last 50 years. There are American sports franchises that have gone through several rebrands and relocations in that time span. And now, the roundel is making its comeback throughout American sports too, with NBA teams especially falling in love with it over the last decade.
So, let's all embrace the roundel, because it is here to stay! As for Charlotte Football Club’s version? It’s #minted and ready to be proudly worn by Sergio Ruiz, all the other players that will call CLTFC home in the near future, and all of us fans too.