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St. Louis Entry into NASL Announces Name, Coach and Director of Player Personal

2009 December 8
by Brian Quarstad


EDITED 12/9/09

Jeff Cooper, spokesperson for the Team Owners Association and the their new proposed league the North American Soccer League (NASL) unveiled their new team name, logo, coach and director of player development in a press conference held yesterday. The event was held at the Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park, streamed online and even though it got underway with a bit of a delay, it was done nicely without dragging the affair out too long.

St. Louis soccer broadcast Bill McDermott started the event off introducing a lot of current and former soccer players and coaches that have hailed from the St. Louis area, including two of the players from the 1950 World Cup team that defeated England, Harry Keough being one of them.

Finally Jeff Cooper, owner of the team took the podium. He unveiled the name and logo of the team as AC St. Louis in a very brief video presentation.

The name AC reflects the history of the Missouri Athletic Club, and pays homage to the dedication the Missouri Athletic Club has shown to the growth and promotion of soccer in St. Louis and throughout the United States.

The logo is a Flame-de-Lis and has a clean look with the arch around the logo representative of the St. Louis Arch, the gateway to the West. It’s colors are green, white and yellow. (See the end of this article for more details.)

Board members of AC St. Louis were also introduced along with their head coach Claude Anelka. Anelka is the brother of Nicolas Anelka. Claude had a short stint in Scotland with Raith Rovers FC but didn’t last long and left after a poor record.

The big coup for Cooper was their director of player development, Fernando Filho, a Brazilian who has been credited for helping develop some very big stars in Europe. His most recent pupil being Cristiano Ronaldo when he was at Manchester United. Filho will now be responsible for the development of youth players for both AC St. Louis, and its sister franchise, Saint Louis Athletica of the WPS.

“It is very exciting for us to reveal the identity of our new team,” said Cooper. “I am also extremely proud to be able to announce that Francisco Filho will be the director of player development for our club, and that Claude Anelka will be our head coach. We are incredibly excited to have someone of Francisco Filho’s stature coming here to work with our young players in St. Louis. Plus, we have a very experienced head coach that is passionate about player development. The future for young soccer players here in our community has never been brighter.”

AC_St.Louis_3_logosIt was also announced that AC St. Louis it has reached a partnership agreement with Heemal Vaid and Sanjeev Vaid of the United Kingdom. The two brothers will serve as directors with the club.

The organization also announced that season tickets for the 2010 season are now on sale. An interesting development being that the team still does not have a official league to play in.

The teams website can be found here.

For more details on the team and individuls as well as the logo, please click “read more”

Claude Anelka is a former French football player and agent. Anelka was born on March 12, 1968 in St. Pierre, Martinique. Claude Anelka played semi-professional soccer in France for the Racing Club de Versailles from 1986 through 1989, and for the Paris Football Club from 1990 to 1994. In 1994 Anelka joined AS Choisy le Roi, where he finished his playing career in 1997.

Claude Anelka has also served as a coach for several teams, and has coached at a variety of levels. While playing for Choisy le Roi, Anelka coached various elite youth squads. In 2004 he served as director of football for Raith Rovers of Scotland. Anelka has also coached American youth teams (Weston Soccer Club of Miami, Fl.) before returning to the professional ranks as head coach of FC Trappes in France.

Francisco Filho was born on October 27, 1940 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Filho began his professional career at the age of 16 in 1957. For the next 17 years he played professionally for clubs in Brazil, Venezuela, Portugal, and France.

Filho began his coaching career at the age of 33 when he became an instructor at the famous Institut National du Football at the French Football Federation’s national academy, Clairefontaine. While at Clairefontaine, Filho oversaw the development of world-renowned stars such as: Thierry Henry, Eric Cantona, Nicolas Anelka, Louis Saha, Jean Pierre Papin, and William Gallas. Filho would coach 29 years at Clairefontaine as French soccer rose to prominence, culminating in France’s 1998 World Cup victory.

In 2002 Filho was hired by Sir Alex Ferguson to be the director of Manchester United’s Academy. Filho oversaw the development of the Manchester United youth players, and coached the Manchester United U-17 and U-18 teams. In 2003 Filho was named as assistant manager to Manchester United’s first team with the role of integrating Cristiano Ronaldo into the senior side. Filho also served as Cristiano Ronaldo’s personal trainer during this time period.

Sanjeev Vaid is a graduate of Westminster University in London with a degree in business economics. He currently serves as director of several thriving companies in the restaurant industry; one of which has become the market leader in successfully expanding the popular Subway franchise throughout the United Kingdom. Sanjeev has always aspired to combine his two primary passions in life: business and soccer. He believes the key to success in business is through diversification, which means today he is positioned to pursue his interest in furthering soccer through his partnership with AC St. Louis.

Heemal Vaid, graduate of City University, which is part of the University of London, holds a degree in business computing. Heemal has previously served as an investment banker with the firm of Credit Suisse First Boston where he managed private clientele. Amongst his numerous business endeavors, he currently owns and manages a successful global commodity-trading firm. Heemal is a passionate soccer and sports fan, and along with his brother Sanjeev, has the goal of establishing AC St. Louis as a global soccer club.

The name and logo

OUR BRAND SIGNATURE is a modern graphic expression of classic elements representing St. Louis and its unique place in the world of soccer. The mark incorporates stylized representations of the world-famous Gateway Arch, an enduring symbol of the city, as well as the fleur-de-lis, the city’s other most instantly recognizable symbol.

The “Flame-de-Lis” serves as the mark’s centerpiece. In this bold interpretation of the classic symbol, a flame burns within the leaves of the fleur-de-lis, representing St. Louis’s fiery passion for the sport and recalling the 1904 Olympics. In its primary form, a “shield” frames the mark, and clearly suggests the city’s landmark Arch while providing a modern interpretation of the traditional crest motif common among soccer clubs around the world.

Green and gold comprise the brand mark’s primary colors. Green symbolizes the playing field while gold represents the energy and optimism shared by players and fans. In some forms, the mark incorporates a star at its center, a subtle reference to St. Louis’s geographic location, its central place in soccer history, and the St. Louis Stars.

Simple, bold, and iconic, the signature reflects a dynamic and confident visual statement of an organization poised to ignite a future vision of soccer now and for generations to come.

AC ST. LOUIS was chosen first and foremost for being a traditional soccer name, one that is used in various forms by clubs throughout the world. The name, which reflects and honors the long history of soccer in St. Louis, is synonymous with the sport. Making AC St. Louis an instantly recognizable soccer brand.

The name is purposely simple, placing the primary focus upon the city and region that it proudly represents. Due to the history, heritage, and tradition of the sport in our community a professional soccer franchise needs no further moniker. The name St. Louis alone speaks volumes.

“AC” in this case is a short acronym for Athletic Club, which compliments it’s sister franchise, Saint Louis Athletica of Women’s Professional Soccer, WPS.

The name further reflects the history of the Missouri Athletic Club, and pays homage to the dedication the Missouri Athletic Club has shown to the growth and promotion of soccer in St. Louis and throughout the United States.

9 Responses
  1. Jay permalink
    December 8, 2009

    St. Louis Athletica’s logo is better. Not impressed at all. Hope that Anelka’s brother understands North American soccer. In order to be successful in this league you usually need a coach who can understand the US/Canadian soccer cultures.

  2. December 8, 2009

    That is a SHARP looking crest and a great color scheme! The name also works. I’m just very happy that we have St. Louis as a team in the NASL, it really adds legitimacy to the league and it looks like they are going to have all the pieces necessary to be successful. Good for you, St. Louis! Looking forward to playing you guys in 2010!!

  3. ACSTL permalink
    December 8, 2009

    AC St Louis also named Director of Player Development for AC St. Louis Francisco Filho. He has shaped many famous players such as Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo’s personal trainer for 4 years. Big pick up!

  4. Fenchi permalink
    December 8, 2009

    Why is it taking so damn long for us to know what the hell is going to happen in this whole TOA vs USL thing? US Soccer should just make a decision and move on man.

  5. Sam Schroeder permalink
    December 8, 2009

    I really like how things look with the logo and all but I still lament the inclusion of silly monikers like “AC,” “FC,” and especial “Real.”

    In America, which is where St. Louis is and MLS is headquartered, people refer to soccer as soccer and American Gridiron as football. I doubt the St. Louis soccer franchise is likely to engage in other athletic endeavours, making the term athletic club seem a bit out of place… and the whole Spanish royalty thing is just dumb.

    At least there isnt a soccer ball involved.

  6. December 8, 2009

    I’m right with you on that Sam. I think my biggest pet peeve is the soccer ball. Always the black and white hexagon one from the 70’s. Why do soccer logos in the US have to have a soccer ball on them. Hardly any other sports teams have a ball of their sport. How many pucks are on NHL logos? Maybe 2 that I can think of. Stop with the balls and stop with the FC. In most cases these teams are not clubs and they certainly are not owned by royalty thus ReaL.

  7. Mark permalink
    December 9, 2009

    I don’t mind the logo (seen worse), but I get your points about the balls, “FC”, etc; but their website is really podunk. Maybe just a placeholder (I hope).

  8. Soccer Boy permalink
    December 9, 2009

    Brian, in addressing your question on “balls” in logos, I would like to point out that MBL rules specifically prohibit the depiction of a baseball in a teams logo that is displayed on a jersey. There has been some issues in the past between notebaly the Phillies and Blue Jays for semi-depicition of baseballs in logos/on uniforms.

    I would agree that we need to get soccer balls out of logos–most notably at the youth level. I would also like to see clubs change their names from “______________ Soccer Club,” to “______________ Football Club.” (I guess you could get ultra-technical and call it “association football,” which is the technical name for what we all enjoy.

  9. December 9, 2009

    But SB, we don’t call it football here. We have a football. I know they took the name from us and it should have been called football, but its not. I think FC is silly. If you are a soccer club then no harm in SC.

Comments are closed.