As we know by now, when the Washington Spirit revealed its new 2023 home and away jerseys Wednesday evening, the move to black and white did not just serve as the reveal of the new look for the club. It signaled the start (or continuation of the process to evaluate everything about the club in a potential full rebrand.

Speaking with The District Press’ André Carlisle, Spirit majority owner Y. Michele Kang proclaimed “everything’s on the table” when discussing the rebrand, including the team name. “We’re trying to get input from the fans, the community, the players and so forth,” Kang said regarding the rebrand process. “So I can’t predict, we’ve got a lot of experts working with us so we’re gonna be very careful, the fans’ input is very important. At the end of the day they identify with us, it’s not just the name but overall the kind of vision and philosophy behind us.”

Those comments from Kang explicitly say that the club is looking at every single detail as they seek to change its branding and as Kang begins to put her stamp on the team, beginning with a “clean slate” with the solid black and solid white jerseys.

That clean slate includes a review of the team colors and crest, but it also includes the team name. The Washington Spirit name is one that goes back to the beginning of the NWSL, rising from the ashes of the Washington Freedom of the WUSA and WPS. It certainly has some brand recognition not just in the DMV, where the team has played in Maryland, Virginia, and the District, but also across the league. However, moving into Audi Field full time starting this season, there is a chance to rebrand the team similar to that of the soccer team by which it shares a home.

Most teams in Washington, DC use “Washington” in their name, and the Spirit are no exception. Neither were the Freedom, who were around from 2001 until they rebranded as magicJack in 2011 and moved to South Florida. DC United, for a long time, was the only team in the area that used “DC” in its name instead of “Washington.” They have since been joined by the XFL’s DC Defenders as well as Major League Rugby’s Old Glory DC. Every other team in DC, with the exception of the NBA G League’s Capital City Go-Go, use “Washington” in their name. While the Spirit used Washington, the DC is also prominent at the top of their crest.

So, with that information at your disposal, we ask you 2 very simple questions:

  1. Should the Washington Spirit change their name?
  2. If so, what should that new name be?

You know what to do…the comments are here for everyone to debate as we get the pulse of our great community on what the Spirit’s rebrand direction should be!

ByDonald Wine II

Donald Wine has been a soccer fan since he first kicked a ball as a kid. He moved to DC in 2007 and quickly joined the soccer scene, helping to establish the DC chapter of the American Outlaws and serving as one of the capos and drummers for over a decade. He is currently the manager of Stars & Stripes FC, but this community is where he got his start, and he continues to contribute to anything DC soccer related for this site because he enjoys it so much.

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andré carlisle

think i’ve settled on wanting DC Spirit with a new crest, keeping the black & white and using gold as the accent color


I’d support a team name switch back to Freedom. Spirit makes people think of St. Louis and Philly. (I host a trivia night, one category was to give the city for each of the league’s team names, those were the most common picks for “Spirit”) As to colors, think either staying with red, white and blue or else black and red to more closely align with DCU and Audi Field

Bryan McEachern

The name is fine. Spirited soccer is a hallmark of lady ballers. Toss in red accents. Vamos!

Kerry Hess

Only two and a half thoughts here:

1. Whatever the name will be, it should be D.C., not Washington
2. There should still be a name; not something like D.C. FC
2.5 Under no circumstances should FC be used anywhere in the name

Last edited 8 months ago by Kerry Hess

i like the name fine as is. If it changes, I hope it is not one that uses “FC” in the name.


I’d say use DC, not Washington in the name for a number of reasons. For colors, black & silver with either red or blue as limited accents (like on the crest)

Talonesque #

Probably in the minority, I think the weight of a name is less how it starts and more what it means over time. Washington Spirit has a ten year history, which is actually quite a distance in Women’s soccer in this country. The question is not, is there a better name out there, or one more preferential, but whether any team can really build a history when every new owner is able to put their own “stamp” by changing something that has no real reason to change.

In short, first question only, keep it The Spirit, and continue to build a culture around it.


While I think it would be great to match the stadium environment at Buzzard Point, (please forgive me) I think black is a terrible shirt color for a team that plays competitive games in July and August.

I might just be a wild child, but I would love “The Cherry Blossoms” as a team name, no Washington or DC required.

Whatever name they go with, I hope they skip the shield-style badge. We’re the nation’s capitol, and it would be great to have a visual identity that draws from the domestic sports-logo vernacular. I unironically wouldn’t mind something close to the MLS 1.0 design language.

Last edited 8 months ago by wildbramble

I don’t think they need to rebrand. If they want to adjust their colors or put out a new badge, that’s cool. But the name was fine and they have 10 years of history now with that name. We need consistency in our soccer leagues now.

Luis Granados

They should rename the team DC United and wear black and red, after there is a merger of the two teams. This could create important cost efficiencies that could reflect in the product on the field. It’s the way things are done in Europe.

Talonesque #

I… I don’t think you’re kidding… one of the strengths of women’s sports franchises in this country is that they can have separate identities and revenue without having to ride the coattails of a European men’s brand from the 19th or early 20th century. Robbing them of that to mimic Europe, not only is that unlikely to happen from any reasonable ownership group, it shouldn’t.

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