As the Los Angeles Galaxy prepare to usher in a new era in their storied history, the club bid farewell to its long-standing logo and colors and replaced them with a spiffy new look.
The Galaxy unveiled their long-awaited and highly-anticipated new jersey and logo Thursday. Green has been replaced with collegiate navy and together with gold and white are now the colors that David Beckham will defend.
"We wanted to create a classic and a clean look that would stand the test of time and ultimately something that generations of players and fans were going to wear with pride on and off the field," Galaxy president and general manager Alexi Lalas said. "It was definitely a jersey with an eye to the future and a nod to the past and I think we were able to create something pretty special."
The original logo - the recognizable swirling galaxy with the club's name splashed on the front - is now part of club lore. The new logo features a quasar prominently. Defined as the bright and distant center of a young galaxy, the quasar on the crest is white in the center, gold and blue on the exterior and hovers over white "LA" letters.
Lalas said the Galaxy would wear the primary and secondary jerseys for the World Series of Football next week, though he declined to say what jersey the club would wear against Tigres UANL on Tuesday or Chelsea on July 21.
"We'll see the reaction to both of those jerseys as we will be wearing both of those jerseys here on different occasions," Lalas said. "Different jerseys will be worn for different games."
Even before the club has worn the jerseys, the new look has already spurred thousands of people across the globe to put orders in on Galaxy jerseys.
"We're already well over a quarter of a million units that were ordered ... without knowledge of what they were going to look like," Lalas said. "We will look to do significant numbers and historic numbers not just with an MLS context but with an international jersey context."
The Galaxy will introduce Beckham on Friday and he is expected to debut on July 21 against his former English Premier League rivals Chelsea. While the club has undergone changes on the field to try and help the team compete for a playoff spot, the work behind the scenes has been just as intensive.
"This has been incredibly challenging," said Lalas, who also underwent a quick re-branding in March 2006 when Red Bull Company Limited purchased the Lalas-led MetroStars. "The staff we have in place here has been incredible in terms of being efficient and maintaining confidentiality. Ultimately being able to turn a switch here this week and completely re-brand a sports team is not something that happens very often."
Like the old color scheme, the Galaxy's new colors and logo should be in place for years to come. While it is normal for soccer clubs to modify jerseys slightly before each season, Lalas did not rule out the possibility of the 2008 jersey changing, albeit ever so slightly.
"It remains to be seen. I think there will be slight modifications here or there as we go through but certainly the quasar quest and the coloring is not going to change," Lalas said. "We want to make sure that our fans are able to digest this, not just our fans domestically but our international fans because the interest internationally is pretty incredible."
Still, no matter how much he likes the jersey and colors, Lalas said he doesn't fancy himself wearing one with his last name on the back - at least not anytime soon.
"The jerseys are for the people in the stands and for our players," Lalas said. "At one point I might make one up with my name just to live out a little fantasy."