A Team By Any Other Name

The Houston outpost of Major League Soccer will now be called the Dynamo, after local Latino and other groups successfully protested the previously chosen moniker, 1836.

“Dynamo is a word to describe someone who never fatigues, never gives up,” franchise president Oliver Luck said in a statement. “The new name is symbolic of Houston as an energetic, hard working, risk taking kind of town.”

The team, owned by Anschutz Entertainment Group, moved to Texas during the off-season from San Jose, where it was called the Earthquakes. It adopted 1836 upon its arrival in Houston.

Team and league representatives maintained it referred to the year Houston was founded. However, Mexican-American activists and others point out it was also the year of the Battle of the Alamo as well as the war for Texas independence from Mexico.

“We’d like to once again reiterate that at no time did MLS or AEG ever want to offend any members of the community in Houston,” Luck said. “We want everyone to feel welcome and become a part of professional soccer in Houston.”

It’s hard to envision any way the word “dynamo” could be controversial. Or could it?

According to FoxSports.com, the name “Dynamo” was given to teams fielded by Eastern European secret police during the Soviet era. Dinamo Bucharest was reportedly formed in 1948 to represent Romanian police and Dynamo Berlin were sponsored by the hated Stasi of East Germany.

One source told FoxSports that the city and MLS may now have to deal with blowback from some in the community that thought the name change was an overstep in political correctness.