By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Oct 19, 2023 at 7:33 AM

With the 10 finalists for the the name of a new Milwaukee USL soccer team set to go, Milwaukee Pro Soccer is moving the ball forward by partnering with local branding and marketing agency Cramer-Krasselt to decide on the ultimate name, brand identity and crest.

Bracket-style public voting, which began in May, led to the selection as finalists of the potential names: Milwaukee Tall Boys, Milwaukee Barons, Goodland, Milwaukee Brigade, Lake Effect, Fresh Coast, Milwaukee Iron, Cream City, 1846 Milwaukee and Milwaukee Industrial.

These were selected via a process that led to more than 4,000 name suggestions and 200,000 total votes, according to Milwaukee Pro Soccer.

Now, the team wants, “a final name, badge, and brand identity that is representative of Milwaukee’s culture, history and ethos but also looks forward to the city’s bright and vibrant future.”

“From the beginning of this process, we’ve worked to engage the community, our fans, and soccer lovers from across the region in choosing a name that’s reflective of our shared values,” said Conor Caloia, Chief Operating Officer of Milwaukee Pro Soccer.

“After extensive interviews with the top marketing and branding firms in Milwaukee and the surrounding area, the team at Cramer-Krasselt best reflected the values and vision we have for this club and the experience we want to deliver our fans.”

For Cramer-Krasselt, the project represents an opportunity to make a continued difference in the community it’s called home for over a century.

“With a 125-year history in Milwaukee, we are passionate about our city,” said Betsy Brown, executive vice president and managing director at C-K

 “We’ve worked with some of the most iconic brands in Milwaukee, and we know how important that deep-rooted understanding is to make a meaningful connection. It takes an agency that knows Milwaukee culture to deliver something that truly embodies the people, the fans. And we’re thrilled to help Milwaukee Pro Soccer bring their brand to life.”

In the meantime, if you’ve been watching, you’ll notice that some work has been moving ahead on the team’s new 8,000-seat stadium – which it will share with Marquette University’s men’s and women’s soccer and lacrosse teams – and the entire Iron District Milwaukee development.

The apartments on the western end of the site, at 9th and Michigan are going up, while on the eastern end, at 6th and Michigan, the former Ramada Inn hotel building has been completely razed.

“We want to deliver a stadium that our fans will enjoy and be proud of in a world-class development,” Caloia said. “That work is ongoing, but it takes time. Especially in an environment of rising interest rates and construction costs.”

The new team will play in the USL Championship, which is the second-highest tier of professional soccer in the United States, with 27 clubs around the country, including Miami, San Diego, Las Vegas, New York City, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Detroit and Indianapolis.

Following along at

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.