“Real” has a Dual Meaning
RSJ Owner/Manager Nick Arellano explains why San Jose’s UPSL team is called Real San Jose.
(February 03, 2007) The question “Why Real San Jose” has been asked quite often since it was announced. Understandably the name Real “Anything” instantly brings to mind the great Real Madrid and other Spanish soccer clubs. And I can see why some would think we are creating some European wanna-be team like Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer. They even went so far as to wear uniforms very similar to the Spanish National Team. This possible misunderstanding crossed my mind, but the name still stuck.
First off I wanted the team to carry the name of our home everywhere we go. Real San Jose does that. So does San Jose United, FC San Jose, and San Jose SC. Now each of those sound like a European knockoff as does Real San Jose, but there is a huge difference.
It is important to have a name that represents the community we hope will support the team. For example, the name Earthquakes is perfect for the Bay Area for obvious reasons. Choosing “that name” or some clever derivative would get attention but it would make the team sound silly. I have spent most of my life in East Side/Evergreen San Jose, and those damn foothills have some strange hold over me. I kept looking for them during painful couple years in the flat Central Valley. I know our soccer community and the name needed to represent the mix of cultures that dominates our population. This population mostly consists of cultures using the English and Spanish languages. The word “Real” fits this population perfectly.
“Real” has a dual meaning. It means “Royal” in Spanish and “Real” in English. The term is like a mini-mission statement. I want our club to be the “Royalty” of top class amateur soccer both at home and away. That said, I want the team to play with class; “class” defined as playing hard and fair without cheap shots, and other actions resulting in unnecessary “yellow” and “red” cards. The English version holds just as much importance.
The English part of our one-word mission statement is that I want the club to represent the “real” San Jose soccer community. The community that I know enjoys the sport and will support a team that truly represents them more for “love” than “money.” The priorities of this team, I believe, are the exact opposite of those big businessmen that left town because they couldn’t get our great soccer community to dig deep enough to make these modern day “carpetbaggers” nonsoccer business ventures successful. This explanation of why the team is named Real San Jose sounds a bit “corny” and “sappy” but don’t most love songs?
Now I am not so naive to think that Real San Jose will instantly become the team that masses gravitate to. It is entirely possible that most of our fanbase will consist of friends, relatives, well-wishers, and the curious. I have worked and studied in the San Jose soccer community and did so from a vantage point that few have seen. In publishing Soccer Magic I’ve been promoting the game well before MLS was around. MLS has shown its true colors, and I am tired of watching our great soccer community treated like dirt.
All I am asking for is a chance to see if the theories developed by watching and studying others will prove to be valid. Please give Real San Jose a chance both in name, in the stands, and on the field.
Lastly, about the team logo, it actually has European roots in that it is my family crest traced back to Spain from the US via Mexico. My father insisted it use as his suggestions for team names were summarily dismissed. He has a champion bulldog named Pinto. First he wanted the name “Bulldogs” and then “Pintos” with that rejected. Think about it. Instead of Real San Jose the team could be called the Pintos, then pinto beans, or worse. After all, there is a little business mixed in, and I needed to negotiate a few additional start-up bucks.