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Philadelphia was awarded Major League Soccer's 16th team on February 28th, 2008. Led by the ownership group of Keystone Sports and Entertainment, LLC, the club operated under the name MLS Philadelphia 2010 for all of 2008 and the early portion of 2009. On May 11th, 2009 the club announced its name, crest and colors.

Philadelphia Union alludes to the Union of the Thirteen Colonies, of which Philadelphia was the first capital. The club’s name and crest incorporate Philadelphia’s rich colonial history and vital role in the creation of our nation – the Union. The team's name was chosen following a fan poll held between January 19, 2009 and February 6, 2009. The efforts of many, including loyal Philadelphia Union supporters, will be rewarded when the club plays its first match in the Spring of 2010.

Philadelphia Union's primary colors are navy blue and gold, representing the Continental Army's uniforms during the American Revolutionary War. The light blue in the middle of the badge is derived from the civic flag of Philadelphia and is a tribute to the Sons of Ben supporters club. The team's primary crest is circular, symbolizing unity. The thirteen gold stars displayed along the base of the crest represent the original Thirteen Colonies, while the shield's contour derives from the Philadelphia coat of arms. The rattlesnake featured in the center of the shield pays homage to a political cartoon by Benjamin Franklin that was featured in multiple editions of the Pennsylvania Gaz

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