It's been a while since the MLS announced it's expansions with new teams (New York, Orlando, Miami, L.A. and Atlanta). Some of them are already playing it's first season, but some of them haven't even announced their name. I've always wanted to be part os the creation of a sports pro team.
This project was born a result of two of my true passions. As a spaniard I really love Football (I'll call it that way, sorry Americans I can't get used to the S word) I've been a fan since I can remember. That would make the first of my passions.
As a designer I've always loved the american sport and franchise designs and naming. To me, not beeing used to it as a kid (Europe is way diferent), it's funny how hard every single school or college goes with their design, logo, uniforms, etc... Not to mention pro sport. That would make the second.
The one thing that made me think about doing this project was seeing the amezing work by Diego Guevara imagining how a Miami MLS franchise would look like. That made me feel I needed to try it myself and see If I can do something as awesome as his work
I've been thinking long on wich of the 3 franchises announced should I try to go with. Miami was the first to go down the list because It's been done and even dough I could try to take a different look, it wouldn't be as funny. 
So the final decision was down to either LA and ATL. LA was my first though, you know, all that stars and holywood lights... Then I second check it and consider the many Pro-sports the city has, inluding the LA Galaxy and how people will love a project for an LA team, etc... So as an underdog lover I couldn't help my self for going with ATL.
(Plus discovering how Terminus Legion and all the fans in ATL have been fighting for an MLS team all this time made me try to do something they could like, and they could be proud of).
First of all I had to consider many thing: What are the colors and crests for other teams in MLS? What are the colors and crests for other teams in Atlanta? What style did I wanted? European crest? American Franchise? Colors? Football Team? Football Club? Soccer Club?... To many questions...
Teams in MLS are now moving to crests more similar to european ones, except for Dallas and New England, any of the crests could be of a team playing in Europe or South America. I want to create a Brand that combines both styles, tradicional football and american sports, in the way Seattle or Toronto do. 
When it comes to the city of Atlanta it's all about birds! Hawks, Falcons, Thrashers... All of them use a bird as image, this is probably due to the city seal, wich also figures a bird. As I do some research the idea of an image that combines the traditional elements in the city seal with modern and eye catching crest style starts to grow on me.
When the team was announced, owner Arthur Blank (who also owns the Falcons) said "The colors will be primarily red and black, with some gold." I don't really like the idea of the team being a football version of the Falcons, so using the same color scheme doesn't work for me.
Still the boss is the boss. I decided to stick to those colors but making a diferent aproach to them.
There have been many polls in the ATL media about this question. There were several names that could fit and could represent the city: Blaze, Phoenix, Resurgens, Rise, Bantams, Resurgents, No Name... I liked many of them but wanted to stick to the idea of a bird that rises from the ashes. Phoenix would be the easiest, but considereng theres a major city in the US wich is Phoenix, AZ. that would be pretty confusing and I don't want that to happen to my team. So in my mind there's only one other name that can fit perfectly.
I'm aware obviusly aware that MLS works a company as full and equipment sponsor is the same for every team. With that said I belive MLS is going to try to move in the direction of traditional football and is soon going to change some things like draft, sponsors, etc... 
Even if it doesn't this is still my project, and I'm a Nike fan (No ofense Adidas, I also like you) Even more in soccer kits lately. 

(Full kits where made using Jordan Aschwege template, thanks.)