Following months of speculation, FC Cincinnati showed off their new identity as an MLS expansion club on Monday, complete with an updated crest and color scheme.

“We’re thrilled to introduce our MLS brand,” said FC Cincinnati CEO Carl H. Lindner III in a club statement. “FCC has forged a strong connection with our city over the past three years. As we move into the future as an MLS club, our new look maintains that strong connection and reflects our passion and ambition for world-class soccer in Cincinnati.”

In front of a capacity crowd at the Woodward Theater, the club displayed its new badge, which carries over the winged lion from its USL iteration and places it more prominently within the shield.

Symbolism abounds in the new crest, meant to celebrate the city’s German heritage in a modern way. The lion’s crown pays homage to the “Queen City,” while the seven points of its mane are a nod to the seven hills of Cincinnati. The three-feathered wing represents the club’s three-year journey to MLS and, perhaps most noticeably, its tail takes a “c” shape.

FC Cincinnati reveal new MLS crest and colors for expansion season -

Cincinnati keep their primary orange and blue colors for MLS, but both are tweaked slightly to be brighter and bolder. Secondary colors of dark blue, white and gray help the club’s color scheme pop.

The team’s full written name has also taken on a small update: it’s officially “Football Club Cincinnati”. 

“Developing our MLS identity has been an intensive, yet gratifying process, that has been so well-worth the end result we’re presenting today,” said FCC President and GM Jeff Berding. “We’re incredibly proud of the development process and what we present today as our final product. We firmly believe these new marks and brand system are a perfect representation of our club as we enter Major League Soccer. We introduced local, organic elements to refresh our look, yet kept specific iconography from our early years to retain familiarity. We cannot wait to take the field in 2019 bearing the FC Cincinnati – Football Club Cincinnati – crest on our chests.”

“Ignite and Unite” and “Now and Forever” are two new taglines conceived to emphasize the club’s ambition and goals. #IgniteUnite joins #FCCincy as an official hashtag heading into the 2019 MLS season.

FCC brought to life its MLS identity in tandem with Interbrand, instituting a three-month process that culminated in early August when the club presented its plans to MLS officials at the 2018 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target.