i personally think that the whole "brand" thing is something that cynical, weary fans cling to as an excuse to return to the "good ole days" of giants stadium parking lots.
I wasn't really around in the Metro days (except for a few games in 2002-03 when I was at FIT) because I lived down south. I moved back to the city in 2008 and went to a few games, then got my first season tickets in 2009.
You can probably go back and find some of my old posts from 2010 - I didn't have an issue with the branding or name of the team. It was a non-issue for me. I wasn't personally connected to the old name and RBNY was the only show in town for me. After watching Miami FC suck it up in the USL, I was just ecstatic to have a proper MLS team to follow. The name thing - in and of itself - still isn't that big of a deal for me personally. But I've found that it's a big deal to many people - and that sucks.
Whenever I tell people about the team - who previously didn't even know we existed - I can see it on their face when I say the name. Maybe a team without a corporate brand for it's identity would be in the exact same situation as this team is, maybe it wouldn't make any difference at all but it feels like it's still a thing.
I don't think I'm cynical with regard to the whole name thing; I don't have any memories from the GS parking lot tailgates and I wasn't in the area as a child growing up with the Metrostars. I'm a transplanted soccer fan who embraced this team - warts and all - and sincerely made every effort to dismiss the "name thing" and play down it's relevance - but after years of supporting the team, I've now come to believe that it's a barrier that new fans must overcome. It's a hurdle that I have to deal with whenever I talk about the team to new people.
Talking about how children don't care about the name is, I think, missing the point. Children don't buy tickets to soccer games, their adult parents do.