Pack Animal: 2017 Topps Major League Soccer

Last week I was in Target looking for 2017 Bowman. I didn’t find it during that trip (and when I did find it, it proved just a bit too uninteresting to bother posting about), but did find packs of 2017 Topps Major League Soccer.

The pack is only 6 cards, but it’s also only $1.99, so I pulled the trigger. I don’t follow MLS, so this will be a one-and-done situation.

Before I get to the cards… Is it wrong that I feel bad for MLS?  I think the American mindset is to want the best of the best, but in the case of soccer, that’s the English Premier League, the German Bundesliga, etc. And honestly, if you’re watching the game on a TV or other electronic device, does it make a huge difference if the game is in a nearby city or on another continent?

MLS would like for you to not answer that question.

Anyway, on to the pack.

First card:  Jelle Van Damme, Los Angeles Galaxy

Not a bad design, but I’d like to see more of the background in an unblurred, uncloudy state. In other words, less of the typical recent Topps behavior.

Next up Juan Gaudelo, New England Revolution.

Because of the different border with numbers running down the side, I’d wondered if this might be a parallel, but it’s actually a subset:  “24 under 24”, which is an annual ranking of the top MLS players who are 23 years old and younger. Mr. Gaudelo is #17 on the current ranking.

Atiba Harris, FC Dallas

Chris Pontius, Back Of The Net insert.

Graham Zusi, Sporting Kansas City

I’m going to play the Grumpy Old Man card… specifically my 1992 Star Pics Saturday Night Live Grumpy Old Man card…

…And say that “Sporting Kansas City” is a dumb-ass name for a team.

In my day, teams had names like Expos, SuperSonics and Barons! That’s the way it was, and we liked it!

Finally, David Villa, NYC FC

David Villa recently threw out the first pitch at a Yankees game. NYC FC is part-owned by the Yankees, so it follows that they cross-promote.

I have to say, I’m glad I’m not a soccer fan in NYC: One team has Yankee ownership, the other is named for an energy drink.

I’m of the opinion that NYC FC is another stupid (and awkward) team name, but given the ownership situation, I suppose we should be happy that they’re not called “Yankee United”.


9 thoughts on “Pack Animal: 2017 Topps Major League Soccer

  1. Always nice to see soccer get some love in the blogosphere, but with that being said you are SO right about the MLS vs. other leagues. I watch Premier League religiously and have for about 5-6 years or more now, but have never bothered to watch a single MLS game on TV or attend one in person despite the fact that the Revolution play just half an hour north of me. Oh well!

  2. Yea, names like Sporting Kansas City and the New York Red Bulls are both awkward and annoying. On the other hand, at least the Chicago Fire might be one of my favorite pro sports names of all-time. I love when teams incorporate the actual history or geography of the city/province/state that they represent. It just feels so much more authentic than “Red Bulls.”

    • I like “Chicago Fire”, and as a child of the 1970’s I like the names that date back to the NASL days, like the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps…. but I’ll admit that a lot of those NASL team names weren’t any better than what were subjected to now.

      My biggest problem with many MLS team name is that they try too hard to be “soccer-y” and it comes across something like when Madonna adopted a British accent.

  3. I agree about the design. Almost the opposite of full bleed. Max blur. I’m all for a little variety so I don’t blame you for dabbling in MLS but my favorite card would be the Grumpy Old Man. I find myself doing his schtick every now and then myself.

  4. Hmm, off the top of my head I can’t think of any other professional sports teams that call themselves NYC. Most of them just say New York, as if they are trying to represent the whole state (although it’s obvious nobody in NYC cares about the rest of us!) So they have that going for them at least.

    • I can’t speak for the teams, but I think a lot of people in and around NYC would say “New York” represents the metropolitan area, and upstate New York is some backwoods area that happens to have the same license plate. :-)

      True story: for years I told people where I live that New York State doesn’t have a State Fair. A couple of years ago I found out that there *is* a State Fair, but it was 5 hours away in Syracuse and I don’t remember hearing anything at all about it in my 25+ years of living on Long Island.

      • That’s for sure. The only reason I’m familiar with the state fairgrounds is because of the big car show held there. I tell people I’m from upstate NY though I’m actually from the Hudson Valley, right along i84… though I would rather be in Lake George!

  5. Soccer cards, due to the nature of the game I guess, suffer from the ‘sameness’ of all the pictures. I really do like how the NYC FC logo so closely resembles to old NY subway tokens. I hadn’t ever noticed that…probably because I didn’t know NYC FC was a thing.

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