A couple of weeks ago I was in a big box retailer and largely out of habit I took a peak in the card aisle. I knew there wouldn’t be any baseball, but I’m not averse to buying hockey or soccer if the product looks interesting.
What I found there were hangers of 2021 National Women’s Soccer League cards by a company called Parkside. I wasn’t familiar with the brand, but I later found out that they’ve produced a few sets of some note, including the Negro League Baseball Museum, Big3 Basketball and the Major Lacrosse League.
Now I am vaguely aware of some goings-on in women’s soccer, but I’m far from a fan. On the other hand, over the past year or so I’ve tried to be better about diverting my spending from global monoliths towards businesses and organizations that can use my support. Much as I recently bought minor league baseball apparel instead of Major League stuff, I also felt like a hanger for a sports league which is something of an underdog was worthy of my $10.
Plus, I just wanted something to open and, of course, write about here.
So let’s crack open this 25 card hanger…
First card – Allysha Chapman of the Houston Dash
A little much going on with the card’s design at the bottom, and that makes it hard to read her first name, but I like the photo. The design looks like it’s supposed to be something, but I’m not getting it just yet.
Card stock is pretty thin, BTW… but on the whole it’s no worse than something like NBA Hoops. I also sat down to write this post and realized I somehow forgot to scan the back of the base card. Visually it’s nothing to write home about, but it does seem to have some sort of QR code on the back… which I haven’t scanned.
Second card – Simone Charley of the Portland Thorns
Another nice action shot.
After skipping a few cards, we come to Sarah Woldmoe of the Chicago Red Stars
This is interesting, almost Studio-esque. Woldmoe is in her first year with Chicago, so this image might have been used because they didn’t have any action shots of her with the Red Stars.
Angelina of the OL Reign
I know single-named Brazilian soccer players are a “thing”… Pelé, Ronaldo, Kaká, even FRED fer cryin’ out loud! …But I didn’t know women did it. Angelina is in her first year with OL Reign, and OL Reign is a new branding of the former Seattle Reign. According to some quick research, the French club Olympique Lyonnaise became majority owner and change the team name, color and logos to be like that of the “parent” club.
Oooh, Carli Lloyd! First player in this pack I’d heard of before.
Nice card, and I like the Gotham FC club logo. Apparently that’s new this year – the club was previously Sky Blue FC – so I wonder if all of the players for Gotham FC and OL Reign are shown this way because it’s a different type of ‘update’.
Here are a couple of more action shots I liked well enough to scan… First Shea Groom, Dash…
…and also Vanessa DiBernardo, Red Stars
Now we get into the inserts…
First off we have a foilboard parallel of [carefully checks spelling] Gunnhildur Jonsdottir along with the base version (which I happened to get from the same pack)… Not that you can tell much difference in the scan, I suppose.
Jonsdottir played with the Utah Royals last year, but that club ceased operations and all of the players were transferred to a new Kansas City club… but then Jonsdottir was traded to the Orlando Pride… This is the kind of fun stuff you get with an emerging league.
I guess this is a black-and white parallel version. Debinha goes by just one name, so of course she’s Brazilian. She also plays for the North Carolina Courage.
I’m not much for parallels, even less for black and white parallels, so this card gets a “Meh” from me
Now this is an insert after my own heart… It’s from an insert set called “Vintage” and they even give the card a well-loved look. This particular card features Ashley Hatch of the Washington Spirit.
The backs have a faux cardboard texture to them, but the printing is very dark (as you can see). Some of the aging effects don’t make sense if you think about them too hard… Why is there paper loss *under* the colored stripes? Why is there a vertical crease like it’s the cover of an old book? On the whole I decided to stop thinking and just go with it.
Speaking of “very dark”, the next insert is called “Hyped” and is shiny, but the end result is pretty disturbing. The featured player is Ifeoma Onumonu of Gotham FC.
Wrapping things up with Promising Prospects insert of Emina Ekic of Racing Louisville FC. Not a bad looking insert. It scanned a bit dark, but the background has a red Tron-like grid.
Not bad, on the whole. If I followed the league at all I would definitely buy more of these.
Do any of you follow the NWSL? Has anybody else given these cards a try? What did you think about them?