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U.S. Women’s National Team kicks it into high gear

By Brian Fleischer | Beckett Senior Market Analyst

Pressure Makes Us. Nike Soccer’s tag line for the United States Women’s National Team was on display on Sunday morning when the U.S. Women took the field in their Women’s World Cup quarterfinal match against mighty Brazil.

Down a man (or woman) and down 2-1, in the final minutes of extra time, Abby Wambach headed a pinpoint cross from Megan Rapinoe into the back of the net. The goal – and ensuing celebration – brought back memories of Landon Donovan’s miraculous goal against Algeria in last year’s World Cup. Goalkeeper Hope Solo came up huge in the subsequent penalty shootout, stopping Daiane’s shot, while the U.S. Women coolly put each of their five penalty kicks in the back of the net, setting up a semifinal match between the United States and France.

The U.S. women don’t appear on many trading cards, but thanks to some foresight by Donruss in 2008 and Upper Deck’s push to add cards from the Women’s Professional Soccer to its MLS products, they’ve got more than you might think. Buyer beware. There are several sellers on eBay selling unlicensed “custom” or “homemade” cards. While they may be nice collectibles, they’re not something that we would ever catalog or price in our database.

Abby Wambach – Sunday’s hero has appeared on 29 different cards, with her first being in the 2003 Sports Illustrated for Kids release. She’s got seven certified autographs, with her 2004 Leather and Lumber Fans of the Game Autographs ($50) and 2011 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Autographs ($40) being the hottest on the secondary market. She’s got seven different memorabilia cards with her 2011 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Memorabilia ($15) and 2011 Upper Deck MLS WPS Materials ($15) cards fast becoming collector favorites.

Hope Solo – The other key to Sunday’s dramatic victory, Solo has 46 different cards in our database, with her first cards hailing from the 2008 Donruss Sports Legends product. Her 2008 Donruss Sports Legends Collegiate Legends Patch Autographs card, limited to 244 copies, has been a strong seller in the $40-$80 range. She’s got 10 other certified autographs, with the 2011 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Autographs selling strongly in $20-$50 range. Of her 15 memorabilia cards, her 2010 Upper Deck MLS WPS Materials ($30) and 2011 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Memorabilia ($15) have been the biggest movers on the secondary market.

Nicole Barnhart – Barnhart appears on only seven cards in the Beckett.com database, with her key card being the 2011 Upper Deck MLS WPS Marks, which sells in the $20-$50 range.

Shannon Boxx – With only three cards in the database, her key card is the 2011 Upper Deck MLS WPS Marks autograph ($60).

Tobin Heath – With 10 cards in the database, her 2010 Upper Deck MLS WPS Marks ($100) is the one to get.

Amy LePeilbet – LePeilbet appears on three cards, with her key 2010 Upper Deck MLS WPS Marks card has been selling in $15-$40 range.

Lori Lindsey – Lindsey has five cards in the database, with the 2011 Upper Deck MLS WPS Marks ($60) being her best.

Carli Lloyd – Lloyd’s lone card in our database hails from the 2008 Sports Illustrated for Kids release and is currently unpriced, though a copy recently sold for $13.

Jillian Loyden – Loyden has three cards, with her key being the 2011 Upper Deck MLS WPS Marks ($80).

Heather Mitts – Mitts appears on 11 cards, including the 2010 Upper Deck World of Sports All-Sport Apparel Memorabilia ($30) and the 2010 Upper Deck MLS WPS Marks ($100).

Alex Morgan – Morgan, who many predict is the future of U.S. women’s soccer, has just two cards. Her 2011 Upper Deck MLS WPS Super Draft Exclusives Autographs card sells in the $30-$60 range.

Heather O’Reilly – With just six cards, her 2010 Upper Deck MLS WPS Marks ($50) stands out as her best.

Christie Rampone – Rampone has five cards in our database, and the 2010 Upper Deck MLS WPS Marks ($40) is the one to track down. She also appears on a 2010 Upper Deck MLS WPS Teammates Dual Materials card with Heather O’Reilly. Limited to just 50 copies, it sells in the $25-$60 range.

Amy Rodriguez – Professional sports’ other ARod appears on 19 cards in our database. Her 2010 Upper Deck MLS WPS Marks is a strong seller at $60, while her 2011 Upper Deck MLS WPS Materials card was recently raised to $20.

Not to be outdone, Brazil’s Marta – considered by most to be the best women’s soccer player in the world – appears on 14 different cards in our database. Her 2010 Upper Deck MLS WPS Marks ($80) and 2011 Upper Deck MLS WPS Marks ($80) are all must-haves, while her 2011 Upper Deck MLS WPS Materials card is a more affordable $20.

Her coolest card? Her 2011 Upper Deck MLS WPS Marks Dual card is limited to just 10 copies, but features certified autographs of her and Abby Wambach. We’ve yet to track a sale on this card, but wouldn’t be surprised if it brought upwards of $500.

The U.S. Women have their work cut out for them in their semifinal match against France, but should they keep winning, expect interest – and prices – in their cardboard to continue to rise.

Brian Fleischer can be reached at bfleischer@beckett.com.

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