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Topps adds Mexican National Team cards to upcoming Major League Soccer set

DosSantos

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Topps is adding some extra futbol into its next Major League Soccer release.

The exclusive licensee of MLS announced on Wednesday that its 2014 Topps MLS set will include players from the Mexican National Team, which is World Cup bound after downing New Zealand 4-2.

Hernandez

Ten members of the team will appear on a set of cards in the MLS product, which arrives in March with three autographs and three Relics in every hobby box.

Among the players who will appear on cards will be Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Giovani dos Santos. No other players were announced.

Next month, Topps’ first English Premier League card set — a high-end release — is scheduled to begin shipping to collectors around the world.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

13 Comments

Bill Strong

Um, why no players from the USA soccer team?

Posted November 21, 2013 at 6:55 am | Permalink

Let’s put players of a national team that most American football fans hate in a card set of a league most Mexicans don’t take seriously. Way to go Topps. Pissing off not one, but two, whole nations of football card collectors is a Herculean feat. But it’s a feat you’ve managed to pull off. WELL DONE!!!

Posted November 21, 2013 at 8:11 am | Permalink

Chris – to be fair, a very high percentage (probably a majority or at least close to it) of MLS fans are of Hispanic descent, many of them Mexican. So I don’t think Topps is pissing off any Mexicans by doing this. However, it is an AMERICAN league, so Topps should certainly include Team USA players. In fact, given the multi-national demographics of MLS fans, they should probably try to include as many international players from as many international teams as possible. I would definitely agree, though, that if they do not include Team USA players as well (which they haven’t said they WON’T do – or will do), then this is just really stupid.

Posted November 21, 2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink

If you actually think “A majority or at least close to it” of MLS fans are Hispanic, then you know as much about the league’s fanbase as Topps does, which is to not much.

Yes, MLS’s demographics skew Hispanic more than the other major American sports leagues; but it’s nowhere near a majority. You’re also making the false assumption that “Hispanic” is synonymous with “Mexican.” Not all “Hispanics” are Mexican and not all are fans of the Mexican National Team (FMF).

This may be a generalization, but most Mexican soccer fans would consider MLS to be inferior to Liga MX. The fact that no MLS team has ever won CONCACAF Champion’s League proves this. Therefore; it would be safe to assume that most fans of the FMF would probably not be interested in an MLS trading card set.

Most American soccer fans intensely dislike the FMF, and the feeling is mutual. Therefore, most American soccer fans would probably not be interested in a FMF trading card set.

The fact that Topps would even consider putting FMF players in an MLS card set is baffling. Actually DOING it proves to me that they have no knowledge of the sport of soccer and the unique culture of American soccer supporters. Why MLS is allowing their “brand” to be devalued by their trading card licensee by having another country’s national team in it is shocking.

Posted November 21, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink
Card Opinionator

Chris Harris – Spot-on initial post. Paul A, sorry you are not fair or correct. You clearly made an assumption based on a guess. Go to any game, watch any game on TV. Hispanics have very limited interest in MLS other than the two Southern California clubs.
Mexico is the mortal enemy of any USA based soccer fan, and most MLS fans. The few Mexican imports who came to MLS were regularly booed in any market other than their home field. Rafa was a bust in NY, Divino a bust in Dallas, L. Hernandez a bust in LA. (True, Blanco was a hit though)
Sorry Topps and Paul, this will not be a popular insert with American soccer collectors.

Posted November 21, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink
Bondurant

I hope Topps puts more effort into the next series. The 2013 cards were a joke. Nothing special or inspiring about them. Little to no information on the cards. I bought one pack and that was it. I’m still waiting for a great MLS set.

Not a fan with El Tri inserts. It should be USA.

Posted November 21, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink
Paul Angilly

Been to many MLS games. Seen many more on TV. Been to two MLS Cups. Been to World Cup soccer games. Work as a sports reporter for a daily newspaper. I stand by my original post. I said high percentage of fans are Hispanic, not a high percentage of people in the seats. MLS gets better ratings on Spanish-language TV than it does on English-language broadcasts. And I know the difference between Hispanic and Mexican, thank you, but it stands to reason that if there is great interest among the Hispanic market, that much of that comes from Mexicans. Have you heard of Chivas USA? Proof right there of Mexican interest in MLS. And give Topps some credit – they’ve been making soccer cards since at least the 1960s (granted, most of those being English league sets).

All that said, I reiterate that putting Mexican National team players in the set would be a bad idea unless they also include at least Team USA, if not as many other national teams as possible.

Posted November 21, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

Yes, I have heard of Chivas USA. Dead last in MLS in attendance.

Posted November 22, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink
Chris Footes

Paul – As a reporter, you maybe should be aware that the MLS is a NORTH AMERICAN league, not a USA league. There are 3 teams in the league from CANADA. Not that many Canadians would demand inclusion of players from their troubled Men’s National team that don’t already play in MLS.

Posted November 22, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink
Paul Angilly

Chris Footes – That would be why I said AMERICAN and not USA league …

Not sure why people feel the need to pick apart my posts rather than reading them and realizing that I’m basically agreeing with you … Team USA (and Team Canada for that matter) should be in the set, too, if they’re going to include Mexican team players. In fact, I think there should be an insert set or subset that includes every MLS player who will be playing in the World Cup (or non-MLS players, if they can get licensing), picturing them with their respective national teams.

My objection was with the contentions that “most American football fans hate” Mexico and “most Mexicans don’t take seriously” MLS. Certainly true in some cases, but not “most.” But I forget how people here just like to be negative about every single announcement made by every single card company …

Of course, I’m sure I’m wrong about that, too …

If you think the MLS card situation is bad, though, try being a CFL collector. After 32 straight years of making CFL cards of current players, Jogo gets dumped by the CFL in favor of giving an exclusive to Upper Deck, which then doesn’t make a set. Maybe you’d be happy if there were no MLS cards at all?

Or maybe Topps will start putting 1-of-1 parallels of its MLS cards as an unannounced bonus in boxes – then you’d really be pissed!

Posted November 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink
Ilias

The comments are hilarious lol.

Anyways they should have not included Mexico in this set I collected the previous set and i couldn’t wait for the next one but this one might be a 50/50.

Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink
Card Opinionator

Paul, Maybe you should explain what you meant when you said “a very high percentage”. That’s too ambiguous. We may think it means something you didn’t mean.
You really don’t believe most (that means 51% or more to be clear) US fans hate the Mexican National team? We have no bigger rival in international soccer. This is not opinion or breaking news, this is a long held fact for decades!
And using Chivas USA as a supporting argument for Mexican fan interest shows you may not understand what is happening in MLS. That club tried to appeal to the Hispanic audience, and it was a colossal failure. Not only were they last in the league in attendance (in the second largest market), they were 12,000 BELOW league average, 4,000 per game below next to last place.
I’ll give you this: The Hispanic base has the most growth potential for MLS. But when it comes to collecting, when has that ever been seen as a strong segment of collectors?

Posted November 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink
Chris Footes

Sorry Paul, nice try, but there is not one CANADIAN who thinks they are AMERICAN. I dare you to find one example of anything from Canada that references being “American”. Better yet, find one example of the use of “American” in the United States media that where the meaning does not solely mean citizens / residents of the United States. Better yet, tell me what people from the USA should refer to themselves as, if not Americans? That is, people from Canada are Canadians, what are people from the USA called??

For example, look at this headline and then read the story:
http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/12/wife-of-u-s-pastor-held-in-iran-pleads-for-his-freedom/?iref=allsearch
U.S. pastor = American

Now, if you said “NORTH AMERICAN” you may have a case…

But otherwise, you are just another example of being an ignorant AMERICAN.

Posted December 12, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

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