Upper Deck may have been shut out on MLB and NFL licenses, but the company is the exclusive licensee for Major League Soccer and the company has just released its 2011 MLS trading card set.
The set, headlined by Upper Deck’s new pitchman for soccer, Landon Donovan of the LA Galaxy, includes the league’s top stars including Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez (New York Red Bulls), David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Charlie Davies (D.C. United), and Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).
“Fans will get their first chance to collect cards of new MLS stars like Henry, Marquez and Davies, in addition to current stars like Landon [Donovan],” said Upper Deck’s Jason Masherah. “As always, we’ve pinpointed the biggest names in Major League Soccer, but we’ve also included a coveted collection of autographed cards and game jersey cards from these players.”
Donovan, who was just named MLS Player of the Week, has seven different cards appearing in the set, including autographed and game-used jersey variations. On average, collectors will pull four memorabilia cards and one autographed card from every box.
The 200-card base set includes 175 standard MLS cards, along with 12 WPS regular cards and two subsets: “MLS Super Draft” (10 cards) and “WPS Draft” (three). The “MLS Marks” (58) autograph cards include signatures from players including Donovan, Juan Pablo Angel and Donovan Ricketts from the LA Galaxy; Brad Davis and Brian Ching from the Houston Dynamo; Wondolowski, Bobby Convey and Ryan Johnson from the San Jose Earthquakes; and Steve Zakuani and Kasey Keller from Seattle Sounders FC.
The set’s selection of game-used jersey inserts includes “MLS Teammates Dual Memorabilia” cards (numbered to 75) including outstanding combos like Beckham/Donovan (Galaxy), Henry/Marquez (Red Bulls); and Keller/Fredy Montero (Seattle Sounders FC). Even rarer “Dual Materials – Premium Series” and “Quad Materials – Premium Series” cards, numbered to 25 and 10, respectively, are also sprinkled into the product. There is also a “WPS Superstars Quad Materials – Premium Series” card featuring Marta, Rodriguez, Wambach and Sinclair.
The set also includes special subset and insert cards highlighting many of the top players competing in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) including five-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Marta (Western New York Flash), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Abby Wambach (magicJack) and Leslie Osborne (Boston Breakers).
A total of 18 players featured in the “WPS Marks” autographed lineup include Marta, Rodriguez, Wambach and Osborne, along with Christine Sinclair (Western New York Flash) and goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart (Philadelphia Independence).
Upper Deck’s 2011 Soccer set, which includes 12 cards per pack and 20 packs per box, is currently on store shelves.