They take their soccer — um, football — seriously in Europe.
It is the kind of passion that soccer enthusiasts want to see in the United States — minus the physical threats, of course — and that is what Topps is hoping to achieve with its 2018 Major League Soccer set.
This year’s product features a 200-card base set, which include players or the new Los Angeles Football Club. Collectors who buy hobby boxes can expect to find at least two autographs and a jumbo memorabilia card. I bought a blaster box, and that contains one signature card along with eight packs of cards. There were six cards to a pack.
The design for this year’s set benefits from the colorful uniforms worn by MLS teams. The photography is sharp and vibrant, with plenty of intensity depicted. Most of the base cards I pulled had a vertical card front design, although several were horizontal. The player’s name is in the lower right-hand corner of the card front, with the team logo located at the middle right side of the card, tilted diagonally.
The card backs are clean and contain five lines of type about the featured player. Statistics are shown above the story type, and the player’s name, team and vital statistics adorn the top of the card.
The next two inserts borrow the design of the 1988 Topps baseball set. I pulled one Throwback insert card of New York City FC’s David Villa, and All-Star cards of Montreal Impact midfielder Ignacio Patti and Atlanta United defender Greg Garza.
The autograph card I pulled was a blue parallel of Minnesota United FC midfielder Sam Cronin, numbered to 50. Cronin’s signature is on a sticker, and the design of the card is horizontal.
With its crisp design and sharp photography, the 2018 Topps Major League Soccer set is a nice product to collect. With the World Cup coming up soon, interest in soccer will be at a fever pitch worldwide. This product, while not part of the worldwide event, nevertheless will stoke interest in the sport.