And while Major League Soccer does not have the worldwide appeal of the World Cup, Topps’ release of its flagship MLS set earlier this month is certainly good timing.
A blaster box of 2022 Topps Major League Soccer is modestly priced at $19.99, a welcome change from the recent price hikes for other blaster products. There are 10 packs to a blaster, plus an extra pack that serves as a bonus. Each pack contains six cards.
Topps is also promising four exclusive foil parallels in each blaster.
The base set has 200 cards. There are also rookie cards within the set and a 25-card Pitch Prodigies subset that The base cards include eight Pitch Prodigies rookies cards and five rookies.
Five of the base cards also have an “Under 22” logo in the upper right-hand corner. It is part of an interesting concept created by MLS, called the U22 initiative. The program was first introduced to MLS in April 2021 as an incentive for teams to develop young talent. The initiative allows teams to sign up to three players 22 or younger at a reduced salary budget charge.
The design for the base cards is mostly vertical except for team cards and a few select players. The player is shown in action shot in sharp color, and there is kind of a hazy, smoky background that makes the primary photograph pop. The design definitely utilizes soft focus for an effective contrast.
The Topps logo is barely visible in the upper-left hand corner on the front.
Base rookie cards have an “RC” logo in the top right-hand corner of the card.
The Pitch Prodigies cards have a different design, with more of a blocky look. The players’ names and the “Pitch Prodigies” banner run up the left side of the card, perpendicular to the action shot. A wavy box provides the background for the player’s action shot.
An MLS logo adorns the bottom left side of the card, and the team logo is displayed on the card back, and there is a five-line biography.
Scholarly is a 20-card subset that falls once every six packs on average. I pulled two of these cards, which showcase homegrown players. Those players were Caden Clark of the New York Red Bulls and Caleb Wiley of Atlanta United.
International Players is a 25-card insert set that falls once every five packs on average. From this blaster I pulled three – Robin Loo (Minnesota United), Latif Blessing (Los Angeles FC) and Chicharito (L.A. Galaxy).
The final insert I pulled came from the Topps ’22 Minis subset, which has 25 different subjects. The card I found was of Miles Robinson. This card design shows the player in sharp relief against a soft focus background.
The special foil cards I pulled included base cards of Kevin Molino, George Campbell and Paxton Pomykal. The fourth foil is a Pitch Prodigies rookie card of Ake Loba.
If you enjoy soccer, this is a nice set to collect. The cards have a pleasant design and there is plenty of information about the player.