For most of us, there’s always an anxious feeling whenever we decide to buy something. Will it be a shrewd purchase or did I just throw away my money? Soccer jerseys are no different, and as mentioned in Justin Fisher’s article, there are many ways to go about deciding what to get when you have that urge to spend some cash on fresh Philadelphia Union threads.
Sometimes it’s an easy choice that you shouldn’t have to think twice about, others become soured simply by bad timing, and then there’s the bad—purchases that make those close to you question your sanity, or at least your management of money (you’ll see). AJ and I dug up all our Union jerseys and made a tiered power rankings from Good to Regrettable and found that we have roughly a 50 percent success rate with our purchases. That’s... not great, but it gets entertaining, nay comical, the further down the list we went.
2010 Secondary, no sponsor - (Luke) AJ bought this classic for me and it instantly became the most valuable jersey I own, the khaki legend sans sponsor is easily the top spot in our rankings.
2011 Primary, Roger Torres - (Luke) The first Union kit I wore so achieves this spot through sentimentality alone. A Union original on the back of the most identifiable Union jersey helps this one achieve the second spot through merit as well.
2012 Secondary long sleeve - (Luke) The rarity of the long sleeves help this one and the powdered blue makes it a very memorable look. I bought this on the way to then PPL Park for the first U.S. Open Cup heartbreak so there may be a bit of a curse but we’ll ignore that because it’s aesthetic keeps it up in the rankings
2019 Secondary, Brenden Aaronson - (Luke) A solid design and the player on the back could become one of the most important players in franchise history, a very happy purchase for me. Bonus points for the custom back tag, I got the super clean “Doop” script.
2016 Primary, Keegan Rosenberry, signed - (Luke) Rosenberry was a family favorite and this year’s primary was arguably the best in club history with the snake skin detailed center stripe. It was signed on our road trip to see a miserable 3-1 loss in New England so this signature and meeting Rosenberry was a nice takeaway from the trip.
2018 Primary - (AJ) This jersey was one that I missed out on buying during the seasons it was in use. But you can always count on ebay! The authentic jersey only cost me about $30 so it has a special place in my heart for frugality.
2010 Primary - (AJ) The first Union jersey I owned, the kit will never go out of style.
2010 Secondary - (AJ) I initially bought a gold one for Luke but once it arrived in the mail I immediately hopped on ebay to get myself one. Its a classic that I couldn’t live without.
Unfortunately timed purchases
2020 Primary, Kacper Przybylko - (Luke) This is temporarily in this column due to the fact that I haven’t been able to wear it to watch an actual game yet. I became a huge fan of Kacper so have high hopes for this jersey to move up in the rankings in due time.
2019 Secondary, Auston Trusty - (AJ) This jersey came with a lot of thought put into it. I even did a Twitter poll to decide who I should get on the back. So I came to the conclusion that I wanted a Homegrown player and Trusty had just played a huge part in the success of the season before. Luke also said that he reasoned Trusty would be a smarter pick over McKenzie due to McKenzie’s trajectory to Europe so Trusty would likely be on the Union longer. All of this logic. Then Trusty fell out of favor, was sent to Colorado, and I may never Trust(y) Luke again.
2012 Secondary, Jack McInerney - (AJ) This light blue kit is still one of my favorite to wear due to the color. I was so excited to get a Jack Mac’s name as he was a hot, young striker, who had just been called into a National Team camp. It was a can’t miss summer purchase! Until he was traded that Fall for Andrew Wenger.
2017 Secondary, Keegan Rosenberry (AJ)- I sit down at the bar in late August and Luke hands me a bag with my birthday gift, an authentic Rosenberry jersey! My son’s name is Keegan so it was a perfect gift and I could not have been more excited. I really enjoyed wearing the Union rightbacks name on my back, however, three months later he became Colorado’s rightback. Fun fact: I own more current Rapids players jerseys than Union current players.
2011 Third, Sebastian Le Toux - (AJ) Another birthday gift, authentic third jersey! Le Toux! Wow perfect. Its a really sharp looking jersey despite not being worn by the team often. You already know the story by now, 2011 AJ gets a Le Toux jersey, 2012 he gets traded, this time to Vancouver. Don’t worry, he did have a stint in Colorado too.
2018 Primary, David Accam - (Luke) To start the regrets, here we have the Accam Doop Hoops that I bought before even seeing him play for the Union, my first mistake. The hype just got to me and I jumped on this one and feel a little off whenever I put it on. The fact that I am actually a big fan of the jersey’s design, the name on the back makes this a regrettable pick-up as I tend to wear it less for that reason alone.
2016 Primary, Earnie Stewart- (AJ) My love for soccer took off in 1994, watching Earnie Stewart score the goal to beat Columbia. So when he came to the Union to serve as the Sporting Director, I truly felt my soccer life had come full circle. Naturally I had to get his name on a Union jersey in the ultimate combination of my soccer worlds, past and present, all on one perfect snake skin jersey! While his success as Sporting Director has mixed opinions, its actually not that exciting to have a name of a front office person on your back, they never do anything on the field! So all in all, it kind of feels like a waste of a purchase. I really hate snakes too, sorry Phang, so I also don’t really like the snake skin stripe. It is a rarely worn shirt in my closet and I do not plan on getting Ernst Tanner on this years kit no matter how great he does. Maybe next year though.
Phang warmup signed by Phang - (Luke) Look I don’t have much to defend myself with this… it was an impulse? l put down the first (and only) bid as a joke to share with AJ, thinking someone would outbid me. I was riding high as it was days before the 2018 playoff game against NYCFC, unsurprisingly little interest after that game transpired. In hindsight, why would I think anyone else would place a bid for this? The redeeming factor was that the money went to a good cause in the Philadelphia Union Foundation. It has an actual certificate of authenticity saying Phang signed it, maybe one day it could be a goofy, weird collectors item that Pablo Maurer would write an Athletic article about but who am I really kidding; this was my most regrettable purchase (ever, probably).
What did you learn here about AJ? Well if AJ gets your name on a jersey, pack your bags, you’re being traded. Likely to Colorado.
What did you learn here about Luke? He owns a Phang signed warm up jersey and he paid three digits for it. Nothing will ever make me (AJ) feel better about my own life decisions than that.