Orlando City’s Kaka and Brek Shea cracked the top 10 in MLS jersey sales this year as the expansion teams dominated the list.
Orlando City’s inaugural year has turned heads all around the league and all around the soccer world. And apparently they are also turning heads in jersey sales.
Orlando City placed two players in the top 10 among MLS jersey sales with Kaka jerseys selling the third most and Brek Shea jerseys selling the ninth most jerseys.
Jersey sales are always a bit of a double edged sword. It is both a measure of popularity and of quality. Expansion teams certainly can fare well since everyone has to buy jerseys for the first time. It will be just as interesting to see how these Orlando City players fare in next year’s rankings. Four New York City F.C. players cracked the top 10.
At the same time though, this is some measure of popularity and the health of the league and popularity of some of Orlando City’s players.
The Lions have become something of a national darling, or at least curiosity, in TV ratings. And so they seem to move some of the needle nationally.
Clint Dempsey of the Seattle Sounders jerseys sold the most this year with Steven Gerrard of the Los Angeles Galaxy jerseys sold the second most jerseys. The top ten has three U.S. National Team stars and the top 20 has 13 designated players.
As Jeff Carlisle of ESPN.com notes, there is a lot of variability in the list. Only three players from last year’s top 15 jersey sales cracked the top 20 this year. There was a lot of new blood in the designated players brought to the league and expansion franchises.
It will be interesting to see just how much Orlando City and N.Y.C.F.C. hold up in next year’s rankings.