EDITOR'S NOTE: Jersey collections are a staple of any soccer fan's wardrobe, and we at MLSsoccer.com are no exceptions. As part of the ongoing Jersey Week festivities and ahead of #FlyKitFriday on May 22, we polled our staff to find out the favorite jersey in their collection and have them show it off.
Thierry Henry was one of my idols growing up. I started watching him play in 1998 when he won the World Cup with France. Arsenal became my favorite club because of his performances in the EPL every weekend. I tried to pull parts of his game and add it to my own. In 2011, I had the chance to not only meet this legend, but to play against him. I'll never forget his words to me before the start of the game that inspired me to keep grinding, to make a full recovery and get back to enjoying the game that I love.
I don't have this jersey currently with me, but every time I spot it in my closet I smile #bantz.
Warren commented, “How can I get this 🤔?” on my IG, so it’s also apparently more exclusive than you’d think.
I’m a big Michael Bradley guy. That’s public knowledge. He’s my favorite US men’s national team player of all-time, mostly because his globetrotting club career coincided with my growing obsession with the global game. I’ve always lusted after a Bradley home Heerenveen kit – you know the one, blue stripes with red hearts – but never been able to find one.
Then, one day this winter, a box arrived at the MLS studios. Inside were jerseys from every single stop in Bradley’s career, every stop but Heerenveen. Sigh. You can’t always get what you want, but it was a treasure trove all the same. Jeff Bradley, Michael’s uncle and Toronto FC’s communications director, cleaned out his attic and I was the lucky beneficiary. My most treasured prize: the MetroStars kit from Bradley’s first professional stop.
MLS original team. The colors. The fit. A mutant bat for a logo. What’s not to love?!
This 2013 Clint Dempsey jersey is my favorite for two reasons.
First, I got it made outside the stadium just hours before the game where Dempsey was unveiled at halftime. I was in college in Missouri at the time, and by random chance, I happened to be flying home to Seattle the week the Dempsey to Seattle rumors started swirling. I remember sitting in the St. Louis airport refreshing Twitter over and over until I eventually called my dad and told him we had to get tickets to the game that weekend.
The store that made the jersey for me was offering an amazing deal: if you got a customized "Dempsey" jersey and he didn't end up signing, they would exchange the jersey for another custom one of your choice. Being one of the few people actually sitting in the stadium with a Clint Dempsey Sounders jersey on and actually watching him be announced was a moment I'll never forget.
I'm also fortunate to have a lot of great memories of going to games with my dad, but this is one that definitely sticks out. The really cool story behind this jersey is more special because my dad was a part of it with me.
I originally came into possession of this Andre Blake jersey when I played 'keeper on an MLS team at a Street Soccer USA tournament in Times Square a few years back. Playing soccer at the Crossroads of the World was, in and of itself, an experience I'll never forget, but the jersey has also brought me plenty of joy (not to mention a few clutch penalty saves inspired by the man himself) as part of my rec league rotation in the years since.
It's a country with a population counting fewer than half a million people. So when a Maltese national team forward named Etienne Barbara followed head coach Martin Rennie from the NASL to the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2012, it was a cool moment for someone who grew up loving the game on the Mediterranean islands. It mattered very little that his MLS career lasted all of 13 minutes.
I had to get my hands on the jersey (he went with "Etienne" instead of "Barbara" on the back). The long sleeves were a major plus.