The holiday season is here, and while it’s not a particularly busy time for U.S. soccer (particularly given the pandemic), it’s a great time to celebrate the sport you love.
If you have some fellow U.S. soccer lovers in your life, it’s the perfect time to surf through some team stores, memorabilia and so on, and find that perfect gift.
So, just for fun as we kick off what’s sure to be a somewhat subdued 2020 holiday season, we have some gift suggestions for the U.S. soccer fans you know and love.
An up-and-coming star jersey
For a fan who’s really into U.S. soccer, you can’t do much better than to buy the jersey of one of the nation’s up-and-coming stars. And for once, we can say that there are a few legitimate starts on their way up the ranks! Christian Pulisic still stands out as the future of U.S. soccer and already one of the best international player America has produced. A jersey of his, for USMNT or for Chelsea, is an excellent gift.
There are other options as well. Gio Reyna is still a kid, but he’s starting to nip at Pulisic’s heels in terms of next-big-thing hype. A U.S. jersey of his will be relevant for a long time, and a we recently noted, Reyna has signed an extension with Borussia Dortmund as well — meaning a club jersey will be relevant for some time. Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Zack Steffen and Sergino Dest are also all worth a look.
Tickets for 2021
It might still be a little bit early to explore live U.S. soccer options in 2021. But with some hope of normal sports returning after wide distribution of the COVID vaccinations, it’s not unreasonable to look into ticket purchases, or at least promise them as gifts. USMNT and USWNT schedules are ongoing (though it’s unclear when fans will be welcomed back to matches in ordinary numbers); European seasons have resumed regular play; and according to The Athletic, the MLS will be starting its 2021 season in March. It’s hard to pick out absolute guarantees as far as matches that will be played, or which will allow fans, but it’s at least reasonable to give a tentative match experience as a gift.
Iconic player posters
For true fans of U.S. soccer, who stock up on memorabilia, have favorite players and teams, and follow players both at home and abroad, a few posters of major players will always be appreciated. Whether you dive back into U.S. soccer history, opt for the players who led USMNT’s performance at the 2014 World Cup, or pick some of those same up-and-coming stars mentioned above, you’ll be able to find some very cool posters.
These are affordable but fun gifts for any soccer fan. (We’ll just note that there are already some really cool Christian Pulisic posters making the rounds — as well as that for those who also follow USWNT, the posters featuring Megan Rapinoe’s iconic celebration pose are pretty hard to beat.)
Personal memories in poster form
If the poster idea sounds good to you, but you’d rather be a bit more personal about it, you can also look up photos involving the person you’re arranging a gift for. For instance, if there’s a picture of this person with a star player, or a photo of the two of you at a match, turning it into a personal poster can make for an excellent gift. And it can also be one that doesn’t cost you much.
According to Groupon, something as simple (and widely available) as a coupon to a Walgreens can get you up to 50 percent discount on a poster you can create with an image of your choice. Compared to some existing player posters, and certainly match tickets or official jerseys, it’s a great budget gifting option — even if you buy a frame as well.
Generic USMNT gear
Expanding on the idea of gifting a player jersey, some generic USMNT (or USWNT) gear can always be great as well. Whether it’s a nameless jersey, a tee shirt, some outerwear, a team hat or scarf, or even a ball, it’s hard to go wrong with this idea. Any serious U.S. soccer fan will appreciate it – particularly as we move into 2021, and hype for the 2022 World Cup will begin to mount.
Last but not least, there’s always FIFA 21. If the person you’re buying a gift for has a modern gaming console, the latest in this gold-standard soccer gaming franchise is sure to be a hit. While FIFA 21 hasn’t quite gotten the hype of some past releases, a review at Goal notes that it is still an improvement on FIFA 20, not to mention it’s better equipped to showcase some of those up-and-coming American players discussed above.
The bottom line is, any soccer fan will have a blast with this game, making it in some respects a perfect soccer gift for the holidays.