TOPPS has got a winner on its hands. The US National Team's CONCACAF GOLD CUP victory put a spotlight on MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER. With a majority of the European based Americans taking a summer break, USA Manager Jurgen Klinsmann opted to use a domestic league "B side".
Topps' 2013 MLS card set is loaded with variations of cards that feature Gold Cup Champions -
A late call up, Sporting KC's MATT Besler was tough on defense.
Chicago's goalkeeper SEAN JOHNSON recorded a clean sheet in his one chance between the posts.
EDDIE JOHNSON scored 14 seconds after coming on as a sub. He also scored in the semi-final.
GRAHAM ZUSI was seen as the successor to Landon Donovan.
LANDON DONOVAN erased all rumors of his demise. His 5 goals netted him of the Golden Boot as top scorer (tied with 2 others) and the Golden Ball as tournament MVP.
Once forgotten midfield enforcer, KYLE BECKERMAN was a surprise to everyone except maybe Klinsmann.
With the # 1 and # 2 U.S. netminders playing in England, NICK RIMANDO was called to duty and came up big. He's going to Brazil - but maybe as the # 2 not # 3 goalkeeper.
The dangerman, and Mexico's nemesis, was FC Dallas' Panamanian star - BLAS PEREZ.
Top scorer in MLS over the past 2 seasons, CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI came to play. Wearing and extra "W" on his jersey nameplate, the error resulted in a hattrick against Belize. He tied for the Golden Boot with 5 goals.
Other MLS players who fared well were Marvin Chavez and Clarence Goodson of the San Jose Earthquakes, and Alvaro Saborio of Real Salt Lake.
The Gold Cup has come a long way and is a showcase for many of the regions best players. It might be time for PANINI to step up and do a sticker set for the next tournament.