Fan Culture / Featured

Holiday shopping for the Philly soccer fan

Unless you live in some kind of media deprived fantasy land, it is all too apparent that the holiday shopping season is upon us. Below are some gift ideas for the Philly soccer fans on your shopping list. All of the items below are available online so you can avoid the madness that is going to the mall.

Let’s get ornamental

Sculpted from fine cultured marble

If you enter “soccer christmas ornament” into the search field at Amazon, some 20 pages of results are returned. Most of them suck, although the soccer player in the “resin sports ornament set” (which also includes a baseball player and an American football player) is wearing a uniform that sort of kind of almost maybe looks like a Union kit. The Philadelphia Union Holiday Ornament available for $12.99 from is probably you’re best bet. The MLS Philadelphia Union Logo Beads available for $7.99 from the online store on the Union website will do in a pinch.

Santa statuettes are available in a variety of forms, including this massive 4 inch tall figurine of Santa on a blazing run for only $5.99 and Soccer Santa bobblehead dolls, made of “cultured marble,” for only $19.95. One bobblehead has Santa in red, the other in white, for what can only represent home and away colors. And this terrifying looking Soccer Santa plush toy would look great underneath the tree for only $29.95.

You can always use a Santa Soccer Holiday Ball for only $14.99 because, like the card says ($3), there’s always time for soccer. Just be sure to take it outside.

Get yer history on…no really, wear it

Short sleeve and hoodies also available

There is a growing awareness of our country’s rich soccer heritage and there are plenty of fine companies out there releasing t-shirts and jerseys that reference that history. Pothunting goes deeper than most with a fab line of retro t-shirts and hoodies featuring teams from around the country stretching back to 1909. From the Philly area you can choose from Bethlehem Steel FC, arguably the most important team of the first quarter of the 20th Century, or Banater, the forefathers of United German Hungarians. Prices range from $16.95 for short sleeve shirts, $18.95 for long sleeve, and $24.95 for hoodies. Another Bethlehem Steel inspired t-shirt is also available from Bumpy Pitch for $30.

Local store Pro League Authentics (137 S. 13th St.) has several t-shirts celebrating more recent NASL-connected Philadelphia teams. You can choose from designs celebrating the Philadelphia Spartans, one of the original NASL teams who folded before the first game of the league’s first season, the Philadelphia Atoms, the team that won the NASL championship in their inaugural season, or the Philadelphia Fury, the team that is possibly best known for having Rick Wakeman, Peter Frampton and Paul Simon as investors. They even have a t-shirt commemorating the 1974 indoor match between the Atoms and the Soviet Red Army team. Priced from $20 to $29.99.

If you’re feeling particularly generous, Toffs has two replica Fury jerseys to choose from for £34.99, which works out to around $55.99. has a replica Atoms jersey on offer but it’s pricey at $109.99 and takes 3-4 weeks to be delivered.

For more recent history, Bark Tees and Objectivo have extensive lines of Union and Sons of Ben related t-shirts and hoodies to consider at a variety of prices starting at $9.99.

Speaking of history…

Not Mwanga

If you’ve got $129.95 to spend on a joke—after all, Peter Nowak apparently thought the team had $115,000 to spend on one—why not consider an authentic Jorge “Not Mwanga” Perlaza Union jersey from Or you can get a replica version for only $76.95. For $99.95, you can get a replica Perlaza away jersey to commemorate the away game in Houston, the only game in which he started. Also from the Peter Nowak collection, you can choose between a Gabriel Gomez authentic home or replica away jersey. On a more depressing note, World Soccer Shop has Danny Califf Fathead wall graphics on offer for $99.99. Speaking of joke gifts, you might think of a Peter Nowak “Laszo, albo Umieraja” t-shirt–that’s “Join or Die” in Polish—from Objectivo. Unfortunately, it’s out of stock.

If it’s collectibles you’re looking for, has 2011 team issued authentic jerseys for Danny Mwanga and Faryd Mondragon, each for only $229.99. You can display them in the Philadelphia Union Framed Team Logo Jersey Display Case, a steal at $249.99.

Shopping can be thirsty work, so it may be a good idea to have a “Just Le Toux It” water bottle on hand, available from Cafe Press for just $10.

Media covered

Gadgets—who doesn’t have them? And once you have them, everyone knows they need to be covered. Whether the cover is for protection or for personality, there’s plenty to choose from for the Union fan on your holiday list.

$450? I’ll take two.

There’s a whole sub-industry of products for owner’s of Apple devices out there to choose from. The shop at has a Union-themed  iPhone 4 and iPod Touch cases on sale for $19.99 while iPad cases are on sale for $34.99. An iPad cover that also acts as a stand will only set you back $43.99. For the squares on your shopping list, you can find a Kindle Fire case on sale for $29.99 while a neoprene laptop case, the interior of which is lined with a very fetching soccer ball design, can be had for $29.99.

Over at, there are five different Union-themed designs for the iPhone 5, as well as for the iPhone 4 and 4s, with three different kinds of cases to choose from. Options are also available for the iPod Touch and the the Samsung Galaxy S III. Prices range from $14.99 to $34.99.

Whether or not the iPhone case available at Cafe Press for $25 has been approved by the Sons of Ben is a good question. But all of these cases and covers pair nicely with these Soccer Ball Earbuds for only $9.95 from Amazon.

If you’re considering getting that special someone FIFA 13, also consider that they’ll need someplace comfy to sit during those long sessions replaying the 2012 season. Back at, there’s the Philadelphia Union Video Game Rocker for only $449.99.

For the kids

This little piggy went to the transfer market…

Cafe Press has a sky blue infant body suit that says “doop” available for only $16.50. Objectivo has a “Jolly Franklin Doop 10 Infant Tee or Onesie” for only $18—”Sons of Ben gear for the next generation Doopers!” Over at the store on the Union website, you can a 3-piece body suit set in gray, white, and navy for just $19.99. The Union polo dresses for toddlers ($21.99) and girls ($24.99) are cute as pie, as are the Union piggy banks.

It pays to do some comparison shopping when it comes to youth jerseys. The shop on the Union website has the 2012-13 home jersey on sale for $41.99 while has the away jersey on sale for $49.95. Also at, you can get a 2010-11 boys jersey, home or away, for only $19.99.

You can also get the young Union fan on your holiday shopping list a Junior Union Supporters Club membership. Three membership levels are available to choose from, ranging in price from $35 to $130. And if you order before Dec. 10, you’ll receive a special Union holiday gift (based on availability).

Straw included!

For the tailgater

While you’re at looking at cases for your iPhone, checkout the car decal “tailgate packs” of Union logos. They’re “made of premium quality automotive grade material ensuring easy application and simple, residue free removal.” Depending on the size of the decal, prices range from $29.99 to $149.99.

You’re not really supposed to have bottles in the parking lots at PPL but the online store on the Union’s website has bottle coozies on offer. They’re ridiculous looking and bargain priced at $4.99. Objectivo has Sons of Ben plastic tumblers available at the reduced price of $10. They come in sets of two, complete with lids and straws. You can place them on these fine ceramic Union coasters, only $17.99 for a set of four.

Of course, everyone likes tequila. Limited edition Union-themed bottles of El Jimador Blanco are available at select state stores for only $24.99 a bottle.





  1. News you can use!

    Also, just got two jerseys from these guys –

    Lots of random Euro teams besides the top clubs (Rosenborg! Go on Diskerud!).

  2. I am all over that Perlaza shirt…

  3. Thanks for my Nowak tee shout-out on Objectivo. There’s an out-of-stock Le Toux one as well.

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