In my soccer era: A Swiftie guide to the Union’s roster

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

Say what you want, but are we sure the Union didn’t plan their bye week with Taylor Swift’s new album drop on purpose?

In honor of bye week and the arrival of The Tortuered Poets Department (but mostly the latter), PSP brings its readers a highly scientific, rigorously tested analysis to finally settle the question on everyone’s mind with a Union-TSwift crossover.

A Swift debrief

No clue what I’m talking about? Settle in to make the most of this experience.

In the aftermath of a new music announcement, you’ll usually find Swifties diligently “at work” cracking codes and clues with a tenacity that puts intelligence agencies to shame. The outfits, the fonts, the colors, and more tell a story of the album’s aesthetic. So, with every album, there comes an era.

“Easter eggs” can be embedded everywhere, from song lyrics to liner notes. None of it is accidental. Every choice helps to emphasize her framing of an album as a “story,” or a moment in time. As such, it’s pretty common for fans to identify albums by an aesthetic or personality.

Note: In an effort to manage the means, method of production, and distribution of her work, Swift began re-recording her past albums in 2021. Rerecorded albums are noted as (Taylor’s Version). 


What, you didn’t think that was going to be a willy-nilly thing, did you? As a PhD graduate, and more importantly, the girl everyone knows as a Swiftie, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t put a lot some thought into this. Would players be matched by how far they are into their careers? Their gameday outfits (courtesy of Union Insta)? The overall vibe I get from them while I’m all the way in Section 101?

In the end, since countless bits and pieces create an era’s aesthetic, it seemed best to consider it all and see what my gut told me. For simplicity’s sake, I tried to limit each player to one era, but some overlap was to be expected.

Taylor Swift (S/T)

Swift’s self-titled album encapsulates beginnings — it conjures ideas of taking that first big leap and making dreams come true. Of course, we know now that teenage Swift was building the foundation for the fame we see today. So while it’d be easy to equate Debut to veteran players who went from unknowns to illustrious careers, this one is for all the young guys, the ones preparing for their moment, just trying to find a place in this world league.

In their Debut Era: Markus Anderson, Jeremy Rafanello

Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

This album had everything. A bedazzled guitar! A fringed dress! Fireworks! More was more, during the Fearless era.

Donned with her signature hand-drawn “13,” Swift emerged as a household name with her sophomore album, even earning her first Album of the Year Grammy win. Full of magic and piquing curiosity, those opening notes of Fearless envoke feelings of jumping with a parachute and a determination to get your way — after all, “fearless is having fears….having doubts….getting back up and fighting for what you want over and over again.”

Fearless is….our captain on the field.

In their Fearless Era: Alejandro Bedoya 

Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)

Her first and only album to be entirely self-written, Speak Now is a snapshot of the transition from the years of youth to the days of adulthood. Introspective, yet empowering, Speak Now helped solidify Swift’s position as a storyteller and songwriter.

In their Speak Now Era: Chris Donovan, Nate Harriel, Jack McGlynn, Oliver Semmle, Quinn Sullivan

Red (Taylor’s Version)

RED? In Subaru Park? Pass.

While Red’s tracklist contains what some consider the Holy Grail of Swift’s songwriting, rules are rules.

In their Red Era: N/A

1989 (Taylor’s Version)

Perhaps her most widely known era, 1989 marked Swift’s first full-scale pop album, which had her taking over the music world and experiencing more commercial success than ever before in her career. This iconic era is memorialized by Swift’s move to New York, her ever-present group of friends, and an unapologetic sense of understanding.

1989 is a story about coming into your own, and as a result… your offense coming alive.

In their 1989 Era: Julián Carranza, Daniel Gazdag, Mikael Uhre 


….Ready for it? Reputation was the era of complete rebirth. After disappearing from the public eye, Swift reemerged after nearly 2 years, reflecting darker aspects in her electro-pop album, complete with a signature snake icon.

Often considered one of her fiercest albums, reputation is a multifaceted era, showcasing the boldness of standing your ground while believing in the kindness of the world.

In their reputation Era: Andre Blake, Jesus Bueno, Damion Lowe, José Martínez, Kai Wagner


Swift’s seventh album was ushered in via brighter, more colorful aesthetics. Despite the seemingly obvious title, the Lover album isn’t all about falling in love and feeling butterflies in your stomach. Instead, Swift takes the opportunity to use her platform to highlight topics such as feminism and LGBTQIA+ empowerment in hopes of beginning conversations across her diverse range of fans.

In their Lover Era: Alejandro Bedoya (yes, he’s pulling double duty)

evermore & folklore

Within five months in 2020, Swift released both folklore and evermore as surprise drops.

Written during lockdown, both albums have a similar aesthetic, exuding a woodsy, cottagecore vibe. Commonly referred to as “sister albums”, the songs across folklore and evermore collaborate to produce imaginative storytelling in a universe with a depth unlike Swift had ever attempted before.

While both albums display an astounding level of creativity and maturity as standalone albums, together they create a truly mesmerizing experience that is hard to replicate.

In their Sister Album Eras: Jack Elliott, Jakob Glesnes


A blast from the past, Swift’s 10th studio album documents sleepless nights scattered throughout life. Bliss, sorrow, regret, grief, love….every sleepless night is just the beginning of a new story. Listening to Midnights is a crash course in revisiting every one of Taylor Swift’s prior albums and the memories entangled within them of the ones that got away, the hard-fought successes, and the road moving forward.

In their Midnights Era: Union fans 

Bonus: The Tortured Poets Department 

Moody, reflective, and of course, poetic, Swift’s 11th era is a cathartic post-breakup album. With a total of 31 songs, Swift leans in to share sentiments from what she calls a “fleeting, fatalistic moment in time.”

In their TTPD Era: We’re still poring over the lyric sheets so we’ll call it TBD for now


  1. Completely unrelated, but I just saw Paxton Aaronsons team is on -1 points currently. What the hell???

  2. mzsoccer33 says:

    This is great! I love it!!
    Your comparisons are all too well… 😉

  3. Love how fun this article is, fresh take on the Union. Great work!

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