Jersey Swaps: Where Kits Go To Die

For those new to TSG, part of what we try to do is be a conduit to players and coaches for your questions.

Reader “Tim” wrote in and asked us the following:

What do the players typically do with the jerseys they get from the other team after they’ve switch?  Do they wear them?  or just hang them on their wall?  Is Donovan hitting bars wearing at Torres jersey?

Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o caused a minor stir when he swapped jerseys with a Tanzania player in 2008...

Well Tim, the answers that came in Thursday might be deflating for you but first some background.

The first jersey exchange is recognized to have happened almost 80 years ago, 1931, when France beat England. The French players wanted a little momento of their momentous occasion and requested the jersey of their English counterparts. Tradition born.

Just two years ago was perhaps the most (in)famous jersey swap. In a World Cup qualifying match between Tanzania and Cameroon, international star Samuel E’to exchanged jerseys with Tanzania’s Nadir Haroub. The Tanzanian Football Federation then claimed they could not afford a new jersey and demanded Haroub provide compensation for it. After public pressure, the TFF relented.

Tim, I’m sorry to report that, despite the tradition, the two players we spoke with Thursday night have no controversy, or grand plans, for their keepsakes.

Matthew, TSG: Got a reader question for you Sean. After the match, there is sometimes the exchange of kits. What do you do with the jersey you swap for?

Sean Franklin, L.A. Galaxy:  Afraid it’s nothing exciting. I usually just  give it to the equipment manager to make sure it gets washed. Then when I get it back it goes in the drawer. That’s about it.

Matthew: So you’re not displaying it or anything?

Sean: Nah, just the drawer. I don’t wear it out or anything like that. Probably not the answer you were looking for.

Matthew: Doesn’t change our opinion of you Sean.


Matthew, TSG: Landon, quick feature question from a reader if you don’t mind. What do you do with the jerseys you get in the swap at the end of the game? Any favorites?

We're guessing "Ghana 2010" is not Lando's favorite...

Landon Donovan, L.A. Galaxy: Well, I have a trophy room at home and they go in there.

I don’t know if I have a favorite. You know, I’ve never really thought about it. It’s nice every once in awhile though to be able to look back and remember some of the more memorable matches I’ve been in.

Matthew, TSG: Not one favorite?

Landon: Haven’t really ever thought about it.

Matthew, TSG: You’re going to disappoint some readers in that they never get worn again. You don’t wear them out for a run? Anything?

Landon: No, and I’m not wearing them out to bars or anything either.


Update:  Just got an update from Chivas USA keeper Dan Kennedy who we asked as well. (By the way, Dan Kennedy, also very generous with his time with TSG; much appreciated Mr. Kennedy.)

Dan’s answer: I have a small collection from teammates, opponents, and guys I admire, I plan on framing them at the end of my career…

Thanks Dan.

Some short weekend notes:

• Benny Feilhaber, who is rumored to be on the move from AGF Arhaus, comments on the World Cup.  Perhaps–apologies–the most bland interview ever though no fault of subject.

AGF is having a really hard time selling both Feilhaber and Jakob Poulsen as clubs know both players can be had and are thus underbidding for their services.

• Corinthians boss Mano Menezes has accepted the Brazil head coaching gig. Chilean skipper Marcelo Bielsa is rumored to re-up for 1-year with Chile.

• Got a roundabout source here who says Jay DeMerit, currently on holiday, is leaning towards coming back Stateside. Thought I would share this,though I have no direct knowledge nor have confirmed it. Sort of a “my best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors” kind of thing.

Yao was signed to Roy Keane's Ipswich Town through May....

• A name you may or may not know…much traveled (Livorno, St. Mirren, Red Bull, Ipswich Town) Devann Yao is training with West Ham. Yao, who played some American academy ball, would be an interesting candidate for new development US Youth Soccer Technical Director Claudio Reyna to use as a case study.

• Mark Hughes is now apparently on Fulham’s list. TSG has stated before that if Jol doesn’t get the job, it’s likely to be Hughes who the Cottagers pursue. Gareth Southgate remains our dark horse candidate (…and will likely remain just that).

• Carlos Captainegra made his new deal with St. Etienne official. Boca’s deal is two years with a transfer fee going the other way of 185K euros.

9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dude on 2010/07/24 at 3:53 PM

    Demerit to DC has a nice ring to it, don’t ya think? Assuming our FO has enough combined brain power to nod in agreement.


  2. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/07/24 at 4:07 PM

    Gareth Southgate is a legend! I wish Palace picked him up, instead we’ve got George effing Burley… I have prepared myself for bland, Championship football for the forseeable future.


  3. Posted by Rob on 2010/07/24 at 5:06 PM

    it’s a shame… I used to have a little bit of respect for Good Day New York…

    Maybe Henry should interview with Katie Couric.


  4. Posted by s44 on 2010/07/24 at 9:03 PM

    One of ESPN the Mag’s recent World Cup-themed issues had a piece on this, with player tips on securing the “big name” shirts in exchange. Not sure if it made it to the internet though.


  5. Posted by jonk on 2010/07/24 at 11:25 PM

    There’s a Dutch television spot with John O’Brien where he shows off (among other things) his trophy room with all the jerseys he’s collected.
    And during Studio 90’s recurring “world cup memories” segment, Reyna mentioned how players have 2 jerseys to give away and during the Italy game in 2006 he had Italian players asking him during the game for his and he eventually had to turn someone down after he’d already agreed with 2 other players — now that is serious respect for an American player.


  6. Posted by Aaron on 2010/07/24 at 11:30 PM

    On the jersey exchange, Carlton Cole had some responses on The Football Show radio about it a month ago. He also mentioned a lot of the players seek out a opponent player because a family member or friend requested the jersey. And about how its not much of a tradition as people think. Some players do and don’t. If you notice watching any game, very few players exchange jerseys.


  7. Posted by Bob on 2010/07/25 at 2:16 AM

    The NY Times also had a VERY interesting article about jersey exchanges that was posted a few weeks back. Some interesting points:

    -Berhalter lost his Ronaldhino Brazil jersey after putting it in his laundry bag in Paris.
    -Some, like Pele of course, have their exchanged jersey’s end up on EBay etc.
    -JBo’s jersey was THE hot item to get by Honduras players after the January friendly.


  8. Posted by Bob on 2010/07/25 at 2:34 AM

    Matt, Did you conduct full interviews with Franklin and LD?


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