How Many Soccer Shirts Do You See In a Typical Week?

Three months ago, without telling anyone, I began a fun experiment on Twitter to live-tweet my life in suburbia (near West Palm Beach, Florida, to be exact). Since most of my life is consumed by watching, reading and writing about soccer, I thought it’d be an interesting experiment to live tweet any instances where I would see a soccer shirt in public.

Some of you may be lucky to live in Britain or in a large city where seeing a stranger wearing a soccer shirt is a commonplace occurrence. But for me, and many others living in suburbia in the United States, it’s a rarity. I seldom see a soccer shirt that when I do, I often get excited. But I thought I’d chronicle my experiences to see what they would reveal.

So, I started up a Twitter account named @SoccerShirtLife and proceeded to share my experiences of what I saw.

Here’s what I discovered during my experiment:

  • On average, I saw a soccer shirt once every 3 days,
  • I saw a MLS shirt once every 3 weeks,
  • I saw an EPL shirt once every 10 days,
  • The most number of shirts I saw from a single club or country was 3, which was shared by Barcelona, Argentina and — surprisingly — Manchester City (3). In the 3 month span, I saw 2 Manchester United shirts, 2 Chelsea shirts and 1 Arsenal shirt.

In total, I saw 29 shirts in 3 months (or 87 days, to be exact). Out of all of the different shirts I saw, I saw more EPL shirts (8) than any other league.

The rules I used for spotting soccer shirts were pretty simple. I tweeted any observation I made of a professional soccer jersey for any club or country (cheap knock-offs weren’t recorded). My life in suburbia revolves around my family, so many of my evenings and weekends are spent at the local soccer parks (for practices and soccer games), as well as going shopping, etc.

The one exception I’ve made to my experiment is that friendly I saw between the US women’s national team and China earlier in December. With an attendance of more than 10,000 in a stadium, it was impossible to count all of the soccer shirts I saw that night. I saw dozens of USA jerseys and even some Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United shirts. Interestingly, I didn’t see one MLS shirt. But in the interest of staying true to my experiment, where I wanted to capture and record soccer shirts I saw in an average day in suburbia, I decided to skip the USWNT game.

Let me be the first to admit that life in suburbia United States is awful for soccer fans unless you’re lucky to live in a city near a MLS team. The nearest top flight professional team to me is Atlante in Mexico’s league. For the past 11 years, there’s been no MLS team within 1,000 miles of my home. And it doesn’t seem like that is going to change anytime soon.

As far as anecdotes go, these were few and far between. I didn’t see any shirts from lower league English clubs, so I can’t romanticize about that. And I didn’t see any retro jerseys or something spectacular I haven’t seen in years. Perhaps the most bizarre occurrence was this morning when I saw a homeless woman at an intersection wearing an Argentina shirt.

Here are the shirts I saw, in total:

AC Milan 2
Argentina 3
Arsenal 1
Barcelona 3
Brazil 2
Chelsea 2
Colombia 1
Columbus 1
DC United 1
Inter Milan 1
Italy 1
LA Galaxy 1
Man City 3
Man United 2
NE Revolution 1
Holland 1
Real Madrid 2
Sao Paulo 1

How do these shirt sightings compare to where you live in the United States? Share your stories, observations or insights in the comments section below.

14 thoughts on “How Many Soccer Shirts Do You See In a Typical Week?”

  1. I also live in a suburb. however Chula Vista is a suburb of San Diego and Tijuana…so i see a lot of jerseys here. though rarely any MLS.

  2. Being in Seattle this is probably going to skew everything. But I see Sounders gear multiple times a day, and probably someone wearing a shirt almost every day. I see EPL shirts almost every week. With a scattering of Barcelona, Liga MX, and Celtic shirts mixed in.

  3. I see more shirts than normal because I live in a university town and I am on campus at least twice a week. Chelsea, ManU, Arsenal, Barca, Argentina and quite a few Sporting KC shirts (we are 2 hours from KC). I’ve seen an Algeria team shirt. I have 2 of the out of ordinary shirts: Boca Juniors and Cardiff City.

  4. I do a lot of work in schools within my county so that is where I see most of the shirts. I would say that, on average, I see about 1 shirt every 2 weeks. This are mostly Barcelona, Brazil, AC Milan, Chelsea or Manchester United with a few Philadelphia Union or LA Galaxy shirts.

  5. Very interesting. It’s like bird-watching. I take note of these things when I see them too, but have never kept a written record. I think I see the most shirts on younger boys (8-15).

    1. Which types of birds are you watching? The British variety? 😉

      Good point about the age range. The vast majority of soccer shirts I see are on young kids.

      The Gaffer

  6. A the various SF Bay Area sports facilities I see quet a lot, too many Barca Messi Jerseys but that’s to be expected with him being the greatest player in the world. There are a lot of earthquakes jerseys, Spurs, Man U, Chelski, West Ham, and a few gooners. Noticeable omissions are LFC, MCFC haven’t seen any of those in quiet a while! (Thank goodnes)

  7. durring MS season I see shirts daily mostly Sporting shirts. Non MSL shirts about like Gaffer every 3 days or so- a kid I work with has an Arsenal shirt, Barcelona as well I’ll see. It’s a little skewed but if I’m at the pub on Saturday/Sunday watching games I’ll of course see a lot more shirts. I have several Tottenham kits and when I go to SKC games I always pay attention to what other soccer fans are wearing- and I see more Spurs jerseys than you’d think -I always get at least 4-5 + reactions to my Spurs kit at games. Still the big teams are most represented ManU City Chelsea, Arsenal, Barcelona- some Italian teams and I see a Stoke fan at games reguarly. I will formally start my own observation poll tonight

  8. I go to U of Michigan. Lots of foreigners here so I often see a football shirt maybe once or twice a week or every two weeks. They are mostly Man U, Barcelona and Arsenal. Maybe Milan, Bayern and Chelsea once in a while.

  9. Washington DC is probably one of the best places to see people of all ages wearing footy stuff.

    anyway, I’ve not been in civilization (the city) in quite a while, so I’ve no idea what has been happening in the past 5 years in the U.S. The last time I saw someone wearing a football jersey where I am now was on a cashier at Wal-Mart… FC Kaiserslautern… because, I suppose, he was near there in the army.

    1. Agreed, here in DC you can see a lot of everything especially in the spring. Because also it’s a lot of Latinos in the area, I tend to see more Argentina and Brazil kits, Barca kits as well as a few Mexico kits. When it comes to the EPL, I tend to see mostly MUFC, Chelsea, and Arsenal. for all other leagues, I tend to see mostly Inter Milan. And sometimes the best way to strike up a conversation is to wear a kit yourself!

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