Fans have been scooping up Andrea Pirlo jerseys this season. (Photo by Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
If you happen to see a lot of people walking around with blue jerseys that say "Pirlo" on the back, now you know why.
After two years leading jersey sales among Major League Soccer fans, Clint Dempsey’s reign at the top may finally be over. Midway through the 2016 MLS season, Italian international Andrea Pirlo has taken over the No. 1 spot.
Dempsey, bumped down to No. 2, has some reinforcements though. His rookie teammate, Jordan Morris, debuts at No. 4 overall along with two other Sounders players in the top 20. (Now, if only the Sounders can start scoring some goals this season.)
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The biggest surge up the list came from the Portland Timbers, who won the MLS Cup last season. They had no players in the top 20 last year but midfielder Darlington Nagbe has landed a spot at No. 11 with his teammate Diego Valeri just behind. Defender Nat Borchers makes a surprising appearance at No. 16, the highest defender on the list.
Seven players from last year’s top 20 have not made the list, most notably Bradley Wright-Phillips, who finished at No. 7 last year but started the 2016 season a bit slower on the goal front.
Clint Dempsey has dropped down to the No. 2 spot for jersey sales — for now anyway. (Photo by Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports)
The rankings are based on retail sales from MLSstore.com since the start of 2016. Here’s the full list: