In keeping with the Major League Soccer theme of Jersey Week here on MLSsoccer.com, let's talk about some World Cup jerseys and kits.
Plenty of time was spent discussing the US national team's 2014 World Cup kit when it was unveiled by US Soccer on Monday. General consensus: It's kind of boring.
Great, now that that's out of the way, let's focus on the USMNT's group-stage mates — Germany, Portugal and Ghana. Let's say that the 2014 World Cup's Group G is to be decided entirely upon the four teams' respective kits.*
Who wins the group? Who scrapes through into the knockout stages in second place? Who's the most heartbroken of them all, falling just short of advancing in third? And who brings up the rear, the whipping boy of four teams?
*The USMNT and Portugal's respective away kits are still yet to be unveiled.
On Tuesday, Nike unveiled this red, two-tone home kit for Portugal:
The home (left) and away (right) kits of Germany:
The home (left) and away (right) kits of Ghana:
This is a great group of kits thus far, with one unfortunate exception — the USMNT. It would be tough to say their all-white jersey is anything but second-best when compared one-on-one with anything seen above.
Germany, just as they are expected to be on the field, are the class of the group's kits. The three-tone chevron on the front of the home jersey oozes class, while the away shirt retains the the lightest of the three reds, which contrasts so well against the black rugby stripes.
Ghana's jerseys — especially the red away, covered in African art from top to bottom — get serious bonus points for being bold, doing something unconventional and memorable. In fact, they could stand to forego a bit of flair and donate it to the USMNT polo.
The reds of Portugal home jersey are great. They contrast well. The pattern of horizontal stripes up and down the shirt are catchy, if not a tad overdone. The Portuguese sit comfortably ahead of the Americans in third place thus far, only a point or two behind the Ghanaians. They'll need a strong showing with their away strip to leapfrog ahead.
The same will, of course, be said for the USMNT's still-to-come away kit, leaving just enough time for one of the two to sneak their way into the Round of 16.
What do you think? Do Germany have what it takes to run away in the group's race for best kit? Or should Portugal have been ranked higher, closer to jumping them for the top spot?