At the top today is goalkeeper Tinja-Riikka Korpela.
Ramble of the Day
The women’s Asian Cup is in full swing, and like several tournaments it has multiple things on the line: continental glory, World Cup qualifying berths, and my impressions of the kits players are wearing.
If I am to be fully transparent, this was the toughest set of kit rankings I’ve done. It isn’t because the kits are particularly good or particularly bad — it actually has nothing to do with kit quality. Despite the fact that the Asian Cup is both a continental championship and a World Cup qualifying tournament, it was hard to track down several kits. Footy Headlines, the authority on football kits, had no coverage of the event; that includes the usual kit rundown the site does for men’s tournaments. Press releases, promotional materials, or purchase details are hard or impossible to find for certain teams, making it hard to get a great look at them in order to rank them.
There remain gaps in coverage of the women’s game, despite the strides that have been made in recent years. It’s not one person’s fault any of these gaps exist, but it will require the work of many to fill those gaps in.
As for the kits themselves, it’s another solid collection of non-embarrassing kits. Those that made it into the bottom three are mostly there because of small things I’m being nitpicky about, but just about everyone can consider it a job well done. If I do have one criticism, it’s that federations and kit manufacturers shouldn’t be afraid to be more interesting.
You’ve seen the best kits before, but there’s a reason they’re still at the top.
3. Australia’s home kit
Australia’s gold and dark green is a classic combination on the footballing stage, and this design is a nice way of changing up the look. It isn’t necessarily unique, but you can’t argue with the results.
2. Korea Republic’s home kit
The thing that I continue to love about this kit is that Korea and Nike decided to alter the home kit’s color a little bit and incorporate a fun pattern to create a unique look. This kit also gets bonus points for doing the gradient well.
1. Japan’s home kit
I tend to like a kit that’s unique more than I like a kit that’s traditionally nice, but I continue to like this Japan kit. It feels emblematic of current trends in football kit design, which teams and kit manufacturers should explore as frequently as possible. If you’re making new kits all the time anyway, variety is the only way to keep the creative process from going stale. This look stands out, and that’s why I like it.
Like I mentioned earlier, my least favorite kits aren’t actually horrible. They’re just boring with one or two details I don’t care for.
3. Taiwan’s home kit
There is nothing genuinely wrong with this kit. It’s just that I don’t like those collars on anything, and this kit is no exception. The faded stripes also feel unresolved to me as a design.
2. Iran’s home kit
This is another inoffensive kit, but it actually ranked low for me because it was competing against a lot of inoffensive kits. I mostly just think the fading green stripe at the top isn’t that interesting, and feels a bit uninspired.
1. Philippines’ home kit
I suppose I find white-based kits unforgiving if there’s little visual interest. That one fading red stripe on the side feels random on the shirt and I dislike the lack of continuity when it comes to the shorts. I also find the collar weird, though I don’t think it’s a horrible idea. It’s small design choices that killed all of these kits for me — when your small choice is your only choice, it drags a simple kit down.
tl;dr: I ranked the kits at the women’s Asian Cup, which were all pretty respectable. What isn’t respectable is the lack of coverage of kits in the women’s game.
Stay informed, read this: Tumaini Carayol on tennis player Danielle Collins, now a semifinalist at the Australian Open a year after undergoing emergency surgery to treat endometriosis for the Guardian
Links of the Day
Serge Mombo, president of Gabon’s first division men’s league, was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting young players.
Fiorentina supporters hung banners with racist abuse directed towards Dušan Vlahović.
Watford hired Roy Hodgson, ending the manager’s retirement.
A quarterfinal match at the Africa Cup of Nations will be moved from Olembe Stadium following Monday’s stampede outside the venue that killed eight people.
Christian Eriksen is training with Ajax’s reserves in an effort to build fitness.
A longer read: Ronald Blum on the USMNT’s preparations ahead of what could be its coldest World Cup qualifier, a match against El Salvador in Columbus for the Associated Press