World Cup jerseys have nice touches, but all have one problem

Here’s a quick look at each design.

Czech Republic

Beauty, eh? Everything about this one works, from a gorgeous crest to the blue sleeves and the white panels at the top and bottom. Even the lion’s gold crown and talons add nice little touches of warmth to the design. Nicely done.


“Suomi” is Finnish for “Finland,” but in any language, that lettering looks too big, too overwhelming. It relegates the crest to an afterthought.

And would it have killed them to include some striping or other decorative element toward the bottom? As it stands now, this feels more like a sweatshirt than a hockey jersey.


Definitely the weirdest design of the bunch, with a two-tone color scheme and an unusual crest. It’s hard to assess how this one will look until we see the full uniform with the pants and socks, which hasn’t yet been released. Moreover, according to Adidas’ media notes, “Players will wear their flag on their shoulder and the names of each European nation in the unity stripe across their sleeve,” but none of that is shown on the promotional images.

On the plus side, the three Adidas stripes are so low-contrast as to be almost undetectable. Overall, this one gets an “I” for Incomplete.


Easily the strongest design of the set. Russia’s double-headed eagle crest always looks great on a jersey, and thick color-blocked striping works really well. A winner。


Sweden’s three-crown design, familiar from the Olympics and other international tournaments, always look good. But this version looks even better, because of the inner detailing on the crowns — a very nice touch.

North America

Hmmm, black with gray trim — could look great or could look awful, depending on the lighting and, especially, the rest of the uniform. Either way, that crest looks like something out of a video game or Dungeons and Dragons — not good.


Love that crest! By removing the maple leaf’s stem and streamlining all the angles, they’ve managed to make a leaf look slick, modern and cool, which is a pretty good trick. But they overplayed their hand by including the outsized leaf outlines on the sleeves, which feels like overkill and distracts from the crest. Would’ve been better off going with stripes.

And on the seventh day, an Eastern Conference finals opponent finally emerged for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

After a weeklong layoff, the Cavs were finally able to rejoice in the knowledge of what team they will be facing in Tuesday’s Game 1 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) following the Toronto Raptors’ decisive 116-89 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 7 of their second round series on Sunday.

“We’re about to get our work in now, we know who we’re playing,” LeBron James said prior to a rare evening practice for the Cavs as the team waited until Heat-Raptors was finished to begin their session around 6:30 p.m. “We’re going to start diving in on their personnel, diving in on what they do best. They were chasing us all year for the No. 1 seed. We look forward to the matchup, just as well as we looked forward to Detroit and also Atlanta as well.”

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