Starting the Morning Kickoff with some really, really sad news: Former Sporting Kansas City defender Uche Okafor was reportedly found dead Thursday at his home in Dallas. Okafor played in Kansas City from 1996-2000, appearing in 109 games. The Nigerian also played 31 games for Nigeria, including a game during the 1998 World Cup.
The Kansas City Star
He had been living and coaching youth soccer in Dallas. He was also working as a TV pundit. He was 43 years old.
Sad news. My thoughts go to his family and friends.
• In less heavy news, MLS Insider was all over some great video by Sporting KC forward Kei Kamara detailing his holiday trip to Sierra Leone. When Kamara returns to Kansas City for preseason, we'll try and catch up with him and get some more details. [Source: MLS Insider]
• That's all we've got for this short kickoff today, I'm heading out to the stadium to interview David Ficklin. Updates to come.