Just a quick Kickoff this morning, as we're headed out to Swope Park to watch Sporting Kansas City train. Now that the opening ceremonies and Gold Cup are both out of the way, it's time to get back into the regular swing of covering the local team. A few links to get out of the way first.
• You only have a few hoursto vote for Jimmy Nielsen for MLS Save of the Week
. (Sorry, somehow the SOTW link never appeared on the blog before today.)
• As of this writing (8:12 a.m.),Livestrong Sporting Park is slightly edging out Qwest Field in a poll on which stadium should be the national stadium for U.S. soccer
•Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey will miss preparations for the Gold Cup quarterfinals.
The player's sisters are getting married. Not to each other; they are separate weddings in California and Texas. See, Beckham is teaching these Americans how to treat their teams! (Just kidding.)
•Sporting KC's Stephane Auvray says Guadeloupe needs to be part of FIFA and have international dates.
Couldn't agree more.
• World Cup qualifying is already under way!Belize beat Montserrat 5-2 in the first leg of preliminary CONCACAF qualifying.
Shame that one of these powerhouse countries has to bow out so soon.
•Several big names are now without a club in England.
• I was just starting to get into the Bebe Era at Manchester United.Now... it's over?
What the what? I'll have to restart my FIFA 11 career to account for this news.
•Toronto and New England wound up scoreless
-- shocking! -- on Wednesday night. These are just the sort of results Sporting Kansas City hopes from it's Eastern Conference rivals.
Hey, speaking of the MLS table, let's take a gander at what it looks like right now.
MLS Single-Table Standings
1. Los Angeles Galaxy: 31 points (17 GP, +8 GD)
2. FC Dallas: 25 points (15 GP, +2 GD)
3. New York Red Bulls: 22 points (14 GP, +8 GD)
4. Philadelphia Union: 22 points (13 GP, +5 GD)
5. Seattle Sounders FC: 22 points (16 GP, +3 GD)
6. Colorado Rapids: 22 points (15 GP, +3 GD)
7. Real Salt Lake: 21 points (12 GP, +7 GD)
8. San Jose Earthquakes: 19 points (13 GP, +4 GD)
9. Houston Dynamo: 18 points (15 GP, +1 GD)
10. Columbus Crew: 18 points (14 GP, -2 GD)
11. Chivas USA: 17 points (14 GP, +1 GD)
12. Portland Timbers: 17 points (13 GP, -4 GD)
13. D.C. United: 16 points (13 GP, -6 GD)
14. Toronto FC: 15 points (16 GP, -10 GD)
15. Chicago Fire: 14 points (14 GP, -3 GD)
16. New England Revolution: 14 points (15 GP, -7 GD)
17. Vancouver Whitecaps: 11 points (15 GP, -6 GD)
18. Sporting Kansas City: 10 points (12 GP, -4 GD)
A few things that are worth taking away from this.
a) The East is awful. Only three teams have a positive goal differential in the lesser conference. Three have a worse goal differential than Kansas City.
b) Sporting have still played in the fewest games in the league (though it's not nearly as big a discrepancy as it used to be).
c) Just 4 of the top 12 teams in the league are from the East; the only West team in the bottom 6 is Vancouver.
d) Six teams (Houston, Toronto, New England, Portland and Vancouver) have yet to win a game on the road. In fact, Sporting has earned more road points (9) than New York (7), Philly (7), Houston (4), Columbus (3), D.C. United (7), Toronto (4), Chicago (7) and New England (2) so far this season. Of course, KC has played 11 road games.
e) Kansas City has just three more road games this summer -- at Philadelphia on June 22, at Portland on July 2 and at Houston on July 16. There are 12 MLS games at Livestrong Sporting Park between now and Labor Day.