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The Morning Kickoff: A weekend off and free subs for a Chicago loss

The Morning Kickoff is your start-the-day-right collection of stories, opinions, news and videos from around the globe. We scour the Web, you click the link.

A little late this morning and a little squeezed for time. Sporting Kansas City is off this weekend and won't get back into the 10-game road trip until April 16. Here are a few links to tide you over heading into a bye-week weekend.

Head coach Peter Vermes is pleased with how KC responded (and defended) in the 1-0 win over Houston this week.

This morning in The Kansas City Star, Sporting Kansas City kicked off a fairly chuckle-worthy ad campaign:

Get a free Firehouse sub (with the purchase of chips and a drink) every time the Chicago Fire loses and MLS game.

Chicago plays Seattle tomorrow at 3 p.m. Anyone else think of a time when a team actively took out a campaign against the results of another team?

Clever or amateur?

While the senior squad isn't in action this weekend, the Sporting KC juniors will be. The U-18 and U-16 teams will be in action at the Swope Park Training Center. Both teams will play Colorado Rush AJ Auerre on Saturday (U-18s at 10 a.m., U-16s at 12:30 p.m.) and Real Colorado on Sunday (same times).

Another local soccer game to check out, the UMKC women kickoff their season against Rockhurst tonight at 7 p.m. at the Durwood Soccer Stadium and Recreational Field. The ladies also play Central Missouri on Sunday at 4 p.m.

A few items about former KC players:

Looks like Jimmy Conrad will miss another week with a mild concussion.

...

Dallas keeper Kevin Hartman says he somtimes plays better with "ruffled" feathers.

It's an MLS Cup redux tonight: FC Dallas vs. the Colorado Rapids! The game is on Fox Soccer Channel at 8 p.m. tonight.

Australian international Harry Kewell is being linked to Major League Soccer.

It could be that he's angling for a move to the A-League.

Why do I post this? Because last year, Kewell's name was on Sporting Kansas City's list of potential targets.

Hanover 96 captain and American international Steve Cherundolo says he'd like to play a year or two in the MLS.

Then... he goes on to say that MLS should let most of its talented young players leave and go to Europe to "play at a level that challenges the players at every game ... and not just the playoffs."

Not an unheard of position for a European-based player, but still surprising.

Well, why not?

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