The Full 90

The Morning Kickoff: Power Rankings round-up, Jack Jewsbury, beards and more

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.

Happy Tuesday everyone. Remember when Sporting Kansas City were squarely in the middle of the pack fresh off a season-opening victory against Chivas USA and approaching the dawning of the Omar Bravo Era?

Seems like exactly one month and three points ago, doesn't it?

So, where does KC rank now? Here are four published power rankings: MLSSoccer.com: 10, WV Hooligan: 13, Sports Illustrated: 8, Goal.com: 15.

As of right now, the average ranking for Sporting: 11.5

The other biggies (ESPN, Fox Soccer, Soccer By Ives, that guy in his basement) haven't posted yet this week.

• Former KC midfielder Jack Jewsbury, captain of the surprising Portland Timbers,

was named Goal.com's MLS player of Week 5.

Before we start this again, Jewsbury made over $100k and the team probably felt he made too much for what his role would be.

Robbie Rogers' goal against KC is nominated for MLS Goal of the Week.

Sporting, as you probably already know, don't qualify for this award this week. See, you've got to take shots and create offense to score goals. KC didn't do that.

Kansas City expects new defender Aurelien Collin to be available for selection this Saturday against New England.

Check out the Stoppage Time podcast recap with myself and Sporting Times' James Starritt:

Posterous iTunes.

• It's highly unlikely -- baring a trade of some sort -- that KC winds up with U.S. national team midfielder Benny Fielhaber. It's too bad, I think he could handle either advanced midfield role and either wide forward spot admirably.

The battle to sign him will come down to whether Chivas USA (first in allocation order) passes on his high salary. His high salary (probably the max) could scare off a few teams. The likely return of players like DeMarcus Beasley, Eddie Johnson and/or Freddy Adu later this summer could cause teams to think twice as well. (Though I rate Benny above all of them.)

We'll know by 4 p.m. today. According to the Washington Post, the allocation order is Chivas, New England, Houston, Toronto and Chicago.

Real Salt Lake begins fighting for MLS' first CONCACAF Champions League crown in Mexico on Wednesday.

• Two intriguing games on today: Manchester United vs. Newcastle United (1:30 p.m., ESPN2/ESPN3.com) and AS Roma vs. Inter Milan (1:45 p.m., GolTV) in the Coppa Italia.

Speaking of United, they'll have to pay up for damages after a staff member kicked a hole in the wall in the dressing room at Wembley.

• Time for a double standard?

Liverpool boss Kenny Daglish won't be charged with swearing on live TV.

Liverpool's old boss George Gillett thought Steven Gerrard was gay (because he was marrying a woman named Alex) and believed the Premier League had a draft.

Go read that story. It's crazy.

• Speaking of crazy:

El-Hadji Diouf admires his friend... Momar Gaddafi.

I totally missed ESPN using a photo of fat Ronaldo in a graphic about Cristiano Ronaldo.

Yucks!

Police in Tajikistan have banned a coach from using a player because said player has a beard.

• Speaking of beards. If you've grown out your Road Trip Beard (sorry we got sort of busy and neglected it), post a photo of yourself

on our Facebook page.
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