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.
Tonight, Sporting Kansas City will learn its next opponent in the U.S. Open Cup: DC United or the New England Revolution. The qualifying game between the two is tonight at 6:30 p.m. According to Steven Goff,
will begin their quest to qualify for the U.S. Open Cup this weekend against the Iowa Menace at 2 p.m. at Sporting KC's training complex at Swope Park.
This being soccer, there are some strange rules to note.
When all three games are done on Saturday, the team with the largest margin of victory will directly advance to the U.S. Open Cup; the remaining two winners will face off at a later date to earn a spot.
• Time for MLS Power Ranking Roundup! ESPN has Sporting at #15, Soccer America and Soccer by Ives have them at #16, Goal.com and WV Hooligan have them at #14, and Sports Illustrated rockets them to a robust #10.
• Two of the goals New England got against KC are up for
MLS Goal of the Week
. Kei Kamara's goal didn't make the cut. It's all good, there's no way anyone is topping Juan Agudelo this week.
The big question facing MLS's disciplinary committee: What will be Colorado's Brian Mullan penalty for destroying Steve Zakuani's leg?
Has to be at least three games right? I agree with Ridge Mahoney: If MLS really wants to crack down on this sort of play, send a message and ban him for more than 5 games. It was reckless and an absolutely un-called for tackle.
• The Champions League Semi-finals kick off today, with Manchester United vs. Schalke (1:30 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel).
• The other games on TV today: Stoke City vs. Wolverhampton (1:30 p.m., Fox Soccer Plus) and Velez Sarsfield vs. LDU Quito (Copa Libertadores, 8 p.m., Fox Deportes).
• One day after Chelsea's big-money striker Fernando Torres broke his duck with a goal against West Ham, Manchester City's big-money striker
Edin Dzeko broke his duck against Blackburn.
Come on, what's with all this wanton duck violence in England?
And, now, for the off-beat news of the day.
• Just two hours after joining Twitter, Manchester United's Darron Gibson quit after some shockingly abusive comments directed to him from fans. That, in one sentence, sums up pretty much everything you need to know about Internet discourse.
• Daft ballboys in Spain have taken to subtle tricks (
particularly, throwing extra balls on the field of play
) to give the home team an advantage. The league hopes to crack down on the time-wasting tactic.
• Bad things happen when fans rush the field:
A Chesterfield fan was arrested after he punched Bury's goalkeeper during a League One game in England.
• Bad things happen when journalists ask stupid questions:
A Danish coach "hits" a reporter after a series of questions.
He didn't hit him in the face. Afterwards, he alleges it was a love pat for doing a good job.
You don't often see a pitch invader in a wheelchair, do you?