The Full 90

The Morning Kickoff: Save of the Week, reserve league win and Soccer Night in America

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.

Jimmy Nielsen up for MLS Save of the Week.

Vote. Vote twice. Vote as many times as your cookies will allow.

• Sporting KC picked up its

first Reserve League win against Real Salt Lake yesterday.

Here are a few scattered thoughts.

1. Real Salt Lake couldn't do anything down the middle of the pitch, wonder if Stephane Auvray and Craig Rocastle had anything to do with that?

2. Matt Besler... from starter to profile in the Star to the bench to captain of the reserves. Sometimes, this isn't a fair world. I hope Besler wins back his spot.

3. Graham Zusi has been watching tape of Paul Scholes. When he came on he was popping massive diagonal balls over the backline and dropping them on a dime.

4. Chance Myers had two goals and was generally a handful the entire game playing right forward. The question: Is he finally finding his form or does his destiny lie in becoming KC's Reserve League MVP?

5. I would like to be the first "on-the-record" member of the Kevin Ellis blogger fan cub.

6. I recognized just two RSL players: Conor Chinn and Rauwshan McKenzie (the former KC defender was the captain).

• I had some questions after the Sporting KC-New York game.

Read them.


• Fox Soccer Channel will borrowing a little terminology from the NFL/NBC --which lifted it from the NHL/CBC -- when SOCCER NIGHT IN AMERICA!* debuts this Friday. The show will deliver "a slick new package" with "redesigned, state-of-the-art graphics ... along with the addition of super-slow motion camera technology."

J.P. Dellacamera is the play-by-play announcer with former MLS player Kyle Martino dealing out the color commentary. Former U.S. National Team and MLS players Eric Wynalda and Christopher Sullivan will make up SNIA's pre-game, halftime and post-game coverage.

*There isn't an "!" in the real title, I added it for reasons that probably make only me laugh.

Sporting KC is scheduled to appear on SNIA three times this year:

Friday, June 17 vs. San Jose

Friday, Sept. 23 vs. Philadelphia.

• Clark Hunt -- owner of the Kansas City Chiefs as well as investor/operator of FC Dallas and the Columbus Crew --

wants MLS to stamp out physical play.

• San Jose left it very late, but

Ike Opara bagged the winning goal in the 120th minute of the Earthquakes 1-0 U.S. Open Cup qualifier win over Portland.

It was the first loss at Portland's Jeld-Wen Field.

• Power Rankings Roundup! I've compiled the average position based on seven major power rankings (,, Sporting News, Soccer By Ives, ESPN, WV Hooligan and Fox Soccer). This week, Sporting KC's average rank is


. The highest they are ranked is 14; the lowest is 15. Consistency.

• If you've got the Direct Kick or Match Day Live package, there are two MLS matches tonight: D.C. United vs. Seattle (6:30 p.m.) and Houston vs. Colorado (7:30 p.m.). Yeah, both of those games are better off not being televised. [Sarcasm.]

• MLS is growing (and that's a good thing), but according to the New York Times' Jack Bell,

there is cause for concern for some charter clubs.
"In M.L.S., however, the drag on attendance has come from some of the charter clubs, most notably the New England Revolution, the Columbus Crew, F.C. Dallas and the Colorado Rapids, the defending league champions; and to a lesser degree Chivas USA, which shares the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., with the Galaxy."

• Sometimes, the headline itself is the joke:

Jack Warner re-elected as CONCACAF president.

• Herculez Gomez coming back to MLS? Well, I don't really know. But his club, Pachuca,

placed the entire first-team squad on the transfer list after a disappointing performance in the league.

The club finished last in its group. Fellow American Jose Francisco Torres is also on the squad.

• The El Clasico: Part IV! It took them four tries to finally resemble the game everyone was expecting with

Barcelona moving on to the Champions League Final

while Real Madrid will try to bang the dents of the Copa del Rey for consolation.

• The best story from the game?

The return of Eric Abidal, who had a tumor removed from his liver in March.

• The second club in the Final will be decided today as Manchester United brings home a 2-0 lead over Schalke (1:30 p.m., FX).

• When you win a lot of trophies, you naturally have to raise ticket prices 6.5 percent for next season.

Oh, it's Arsenal?

Ummmm, awkward.

• Not that Arsenal is all by themselves on this front,

Manchester United will also raise ticket prices next year.