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.
After this post (unless there's big, massive breaking news), The Full 90 is bugging out for the weekend. With no Sporting KC to watch this weekend and the gorgeous weather planned, it seems like high time to get away from it all. But, before we go, some news/links for you.
• If you weren't on Twitter last night, you probably missed the great Sporting KC blogger debate about what the release of defender Mike Jones
means. (Yeah, I know, it's weird to type that sentence about a guy who hadn't factored on the first team in his short time with the team.) The group was Mike from Down the Byline, Thad from The Backpost, Andy from The Daily Wiz, Andrew from MLSsoccer.com, James from Sporting Times and myself.
I'm pretty sure that we believe that the release is a portent of some form of transaction... we just have no idea what. It could be that they are clearing the decks for a major trade (KC has a surplus of defensive midfielders and fullbacks) or a new signing (like a new backup centerback).
There are now just 4 centerbacks and only 25 healthy players on the active roster. With the Gold Cup (and the possibility of five KC players gone for national team duty -- Stephane Auvray, Roger Espinoza, Shavar Thomas, Craig Rocastle and Teal Bunbury) looming, it seems like odd timing.
If I were a gambling man, I'd say the team didn't want to string Jones along and gave him his release so he could latch on with a USL/NASL team and they've got a transaction (waiver-wire pickup or trade) up their sleeve for early next week.
• Don't have plans for First Friday? Stop by
Sporting KC's event at their downtown headquarters.
• You and I know that Livestrong Stadium is a big deal. But did you know that
the project is one of the Top 10 economic deals in North America?
• Speaking of the stadium: Need a part-time job?
There's a Livestrong Park job fair this weekend.
• One of the more interesting items from yesterday:
Former U.S. national team player Tab Ramos to takeover as coach of U.S. U-20 team on France trip.
Thomas Rongen was removed from the job after failing to qualify for the U-20 World Cup.
• The spotlight in MLS this week is shining on two games. First, SOCCER NIGHT IN AMERICA!!! debuts on Fox Soccer Channel tonight with Portland vs. Philadelphia.
The second is the Super Team Showdown between Los Angeles and New York.
Chelsea vs. Manchester United on Sunday morning.
Just a little small game with no real implications or anything...
• UEFA has
suspended Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho for five Champions League matches.
• It's all Portugal in the Europa League finals, with
Braga taking on Porto on May 18 in Dublin.
• Have a fantastic weekend, we'll be back in action Monday afternoon.