Instead of just links in this Kickoff, let's start it off with a rant that I thought I could ignore, but quite simply can't: Club vs. Country. Deep sigh.
Sporting Kansas City -- likely the club you follow -- will take on the Vancouver Whitecaps at 7:30 tomorrow night live from Livestrong Sporting Park.
The United States -- likely the country you call home and support -- will take on Mexico at 7:30 tomorrow night in the Gold Cup final on Fox Soccer Channel.
For me, the decisions is easy. Live soccer > televised soccer and "club soccer" > "international soccer." Always. Since I also sorta semi-cover Sporting KC* it isn't even really a decision for me.
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But it is a rather tough call for probably countless others. And it's likely going to create an uncomfortable fracture amongst American soccer fans. Do they go to the MLS game and just hope to ignore the score until later (which I'll do)? Do they go to Livestrong Park and sit in the Member's Club (or comparable) and watch FSC? Do they skip the MLS game altogether (after all, there will be 14 more)?
Again, tough call.
Major League Soccer knew this date was coming, yet four league games will overlap. They have to also know that potentially putting their product up against the U.S. men's team would siphon away their fans.
A simple solution would've been earlier kickoffs -- Houston and D.C. are kicking off at 6 p.m. ET. Both sets of fans will get to watch both. Another solution would've been more Sunday games (hey, Chicago-New York, Seattle-New England and Columbus-Colorado are all Sunday).
A much more complicated solution would be for the league to respect Fifa international dates like the Gold Cup (or at least the Gold Cup final).
I'll be shocked if that ever happens.
Okay, now links.
• ESPN couldn't have asked for more last night --a record MLS crowd (46,505)
Well, a few flash names would've helped -- Theirry Henry (suspended) and Rafa Marquez (Gold Cup) missed the game.
The hero was Roger Levesque. Not because he "did the double," but because of his awesome celebration.
It's so great, I'm not even going to comment on the inexcusable blunder by the 'keeper.
• Oh great,this transfer saga again
• The Women's World Cup kicks off tomorrow morning with two games (Nigeria vs. France at 8 a.m. on ESPN2 and Germany vs. Canada at 11 a.m. on ESPN2). If you'd like an overview of the tournament,you should start here
If you want to know just about the American women (first game is Tuesday against North Korea at 11:15 a.m. on ESPN),you should go here
• Lastly, sad news out of Costa Rica, as defenderDennis Marshall was killed in a car accident five days after scoring in the Gold Cup