#1 d Marco Scandella each tallied a goal von carrie567 26.04.2019 04:17

Saturday had a weird feel about it for Toronto FC at BMO Field. One would think advancing in the Amway Canadian Championship on Wednesday would have left some positive residue in the atmosphere. Team-wise, there was momentum contributing to the positive result, a 2-0 win over one of Major League Soccers glamour clubs, the New York Red Bulls. The energy, or lack thereof around the stadium had another feel entirely. We shall call it the remnants of a history of failure. Some level of disillusionment, distrust, and negativity still float around to a certain degree. A new culture isnt created overnight. And thus, a change in perception is as much a work in progress as the team on the field Three straight league losses heading in, Michael Bradley away on World Cup duty, and an unpopular trade amongst some Toronto FC supporters made for awkwardness. There was tension throughout an unusually quiet crowd, somewhat predictable considering possession stats heavily favouring the visitors while the prospects of another dreaded late goal conceded lingered. The heartbreaking goal against didnt come. Contrary to usual script, it was the Red Bulls Bradley Wright-Phillips with all the wrong moves, missing an absolute wide-open sitter. Simply a brutal miss by MLS top goal scorer. Despite waves of pressure, the Red Bulls put only one shot on target, a testament to Toronto FCs stout defensive structure and blue-collar effort. The commitment shown by the Reds is something to rally around, isnt it? Ill take this work in progress over anything weve seen before at BMO, thank you very much. Four wins through eight matches should be entirely pleasing. The MLS standings are misleading with Toronto FC sitting 7th but playing a league-low eight games thus far. Its the 1.5 points earned per game that tells a more positive tale; tied for the third best rate in the Eastern Conference. Progress. There will be no convincing a fan base to fully commit to a product without reason for true conviction. Apprehension cannot simply be whisked away. The negative response to Issey Nakajima-Farran being traded to the Montreal Impact Friday (on his birthday) came as a surprise. Issey did fine as a member of Toronto FC. But the trade for Collen Warner is not a negative move for footballing reasons. Its the perception Issey was hard-done-by, with he and his agent reportedly not told of the deal beforehand, leading to the player taking to Twitter to call the move "#Inhumane". Perhaps my definition of Inhumane is entirely different. Its this kind of nonsense, the petty name-calling and lack of communication that can easily be resolved and need be remedied. Issey is a fine player, but lacked the defensive team play/awareness demanded by the manager. Issey could have remained a squad player in Toronto, and that would have been fine. Acquiring a player in Warner who can fill a specific role as a defensive midfielder is preferable. The wing positions still need upgrading. That would have remained on the to-do list even if Issey were not moved. The entire deal was blown out of proportion based on perception rather than anything tangible about team direction. So what is Toronto FCs team identity? Although it continues to be asked in the press box and through the rafters, through eight games it seems abundantly clear: a team difficult to break down defensively and one reliant upon the counter-attack. Those looking for expansive, attack-oriented football will remain disappointed for the time being. Thats not happening with this squad as currently constructed. Spare me style points, the 2-0 win was trademark Toronto FC. Here are my five thoughts: 1) The Defoe Effect - Jermain Defoe remains emotional about his exclusion from the 23-man England World Cup squad. Its a tough spot for Jermain. The questions asked about his decision to join MLS playing a role in his exclusion are completely unfair. He was never going to be picked not playing regular minutes at Tottenham either. Defoe was excluded because Roy Hodgson decided to name only four strikers and a glut of attacking midfielders. Is Defoe worthy of selection over Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge or Ricky Lambert? No chance. Thats no disrespect to Jermain. From the sounds of it, the lumbering Andy Carroll is the preferred striker on standby too, putting Defoe sixth in the pecking order. Its understandable why Ryan Nelsen warned post-match, "... England will miss him dearly, I think, come World Cup time." Defoes 12th-minute goal was a thing of beauty: an unstoppable strike after finding space behind the Red Bulls backline (which he did all afternoon). Defoe took one touch before unleashing a shot of the highest quality, top corner. Unstoppable. The power and placement top class, decisive and clinical. Its the type of finish that separates him from most in MLS. Defoe makes Toronto FC a constant danger as long as hes on the field, no matter how the team plays behind him. Make it four goals in just five games for Defoe, while no other TFC player has scored more than once. 2) Moore is More – New Toronto FC striker Luke Moore loves BMO Field. The Englishman scored a hat trick against TFC in a 2007 summer friendly while at Aston Villa. Moore made it two-for-two in games scoring goals at BMO after coming on as a second half substitute in his home debut. Moore capitalized on goalkeeper Luis Robles and defender Chris Duvall colliding, making for an easy tap-in time added on to guarantee the three points. It was a productive 40 minutes of action for Moore, doing well holding up the ball. It must be questioned whether Moore is a preferable option short-term over misfiring Gilberto. The Brazilian missed another clear-cut goal scoring opportunity in the 19th minute. The ball fell to Gilberto on the back post, open inside the six-yard box. Instead of getting his body behind the ball and guiding it into the back of the net, Gilberto lunged and stabbed, with the ball bouncing awkwardly out of play for a goal kick. He has to capitalize on these kinds of chances. Missing sitters as such brings back ugly memories of Chad Barrett or Jeff Cunningham, but even worse because Gilberto is a designated player. The designation matters in our evaluation. Matias Laba was sacrificed by TFC to bring in another goal scorer. Laba could have made for an ideal centre-midfield partner with Bradley. I still stand by the reasoning behind the move for Gilberto – TFC needs goal scorers to compliment Defoe. Can Gilberto be that guy? Its still far too early to make any grandiose proclamation. Thus far Gilberto has let down the faith of his general manager and head coach. More is required, or Nelsen should just roll with Moore for the time being. 3) Orr is More – Bradley Orr has become Mr. Utility for Toronto FC. He has played four positions for the club, and as he puts it, is trying to be a good "squad player". There will always be a fit for a player like Orr, who was an absolute asset Saturday reading the play and helping out his backline. Orr rarely got forward from his central midfield position, and when he did he assisted on Defoes opener. Orr dropped deeper as the game wore on, basically sitting on top of Steven Caldwell and Nick Hagglund. He was like another defender, in position for help and support. Despite his standout performance, Orr is not suited to play the position full-time. His distribution isnt good enough for the holding role. This is the position Nelsen envisions for Warner. Your guess is as good as mine where Orr will land in his merry-go-round of positions. Nelsen seems ecstatic with Mark Bloom at right-back, Orrs natural position. So Orr will have to remain patient for his chances and continue to be that good squad player. Hes an asset Toronto FC will continue to call upon. 4) Hagglund over Henry – The rookie out of Xavier has given plenty for his head coach to think about. Hagglund was preferred Saturday ahead of Doneil Henry at centre-back. Diving in for challenges and a lack of discipline have plagued Henry in recent weeks. Nelsen needs a more reliable, steady Henry to play alongside Caldwell. Credit Hagglund, who took full advantage of the opportunity. After some early jitters giving away possession twice cheaply in the opening minutes, Hagglund settled and his confidence grew as the match wore on, making better clearances and in control as the Red Bulls pressed. Its hard not envisioning Henry as the regular starting centre-back partner for Caldwell for the foreseeable future. Perhaps its best to have Henry watch a few more games from the sidelines, focusing on his defending tendencies in training, and not forced into game action until hes corrected his issues, namely staying on his feet and finding better defensive positioning on one-on-one defending. Hagglund is a serviceable option for the time being and beyond. 5) On the Defensive – The 12th-minute goal was a blessing and a curse for Toronto FC. Playing with an early lead allowed TFC to fall back defensively for the duration, taking few chances and allowing the Red Bulls to dictate the flow of the game. Parking the bus wouldnt be the best way to describe it, but its not far off. The defensive shell and rotation by the fullbacks in support has been phenomenal, reflective in conceding just nine through eight games. Playing such a defensive game comes with risk. Sitting back far too much has cost Toronto FC conceding late in matches against Colorado, New England, and Dallas. The commitment remains high but there isnt enough of a concerted effort to get forward, attack, and find that all-important second goal. New York maintained 59 per cent of possession; a terrible number for TFC playing at home. Better ball retention and consistent build up is a necessity as the season wears on. This also has everything to do with getting Defoe involved as much as possible. The ability thus far to grind out results has revealed all kinds of character in the team. But its a fallacy to expect this kind of play will bring similar results over the long-term. Toronto FC pays a visit to reigning MLS Cup Champion Sporting Kansas City Friday night at 8:30pm et/5:30pm pt. (TSN/TSN 1050 Radio). Gareth Wheeler can be reached on Twitter: @WheelerTSNgareth.wheeler@bellmedia.ca Adrian Amos Jersey . After a first half in which he thought "the lid was on the basket," the Toronto Raptors coach watched his squad mount a second half surge to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-91. Chase Daniel Jersey . Rajne Soderberg, the director of the Stockholm Diamond League event, said in an email Friday that the ban still holds. Euromeetings, the organization representing Europes top track events, "will continue to recommend that members do not invite athletes who we believe cause disrepute to our meetings and our sport. http://www.officialchicagobearsfootball....e-jersey-womens. Louis Blues and back into top spot of the TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings. The Sharks had been ranked No. Pat ODonnell Jersey . - Jesse Shynkaruk scored a hat trick as the Moose Jaw Warriors snapped a seven-game losing streak with an 8-2 win over the Prince Albert Raiders in Western Hockey League action on Saturday. Marcus Cooper Jersey . Bradwell was scheduled to become a free agent Tuesday. Born and raised in Toronto, Bradwell is entering his sixth CFL season, with all six played for his hometown Argonauts.St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Mattias Ekholm scored the game-winning goal 1:45 into overtime to lift the Nashville Predators to a 6-5 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. An extra session was needed after Minnesota pulled its netminder and Thomas Vanek tied the game with 47.8 seconds remaining. The Predators, however, did not let the two points slip away. Ekholm battled along the boards behind the Minnesota net, emerged with the puck and scored off a wrister from the right circle for the win. I was just trying to spin in front of the net and get a shot off, Ekholm said. It wasnt the hardest, but it went in so its huge. Craig Smith, Matt Cullen and Roman Josi each had a goal and an assist, while Calle Jarnkrok and Filip Forsberg also lit the lamp for the Predators, who have won four of their last five games. Pekka Rinne earned the win despite allowing a season-high five goals on 27 shots. Zach Parise finished with two goals and an assist in defeat. Vanek and Marco Scandella each tallied a goal and a helper and Jason Zucker also scored for the Wild, who dropped their third straight game. Its clearly not good enough, Wild head coach Mike Yeo said. You score five goals it should be automatic. Niklas Backstrom gave up three goals on 30 shots in relief of Darcy Kuemper, who stopped 11-of-14 shots during the first period. The Predators took a 4-3 lead 1:48 into the third period. Forsbergs initial shot deflected off Wild defenseman Ryan Suter. The rookie followed his rebound off the end boards and wristed a shot past the glove of Backstrom. Josis blast from the top of the left circle beat Backstrom on the power play to providee some breathing room for the Predators close to the midway point of the final stanza, but the Wild did not go away.dddddddddddd. Pominville sent a hard low shot on net and Parise was present in the slot to redirect it past Rinne for a 5-4 game with 9:14 remaining. The Wild pulled Backstrom with less than a minute to play. Rinne stopped Vaneks initial deflection of a Scandella blast, but couldnt control the rebound as the Wild tied the game with 47.8 seconds to play. Minnesota scored just 1:10 into the game on Zuckers quick shot, but Jarnkrok answered right back with a wrister of his own at 4:37. Two minutes later, Rinne stopped Charlie Coyles backhander from the slot, but the rebound bounced off Parises skate and into the back of the net to give the Wild a 2-1 edge. Victor Bartley skated below the goal line and slipped the puck to Cullen, who wristed the shot over Kuempers shoulder in tight for a tied score at 13:58 and Smiths backhander off a faceoff put the Predators up 3-2 with 1:46 to play in the first. The Wild took advantage of Mike Fishers double-minor high-sticking penalty. Scandella made it a 3-3 game after video replay confirmed that his rebound attempt crossed the goal line at 7:18 of the second. Game Notes Nashville improved to 10-3-3 in its last 16 games against Minnesota ... Wild forward Mikael Granlund (illness) was a late scratch ... Minnesota forward Matt Cooke returned to the lineup after missing 22 games with a hip flexor ... Suter finished with two assists and has eight over his last six games ... The Predators were without forward James Neal due to an illness. 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