Author Topic: ith three games in 11 days  (Read 7 times)

Offline hfy962464

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ith three games in 11 days
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Saturday had a weird feel about it for Toronto FC at BMO Field. Maximiliano Meza Jersey . 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 Lionel Messi Argentina Jersey . Watching them over the past year - and in some cases, two years - has given us a starting point for this seasons Craigs List. Diego Maradona Argentina Jersey . Ribery terrorized the Schalke defence throughout and put the home side ahead in the 36th minute when he chipped the goalkeeper before stroking the ball into the empty net. The French winger struck again after the interval, combining with Thomas Mueller on the left before firing a deflected shot beyond the helpless Timo Hildebrand in the 55th, as Bayern bounced back from Wednesdays 1-0 loss at FC Basel in the Champions League. http://www.argentinasoccerauthority.com/willy-caballero-argentina-jersey/ . Manager Alex Ferguson says the injury was sustained while the player tried to hit a volley toward the end of training on Tuesday.PHILADELPHIA -- Andy Reid cleared his throat, uttered some familiar phrases and downplayed his return to Philadelphia. Same old Andy. "Thats not where Im at right now," Reid said when asked if its going to be emotional when his Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) play the Eagles (1-1) on Thursday night. "I dont feel that way. If we werent playing a football game against a good football team, maybe your mind goes there. I dont see my mind going there. My mind is going to be on the job at hand and what weve got to get accomplished in a tough place to play." Clearly, Reid is still a stoic guy. But he also has to be aware of the spicy plot in which he is the centerpiece? Reid led the Eagles to nine playoff appearances, six division titles, five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl before he was fired after going 4-12 last year in his 14th season. While hes off to an excellent start with the Chiefs, who were 2-14 last year, Chip Kelly has reinvigorated the Eagles and their fans with his fast-paced offence and all-around energy. "I have great respect for Andy," Kelly said. "If youre a coach in the NFL, anybody head coaches in one spot for 14 years, you kind of look to them and say, Holy Smokes! If you just walk down these hallways and look at the championships, the division championships, the conference championships, what hes done, hes had a huge impact on this organization. "Theres not a lot of guys out there in this profession that carry themselves, from a coaching standpoint, when you get a chance to be around them, like Andy Reid." Five things to watch for in Chiefs-Eagles: WHAT GIVES ON THE GROUND?: Led by LeSean McCoys NFL-best 237 yards rushing, the Eagles are second in the league with 352 yards on the ground. The Chiefs defence is second against the run, allowing 54 yards per game. Something has to give. Last week, the Chargers geared up to stop the run, so McCoy had a big day catching the ball. KC may be strong enough up front to contain the run without having to commit an extra defender in the box. The team that wins this battle likely wins the game.. Federico Fazio Argentina Jersey. "Their front seven is pretty good," McCoy said. " So far, its the most complete defence weve played. But with the offence we have, it falls on us. We just have to execute." PASS-HAPPY ANDY VS. POROUS SECONDARY: Reid has always employed a pass-first philosophy and its no different with the Chiefs. Alex Smith has thrown on 59 per cent of Kansas Citys plays, excluding his scrambles that probably started as pass plays. The Eagles woeful secondary only gives Reid more incentive to pass, allowing 748 yards passing, third worst in the league. "They try to give you a lot of unorthodox looks," Smith said of Philadelphias defence. "We have to be on with our communication. Loud stadium, so everyone is going to have to be on the same page." BLOCKING POE: Chiefs nose tackle Dontari Poe already has 3 1/2 sacks, including 2 1/2 on Tony Romo last week. The big guy is a disruptive force and presents a difficult challenge for the Eagles. "Hes big, hes got really good feet, he looks strong in his upper body. Hes a smart player, too," Eagles right guard Todd Herremans said. MISTAKE-FREE MIKE: Michael Vick is off to an excellent start in Chip Kellys up-tempo offence. Hes making smart decisions, protecting the ball and operating the read option to perfection. Vick threw for a career-best 428 yards last week and has a 119.0 passer rating. Hes accounted for six TDs (four passing, two rushing) and zero interceptions. "Hes very explosive, he brings the run aspect to his position, and him being a dynamic player, you always have to account for him and make sure you know whats going on," Chiefs safety Eric Berry said. TIRED LEGS: The Eagles are the first team in NFL history to start the season with three games in 11 days. The Chiefs are playing their third game in 12 days. Expect some weary players out there. "Im happy that were doing this at the beginning of the season," Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin said. "If we were trying to get three games (in 11 days) in Weeks 12, 13 and 14, I dont know if you could do it." Youth NFL Jerseys Cheap Stitched Jerseys China Womens NFL Jerseys Wholesale Authentic Jerseys Wholesale Stitched Jerseys Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL Womens Jerseys ' ' '