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Joined: May 20 2015
02:12, Nov 02 2015
THE FORMATIONS Toronto FC lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, as it did last weekend in its 2-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders. There was one change to TFCs starting XI, as designated player, Gilberto, made his debut in a Toronto jersey, replacing Dwayne De Rosario up front. DC United named an unchanged lineup from their 3-0 loss to the Columbus Crew on the opening weekend of the season (DC had a bye last weekend). Head coach Ben Olsen again chose to line up his team in a 4-4-2 diamond formation. (Click for larger) THE GAME Toronto FCs home debut wasnt pretty. Not because the players on display were poor, but because the pitch simply wasnt ready for soccer. That is not the fault of the BMO Field grounds crew though, who did an admirable job getting the surface prepared for the game. But after the coldest winter in recent memory, it was always going to be an impossible task to turn the playing surface into the lush carpet that players come to expect. While DC United boss Ben Olsen said the pitch "was as bad as Ive ever seen in MLS", it didnt stop the players from trying to play. But the bobbly surface, which cut up as the game wore on, made it virtually impossible for the players to string long sequences of passes together. Despite the difficult conditions (it was also cold and windy down on the pitch), there were some glimpses of what lies ahead for the long-suffering fans of Toronto FC. The partnership between Jermain Defoe and Gilberto looks to be very promising. Defoes movement in the final third was exceptional, and he had a number of chances in the first half to break the deadlock. In Gilberto, Defoe has a partner who can serve as his perfect foil. The Brazilian was comfortable dropping deep to receive the ball, didnt shy away from the physical battle, and once he had the ball at his feet, was willing to drive at the back four or play the role of provider. Michael Bradley was again a dominant force in midfield, and his partnership with Jonathan Osorio is also reason for optimism. They can both get caught ahead of the ball at times (as they did in Seattle last week for the Sounders goal) but that is due more to their lack of familiarity than to any tactical negligence. The early signs are that these two players will be very influential for Toronto FC. At the back, TFC looked comfortable all game. Both Doneil Henry and Steven Caldwell had strong games, with Henry winning everything in the air. In Eddie Johnson and Fabian Espindola, DC United have two very experienced front men, but Henry and Caldwell thwarted everything that the pair could throw their way. THE TURNING POINT Only one goal separated the teams at the final whistle, and it came from great work from Torontos three designated players. Apparently, you do get what you pay for. On the hour mark, Bradley picked up a square ball from Osorio in midfield, took one touch and floated a perfectly weighted pass into the path of Gilberto, who had made a great run in behind DC Uniteds central defender, Jeff Parke. (Click for larger) Gilberto settled the ball with a perfect first touch, and as the covering defender, Bobby Boswell, was closing him down, fired a right-footed shot on target. Look at the positional awareness of Defoe when Gilberto is shooting; he put himself in the ideal position to pick up the rebound. He didnt charge in full-speed towards goal; instead, he held his run so that he could adjust his position, which gave him the best possible chance of recovering the ball. (Click for larger) DC United goalkeeper, Bill Hamid, did very well to parry the hard, low shot from Gilberto. Bobby Boswell tried to hack the ball clear, but Defoe, who had taken up the ideal position inside the penalty area, intercepted his clearance. (Click for larger) From there, Defoe did what he does best. He took one touch to set himself and one touch to fire the ball into the back of the net. THE POSITIVES In a scrappy game, it was encouraging to see the developing partnerships all over the pitch for Toronto FC. The strength of this team is its spine: Defoe-Gilberto / Bradley-Osorio / Caldwell-Henry / Julio Cesar is as good a spine as any team in MLS. If those players can stay healthy (and not miss too many games due to this summers World Cup), Toronto FC fans can look forward to playoff soccer for the first time in the clubs history. Defoe was a class apart against DC United. His movement to pull off the shoulders of the DC United defenders was something that all aspiring strikers should watch over and over again. But I thought that 20-year old Henry was immense for TFC. Ive said it before (and I promise you, Ill be saying it again) - Henry is going to be a real player. THE NEGATIVES Jackson had a game to forget, and I suspect that he could be getting a call from the Leagues Disciplinary Committee. In the 50th minute, Jackson was booked for an altercation with DC Uniteds Davy Arnaud. While the referee cautioned Jackson on the play, I think that video evidence will show that Jackson intentionally elbowed Arnaud off the ball – which could draw a suspension similar to the one received by Seattles Clint Dempsey for striking TFCs Mark Bloom last weekend. THE STAR MAN With three goals in his first two games in MLS, Defoe is off to a flying start for Toronto FC. Goals get the headlines – and rightly so – but it was Defoes overall play that was so impressive. His movement and finishing ability are superb, and if his teammates can continue to deliver him good service, it is quite possible that Defoe will sit atop the leagues scoring chart come the end of the season. Never before has Toronto FC started the season with two victories. But a major investment in better players is paying dividends early on for TFC as they sit joint top of the Eastern Conference standings with maximum points from their first two games. Paul Krause Jersey . PETERSBURG, Fla. Captain Munnerlyn Vikings Jersey . The NBA posted a picture on its Twitter account Saturday of Silver holding a basketball and shaking hands with outgoing commissioner David Stern. http://www.authenticvikingsonline.com/authentic-chad-greenway-vikings-jersey/ . The move wasnt a surprise. Dressler, 28, was scheduled to become a free agent Feb. 15 and was exploring his NFL options. Scott Crichton Womens Jersey . Ramon, 30, played in a career-high 97 games with the Goldeyes in 2013. He also matched a career-high eight home runs and posted 52 RBI. Trae Waynes Womens Jersey . That was two games too many for LeBron James. The reigning NBA MVP had 21 points, eight assists and 14 boards for his first double-digit rebounding game of the season, leading the Heat to a 103-82 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night. TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are changing directions on their rebuilding project -- again. Coach Greg Schiano was fired Monday after two losing years extended the franchises playoff drought to six seasons. General manager Mark Dominik was also ousted, ending an unsuccessful five-year stint that produced flashes of hope but far more disappointment than ownership felt was acceptable. "The results over the past two years have not lived up to our standards and we believe the time has come to find a new direction," Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer said in a brief statement released a day after a season-ending 42-17 loss to the New Orleans dropped Schianos record to 11-21. "Mark has been a valued member of our organization for two decades and we respect the passion he showed for the Buccaneers during his time here," Glazer added. "We thank Greg for his hard work and effort the past two seasons, but we feel these moves are necessary in order to achieve our goals." In typical Bucs fashion, the reclusive owners of the team announced the third coaching change in five years with a one paragraph statement and did not schedule a news conference to discuss the situation. Word broke less than 30 minutes after the team closed the locker room, where players were sorting through equipment and belongings before scattering for the off-season. They met with the coaching and medical staff for exit interviews and physicals and had not been informed of the dismissals before media was allowed into the room. Many, including Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, had hoped Schiano would keep his job. "Its tough for the players to see your coaches go. You never want to see anybody get fired," McCoy said after the announcement. "Me personally, I havent had any consistently in my career. Third head coach, going on my fifth year and three head coaches. Add up everybody, itll be six d-line coaches." The Bucs went 7-9 in their first season under Schiano, collapsing after a 6-4 start that had the team in playoff contention. After trading for three-time All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis and signing safety Dashon Goldson in free agency to bolster a porous defence, the team entered training camp this season with heightened expectations. But a messy split with former quarterback Josh Freeman, an outbreak of MRSA infections in the locker room and repoorts that Schiano was losing the support of players tiring of his rules and coaching style dogged the team during an 0-8 start that put the coachs job in jeopardy.dddddddddddd Despite having a rookie quarterback and finishing with 16 players on injured reserve, including running back Doug Martin and receiver Mike Williams, the Bucs went 4-4 over the second half of the season. That hardly seemed like progress, though, because the offence got progressively worse and finished last in the NFL in passing and total yardage. Still, players seemed impressed with the way Schiano held the team together, insisting right up until the end that the coach never lost the locker room. "In times like that you see a lot of guys crumble, a lot of guys break. You never saw a different attitude with him," McCoy said. "You could never see if the media was getting to him or see if anything we were doing was getting to him. He came in every day and was the same person, regardless," McCoy added. "... Hes the most consistent thing in the building, I will give him that." Schiano was hired in January 2012, leaving Rutgers to take over a team that ended its final 10 games under Raheem Morris on a 10-game losing streak. He inherited one the NFLs worst defences, but also a young quarterback in Freeman, who won 10 games in his first full season as a starter and became the franchises first 4,000-yard passer in Schianos first year in Tampa Bay. But Freemans relationship with Schiano soured when the Bucs dropped five of the final six games of 2012, with Freemans inconsistency contributing to the slide. The fifth-year quarterback was benched and subsequently released after an 0-3 start this season, replaced by rookie Mike Glennon, a third-round draft pick who went 4-9 in 13 starts. The Bucs have not made the playoffs since 2007. They havent won a post-season game since their 2002 Super Bowl run that produced the franchises only Super Bowl title. Part of the blame for the poor performance rests with Dominik, who was named general manager in 2009 -- the year Morris was promoted from defensive co-ordinator to replace former coach Jon Gruden. Dominik survived Morris firing after a 4-12 finish two years ago. But in the end, a spotty draft record, the mishandling of Freemans situation, and the teams 28-52 mark during a five-season tenure as GM became impossible to overlook. wholesale jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys china jerseys from china nfl jerseys cheap authentic cheap jerseys ' ' '
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