#1 nd several other pieces as well von lebaobei123 04.05.2019 03:29

The pressure is on as a retooled Toronto FC kicks off its MLS season today in Seattle against the Sounders. Catch all the action live on TSN and TSN Radio 1050 at 4:30pm et/1:30pm pt.After seven years of on-field failure, new Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment CEO Tim Leiweke dug deep into a well-stocked corporate pocket to bankroll manager Ryan Nelsen and GM Tim Bezbatchenkos global talent search. Many zeros later, Toronto FC is now home to England striker Jermain Defoe, U.S. international midfielder Michael Bradley, Brazilian international goalie Julio Cesar and forward Gilberto, and veteran Canadian star midfielder Dwayne De Rosario. Toronto stocked up on so many designated players, it had to trade incumbent DP Matias Laba to Vancouver to get down to the league limit of three. The shopping spree has prompted a return to the clubs early days, when season tickets were hard to come by. BMO Field should be full this season, although Leiweke has acknowledged the team will still lose money in 2014 because of the outlay on players. With demand exceeding supply, top football talent is not cheap and MLSE likely had to overpay to convince such elite players to choose MLS over more established leagues.Fullbacks Justin Morrow and Bradley Orr and Brazilian midfielder Jackson have also joined the party, meaning Toronto will likely have eight new faces in its starting lineup when everyone is healthy. And theres the early season rub. Torontos pre-season was hit by injury, particularly at fullback and forward. Defoe, meanwhile was a late arrival due to club and country commitments.Gilberto, troubled by an upper leg injury, was been left out of the travelling party for Seattle. Nelsen hopes to have him back for the home opener March 22 against D.C. United. The Brazilian actually returned to training this week but Nelsen doesnt want to rush him in case he aggravates the injury. The artificial turf at CenturyLink Field was likely a factor in that decision. The good news is Defoe and Bradley are both available for selection. Bradley has been nursing a foot injury while Defoe simply hasnt had much time training with his new team. But Nelsen says the 31-year-old English forward has adapted well. "He feels pretty good, to tell you the truth," Nelsen said. "So well see how he is."Defoe could well come off the bench. Nelsen, in his second year at the Toronto helm, is mindful that this is a marathon, not a sprint.Other clubs kept their stars in cotton wool in Week 1 of the season. New York rested French forward Thierry Henry rather than expose him to the artificial turf at B.C. Place Stadium while Seattle sent in U.S. international striker Clint Dempsey off the bench. As for Bradley, Nelsen said: "Hes come through this week pretty good. I think Michael will be a definite." Thats good news for Toronto, which went 6-17-11 last season. Bradley looks to be the straw that stirs the TFC drink. Most everything will run through the American, a box-to-box midfielder who manages to be both cerebral and driven. Other injured players like Morrow and Orr have also returned to training. Their concern is game fitness rather than health. Nelsen is taking the long view."This game is not going to define us," he said. "Its going to take a bit of time to get everybody kind of on the same wavelength. Even Seattle, when they brought Clint (Dempsey) over -- just one piece -- were a bit of a different team last year. "Everybody has to kind of get used to each other and weve done it with several big pieces and several other pieces as well. This game is not going to define who we are. The next probably five or six, seven games are going to define who we are." Still, he hopes the progress is rapid, starting Saturday. With the playoffs a stated goal, Toronto cannot wait too long to start making its move up the standings, especially since Bradley, Cesar and possibly Defoe will be away for considerable time this summer on World Cup duty. When Toronto FC does not have possession, Nelsen expects his team to play the same kind of game it did last year -- with players pressing the opposition. The difference should be more noticeable when the team has the ball, given the influx of talent."Your options become a lot more with the quality thats on the field. Last year we had to be a bit more conservative because of the personnel we have," Nelsen said. "But when you have good players, you can start being a bit more expansive." While Toronto had a bye last weekend, a rain-soaked crowd of 39,240 saw Seattle win its season opener 1-0 over defending champion Sporting Kansas City with a stoppage-time goal by former Toronto forward Chad Barrett. Former Toronto keeper Stefan Frei was in goal. And on Thursday Seattle coach Sigi Schmid confirmed Frei as his No. 1 goalie ahead of veteran Marcus Hahnemann. The state of the Seattle turf at CenturyLink Field became an issue in the buildup to the Toronto game after Nelsen said of the surface: "Youve got not just an artificial field -- its a bad artificial field." Schmid took umbrage at the suggestions Seattles turf is bad, saying all the artificial surfaces are about the same in the league."Let me say this first, tell me which turf field is good in this league. There is no good turf field in this league," he told reporters. "I dont disagree, necessarily, with Ryans statement."Id love to have brand-new turf this year, as would everybody else. But I disagree with the point of making it seem like Seattles is worse than the others. I think the others are equally as good or as bad -- however you want to look at it." Scottish defender Steven Caldwell retains the Toronto armband as captain. Cesar starts in goal. To put Torontos woeful league history into perspective, a win Sunday would only be its 15th road victory since the teams debut in 2007. Seattle is one of seven MLS cities where Toronto has yet to win. NOTES: Torontos record in season openers is 1-6. All have been away from home to escape the weather. That record includes a 3-1 loss in Seattle to open the 2012 season. TFCs lone season-opening win was in 2009 when Toronto defeated Sporting Kansas City 3-2 ... MLSE boss Tim Leiweke is expected to take in the Seattle season opener. Custom Memphis Grizzlies Jerseys .A. Happ is coming off his first start of the year, a win at Philadelphia Monday. The former Phillie allowed three hits in five scoreless frames of a 3-0 triumph. Mike Bibby Jersey .com) - The Los Angeles Kings werent playing their best hockey before the league went on break during the Winter Olympics. http://www.thegrizzliesofficial.com/Auth...izzlies-Jersey/. But qualifying for her first Scotties Tournament of Hearts after years of falling short in tough Manitoba provincial championships is as good as consolation prizes get for the 29-year-old from Winnipegs Fort Rouge Curling Club. Marc Gasol Jersey . -- The Windsor Spitfires were left with just one goaltender Tuesday after having their starter walk out on them midway through Game 3 of their Ontario Hockey League playoff matchup with the London Knights. Bryant Reeves Jersey .com) - The Los Angeles Kings peppered Ryan Miller with shot after shot.HAMILTON - The Syracuse Crunch benefited from two strange bounces in the second period en route to a 3-1 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs in the teams final game of the American Hockey League season on Saturday. Evan Rankin, Luke Witkowski and Jonathan Marchessault had goals for the Crunch. Cedric Desjardins made 22 saves. Nathan Beaulieu scored the lone goal for the Bulldogs, and Dustin Tokarski stopped 23 shots in a losing effort. With the win, Syracuse finishes with a record of 31-32-13 and ends the season 12th in the Eastern Conference standings. The loss also concluded Hamiltons season with a 33-35-8 record, ensuring that the Bulldogs can finish no higher than 12th in the Western Conference. A noticeable edge in speed had the Bulldogs carrying play early on Saturday, and Christian Thomas enjoyed the first quality scoring chance when Sven Andrighetto sprung him on a breakaway three minutes in. Thomas moved to his forehand and attempted a low wrist shot that Cedrick Desjardins sprawled to kick aside. Another breakdown from the suspect Syracuse defence allowed Mike Blunden a breakaway of his own four minutes later, but Joey Mormina recovered to break his stride with a slash. Denied on his own chance, Blunden assuumed the role of creator on the ensuing power play as the Bulldogs opened the scoring at 8:14 of the first period.dddddddddddd The winger held the puck along the right boards and fired a hard pass across the slot that the pinching Beaulieu latched onto and tipped past Desjardins at the far post. Hamilton seemed to be well in control of its lead until a bad bounce victimized Tokarski and tied the game at 15:07 of the second. A centring pass from Rankin missed the mark, but clipped the skate of Bulldog defenceman Joel Chouinard and trickled past Tokarski at the far post. Another bizarre deflection gave Syracuse the lead just over a minute later. Witkowski fired an attempted dump-in to Tokarskis left, but the puck took a radical deflection off Beaulieu in front and caught Tokarski entirely by surprise at 16:17 of the second. The Crunch added an insurance goal late in the third to effectively put the game beyond reach. A 3-on-1 rush developed with Marchessault heading it on the left wing, and he decided to keep the puck before firing a low wrist shot through the five hole of Tokarski at 15:27. Hamilton finished 1 of 4 on the power play, while holding Syracuse goalless three times on the penalty kill. 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