Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
calf and said hes day to day. H
#1
TORONTO - Toronto FC went 1-2-2 during an injury-plagued Florida training camp, coming home to a frozen tundra. Star striker Jermain Defoe has yet to touch down and fellow marquee signings Michael Bradley and Gilberto have been hampered by injury. Goalie Julio Cesar is on international duty with Brazil in South Africa and backup forward Bright Dike is already probably out for the season after tendon surgery. Manager Ryan Nelsen has been down three fullbacks and three strikers. Minor niggles have turned into more bothersome setbacks. Its meant extra minutes for some players and new positions for others. For an MLS franchise that has gone all-in on the transfer market in a bid to finally make the playoffs after seven seasons of failure and a woeful 51-105-66 record, there is still much work to do. The good news is Toronto has a bye this weekend when 16 clubs kick off the 2014 season. Toronto opens March 15 in Seattle. "We planned that brilliantly," Nelsen said dryly after practice Tuesday under the bubble at the teams well-appointed north Toronto training ground. Nelsen, in his second year at the helm, has managed to find some positives in the rocky pre-season. "It did expose our weaknesses," he said. "You always get exposed at some part of the season, whether its injuries or suspensions or international call-ups or something like that." "We know what we have, we know what we need to be and where we need to get to," he added. "Its good to know now rather than a quarter or halfway through the season. "Well be a different animal come the 15th but in the back of my mind, its a nice thing to know moving forward." Depth is an issue. Toronto can field an impressive starting 11 but pre-season has already shown that the wrong combination of injuries at the wrong position can cause havoc. The team remains very much a work in progress. Even MLSsoccer.com, which ranked TFC 17th out of 19 teams in its weekly "power rankings," has Toronto 14th in its pre-season list. "Were not all aboard the bandwagon just yet," said the website. Nelsen, whose team went 6-17-11 last season, says he doesnt concern himself with "outside voices." But the former New Zealand international knows that whipping up a gourmet meal is more than just buying the right ingredients. "Just because you make some changes, its not like a light switch. It does take time," he said. "Thats the beauty of sport. "But in saying that we fully expect to get where we want to be. And if you think the expectations are high outside, theyre probably higher inside. But we know its hard and we know its a journey to get to." The pre-season injury list has included forwards Gilberto (quadricep) and Dike (tendon), midfielders Jonathan Osorio (flu) and Daniel Lovitz (knee) and fullbacks Mark Bloom (quadricep), Bradley Orr (calf) and Justin Morrow (hip). Bradley, who withdrew from the U.S squad to face Ukraine in Cyprus, is nursing a minor foot issue. More worrying for Nelsen is the fact that the injuries to Bloom and Orr started as minor issues but got worse. "Well definitely be addressing it," Nelsen said. "You always get niggles and you always get injuries but theyre re-injuries. When you re-do an injury, its major cause for concern." Nelsen expects everyone to be ready for the season. Defoe, the former Tottenham star, is expected to join the team after Wednesdays England friendly against Denmark. "As soon as he plays the game for England, hell be on a plane over," said Nelsen. Still, that means a longer road for team chemistry. Although, unlike past off-seasons, Torontos transaction list has been relatively short and very select. Bradley, Defoe, Gilberto, Cesar, Morrow, Jackson, Orr, and veteran midfielder Dwayne De Rosario are all targeted as starters. The injuries at fullback have meant rookie centre back Nick Hagglund has been shifted to an emergency right back. "Couldnt be more happy with Nick," said Nelsen. Cheap Vans Old Skool . Louis second-period goal increased the New York Rangers lead but Dustin Brown has countered for the Los Angeles Kings who now trail the New York Rangers 2-1 in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final at Madison Square Garden. Wholesale Old Skool . The two-time former Formula One champion downplayed his third-place finish three weeks ago in China and said progress is going slow for Ferrari as it tries to make up ground on Mercedes. http://www.cheapoldskool.com/. George Hill had 13 points and seven rebounds for the Pacers, who stayed atop the overall NBA standings despite losing twice on their West Coast trip. Los Angeles kept it close into the second half before the Pacers finished an easy win over the injury-riddled Lakers, who have lost five straight. Old Skool Outlet .She struggled with a hacking cough, she was sick, and she twice celebrated too early, but she held her composure in a 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory on Saturday.On her third match point, she let her racket go before hearing a let call to what she thought was an ace. Discount Old Skool . Vonn "reopened" the idea of competing in the season-opening World Cup event on Oct. 26-27 in Soelden, Austria after returning to the slopes last month in Portillo, Chile.NEW YORK -- The most comforting sight for New York Mets pitchers is Juan Lagares galloping around the outfield. Lagares hit a two-run homer and ran down one ball after another in centre, sending Dillon Gee and the Mets to a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night. Gee stopped the longest losing streak of his career at five games, outpitching Alex Wood in the opener of a three-game series. Lagares, one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball, scurried from gap to gap and finished with seven putouts. "Thats Lagares, man," Gee said. "We expect that from him now. Unbelievable centre fielder. Makes great plays. ... Id be hard-pressed to find anybody better. Hes unbelievable. Hes fun to watch." One of Lagares grabs was spectacular -- he robbed Wood of a base hit with a diving, tumbling grab in shallow centre to end the third inning. Lagares also began the game by running a long way to track down consecutive fly balls, and he made all three putouts in the sixth. "Ill tell you what: Everybodys impressed -- Im not. Ive been playing with him since 09. I know what he can do," New York infielder Wilmer Flores said. "Any pitcher would want him in centre field." With the Mets minus ailing David Wright and Daniel Murphy, it was Lagares who carried the load on this night. So he was asked if he was happier about his performance at the plate or in the field? "I think I liked both," Lagares said with a grin. Right in the thick of a crowded NL wild-card race, the Braves have totalled only five runs while dropping three straight after a 7-1 stretch. Streaking slugger Justin Upton went 3 for 3 with an RBI double and a walk. "Hes really swinging the bat really well. Weve got to get some people on in front of him," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. Backed by three double plays, a clean-shaven Gee (5-6) gave up two runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings. He entered 0-5 with a 5.71 ERA in seven starts since beating the Braves 4-1 on July 9 in his first outing after nearly two months on the disabled list with a strained right lat. New York turned four double plays in all. "It just killed us, really," Gonzalez said. Gee was lifted after Tommy La Stellas run-sscoring single made it 3-2.dddddddddddd. Jeurys Familia got four outs, and Jenrry Mejia pitched a one-hit ninth for his 19th save in 22 tries. Mejia leaped off the mound with both arms raised after throwing a called third strike past Evan Gattis to end it. Wood (9-10) retired his final 12 batters after Lagares homer in the fourth. The left-hander struck out six and walked one in seven innings. He yielded two earned runs or fewer in each of his previous five starts. Ruben Tejada hit an RBI single in the second, two batters after Lagares singled. Atlanta tied it on consecutive doubles by Freddie Freeman and Upton with two outs in the fourth. Travis dArnaud doubled to open the bottom half and Lagares drove Woods full-count changeup to left field for his fourth home run -- his second in three games after going more than three months without one. "It was just a really bad pitch to that guy," Wood said. TRAINERS ROOM Braves: RHP Cory Gearrin is ready to begin a throwing program in his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery in April. Mets: Wright left Sundays 11-3 win at Dodger Stadium with a muscle spasm on the right side of his neck that he said is getting better. Murphy, who leads the NL in hits, was removed late in that game due to tightness in his right calf and said hes day to day. He expected to be examined by a doctor Tuesday evening. Mets manager Terry Collins said hes not sure how long either player will be out. ... RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (elbow inflammation) is scheduled to make another rehab start Thursday for Class A Brooklyn, Collins said. FILLING IN Eric Campbell replaced Wright at third base and batted third. Flores shifted over from shortstop to Murphys spot at second. Campbell and Flores combined on a pair of 5-4-3 double plays, including one in the ninth. BAT MEN New York has totalled 12 homers while going deep in seven consecutive games, its longest streak since a seven-game power surge in September 2012. UP NEXT All-Star RHP Julio Teheran (12-9, 2.96 ERA) pitches Wednesday night for Atlanta against RHP Zack Wheeler (9-8, 3.48 ERA), who has won six straight decisions. Wheeler is 3-1 with a 3.50 ERA in six career starts against the Braves, his hometown team. ' ' '
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)