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zhanjiao1212 Offline

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03.08.2018 05:19
d even if we assume Defoe (which very well may be the case) is angling for a way out of Toronto, there is no cha Antworten

TORONTO - As many of his teammates departed for warm, sunny destinations over the Olympic break, David Clarkson decided to spend the majority of his time at home in Toronto, working to get himself in a position to finish what otherwise has been a forgettable season on the right foot. Karl Malone Jersey . "Just at home with my daughter dressing up as a princess and bossing me around but I was home with the family, went away quickly, but was mainly just home with my wife and daughter," said Clarkson. Having already missed 21 of 60 games this season being in and out of the lineup due to two suspensions and two different injuries (foot and elbow), additional time off was the last thing Clarkson felt he needed. "I think Ive had enough of a break this year," he laughed, "but Im ready to go here to finish this season the right way." Instead of time off, Clarkson dedicated himself to a workout schedule in an effort to sustain the improvement in his play in the week leading up to the Olympic break. "Especially with the year, the way its gone for me, when you go through a tough time, sometimes youve got to dig deep and find a way to get back to work and try to stay healthy." So far, Clarksons off-ice work over the break has paid off, at least in the eyes of his head coach. "He worked out and maintained a high level of conditioning and its shown here during this mini camp," Randy Carlyle praised, singling Clarkson out after putting his team through another high tempo practice with a heavy emphasis on battle drills designed to ensure the team hits the ground running when they resume their schedule on Thursday night against the New York Islanders. Reunited with Nazem Kadri and Joffrey Lupul on a line in the second last game before the Olympic break in Tampa Bay, Carlyle was impressed with the trios performance against the Lightning and the following game against the Vancouver Canucks. The three had played together most recently for a couple of games at the end of November before various injuries and suspensions kept them apart. "We think the combination of Kadri, Lupul and Clarkson have been a real strong force for us over the last little while and theres no reason to change that," said Carlyle. "We think they should be challenging the Bozak, Kessel and van Riemsdyk lines for minutes, offensive minutes." Likely more of a challenge than an expectation given the tear that the JVR-Bozak-Kessel unit was on heading into the break, an element of consistent production from that group would be welcomed to take some of the onus off the top line. Clarkson seems to be pleased with the chemistry developing among his linemates so far. "I think playing with those two, we made a lot of good plays," he said. "We were in the other teams zone, we were doing a lot and I think it was the healthiest Ive felt since coming back off the elbow (injury)." Signing a seven-year, $36.75 million deal to play in his hometown last summer, the expectations were high, probably too high to legitimately expect them to be met. At that price, production is expected in the range of 20 to 30 goals and 55-65 points. But Clarkson is not a player who will consistently reach those targets. He knows the criticism has been abundant. "In sports, I think you have to blank some stuff out whether its what people are saying or whats going on," said Clarkson. "As a player you go through ups and downs and its how you come out of it and how you handle it. You work hard through those times to get stronger and better." Finally healthy, a strong performance down the stretch could go a long way in helping to silence some of his critics and erase the disappointment of the first three quarters of the season. It promises to be tough, hard sprint to the finish and its type of hockey Clarkson wouldnt want any other way. "This is playoff hockey," he said, "the rest of the season is what its all about." Jae Crowder Jazz Jersey .com) - Jahlil Okafor erupted for 25 points and 20 rebounds as No. Tony Bradley Jazz Jersey . In the days leading up to the draft, and TSN Radio basketball analyst Duane Watson looks at some of the names that will be headlining the event. Tonight, Michigans Nik Stauskas of Mississauga, Ontario. .C. -- Eric Staal kept his focus after his apparent breakaway goal was waived off early in the third period.It was the biggest match to date of the season and Toronto FC failed to show up. That was the basic premise in a 2-0 loss Saturday afternoon to the Philadelphia Union, capping off a thoroughly disappointing week. Three losses in three games against Eastern Conference rivals, a coaching change, more injuries and fresh questions about Toronto FCs playoff credentials remain in the aftermath. Adversity has come to the team and the bell has not been answered. The performances, subpar, out-scored 6-0 against teams ripe in the playoff hunt. Back-to-back losses against the Union particularly hurt, with Philadelphia leapfrogging Toronto in the standings. Four points out of six seemed a reasonable goal in the home-and-home with the Union. No points to show for constitute a failure. There is no sugarcoating it: the performance was poor and the boos ringing out at BMO Field were deserved. But before we go any further, please make note: All is not lost. Toronto FC is very much alive. The headlines and narrative surrounding the team has been decidedly negative, but completely overblown, considering Toronto FC were in position to control their own playoff destiny eight days ago, sitting in a playoff spot with at least a game in hand on all teams in and around them in the standings. An initial burst of energy or inspiration after a coaching change may not have played out. The depth on this team (or lack thereof) has not been fit to deal with a number of key injuries. And players playing through injury have not had a decided positive impact. Defensive errors and resorting to the long ball in attack featured in the lackluster performance. Confidence and communication are clearly lacking, leading to sloppy goals conceded. While the negative seems overwhelming, it must be said the team remains in a playoff spot, depending on the results of Columbus and New York this weekend. Regardless, Toronto FC is still right in the mix in a weak Eastern Conference. The MLS roster freeze comes September 15th and Im told the market is quiet, although as teams in the Western Conference fall to the wayside, perhaps there is possibility to add. General manager Tim Bezbatchenko is aware of the expectations and will certainly look to add to the team, particularly at the back. There is now a week before Toronto FC is next in action: a chance to breathe, refocus, and heal. Seven days to get things back on track. Here are my five thoughts on Toronto FC latest setback: 1) Missing Stevo – To say Toronto FC misses captain Steven Caldwell is an absolute understatement. Caldwell is the leader, key communicator, and glue across the backline. Without the Scotsman, Toronto FC is a vulnerable bunch lacking direction and positional discipline. Goals by Conor Casey and Andrew Wenger came from failure to clear and poor marking in and around the six-yard box. Such error is not expected as this juncture of the season. Countless times over the last two games, the back four has become stretched and the players have been forced to deal with being out-numbered. Without timely saves by goalkeeper Joe Bendik, the results could have been worse. There is talent in the unit, but the current composition, sans Caldwell, is just not right. Nick Hagglund and Doneil Henry each show promise, but are both 21 with brighter days ahead. Each are easily drawn out of position and left vulnerable by their own doing. Mark Bloom appeared in just six MLS matches before this season and hardly looks the player he was before injury. And Bradley Orr is playing through a toe injury: not an ideal situation for the lone veteran across the back. Each has positive moments, but are failing to gel as a collective. Defensive composure is essential through growing pains. That has to be fixed. Caldwell understood how much he was missed and came back from injury too soon. Patience is required to heal. In the meantime, the team struggles without Captain Caldwell. 2) Broken Wings – The one noticeable change from former head coach Ryan Nelsen to Greg Vanney is the wingbacks getting up the field into the attack. The thought behind the tactic is worthwhile, but fails to come off without Justin Morrow manning the left side. Toronto FCs current wingbacks havent provided the needed service and/or pace down the flanks to truly threaten. And in turn, getting too far up the field has left Toronto FC exposed on the counter. Derrick Favors Jazz Jersey. Philadelphia had a field day the last two matches exposing Toronto pushing forward. The problem isnt simply with the cover by the defenders. The central midfield has been slow to react. Collen Warner in particular failed to get back to cover, filling the space in rotation to make a back four. The recovery runs havent been made with purpose across the midfield. Warner was substituted in the 44th minute; a message sent by Vanney. If the wingbacks are going to continue to attack, communication, rotation, and defensive commitment from the midfield has to be better. 3) Central Midfield Dilemma – Vanney should consider switching up the central combination for next week in Chicago. Both Warner and Michael Bradley are good players, but play too similar a role in the middle, both regularly falling deep to build from the back. When they turn on the ball, there are few options available, with the preferable option consistently being to play the ball to either wingback. The wingbacks, in turn, play the long back, giving away possession. I blame a lack of options available through the middle of the park and too much congestion elsewhere. There is no texture to the central midfield and the build up wanes because of it. If Bradley is going to hold, a more attack-minded midfield partner may remedy what ails the position. When fit Jonathan Osorio is the option, that makes most sense. Osorio has struggled in his sophomore campaign playing most often out on the left. A move into the middle seems to be the better fit. Kyle Bekker wasnt up for it in the second half, so options in the role are limited. Or perhaps Vanney elects to move to a 4-3-3, which seems more suited to the personnel available. Vanney expressed his desire to have flexibility in terms of the tactics. Its a big ask of the players to make such a formational change this late in the season but this may be necessary based on current form. The attack needs be much better. 4) Short vs. Long Term – It was always a risk for Bezbatchenko to pull the plug on Nelsen and his staff when he did. Even Vanney himself couldnt recall a time in Major League Soccer when a manager had been fired while sitting in a playoff spot this late in the season. Its clear the front office and coaching staff needed be on the same page. Time will tell whether the timing on this one was right. The safer move for Bez would have been to keep Nelsen on until the end of the season, then make a change. If the team failed to make the playoffs, Nelsen could have been the fall guy. But time wasnt something the general manager thought he had. Bezbatchenko is confident he made the best decision for both short and long term. Its difficult for Toronto FC supporters to hear, but the franchise is going through yet another process of growth and identification. The financial commitment made raises the stakes but doesnt change the process. The balance between the push for the playoffs and lasting build is a difficult balance, especially for a rookie GM. Big picture, it remains about getting it right and creating something sustainable for the club to build off for years to come. Break-ups are never easy. This case is no different. 5) Defoe Story – Vanney says he expects Jermain Defoe to return to the team by the 20th. This comes after a Daily Mail story claiming Defoe is trying to negotiate a buyout from the club. Lets be clear, the Daily Mail is hardly a bastion of truth in sports reporting. And even if we assume Defoe (which very well may be the case) is angling for a way out of Toronto, there is no chance Toronto would give him a buyout after the team kept hold of a prized asset, resisting temptation to sell for a record number in the dying hours before the transfer window closed. Defoe is in Toronto until January, period. After that, all bets are off. Defoe needs to get back at it, prove he is fit mentally and physically, and be on the field for the stretch run. He makes the team better. And Toronto will feel much better saying goodbye if Defoe helps this team make the playoffs. This is more a test of Defoes focus and demeanor than anything at Toronto FC. Next up for Toronto FC is a visit to Chicago to take on the Fire next Saturday. 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