- 09 Apr 2018, 10:55 #16591
Weve had a couple days to sit back and reflect on Toronto FCs first setback of the early season. Neither the performance, nor the scoreline flatters in the 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake Saturday. It was always going to be a difficult match against MLS Cup runners-up and a team with minimal roster change year over year. Certain flaws were exposed and much work remains for a team in transition. On the surface, a 3-0 loss to the casual fan or someone who didnt see Saturdays match may suggest, ‘same old TFC. Thats hardly the case. TFC has experienced its fair share of lopsided results in recent years with the vast majority reflective of a lack of quality and the gulf in talent that existed between competitors. Saturdays loss was more about Real Salt Lake taking advantage of TFC mistakes than any lopsided pedigree between rosters. Team cohesion and familiarity also skewed in favour of the home side. And even while on the back-foot for most of their visit to Rio Tinto, Toronto remained dangerous to the end and is certainly no longer a team you can take a lead against and rest on your laurels. Theres no reason to lose excitement about what this team can be based upon this one performance alone. However, lessons were learned and improvement is required. Here are five thoughts on Toronto FCs loss at Real Salt Lake. 1. Jermain Problem Striker Jermain Defoe left the match in the 62nd minute and headed straight to the locker room, clutching his hamstring. Gulp. Head Coach Ryan Nelsen commented post-match, “He was feeling the hamstring before the game and it tightened up.” Defoe had a ‘slight hamstring issue at Tottenham before joining Toronto FC. The severity of Defoes most recent potential setback has not been revealed. Regardless of the severity, Toronto FC must proceed with caution. Hamstrings are tricky and, if not dealt with appropriately, can linger and lead to extended spells on the sidelines. The extensive travel and varying playing surfaces across Major League Soccer put exceptional wear and tear on the body. Durability is key for Defoe and it will take time to adjust to the conditions of North American football. The team needs a healthy Defoe to be considered among MLS elite. The pre-season injury loss of Bright Dike complicates matters more, leaving TFC all-too thin up front. So the inclination will be to play Defoe as soon as hes deemed relatively fit. Theres no need to play hero and play through the injury. The season is a marathon. The long view must be the priority with TFCs prized possession. 2. Difficult Night for Doneil Centre back Doneil Henry was among TFCs top players in the first two games. The 20-year old has all the qualities to be a top defender in MLS, but Saturday was tough for him and his partner in the middle of the back four, Steven Caldwell. Henry was the culprit for the penalty leading to RSLs opening goal. A harmless, lazy ball was played to the feet of RSL striker Alvaro Saborio at the top corner of the 18; an innocent one-vs-one situation with the attackers back to goal. Instead of taking a step back and focusing on position, Henry came through the back of the player with his arms wrapped around Saborio trying to get to the ball. The striker went to the ground, making for an easy point to the penalty spot for match official Baldomero Toledo. It was an unnecessary, sloppy challenge from Henry, showing shades of last season when he had the unbecoming habit of diving in and/or over-committing to challenges at inopportune times in vulnerable areas. The time, place and execution of this challenge gone wrong was all amiss. Theres much to like about Henrys commitment, aggressiveness and enthusiasm, but he has to pick his spots. Henry has the athleticism to cover a lot of ground, meaning he can afford to take an extra step back and gain superior position while still being aggressive in challenges. Superior defensive positioning and proper decision-making will come with further maturity, experience and direction. Henry will be just fine and a key cog in this Toronto FC team. Mistakes like this are part of the process a young player goes through. 3. Flaws in Defensive Execution High pressure can be a teams best and worst enemy. Nelsens team has shown the desire and commitment to put all kinds of pressure on the ball, all over the field. Its often a high risk, high reward proposition, but can leave a team vulnerable if a solid defensive shape doesnt hold true. Toronto FC lost its defensive balance against a crafty Real Salt Lake midfield diamond that regularly found space between TFCs centre midfield duo and the backline. Javier Morales at the top of the diamond found freedom in the gaps, leaving Torontos defenders not knowing whether to step forward and commit or fall back to cover. Nelsens 4-4-2 isnt to blame for the breakdown, though - the problem was in execution. If Toronto FC is going to continue to put constant high pressure on the ball, the centre backs need to keep the formation compact to condense the space and provide more support to the centre midfielders. When Michael Bradley commits to the pressure on the ball, the space behind needs to be limited. Of concern for Nelsen, as he tries to get his team working in unison, is a speed deficiency at certain defensive positions. If the defenders arent confident they can make up ground, leaving space in behind, the tactical formation will fall apart. The hope is superior execution of high pressure defensive play will come in time, as this new-look roster grows accustomed to tendencies and the strengths and weaknesses of their new teammates. 4. Jackson Leaves a Hole It came as somewhat of a surprise that Mark Bloom, starting right back in Torontos first two wins, moved forward to play outside right midfield with Jackson suspended. Bradley Orr slotted in at right back, which seems to be the longer term plan once the Englishman finds full fitness. Bloom did a nice job as an outside defender to start the season, but an outside midfielder, he is not. It speaks to the lack of depth at the position that Nelsen chose to deputize Bloom at it. Right midfielder Issey Nakajima-Farran made his MLS debut as a 59th-minute substitute. Whether hes suited for this league and can be effective is still to be determined, but based upon TFCs lack of options, hell get every look possible. TFC cannot afford to continually have a fullback playing a forward position. It wasnt as if Nakajima-Farrans introduction that led to Toronto FC having success down the flanks. It was more the fullbacks pushing forward than influence from the outside of the midfield. Regardless, proper role definition leads to a level of comfort and greater fluidity. The team will have to find more depth at the wing positions or consistent build up will be sacrificed. 5. Keep the Ball! To nobodys surprise, Real Salt Lake dominated in possession, managing 63 per cent of the ball in the contest. This marks the third straight week TFC have been short in possession. TFC may never be a dominant ball possession team, able to boss the proceedings, but they have to be much better. Poor field conditions and inconsistent surfaces, combined with unfamiliarity with new teammates are certainly excuses, but its too many long balls out of the back and not enough service to the feet of the strikers that are ultimately responsible. Defoe, Gilberto and Dwayne De Rosario are forward players who demand the ball at their feet. Having the trio chase down searching balls, while regularly competing in aerial battles, is a waste and hardly how to get the most out of the talent. It starts at the back, but the build through the midfield has a ways to go. This is a work in progress. Keeping the ball and playing along the ground with quality is paramount in the growth of the team. Toronto FC is next in action on Saturday when it the visits the Columbus Crew. You can catch all of the action live on TSN 1050 at 4pm et. Alexander Isak Jersey . LOUIS -- Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks won the matchup of unbeaten teams. Erik Durm Jersey . HEROES P.K. Subban – Scored the overtime winner and assisted on Montreal’s earlier goal, both on the power play, in a 2-1 win over Nashville. http://www.dortmundfcshop.com/c-18-gonz ... ersey.aspx. Canada was placed in one of the easiest groups during Saturdays live televised draw in Montreal. Matthias Ginter Jersey .J. -- Freshman Eli Carter scored a career-high 31 points and hit the go-ahead basket in the second overtime as Rutgers rallied to stun No. Marcel Schmelzer Jersey . This week, they discuss the NCAAs revenue sharing, Don Zimmer, soccer language and Super Bowl 50.KAMLOOPS, B.C. -- John Morris is now just one game away from bringing British Columbia their fifth Canadian mens curling championship, after handing Albertas Kevin Koe his second loss of the day Friday. "Hopefully we can play the same come 4:30 Sunday," said B.C. fourth stone Jim Cotter. "Ive never been in a Brier final myself so were still soaking it in right now." "We got a little fortunate this morning," added skip and third stone Morris, thanking Quebec for getting them in the 1-2 game by beating Alberta earlier in the day. "Coming out of the gate strong and being sharp like that, having the draw weight was important, and Jimmy made a couple of bonus highlight reel shots." He also liked the energy from the almost packed house, by far the biggest crowd of the week at the Interior Savings Centre. More than 4,300 filled the 5,000-seat arena and loudly cheered B.C. and Cotter, a Kamloops native. B.C. scored two in the first end with the hammer and stole another in the second when Koes draw to the button was millimetres short. With a three in the fourth set up by one of Cotters house-clearing highlight reel shots, Morris was up 6-1 and it looked like the 1-2 Page playoff game was over except for the handshake. But Koe finally picked up a deuce in five off a miss on a half-rock double by Cotter and a steal in eight kept it going through nine, when Koe conceded after B.C. picked up one to make it 9-5. "I struggled a bit, kind of the wrong side of the inch there tonight," said the Alberta skip, who won the Brier and a world championship in 2010. "Obviously they werent missing much so we were in trouble when we werent playing our best." Alberta also dropped their last round-robin game to Quebec Friday, which cost them the hammer in the evening 1-2 Page playoff game and got B.C. into the game. B.C., Manitoba and Alberta all finished at 9-2 and a tiebreaking formula was used to rank them. Had Alberta beat Quebec, they would have faced Manitoba. Alberta will now have to play the winner of the Manitoba-Quebec 3-4 game Saturday. The winner of that semifinal will face Morris Sunday in the final. "Today wasnt our day but fortunately we put ourselves in a position where we have another life," Koe said. "Weve done well in the semis at the Brier before." The last B.ddddddddddddC. rink to win the Brier was Greg McAulay in 2000, who went on to become world champion that year. Coincidentally, Both McAulay and Morris were born in Winnipeg. Earlier Friday, within the span of a minute or two, Saskatchewan was out and Quebec was in the playoffs, and only partly because of Jean-Michel Menards 7-5 upset win over Alberta. Even with Quebecs victory, Saskatchewan skip Steve Laycock was up one with the hammer and had an open draw against three to beat New Brunswick and force Menard into a tiebreaker. Laycock was heavy with the final stone and it proved costly. "We knew that we had to win," said Laycock. "We knew it was in our control to try and get in that tiebreaker and just didnt finish that game out, a really poor last end." Saskatchewan finished at 6-5, tied with Newfoundland and Labradors Brad Gushue and New Brunswicks Jamie Grattan. Had Menard lost, there could have been a four-way tie for fourth place and a round of afternoon tiebreakers. Instead hell now get to play Manitobas Jeff Stoughton Saturday in the 3-4 Page playoff game. Stoughton took it in stride, although Albertas loss also cost him the spot in the 1-2 game. "Quebecs a great team and Kevins team just wasnt quite as sharp as they had been all week and Quebec got them, so we get to play Quebec now," said Stoughton, a three-time Brier winner and two-time world champion. "Its good though, because they beat us earlier so we can get a little revenge on them at this game." Menard, the 2006 champion whos making his fifth Brier appearance for Quebec, was 7-4, although he also beat each of the top three teams in the round robin. "Our goal was to make it to the playoffs and there you never know whats going to happen ... if theres still some magic in our bag well try to use it," he said. Menard seemed in control throughout the game and got a boost with a three-point end in the fifth. Koe, who was solid all week, finished with a 76 per cent rating and his teammates struggled as well. Prince Edward Islands Eddie MacKenzie (4-7) finished the round robin with an 11-7 win over Jamie Koe of Northwest Territories/Yukon (3-8). Ontarios Greg Balsdon (5-6) capped his Brier debut with a 9-6 win over Jamie Murphys winless Nova Scotia team (0-11). Northern Ontario was also well back at 2-9. Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping China Jerseys Wholesale Authentic Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale Jerseys China Stitched Jerseys NFL Jerseys China ' ' '