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Author Topic: scored for Seattle  (Read 2 times)

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scored for Seattle
« on: November 09, 2018, 02:51:21 AM »

TORONTO -- All the stars have arrived. Now the work can really begin. Jermain Defoe practised with Toronto FC for the first time Monday, and declared himself "100 per cent" healthy and keen to start when the club opens its Major League Soccer season on Saturday in Seattle. "Its been a long time talking about it and stuff, so to actually get over (to Canada) and put my boots on and start playing, training. . . its good," Defoe said. "It feels good. Obviously a little bit strange when you first come in, but the lads have been fantastic. Good training session. I feel sharp. So yeah, happy." The 31-year-old striker had been battling a nagging hamstring injury, and didnt play in what would have been his farewell game for Tottenham Hotspur on Feb. 27 at White Hart Lane. Toronto coach Ryan Nelsen said hell wait and see how quickly Defoe adapts to his new teammates this week before deciding if he will start. "Hopefully," Nelsen said. "Weve obviously got to get him up to speed with everything, but if hes fit and raring to go it will be hard to turn down a player of that quality." Some two dozen journalists turned out to Torontos training ground just north of the city to watch the clubs biggest star practise. At one end of the pitch, the five-foot-six striker in electric-blue cleats took turns with Andrew Wiedeman and fellow newcomer Michael Bradley firing shots on Torontos goalkeepers. Defoe shook hands with his teammates, he applauded their efforts. He then dropped to the pitch for a series of crunches, and was the last player off the field. Nelsen practically scoffed when asked how Defoe did. "He was awful. Hes done," the coach said, prompting much laughter. "Again, he came in on Saturday, so we just have to be careful, just with the artificial field and a flight," Nelsen added. "Hes still got that goofy smile, and still enjoys it in the back of the net. Thats all Im worried about." Defoe missed Torontos off-season due to commitments to Tottenham and England. He was the last player to arrive among a group of key off-season acquisitions that included American Michael Bradley, Brazilians Gilberto and Julio Cesar, and Dwayne De Rosario, whos back in Toronto after three seasons with New York Red Bulls and D.C. United. "To see (Defoe) in the locker-room this morning, now its like, alright we can start now," Bradley said. Gilberto, who has been slowed by a quadricep injury, believes it wont take long to develop chemistry with the England striker. "Now that everybody is here, were able to connect, get the chemistry working together as a team, and hopefully within the week well be ready to go," Gilberto said through an interpreter. "I think the chemistry will work right away, Toronto has got no time to wait." Defoe left Spurs with 143 goals to his credit, behind only Cliff Jones (159), Martin Chivers (174), Bobby Smith (208) and the legendary Jimmy Greaves (266) in the club record book. He was sidelined by the hamstring injury when he said his farewell to the fans at White Hart Lane late last month during halftime of a Europa League match against FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. Defoe was on the bench for Englands friendly against Denmark last Wednesday at Wembley but didnt get a chance to earn a 56th cap in the 1-0 win over Denmark. He said "obviously" it would help if he had participated in Torontos pre-season, but added that "hopefully in training they will understand how I play, and vice versa, and it will be OK." Defoe was asked if he had concerns about playing on the artificial turf Saturday in Seattle, and he said that even practising on artificial turf might take some getting used to. Torontos indoor training is on turf, and with no warm weather in sight, it remains to be seen when the team can head outdoors to the pristine grass practice pitches. "Obviously its not something Im used to, to be honest, and even training today, it was the first time in years where Ive actually trained on this kind of surface," Defoe said. "But again, I suppose its something youre going to have to get used to. And you cant really make excuses because its the same for both teams. Same for all the players. Its something you get used to, I suppose its just part and parcel to travelling away and playing on these kind of pitches." Nelsen said the artificial pitch at Seattles CenturyLink Field may determine who plays and for how long on Saturday. "You get the travel, and then you get, not just an artificial field, its a bad artificial field. Its not like this one," Nelsen said. "Its like playing one-and-a-half. . .one-and-three-quarter games in terms of damage to your body. So weve got guys who are healthy but just dont have that hardness of fitness under them, which is a concern." This past Saturday, New York held Thierry Henry and Jamison Olave out of the Red Bulls opener versus the Whitecaps on the turf in Vancouver. Nelsen cautioned it may take some time for the newcomers to develop on-field chemistry, but pointed out the pedigree of his players will help hasten the process. "Theres no magical formula, its not like switching on a light," the coach said. "But when youve got good guys, good character, and good winning mentality, they want to learn. And everybody knows their roles. The right back on this team knows what the strikers are doing, and vice versa. So when everybody knows everybodys jobs it comes quicker." Defoe said he has no concerns about getting to know his new teammates. "Obviously its important around the training ground trying to get to know each individual and how they play," he said. "But I suppose off the pitch is important, getting to know your teammates, because you become a family. So I think thats important, but thats obviously thats something Ill do around the training ground." After the flurry of off-season signings, Defoe and Nelsen shoulder lofty expectations from fans and a front office gunning for the teams first playoff appearance. "The way I deal with it is, weve got a great bunch of guys, theyre all hardworking, they all want to win, well be very well-organized, and weve got players that can turn games," Nelsen said. "So do I worry at night when I go to bed? No, of course not. Its because of those reasons. Youre either going to win and youre going to lose, but what I can tell is all the variables and all the stuff that happens amongst a team Im really happy with. So I can sleep at night very, very well." Defoe, who has scored 19 goals for England, is also hoping to earn a spot in Roy Hodgsons World Cup squad. His competition includes Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck of Manchester United, Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool, Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez of Southampton and Andy Carroll of West Ham. "Obviously its at the back of my mind, but first and foremost its important to concentrate on your club, and make sure your form is good," Defoe said. "As a forward you get judged on scoring goals. I think thats on my mind first and foremost, and then well see what happens with World Cup." England has three friendlies left before the World Cup -- Peru at Wembley on May 30 before games in Miami against Ecuador and Honduras Carson Wentz Jersey . First reported by FOX Sports Ken Rosenthal, its unknown if the impetus for the deferral proposal came from players or management, but it never left the preliminary stages. Corey Clement Jersey . Goldeyes third baseman Ryan Pineda drove in three runs and the pitching staff didnt allow an earned run, as Winnipeg downed Kansas City 6-3 in American Association exhibition action at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas. http://www.cheapeaglesjerseyssale.com/?tag=laroy-reynolds-jersey-sale. The attacking midfielder arrives on a free transfer from Spains Malaga. The 28-year-old joins Scottish striker Kenny Miller and Argentine midfielder Matias Laba as designated players on the Whitecaps roster. Sidney Jones Jersey . -- The way Ted Ligety carved into turns looked so easy. Isaac Seumalo Jersey . Rockies manager Walt Weiss was unhappy, too. Weiss addressed the issue in a 15-minute meeting with his pitcher and catcher after the Rockies gave up 14 hits and lost 10-1. De La Rosa lasted only 4 1-3 innings and allowed five runs in his first opening-day start. SEATTLE -- The Seattle Sounders benefited from an own goal in the 89th minute to beat the Chicago Fire 2-1 Saturday night for their fourth straight win. Chicagos Gonzalo Segares ran back toward the goal to clear the ball and instead knocked it into the net. "We did a very good job in making offensive chances and we didnt connect on that one but we connected on an own goal," said Seattle midfielder Mauro Rosales. "It was a lucky one. But I think we deserved the win because we had the effort to go forward and control of the game. It was a great game for us." Lamar Neagle also scored for Seattle (14-8-4), which has won seven of its last eight to move two points behind first-place Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference. Neagle is tied for the team lead with seven goals and has been a big part of the hot streak and turnaround from early in the year. "We saw people kind of panicking and wondering how this year was going to turn out," Neagle said. "We knew from the start and if you look around our locker room we are a confident bunch and the players to do it. We have the veterans and our new guys are stepping up left and right." Mike Magee had a goal for the Fire (10-11-5), which has never beaten the Sounders while losing for the fourth straight time in Seattle. "It happens," Fire coach Frank Klopa said about the own goal. "Youre running behind and sometimes the ball comes and those things happen. Its a little disappointing now not to walkk away with points.dddddddddddd. I thought the team played really well and definitely deserved to walk away with points." Magee gave the Fire a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute on a left-footed kick from the centre of the box off an assist from Dilly Duka. Magee, who didnt play in the second half, broke free behind the defence to receive the ball and shot it past goalkeeper Michael Gspurning for his 15th goal. Magee hurt his groin in the first half and sat out the second half. "With the amount of games coming up and being on turf this game we wanted to make sure we dont miss him for four or five games," Klopa said. "He tweaked it a little but it could have been worse. He came out and hopefully we got it on time and he will be ready for Wednesday." Seattles Osvaldo Alonso missed a penalty kick in the 30th minute that goalkeeper Sean Johnson punched away. A hand ball in the penalty area by Bakary Soumare off a corner kick set up the attempt. Neagle blasted a left-footed kick in the 40th minute off an assist from Marc Burch to tie the score. Johnson had saves early in the second half on Seattle shots by Alonso and Obafemi Martins, who returned after missing four games with a sprained ankle. Johnson made a diving save on a shot by Alonso in the 50th minute. Martins shot wide on a header in the 83rd minute. Seattles Clint Dempsey and Eddie Johnson missed the game while training with the U.S. national team for Tuesdays game against Mexico in Columbus, Ohio. 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