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 Oggetto del messaggio: henson could be the next Pacers player to st
MessaggioInviato: ven ott 05, 2018 5:53 am 
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Iscritto il: lun set 03, 2018 10:12 am
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TORONTO - As Toronto FC prepares for a challenging four-game road trip, manager Ryan Nelsen and his braintrust face some troubling questions. Make no mistake, the big picture remains positive. Toronto (7-6-5) is headed for its best ever season and first trip to the playoffs. The roster and team culture have been smartly remade. But injuries and suspensions have made it difficult to find the right mix of pieces to complete the puzzle. And mentally, Toronto has yet to show that it can kill off a game on a regular basis when it has its foot on the other teams neck. The officiating stole many of the headlines in Saturdays 2-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City, but the inability to finish and some sloppy defending cost Toronto more than the decision-making of referee Ted Unkel. "Two very soft goals and we havent got our balance right yet in that midfield," said Nelsen. "Maybe (we were) missing a couple of key players, but our balance wasnt right on the two goals. We were spectators. In a time when we had to be urgent and our intensity had to be focused, we just hoped somebody would do their job and that was unfortunate." Sadly soft goals have been a common theme of late, with the backline losing its shape and getting punished. Toronto was missing star striker Jermain Defoe (suspension), captain/centre back Steven Caldwell and right back Mark Bloom (knee) against the MLS champions. Defoe will be back when Toronto kicks off its road trip against D.C. United (10-5-4) but Toronto will be without centre back Doneil Henry on Wednesday due to accumulation of yellow cards. Toronto then plays at Montreal, Columbus and Kansas City. Torontos defenders were all over the place on Kansas Citys goals (in the 48th minute by Graham Zusi and 80th by former TFC midfielder Jacob Peterson). Brazilian winger Jackson had opened the scoring for Toronto in the 16th minute. Kansas City players flooded into the penalty box on the first goal by the visitors, with the ball eventually ricocheting back to Zusi who curled it into the top of the goal with Joe Bendik stranded out of position. On the second, Toronto was unable to defend a deflected cross and Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer flicked the ball back to Peterson, who beat Bendik from close range. Nelsen complained some of his players had settled for spots that would have worked out well had their teammates won the ball back. But they did not. "They were some guys that were spectating and getting into nice comfortable position but werent influencing the game, they werent helping out their teammates," he said. "Thats a hardness that we lost, I think," he added, "(and) that we need to get back." Nelsen played a midfield of Jackson, Michael Bradley, Collen Warner and Dominic Oduro against Kansas City, Oduro terrorized the KC defence and Jackson, making a terrific run to take advantage of a marvellous Oduro pass that split the defence, scored one goal and could have had three on the night. But the Brazilian winger was one player who seemed to be lying in wait for a possible counter-attack on one of the Kansas City goals. And Oduros mind set is offence not defence. On a micro level, Nelsens frustration Saturday was that his team got it right for most of the game other than two lapses of concentration. On a larger level, he sees a good team unable yet to take the final step to becoming a very good one. "But this is why its such a great game," he said. "Nothing is given to you here, is it. Youve got to keep working, take little steps, little steps, little steps and eventually these results will go your way and youll learn from your mistakes. "Weve got some young guys, we had a couple of young players out in the backline. Weve still got some new players coming into the team. I feel bad for the guys, because we are very close." Nelsen saw plenty of positives, which perhaps made the loss more upsetting. "Our transition was just brilliant today. We absolutely destroyed them today on it." The pace of Oduro and Jackson, coupled with fine passing from Bradley and others did rip Kansas City apart repeatedly. "The bottom line is that on too many days were the team not coming away with points," said Bradley. "Over the course of a season, these games add up and mean that youre not in the position we should be. So weve to take a long hard look at ourselves at the moment and really find a way to translate at times good play and dominating games and turn that into points and wins." The league will no doubt review Saturdays officiating and the comments that followed. "Its by no means an excuse, it was the same for both teams, but the referee was absolutely awful," Bradley said after carefully choosing his words. "The people at the MLS (head) office in New York, when they talk about wanting to improve the league, the first thing that needs to be improved is the refereeing, bottom line. "That shouldnt come across as sour grapes because thats just the reality. And it was bad for both teams and Im sure theyre sitting in their locker-room saying the same thing to themselves but theyve got three points with them and that certainly makes it a little easier to swallow." Unkel issued eight yellow cards, including five to Toronto. Kansas City was reduced to 10 men in the 75th minute when captain/defender Matt Besler got a second yellow. Foremost on Torontos list of complaints was a no-call in the 23rd minute when Unkel waved play on after Kansas City defender Aurelien Collin, chasing Brazilian striker Gilberto after a deft through ball from Bradley, appeared to clip the Brazilians leg. Gilberto, who had a clear path on goal, went down and Bradley went after the referee imploring for a call, which should have garnered Collin a red card. The French defender went unpunished and Toronto got the first four yellows of the night. "Collin should have been sent off. I mean an under-12 ref can pick that one," Nelsen said with disgust. "Thats pretty basic." Kansas City coach Peter Vermes had a different view of the officiating. "I thought the referee did a good job tonight, that is my personal opinion," he said. "I dont think it was an easy game to ref. "I really liked his management of the game, the things that you can control the ball going out of bounds and the guy trying to steal 15 yards. Those are the things that drive us nuts as coaches, the little calls you might miss or might get, but those things he did a good job of and kept the game going on both sides. Toronto hit the woodwork twice in the first half. Eddie Robinson Jersey . -- Sonny Grays fastball wasnt as sharp as it usually is, and the Oakland Athletics young pitcher even had a quirky replay go against him. Jose Ramirez Jersey .com) - A top-10 showdown is on tap in at the McKale Center on Saturday, as the 10th-ranked Arizona Wildcats play host to the eighth-ranked Utah Utes in a key Pac-12 matchup. http://www.indiansteamproshop.com/India ... ds-Jersey/. -- Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run homer, Colby Rasmus drove in two runs and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Detroit Tigers 9-4 on Saturday. Cleveland Indians Jerseys . Seager had another triple, a home run and a double in a rare feat not seen in more than 40 years, leading Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners past the New York Yankees 10-2. "It was a weird play," Seager said of the triple in the fourth inning. B.J. Upton Jersey . -- Martin Kaymer never lost sight of opportunity even amid so much evidence of trouble in the closing stretch Sunday at The Players Championship.INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Pacers bizarre season came to a familiar end Friday night. Another embarrassing loss at Miami. Now Larry Bird must spend the off-season trying to figure out what went wrong and what must be fixed to finally beat the Heat in the playoffs. "You just have to go into the off-season with the mindset that were going to reload. We have a core, a system, a culture thats going to give us a chance every year," coach Frank Vogel said after Fridays 25-point, season-ending loss. "Weve got to make whatever adjustments we have to make to come back and be here again next year." There are plenty of questions heading into what could be a turbulent off-season. Will Vogel be back after leading the Pacers to 42, 49 and 56 wins in his first three full seasons as coach, capturing back-to-back Central Division titles, reaching the last two conference finals and earning the No. 1 seed for only the third time in franchise history? Will the Pacers re-sign free agent Lance Stephenson, their 23-year-old energizer, whose erratic behaviour became a major distraction in the Eastern Conference finals? Could Hibbert be on the trading block after struggling through Indianas confounding second-half swoon and nearly disappearing, at times, during the playoffs? Might Bird make other moves to cope with the NBA trend of spreading the floor, add scorers or rebuild the bench yet again? Or do the Pacers simply need more time to mature? While those answers might not come for months, one thing is clear: They must find a way to get past Miami after three straight playoff series losses, the last two in the Eastern Conference finals. "Obviously, theyre more prepared, theyre more seasoned for this moment," David West said. "Theyve been able to embrace these moments to get to a level that we, for some reason, cant compete." Bird spent last summer revamping the bench, and Indiana responded with a 33-7 start — the best in the NBA. But after signing Andrew Bynum in February and trading Danny Granger for Evan Turner at the trade deadline, the Pacers went into a confounding second-half swoon in which they looked disengaged and disinterested. Two-time All-Star Paul&nbbsp;George acknowledged Friday that the Pacers seemed to hit a wall, thinking they could turn it on whenever they needed it.dddddddddddd Somehow, they still managed to finish with the best record in the East, rallied to win the final two games against eighth-seeded Atlanta after twice giving away home-court advantage and rallied again against a young Washington team after giving away home-court advantage in Game 1. When they did it again by failing to close out the Heat at home in Game 2, Miami responded by winning all three of its home games decisively to clinch the series. "You know at times it feels like were there, and then theres games where it still feels like were not at that point yet," George said when asked if he thought the Pacers had closed the gap on Miami. "Coach says it, I mean, in order for us to beat this team, weve got to play like champions. More times than not, we didnt do so." Most of the problems were self-inflicted. Indiana struggled with infighting, prolonged slumps, unseemly rumours and constant criticism. Hibbert epitomized much of it. In late March, he complained about "selfish dudes" in the locker room, a barb directed at Stephenson, later apologized and was so bad, at times, in the playoffs that fans and analysts called for his benching. And its unclear what the Pacers will do after a second straight blowout in an elimination game at Miami. Bird acknowledged the Pacers were going "all in" this season when they re-signed David West, gave George a max deal and traded away their first-round pick to get Luis Scola from Phoenix. Stephenson could be the next Pacers player to strike it rich. But after calling out LeBron James publicly before Game 4, blowing in his ear in Game 5 and tapping James on his chin early in Game 6, some wonder if the Pacers even want Stephenson back. It all depends on whether Bird thinks Stephenson can help beat the Heat. "I dont know what the future holds for us," West said. "Obviously, everything starts and ends with the Miami Heat. You have to have a team that can get through a tough regular season but ultimately, you have to be able to beat Miami to get to the finals." 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