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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. Jason Williams Kings Jersey . Alen, 28, hit .315 with five home runs, 59 RBI and a career-high nine stolen bases for the Goldeyes last season. He is the longest serving catcher in Goldeyes history, having already spent five seasons with the organization. Mike Bibby Kings Jersey . While plenty of statistics illustrate Torontos turnaround in the second year of manager Ryan Nelsens tenure, stopping goals is not one of them. http://www.nbakingsonline.com/Authentic-Vlade-Divac-Kings-Jersey/ . Justine finished first with a score of 22.44 while Chloe was second with 21.66 points. Defending champion Hannah Kearney of the U.S., was third at 21.49. A third Dufour-Lapointe sister, Maxime, failed to make the final group and finished 12th while Audrey Robichaud of Quebec City was 10th. Oscar Robertson Kings Jersey . It took five games, but the Celtics finally helped Stevens earn his first NBA victory. "Im going to celebrate for a whole 12 minutes, and then Im going to start watching Orlando and trying to figure them out," the first-year Celtics coach said after Boston beat the Utah Jazz, one of the leagues other winless teams, 97-87 on Wednesday night. Darren Collison Jersey . Balotelli was out at dinner with his brother Enoch and came home to discover he had been burgled. The car was later found abandoned. Balotelli wrote Saturday on Twitter: "I feel empty! No emotions .North Carolina coach Roy Williams denied allegations of academic wrongdoing Friday by former player Rashad McCants connected to the schools long-running academic scandal. In an interview with ESPNs "Outside the Lines" to air Friday, McCants -- the second-leading scorer on Williams first NCAA championship team in 2005 -- said tutors wrote papers for him and that Williams knew about no-show classes popular with athletes. "I thought it was a part of the college experience, just like watching it on a movie from He Got Game or Blue Chips," McCants said. "... When you get to college, you dont go to class, you dont do nothing, you just show up and play. Thats exactly how it was, you know, and I think that was the tradition of college basketball, or college, period, any sport. Youre not there to get an education, though they tell you that. "Youre there to make revenue for the college. Youre there to put fans in the seats. Youre there to bring prestige to the university by winning games." McCants also said Williams told him he could swap a failing grade from one class with a passing one from another to stay eligible during the 2004-05 season, according to the report. He entered the NBA draft as a junior after that season. "I strongly disagree with what Rashad has said," Williams said in a statement Friday. "In no way did I know about or do anything close to what he says and I think the players whom I have coached over the years will agree with me.dddddddddddd "I have spent 63 years on this earth trying to do things the right way and the picture he portrays is not fair to the University or me." McCants comments are the latest allegations levied against UNC in an academic fraud scandal that began as an offshoot of an NCAA investigation into the football program beginning in summer 2010. Those findings centred on the formerly named Department of African and Afro-American Studies, most notably with lecture classes featuring significant athlete enrollments that did not meet and were instead treated as independent study courses requiring only a research paper at semesters end. Former UNC learning specialist Mary Willingham, who has questioned the literacy of Tar Heel athletes, has said "paper classes" were designed to keep players eligible despite many reading at below-grade levels. The fraud findings also unauthorized grade changes and possibly forged signatures on grade rolls. By 2012, an investigation led by former Gov. Jim Martin found the problems in the AFAM department ran back at least to the late 1990s. That probe found no evidence of athletic department involvement, though another probe led by former U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein is underway. Wholesale NFL Jerseys ' ' '

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