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reliever Junichi Tazawa (1-3)

  • TORONTO - Toronto FC fans may have seen the last of Jermain Defoe. Christian Kirk Cardinals Jersey .The 32-year-old England striker has aggravated a groin injury and will miss Saturdays home finale against the Montreal Impact. His status for the season finale in New England is up in the air, as is his future in Major League Soccer given the speculation over his status at the end of the last transfer window.Defoe insists he is happy in Toronto. But he has not looked beyond this season, saying he cant predict the future. The door to the rest of the soccer world swings opens again in January.Toronto coach Greg Vanney has sympathy for Defoes physical woes, having suffered a similar injury (osteitis pubis) while playing in France.Once it inflames, it is a debilitating injury, Vanney said after practice Friday. And it takes months to heal. Some players will end up in surgery and some players will miss a full season. If its anything similar to that, then I understand his plight.Aside from that. I think hes a true professional. And at the end of the day, he doesnt feel 100 per cent, he doesnt feel he can give what hes capable of giving and therefore he needs to get right.Defoe has played in the last three games since missing nine of the 10 previous matches due to the groin injury. He looked like his range-finder was off, missing a penalty and lacking sharpness.I think between the groin injury and the migration of the pain and the inflammation, theyre not exactly sure what it is, Vanney said of the injury. Either way its going to take him some time to really get over it.Defoe, who has not had a break other than injury in back-to-back seasons in England and North America, was one day from undergoing hernia surgery during his last layoff.The former Spurs star has missed 12 games through injury and one through suspension in his debut MLS season.He collected 11 goals and two assists in 1,169 minutes of play in the teams first 17 games of the season. He has no points in 360 minutes of play in the 15 games since.Still he is Torontos leading scorer with 11 goals in 19 games. And it speaks volumes about Torontos sad-sack history that Defoe already stands No. 5 on Torontos all-time scoring list.Still a healthy Defoe has been a considerable weapon. Toronto is 6-0-2 when he scores this season. Unfortunately he has not scored since July 17 — 16 games ago. And his goals have come at a cost — US$561,816 per strike.Overall, Toronto (11-14-7) is 6-7-6 when Defoe plays this season.Injuries to both Defoe and Brazils Gilberto hampered their time and ability to forge a strike partnership. The two designated players have done better alongside Englands Luke Moore, who can hold the ball up and plays others into the attack than they have together although there hasnt been much service other than from Michael Bradley and Jonathan Osorio.While Defoe has shown he can score in MLS, he has been less successful in becoming the face of the franchise. Tim Leiweke, the outgoing CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, wanted an ambassador as well as a striker for his US$6.18-million salary outlay this season.Leiweke only got one and it seems clear that he and Defoe had different designated player job descriptions.Defoe did not help himself by flying to England for treatment and then failing to address the rampant speculation over his future during his last injury absence. Two tweets didnt do much to win over a weary fan base that has heard too many snake-oil pitches.One wonders just how happy Defoe has been here, despite the fact that Toronto FC has by all reports bent over backwards to help him settle in. Defoes locker stall usually featured two cellphones, presumably one for North America and one for Britain. It may make fiscal sense but it hardly screams settling in.Defoe has been pleasant to deal with, although it is clear the media access in North America is completely foreign — and somewhat bewildering — to him. If he was briefed on having to expect cameras in his face while he towels off, the message didnt get through.He comes across as someone who just wants to play soccer. Just perhaps, not here.If thats the case, hes allowed — especially given the departure or impending exit of the people who brought him here. Fans just want some clarity, so they know who to cheer for.Defoe wont be the only high-profile Toronto FC absentee Saturday at BMO Field. Bradley, the teams other marquee player, is suspended for accumulation of yellow cards. And, perhaps in a symbol of the franchises run of luck this season, rookie defender Nick Hagglund is both injured and suspended.Toronto enters the weekend in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, six points behind the Columbus Crew (12-10-10). In order to make the playoffs for the first time, Toronto needs to gain maximum points against Montreal and New England and hope the Crew lose their remaining games against New York and Philadelphia.Its possible but improbable, although Toronto sees a sliver of hope.We know that theres a crack in the door for us, said Vanney.Crazier things have happened in this league, added Bradley.Stranger things have happened, echoed captain Steven Caldwell.Should Toronto win Saturday, it will have to wait a day to see how Columbus fares against the Red Bulls.Sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, Montreal (6-18-8) is looking to play spoiler.Our main focus is to get a result to knock them out of the playoffs, said goalkeeper Evan Bush. With the rivalry we have with them, it would be special to knock them out. They tried to do it to us last year and they didnt feel bad about it.Toronto has lost three straight, during which it has been outscored 7-1. Montreal, meanwhile, has been beaten just once in its last five outings (2-1-2) in all competitions.Former Impact midfielder Collen Warner is expected to replace Bradley in a Toronto midfield featuring Osorio, Warren Creavalle and Brazils Jackson. Doneil Henry steps in for Hagglund at centre back. Moore and Gilberto will start up front.Montreal star striker Marco Di Vaio is available despite travelling to Italy for the midweek announcement that his old club Bologna is being bought by a consortium that includes Impact owner Joey Saputo.Notes: Toronto blanked Montreal 2-0 on goals by Gilberto and Moore when the teams met Aug. 2 at Saputo Stadium. ... Since joining the league, the Impact have never won in Toronto with two losses and three draws over five meetings in all competitions at BMO Field. Montreal did defeat Toronto 2-1 on aggregate in the final of the Amway Canadian Championship. ... Toronto did not appeal Hagglunds red card last week against New York.———Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter Sam Bradford Cardinals Jersey .Mateo Kovacic and Andrea Ranocchia scored for Inter, which had goalkeeper Samir Handanovic to thank for several crucial saves.Its an important victory against a Chievo side which plays well, Mancini said. Chase Edmonds Cardinals Jersey .3 seconds remaining, and No. 7 North Carolina held off a resilient No. 25 Virginia team, 54-51, on Saturday. John Henson contributed a double-double with 15 points to go with 11 rebounds for the Tar Heels (25-4, 12-2 ACC), who have won five straight and 10 of 11.ST. LOUIS -- Jon Jay did not pick up a bat while missing five successive games with a sore wrist. Once he returned on Tuesday, the St. Louis outfielder quickly made up for lost time. Jay hit an RBI single with two outs in the eighth inning to break a tie and lead the Cardinals to a 3-2 win over the Boston Red Sox in a battle between the two World Series teams from last fall. "It just felt great to be back out there," Jay said. "Even better to come through." The Cardinals won their third in a row and fourth in the last five. Boston has lost three in a row. Jay blooped a hit to left off reliever Junichi Tazawa (1-3) to bring in former Red Sox A.J. Pierzynski with the winning run. All-Star reliever Pat Neshek (5-0) picked up the win by striking out the side in the eighth. St. Louis closer Trevor Rosenthal recorded his NL-leading 35th save in 39 chances. "Today was a big day for us," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "There were great at-bats from everybody." Especially Jay. "I didnt swing at all until today," Jay said. "But it feels good." St. Louis starter Lance Lynn gave up two runs on four hits over seven innings. Boston starter Rubby De La Rosa surrendered one run on six hits over six innings. Pierzynski started the winning rally with a two-out hit. He was signed by the Cardinals on July 26 after being released by the Red Sox on July 16. "Everyone wants me to say bad things about the Red Sox and Im not going to do that," Pierzynski said. "Im not bitter about what happened. It just didnt work. I dont have one hard feeling. The only thing is I didnt play well enough. I have nothing but respect for the organization and how they handled everything. I was proud to say I was a Red Sox." Oscar Taveras followed Pierzynskis hit with a single to set the stage for Jay.. Josh Rosen Cardinals Jersey. "They did a good job of putting the bat on the ball," Boston manager John Farrell said of the Cardinals. "It seemed like Junichi had the eighth inning well in hand with two out, two strikes and nobody on. Three consecutive base hits and that was the difference." WHERE ARE THE CHAMPS? Only 13 players remain from the Red Sox 25-man roster that won the World Series last fall. Through trades and attrition, the average age of the team dropped from 31 on Opening Day, to 28 on Tuesday. KNUCKLEBALL MAN The Red Sox have recalled knuckleball specialist Steven Wright from Triple-A Pawtucket. Wright will be making his first stint on the roster this season after four appearances last year. WACHA ON WAY BACK St. Louis RHP Michael Wacha began throwing on flat ground Tuesday in hopes of returning to the starting rotation in early September. He has not pitched since June 17 with a stress reaction in his right shoulder. TRAINERS ROOM Red Sox: Newly acquired OF Allen Craig was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sore ankle. He suffered the injury Friday while running to first on a ground out. OF Corey Brown was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket and in uniform for Tuesdays game. He was hitting .226 with 16 homers and 39 RBI. Shane Victorino underwent successful lumbar discectomy surgery in Los Angeles on Tuesday. ON DECK St. Louis RHP Shelby Miller (8-8, 4.14) will face close friend Joe Kelly (2-2, 4.37) in the second game of the three-game series on Wednesday. Kelly, who spent two-plus seasons with the Cardinals, will be making his first start for the Red Sox since being acquired in a trade July 31. The two served as Best Man in each others weddings in the off season. "Its going to be strange," Kelly said. "There will be some emotions there." The two sent good luck text messages to each other on Tuesday. Stitched NFL Jerseys Stitched Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys 2018 Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys NFL Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Jerseys From ChinaWhite NFL Jerseys Cheap ' ' '
      June 29, 2018 9:55 PM MDT
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