TORONTO -- After months of speculation, Toronto FC is finally set to introduce the men it hopes will take the underachieving MLS team to the promised land -- England international striker Jermain Defoe and U.S. international midfielder Michael Bradley. The club has already announced the signing of Defoe, with the 31-year-old Spurs star set to be unveiled at a news conference Monday morning at the huge high-tech sports bar owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment across the street from the Air Canada Centre. The invitation said nothing about the 26-year-old Bradley although his former club AS Roma has already announced the American has been sold to Major League Soccer for US$10 million. A source confirmed that Bradleys signing is part of Mondays TFC gala. The black hole surrounding Bradley is likely linked to the fact that Defoes signing brings Toronto to the league limit of three designated players, adding to newly signed Brazilian striker Gilberto and incumbent Argentine midfielder Matias Laba. Bradley would make four, meaning Toronto has to do something with Laba, either trading him or restructuring his deal short of MLS changing its rules -- which has happened before. The current DP rule allows teams to sign marquee talent without blowing the leagues modest salary cap. In 2013, only US$368,750 of a senior designated players pay counted against a teams US$2.95-million salary cap. The wave of signings -- the 24-year-old Gilberto arrived last month -- essentially represents a Toronto FC line in the sand after a sad-sack seven-year existence. Since entering MLS in 2007, Toronto has compiled a 51-105-66 league record with players and coaches coming and going through an always-moving revolving door. The team has yet to make the post-season -- something both Vancouver and Montreal have done -- and its once formidable fan support has slipped to the 10th-best attendance in the 19-team league. Enter first manager Ryan Nelsen and president Kevin Payne, then MLSE president and CEO Tim Leiweke. Payne did not last the 2013 season but Leiweke hired GM Tim Bezbatchenko and elected to keep Nelsen. The three amigos then went on a worldwide talent, backed by the deep pockets of the MLSE board. Toronto has not disclosed financial details of the recent acquisitions but Bradleys transfer fee alone exceeds the 2013 salaries listed for Clint Dempsey and Thierry Henry, the leagues highest-paid players. Add in Defoes transfer fee, pegged at between six million and eight million pounds (C$10.8 million to C$14.4 million) and lengthy contracts reportedly worth C$7.1 million a year for Bradley and C$8.3 million for Defoe, and Toronto is entering a whole new financial zip code in MLS. The worlds best soccer players are paid crazy money. Real Madrids Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, reportedly makes 288,000 pounds a week (C$517,845) after taxes. Toronto likely overpaid to get both Defoe and Bradley to come to North America, which has yet to match the top leagues elsewhere in terms of reputation, competition or compensation. In exchange for a huge outlay, Toronto is getting battle-hardened internationals from two of the finest leagues in the world. And both arrive at or near their peak. Defoe is a proven goal-scorer who left home at 14 after winning a scholarship to the F.A. National School of Excellence at Lilleshall and signed his first pro deal at 16. Bradley, the son of former U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley, left home at 13 to join the U.S. residency program, before signing with the MLS MetroStars at 16 and moving to Europe at 18 to become an influential midfield general. Gilberto has largely been forgotten in the recent hoopla but the young striker scored 14 goals for a team headed for relegation out of Brazils top league this season. One ranking TFC official predicted Gilberto may score more goals than Defoe. Add in former league MVP Dwayne De Rosario and the off-season acquisitions of Brazilian midfielder Jackson and U.S., international fullback Justin Morrow to a young roster and there is reason to hope. Stil not everyone is convinced coming to Toronto make sense for any other reason than money. "Defoe, to put it bluntly, is joining a club where the limitations are limitless," wrote Daniel Taylor in a blog for Englands Guardian newspaper. "A club with plenty of cash and a showy front but nothing behind it, like a Kinder chocolate egg with no toy inside -- the equivalent in standard, you could say, of a side in the bottom six of the (English second-tier) Championship, if you were putting it generously." Defoe, for his part, says there are several reasons for coming. One was the offer of a new four-year deal when he only had one year left at Spurs. But he also cited his family, which has endured a string of personal tragedies in recent years. Defoe had to fly home from Englands training base in Poland before Euro 2012 when his father died of throat cancer. Later that summer, his cousin Hannah was electrocuted in a freak accident at a pool in St Lucia. His half-brother Jade, a musician, died after a brutal street attack in 2009 and Jades grandmother died after collapsing at the funeral. A 78-year-old cousin was stabbed to death in 2011 at his home in St. Lucia, where Defoes family is from. "On a personal note, the things that weve been through over the last few years in the family and sometimes it is nice to have a change," Defoe told Sky Sports News before flying to Toronto. "I only had a year left on my contract at Tottenham and that was the situation. So I supposed. If youve got a year left and someone comes in and offers you four, then I suppose youve got to think about it and consider your options. So its as simple as that." Leaving Tottenham after nine years wont be easy, he added. "Ive always said Ive had a special relationship with the fans over the years but you know its football, players move on," he said. "I think at the age of 31 its a great opportunity for me and my family." Defoe will return to England and Spurs after Mondays news conference. He will stay with Tottenham through the end of February. Kyzir White Jersey
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. -- Mike Shanahan gave Robert Griffin III a rest, and may have turned up the pressure on himself, too.TSN football analyst Chris Schultz is back with his Week 3 selections in the NFL in Risky Business. With a record of 12-20, Week 3 starts off with the Thursday nighter between the Buccaneers and Falcons plus Schultz has his pick for the Super Bowl rematch between the Broncos and Seahawks. Tampa Bay at Atlanta (-6.5) The Bucs could be without three starting defensive lineman when they face Matt Ryan in Atlanta. Adrian Clayborn is out for year, Gerald McCoy has a broken hand and Michael Johnson (ankle) is on a short week. Plus middle linebacker Mason Foster has a shoulder problem. The Falcons must improve the run defence as Cincinnati ran for 171 last time out but the Bucs right now with limited offensive line personel are not a dominant run team. One fact I will remember as the weeks go on for Falcon Football: the Falcons have experienced seven straight road losses including five last year. Next outdoor road game is at the Giants on Oct. 5. Finally for Atlanta, Devin Hester has been rejuvenated this year as a kick returner and receiver. Should be a lot of points but a home, short week and the Bucs coming off a loss to Rams rookie Austin Davis? Atlanta covers 6.5. Washington at Philadelphia (-6.5) Eagles win but because it is divisional I dont like the points. What a big opportunity for Kirk Cousins. Another mans adversity is truly a chance of a lifetime for the next player. Theres a lot of talk that Cousins fits what Jay Gruden wants to do on offence and this game - if Washington wins - may crystallize that fact as true. Tackling is so important in this one for both teams but especially for Washington. The combination of McCoy and Sproles is as good as it gets especially on screen passes. Cousins gets the reps at practice with RG3 out, and that could make a big difference. Washington. Houston (-2.5) at NY Giants Really surprised it is only 2.5 for Houston. The Texans have allowed only 6 and 14 points this season and are averaging 40 rushes a game led by Arian Foster. Ryan Fitzpatrick is doing exactly what he is supposed to do, avoid mistakes. No interceptions in two games and a 68 per cent completion success rate. Houston is very good on third down, while the Giants are next to last in third down efficiency. Houston. Minnesota at New Orleans (-9.5) I could not see the Saints going 0-2 last week but they did in losing to Cleveland 26-24. Now I cant see them going 0-3. If last year becomes this year the Saints should roll at home. Last year New Orleans lost five consecutive games outdoors, but were 8-0 at home and scored less than 30 points only twice. The Patriots held Minnesota to seven points right in Minnesota and the Saints have a lot of pressure to improve defensively fast. Nine-and-a-half is a lot but New Orleans has to win and will want to dominate throughout. Saints cover. Tennessee at Cincinnati (-7) The Bengals have been impressive. Two impressive wins over Baltimore and Atlanta makes for the first 2-0 start for them in eight years. To hold the Falcons to 10 points, and three points in the first 51 minutes is a special accomplishment. The big unknown is the health reality of AJ Green at receiver. Even if he plays, will he have the same burst as before and the same leaping ability? Another key will be if the Bengals get off to a quick start it will force Jake Locker to win the game. In Week 1 he was up to the challenge, Week 2 not as much. This is a good pass offence in Cincinnati against a good pass defence in Tennessee, but then that means more Giovani Bernard. Bengals. Baltimore (-1) at Cleveland Im not a Browns believer just yet. Very impressive win for them against New Orleans and after two games it is Brian Hoyer who has yet to throw an interception after 139 passes. After all the Manziel/Hoyer talk this is Hoyers team. For Baltimore the competitive style of Steve Smith makes the Ravens a focused and better team. Both teams are very confident but history says Ravens over Browns in Cleveland by three points. Ravens. Green Bay at Detroit (-1.5) The Packers have played two very good defences in Seattle and the Jets. Detroit up front is good but their back four is a concern. This game for me has the two best quarterback-to-receiver combinations in one game. First Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson is good for 19 yards per catch, on average. Then Aaron Rodgers to Jordy Nelson in Green Bay is good for 16 yards per catch. But Detroit was shut down by Carolina last week 24-7 so even though they are immensely talented that Lion offence can be dominated. There should be a lot of points in this game and as much as playing in Ford Field enhances the chances for the Lions, the Packers can use it to their advantage too. Packers. Indianapolis (-7) at Jacksonville The one aspect of football the Colts do not have is pass rush. It was so obvious against Philadelphia as Nick Foles had all day to find receivers and make plays. The Eagles also did a good "A Gap" blitz job on Andrew Luck over and over again. Will Jacksonville try to duplicate? The Colts have played two great offences in Philadelpphia and Denver, allowing 30 and 31 points respectively.dddddddddddd This week will be a lot easier and Jacksonville will be without Marcedes Lewis at tight end. Last year the Colts ourscored the Jags 64-13 over two games, and this is a must-win for the Colts to avoid 0-3. Colts by 10 to cover. Oakland at New England (-14) The Raiders have scored 14 against the Jets and 14 against the Texans. As an offence Derek Carr is learning on the go in his rookie year. The other concern is that Oakland against Houston had three yards, the Texans had 150. The Patriots ran the football extremely well and Oakland has allowed on average 200 rushing yards in two games. Its west to east for the Raiders and they have to deal with a home opener in New England. Patriots dominate by 17 and cover. San Francisco (-3) at Arizona There is no doubt that the Arizona Cardinals have closed the gap of respectability between themselves and Seattle and San Francisco. But history is on the side of the 49ers. Only one time has Arizona beaten San Francisco in the last 10 head-to-head games and three of the last four have been by double digits. But I like the look in the eye of Colin Kaepernick after throwing critical game-determining interceptions in the 28-20 loss to the Bears. I anticipate he will come back and play a lot better this week. The Cardinals are sitting fat and happy at 2-0 and are the NFC West division leaders. Not the 49ers, they are frustrated and urgent which is a good preparation mind set here in Week 3. The Bears, believe it or not, shut down the 49ers run game in the second half last week. That will be a point of pride for San Francisco this week. Overall if San Francisco beat Chicago last week I think Arizona wins. But they didnt so 49ers by 4. San Francisco. San Diego at Buffalo (-2) Have to admit, it was an impressive win by the Bills over Miami, 29-10. And now it is California-comfortable San Diego travelling to Buffalos uncomfortable Ralph Wilson Stadium, west to east and a 1pm eastern kickoff. The Bills special teams blocked a punt and produced five field goals and returned a kick for a touchdown, an amazing day. How did San Diego beat the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks? Lots of reasons but the biggest one to me was the Chargers had the ball for 42 minutes and 15 seconds last week, tougher to do on the road. Everything fell into place for San Diego last week, will not be so easy this week. Buffalo covers the 2, Bills. Dallas (-1) at St. Louis Both teams rebounded from exceptionally poor performances in Week 1 to great games in Week 2. After 167 yards by DeMarco Murray the Cowboys know the pass run ration should be 2 to 1 over the length of a game, that was proven last week. For the Rams, Austin Davis has been a pure surprise at quarterback. So far in two games he has completed 73 per cent of his passes and he started the season as the teams third-best quarterback. I have to go with the NFLs top rusher over a third-game starter. Cowboys. Denver at Seattle (-4.5) The worst thing that could have happened for Denver was to have Seattle play this game after a loss. San Diego ran 75 plays to Seattles 40 and 35 more plays for an opponent is a staggeringly high number. Similar for Denver as it was Kansas City that ran 75 plays to 46 for Denver and late in the game KC could have tied it up. Denver is a better team than the one that lost by 35 in the Super Bowl, but Seattle at home coming off a loss I think is too much for even Denver to handle again. Sattle re-establishes NFL superiority. Seattle. Kansas City at Miami (-4.5) The Dolphins were beat by the Bills due to a blocked field punt and a kick return for a touchdown. It should not happen again. For KC they had 28 first downs to Denvers 19 and could have beaten Denver in Denver. They have big-time injuries to Jamaal Charles on offence and Eric Berry on defence, but the key issue for the Chiefs will be pass protection and pass rush. Field goal game is a logical conclusion. Chiefs. Pittsburgh at Carolina (-3.5) Carolina on defence has picked up from where they left off from last year, as one of the best. And they may have the best middle linebacker in all of football in Luke Kuechly. Last week he had 11 tackles and one of the best pass defending middle linebackers in all of football. On offence Cam Newton is a younger Ben Roethlisberger, last week seven different receivers caught passes. The Steelers are coming off Thursday night football so they had 10 days in between games but will need a big game from LeVeon Bell. Kuechly will be waiting. Ill take defence over offence on Sunday Night Football. Carolina. Chicago at NY Jets (-2.5) Geno Smith has been impressive. Considering this is only his second season he is way ahead of where he was at this time last year. For the Bears, to be down 17 at one point and come back and win by eight was impressive. Alshon Jeffery will be healthier but the Bears have starters out at cornerback, safety and maybe defensive tackle. Just like the game against the 49ers, there will be too much perimeter talent for the Jets to handle for four quarters. Bears. Cheap Heat Jerseys Cheap Bucks Jerseys Cheap Timberwolves Jerseys Cheap Pelicans Jerseys Cheap Knicks Jerseys Cheap Thunder Jerseys Cheap Magic Jerseys Cheap 76ers Jerseys Cheap Suns Jerseys Cheap Blazers Jerseys Cheap Sacramento Kings Jerseys Cheap Spurs Jerseys Cheap Raptors Jerseys Cheap Jazz Jerseys Cheap Wizards Jerseys
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