Its been more than a year and a half since Canadas mens soccer team tasted victory. Too long for Benito Floro. So while Canadas pair of friendlies against Bulgaria and Moldova in Austria are a continuation of the coachs plan to bring young players into the Canadian team fold, theyre also very much about winning. "We need to win because it is very important for us to improve our psychology and mentality," Floro said Thursday from Laa an der Thaya, Austria, where the team has been based. "For us, they are two games that are very important." Canada — 110th in the FIFA rankings — faces No. 73 Bulgaria on Friday in Ritzing then meets 99th-ranked Moldova in Mauer on Tuesday. The Canadians went a woeful 0-13 last year, and scored just one goal — by Marcus Haber — in a 2-1 loss to Japan. Their last victory came in October 2012, a 3-0 win in World Cup qualifying against a Cuban side that dressed just 11 players (several Cubans left the team before the game kicked off in Toronto). "Were longing for a win," Atiba Hutchinson said. "Its been a while so I think were motivated enough to get that. We just have to go out and work as we always do and hopefully well be a bit more fortunate with getting that result, but well have that working spirit." Floro summoned a mix of veterans such as Hutchinson and Julian de Guzman and promising young players including Caleb Clarke, Samuel Piette, Daniel Stanese and Cyle Larin for these friendlies. Eight of the Canadians have yet to make their national senior debut, as Floro focuses on developing younger players one year out from the next CONCACAF Gold Cup and the resumption of World Cup qualifying. "The objective is the same for every camp: to prepare players on our system of play because we need to improve our level in attack and defence. At the same time, we want to take the young players because the experienced players are good at teaching them how to work as an individual and in a collective," Floro said. "For the young players, this is a very good experience because our experienced players are very good people and they are always focused on teaching the young players how to do things in a good way." Floro is counting on players such as the 31-year-old Hutchinson, who plays professionally in Turkey, to help bring the younger ones along. "Were developing well and mixing some younger players is going to help us," Hutchinson said. "Its going to take some time to jell a little bit more but I think were trying to go in the right direction." On a team that sorely needs goal scoring, eyes will be on the six-foot-two Larin in these two friendlies. The 19-year-old from Brampton, Ont., earned conference rookie of the years honours after scoring a team-high 14 goals for the University of Connecticut. "We brought Larin into the Florida camp (in January) because we had a very good reference and we want to test him because hes a striker and we need a lot of players in this position," Floro said. "In that camp, we realized he is a young player but with good experience playing as a striker. He has a good desire to learn a lot about that and for us he is a good player for the present and the future." Canadas roster is comprised mostly of European-based players. Among the other veterans on the squad are Andre Hainault, David Edgar, Tosaint Ricketts and Simeon Jackson. Kerry Wood Jersey
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. According to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, it doesnt appear the offer was warmly received by the team. Blue Jackets director of hockey operations John Davidson and general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said on Wednesday the team has made offers of $6 million for two years, $32 million for six and $46 million over eight years but each one was refused by the restricted free agent centre and agent Kurt Overhardt. Ian Happ Jersey
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. Although Olivetti, a qualifier, had 13 aces, he failed to force a single break-point chance on Gasquets serve and lost his own three times. Gasquet next plays third-seeded Jerzy Janowicz of Poland, who won had 18 aces in a 6-2, 6-4 win against seventh-seeded Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France.Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Damian Lillard posted 26 points and nine assists, outdueling fellow star point guard Kyle Lowry and helping the Portland Trail Blazers rally past the Toronto Raptors, 102-97, in overtime. After Terrence Ross opened the extra session with a 3-pointer, Lillard, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum hit from deep at the other end on consecutive possessions. Patrick Patterson and Lowry countered with layups to make it 96-94, but a clear path foul on Toronto -- moments after a controversial no-call against Portland -- was the difference. First, Matthews got caught in the air and threw the ball up for grabs. Ross picked it off and was fouled by Lillard. The referees convened at the monitors to determine whether or not it was a clear-path foul on Lillard but ultimately ruled it a common foul. After Lowry missed a jumper with 27 seconds left, Greivis Vasquez committed a clear-path foul on Batum. He split two free throws, then Lillard made two to make it 99-94. Joel Freelands dunk following a press break in the final seconds sealed it. LeMarcus Aldridge added 23 points and 13 boards and Matthews scored 19 for Portland, which improved to 15-1 against the Eastern Conference. Lowry tallied 25 with seven rebounds and five assists for the Raptors, who still hold a half-game lead over Atlanta for the best record in the East. Lou Williams made five free throws in 15 seconds early in the second quarter to break a 25-25 tie and startt an 11-0 run for Toronto.dddddddddddd Toronto led by at least five until midway through the fourth quarter, when Aldridge followed a Steve Blake 3-pointer with a turnaround jumper to cut the deficit to 77-75. Lowry scored the next six points for the Raptors on a pull-up jumper and four free throws, but Toronto missed six shots in a row after that. Portland took advantage, drawing within one on Lillards hanging layup and tying it at 83 when Aldridge split a pair from the line. Aldridge could have given the hosts a lead, but he missed a sweeping layup and off-balance runner on the same possession. He made up for the misses two minutes later. Aldridge broke an 85-all tie with a silky mid-range jumper at 1:36. That score held until late, when an unlikely hero emerged. Freeland blocked Lowrys layup attempt twice in the final 30 seconds. His swat out of bounds with 10.1 on the clock led to Toronto inbounding from underneath their basket. It was passed in to Amir Johnson, who after failing to get the ball to Lowry, went to work in the post on Freeland and converted a difficult hook shot to tie it. Lillards driving layup fell short at the buzzer. Game Notes Portland has won nine of its last 10 ... The Blazers improved to 10-1 when Matthews scores at least 19 points and 12-2 when they make more than 10 3- pointers as a team ... Portland is 15-2 at home this season ... Toronto shot 4-for-22 from behind the arc. Wholesale Jerseys China Wholesale Black NFL Jerseys Wholesale Black NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Womens Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys China Discount Jerseys
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