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  • October 24, 2017 8:57 PM PDT

    Shapes of MLS Toronto FC suffered their sixth home loss of the season on Saturday after thoroughly being outplayed by Philadelphia Union, who leave town after taking six points off Greg Vanneys side in four days. Laken Tomlinson Jersey . Formations Vanney stuck to a 4-4-2 shape, handing Dwayne De Rosario his first start in almost five months and the Canadian international spent most of the first half on the right wing before switching to the left in the second half. His inclusion, with Jonathan Osorio out injured, was one that made sense as Vanney attempted to surround Michael Bradley with outlets and De Rosario did a reasonable job playing narrow and demanding the ball. Bradley Orr came into a back four short on experience, pushing Nick Hagglund to right back and Mark Bloom over to left back. Collen Warner kept his place alongside Bradley but really struggled and was replaced by Kyle Bekker before half-time. Jim Curtin, as expected, kept with his intelligent 4-2-3-1 from Wednesdays win and made just one change, bringing in Vincent Nogueira, back after injury, for Brian Carroll in midfield. The Game Fridays message at training from the players and staff was clear and united. Start well and give the home fans something to be excited about. Expectations may be high but, unusually in professional sports, these come to a franchise whose fan base is haunted and anxious based on the past seven years. After eight minutes, the winds of worry and concern blew across BMO Field when Conor Casey headed home the opening goal. It was a nightmare start for Vanneys men and one that was avoidable as they failed to clear the ball out in their own end. It set the tone for an abysmal afternoon for Toronto while in possession of the ball. Many words will be written and spoken about the manner in which they conceded both goals - unchallenged headers in their own box - but you only had to look at what Philadelphia did with the ball to see the alarming concerns Toronto has when they have it. The Good On a miserable afternoon for the Reds, all the positives came from Curtins team and Torontos 4-4-2 contributed to it. It was alarming to see how a four-band system like Philadelphias can thoroughly dominate a static three-band system. Too much can often be made of systems but at such a crucial time in Torontos season, it remains one of their biggest issues. With so much invested into two big name DP strikers, the club committed to playing 4-4-2 before the season even started but it simply doesnt help any of the other players on the field and allows a deep-lying playmaker to run the game against them. Nogueira was magnificent for Philadelphia, starting transitions, finding space and giving a clinic in distribution. Vanney will have recognised these concerns very early in the game but with Bradley and Warner sitting deep and the two front men operating in advanced areas, the magician in midfield was given free reign to dictate the tempo of the match. In front of him sat Cristian Maidana, a gifted playmaker whose set pieces were outstanding and his movement caused problems for Toronto FC all game long. The Bad Nogueira and Maidana highlighted all that is wrong with Toronto FC. The French midfielder constantly had an outlet to find when in possession, which can not be said about TFCs midfield talisman, Bradley. Maidana hit set pieces with a purpose and was able to bring a creative spark to an attack from a deeper area. And therein lies a massive problem with Toronto FC. Yes, their back line is missing significant pieces through injury and isnt good enough but as Vanney works on bringing an identity to a team, he does it with attacking players that dont fit a system he has to play. In the 82nd minute, Bradley picked up the ball in his own third and penetrated into the Union half. He then had to kill the attack, and momentum, because he had no outlets. The same thing happened again four minutes later. It is not easy playing up top when you get little service but Gilberto and Luke Moore were poor when balls were played to their feet. Throughout the game, they were passengers waiting for someone to get them into the game and easy to defend against. Vanney understandably wants both on the field, particularly when down early, but his team had two statues up top while the others paid the price. That means TFC are unable to insert midfield dominance where they can dictate everything you need to be successful. Current personnel on the playing staff also plays a factor.  It is hard for anyone associated to think long-term with Toronto FC at the moment but whether they make the playoffs or not should not affect how they go about building this club for next season. It is essential for any sports franchise to evaluate their own talent. It is clear the team needs another centre-back in the mold of Steven Caldwell, so badly missed during this horrendous run, but GM Tim Bezbatchenko needs to look at this team and think how he can get the best out of Bradley and whoever his star DP striker will be next season. This is a league built for creative number tens, the ball treasuring space finders who can unlock defences and attract men towards him like Pedro Morales in Vancouver or Maidana for Philadelphia. This allows teams to play a 4-3-3 hybrid that would bring the best out of Bradley in midfield, who then has outlets close to him who demand the ball rather than hiding and running into an area where they can be easily marked. The American international is a gem of a player but many in Toronto dont know how good he is because of the system he is forced to play in. Star man Bradley has the capabilities of taking over a game the way Nogueira did and would have if he was playing for Philadelphia in the heart of their 4-2-3-1. Instead, it was the diminutive former Sochaux man who not only delivered a real dent into TFCs playoff plans but also gave them plenty to think about in terms of how they should be built next season. Garry Gilliam Jersey . -- Derek Jeter says the New York Yankees have no choice but to move forward now that Alex Rodriguez has accepted his suspension for the 2014 season. C. J. Beathard Jersey . The Jets have now won three straight at home and four of the last five at the MTS Centre. After a scoreless first period, Brad Marchand scored his first goal in eight games eight seconds into the second.Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Grand Slam season will get underway Monday at the Australian Open in Melbourne, where a new champion will be crowned this year. Li Na was the runner-up in 2011 and 13 before she nailed down her first Australian Open title last season by beating pesky Slovak Dominika Cibulkova in the final. But the Chinese star retired toward the end of last season, opening the way for a new Aussie champ in 2015. Who are the favorites to fill the void, you say? Well, lets take a look. You dont have to look much further than five-time Aussie titlist Serena Williams, whos never lost in a final in Oz while holding the Open Era record for titles there. The 18-time Grand Slam winner will be the favorite at the latest Aussie fortnight ... and for good reason. Surprisingly, however, the world No. 1 superstar and reigning U.S. Open champ is seeking her first Aussie title in five years. From 2003 to 2010, the mighty Serena nailed down the five Aussie championships, beating five former No. 1 stars in all of those finals (Venus Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Maria Sharapova, Dinara Safina and Justine Henin, respectively). But she hasnt gotten past the quarters in Melbourne since the 10 championship, including a fourth-round loss a year ago. Sharapova will take a crack at Serena, even though she hasnt beaten her American rival since 2004, or 15 straight meetings. Fifteen straight! The reigning French Open queen captured her lone Aussie title in 2008 and is a two-time runner-up at Melbourne Park, where, like Serena, she exited early in the round of 16 last year. The five-time major titlist from Russia opened her 2015 season last week with a title in Brisbane, where she beat fellow former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic in a sexy final. Simona Halep will be the No. 3 seed in Melbourne, where she reached the quarterfinals a year ago. The quiet Romanian star was last years French Open runner-up to Sharapova and opened her 15 season with a title in China last week. Haleps a Grand Slam title waiting to happen after reaching at least the quarters at three of the four majors in 2014, including a semifinal appearance at Wimbledon. The best left-handed woman on the planet is Petra Kvitova. The world No. 4 star is a two-time Wimbledon champ and currently holds that coveted title. The Czech slugger reached the Aussie semis in 2012, but she has struggled Down Under since, failing to get past the second round, including an opening-round exit there a year ago. As a matter of fact, PK failed to get past the third round at three of the four Slams in 14 (but did manage to sneak out a second Wimby title in four years). The aforementioned Ivanovic is coming off one of her best seasons in several years and opened her latest campaign by reaching the final in Brisbane last week. The former world No. 1 from Serbia is no stranger to success in Melbourne, where she reached the final in 2008 and the quarterfinals a year ago. Having said that, in between the 08 runner-up finish and the trek into the round of eight last year, AI could do no better than the fourth round in the Bourne from 2009-13, or a five-year stretch. Ouch. But I thinks its safe to say shes recovered since then. Still the capablee Ivanovic, the French Open champion in 2008 and runner-up in 2007, failed to get past the third round at the final three Slams of 2014, including a second-round flameout at the U. Bradley Pinion Jersey. S. Open. The rest of the Top 10 is rounded out by former Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska; last years Wimbledon runner-up Genie Bouchard; former world No. 1 and two-time U.S. Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki; left-handed German Angelique Kerber; and rising Russian Ekaterina Makarova, who is yet another tough lefty. Radwanska just doesnt have enough power to run the table at a major. Bouchard, like Halep, will probably be a Grand Slam champion sooner rather than later. The young Canadian was the only woman to reach at least the semifinals at three of the four majors last year in only her first full Grand Slam season. The former world No. 1 Wozniacki, like the aforementioned Ivanovic, also has enjoyed a resurgence on tour. The popular Dane reached her second U.S. Open final in six years last year and opened her 2015 season by reaching a final in Auckland just last week. Wozniackis best Aussie showing was a trip into the semis in 2011. Kerber has no shot in Melbourne, while Makarova could make some noise Down Under. Makarova has quietly reached at least the quarters at six of the last 12 majors, including a trip into a U.S. Open semi in September. She was a back-to-back Aussie quarterfinalist in 2012 and 2013 and can make any player uncomfortable on the other side of the net. Venus Williams may not be a threat to win it all at the Aussie anymore, but she did open her 2015 season with a title in Auckland last week, beating Wozniacki in an attractive all-former-world-No. 1 finale. Venus is a seven-time major champ, but hasnt nailed down a big one since the 2008 Wimbledon Championships. She was the 2003 Aussie runner-up to her little sister, but hasnt been much of a factor since in Melbourne, reaching only a pair of quarterfinals over the last 11 years. Id say that ship has sailed. Keep your eye on one of my favorite young players on the tour ... Karolina Pliskova. This big-serving Czech was second on tour to only Serena in aces last year and is a dangerous player for sure. She also had her best-ever showing at the last major event, a third-round berth in New York in September. And how about an unseeded Victoria Azarenka? The former world No. 1 star missed months of action last year while battling left foot and right knee injuries. But when healthy, Vika has been nothing short of a force at the Slams, especially in Oz, where she captured back-to- back titles in 2012 and 2013 and has appeared in at least the quarters there four of the last five years. Azarenka is also a two-time U.S. Open runner-up who has been making deep runs at the majors since 2009. In addition to Serena (and in some way, Venus), another American to keep an eye on could be 30th-ranked Madison Keys. The 19-year-old Illinois native could be one of the breakthrough players were looking for this year, and wouldnt that be nice. Well, whos gonna win it all this year? It would be real easy to pick Serena here, but Im leaning in the Simona Halep direction, if things can break right for the steady Romanian. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '