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on isnt the aberration.

  • June 29, 2018 3:22 AM EDT

    TORONTO -- Defensive help is on the way to Toronto FC, in the form of a new assistant coach. Yanni Gourde Lightning Jersey . Manager Greg Vanney says he is adding a coach who was one of his mentors when it came to defending. "Obviously we have a lot of young defenders who are talented but they need to progress," Vanney said after practice Wednesday. "Hopefully hell be in Sunday or Monday of next week "Hell really really start to push on our defensive group. But hes also been around the game long enough that he understands both sides of the ball. But I really want us to shore up our defensive backline. And then I think we have the quality in attack where we can make a difference." He declined to identify the coach until everything was finalized. Vanney also had good news on the Jermain Defoe front, saying the injured striker could be back in town earlier than the original Sept. 20 date to continue his rehab from a groin injury. There is no word on when Defoe, who is currently in England, might return to action, however. The 31-year-old striker has missed nine games this season (eight through injury and one by suspension) but still leads Toronto in scoring with 11 goals. Toronto (9-11-6) hopes to end a three-game losing and goalless streak when it visits the Chicago Fire (5-7-14) on Saturday. Toronto has won just three of its last 15 games (3-7-5) and fell from fourth to seventh last weekend in the Eastern Conference standings. The top five make the playoffs. Going into play Wednesday, Toronto ranked 14th in the league in goals-against (1.62 per game). Injuries, suspension and lack of depth have cost the team in defence with centre back Steven Caldwell and fullbacks Justin Morrow and Mark Bloom missing 21 games between them. That has forced others to play out of position and put youngsters Doneil Henry and Nick Hagglund in the firing line. Torontos training room is beginning to empty -- the team has lost players to injury for a combined 82 games this season -- but still has work to do. Caldwell (quad) is progressing but still "very questionable" for the weekend, Vanney said. Midfielder Jonathan Osorio (leg muscle) was described as day to day. Defender-midfielder Bradley Orr (toe) did not take part in practice with the main squad Wednesday but is expected to be available this weekend. Vanney said the team is looking at shifting fullback Justin Morrow to centre back with Caldwell and Bradley Orr both nursing injuries. "Its definitely something that weve talked about," said Vanney. "Its not his natural position but obviously hes done it in the past a little bit. Its definitely something thats crossed our mind and we thought about it. I cant say weve made a decision either way but its definitely an option." In the part of practice open to reporters Wednesday, Bloom and Warren Creavalle played fullback in an attacking drill. As for adding a new player, Vanney said "if its the right fit were definitely looking. But nothings been determined yet." With the international transfer window closed, Toronto would have to acquire new talent via an MLS trade or look for a player out of contract. Victor Hedman Jersey . It was just business as usual for the Thunder at home. Durant scored 32 points and the Thunder beat the Bulls 107-95 on Thursday night for their eighth straight win. Dan Girardi Jersey .4 seconds left and dribbled up court, weaving through Pitts defence.Before tonights Toronto Blue Jays game at the Rogers Centre, when the American League East leaders host last years National League pennant winners, the St. Louis Cardinals, the team will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the opening of the SkyDome. Jays legends Jimmy Key and Ernie Whitt, members of playoff and World Series-winning teams of the past, will be on hand for the festivities to look back at what was the beginning of the Jays halcyon years. The return of these former stars comes at an apt time. For fans of the Blue Jays, its starting to feel a lot like those glory days again. Heading into Fridays game, the Jays sit at 37-24 with a five-and-a-half-game lead on the second-place Baltimore Orioles. The last team the Blue Jays held such a lead atop the division was in 1985, the year of their first-ever AL East triumph. Its easy to see why theres excitement surrounding this Jays team, but before everybody goes and books their flights to San Francisco for the World Series in October, lets step back and take a good look at these Toronto Blue Jays. Is it time to stop saying "Well, its early" and officially deem them contenders? Is the 2014 version of the Jays just the 2013 one that was expected all along, but a year late on arrival? Or will reality catch up with a team that is currently playing above its station? Friday night marks Game 62, and an even 100 games remain in the regular season. While its not exactly the halfway mark, its as good a time as any to reflect on the interesting dichotomy of the Jays season, thus far. Obviously, there have been plenty of key performances from the top of the roster on down. Mark Buehrle leads the league in wins with 10 and has a paltry 2.10 ERA. Edwin Encarnacion launched 16 jacks in May and made every at-bat a must-see event. Jose Bautista is in the midst of an MVP-calibre season. Melky Cabrera has bouunced back from offseason surgery and looks headed to another All-Star Game. Yanni Gourde Jersey. Jose Reyes once again looks like the catalyst he was for the New York Mets. Picked up from the Milwaukee Brewers scrap heap, Juan Francisco is one of the five Jays with double-digit home run totals. There is a lot to like right now. But before the Jays were sweeping the likes of the Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics and tearing the cover off the baseball with reckless abandon and going 17-4 over its last 21 games, this team was once a very average 20-20. Its bullpen is still second-last in the bigs with a 4.62 ERA, having surrendered a league-worst 97 earned runs. Now second in the AL with 19 home runs, Encarnacion couldnt buy a hit in April and had just two homers. Reyes, Adam Lind and Casey Janssen missed significant time. Brandon Morrow and Colby Rasmus are down again. There were red flags all over this team not that long ago, but those have been seemingly swept aside in a tidal wave of power-hitting and timely pitching. Has this changed your expectations for the rest of the year? With April and early May indicating that the team was headed for another year of mediocrity, the fact that the Jays are division-leaders with the third-best record in baseball in June is quite frankly shocking. But wasnt this the Toronto Blue Jays team that was promised last season after a winter of major trades and free agent acquisitions? Maybe this run that the Jays are on isnt the aberration. Perhaps, last season and the beginning of this year was the outlier. Regardless of why its happening and how long it will last, the Blue Jays are currently playing meaningful baseball and its a welcome change for fans starving for a winner. So with 100 games left in 2014, just who are these Toronto Blue Jays and what happens from here on out? As always, its Your Call! Wholesale Jerseys Cheap NFL Black Jerseys Camo China NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL T-shirts Cheap NFL Jerseys Outlet Discount NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Womens Jerseys ' ' '