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22 февраля 2016 г. 11:23

positives and kind of go from there

TORONTO -- Danny Koevermans no longer wears the jersey but he still bleeds Toronto FC red. Nike Roshe Run HYP QS . A goal machine for the MLS team when healthy, the former striker is back in his native Netherlands these days. As in Toronto, his 35-year-old body let him down when he tried one last time to take the field with FC Utrecht earlier this year. Now coaching with the Dutch club, Koevermans, his wife and two daughters are back in the family home in Helmond they left behind to come in Toronto. And the former Dutch international is happy and at peace. "I am good. I am excellent," he said over the phone. "I miss Toronto but for the rest, Im just doing fine." He has been closely following Toronto FCs new-look -- and winning -- lineup. He watched the first two games live online and has followed every outing since. "First thing I do in the morning is check out what theyve done," he said. "Im happy for you all. Its crazy. Three away games, only one home game, nine points already, maybe this will be the season for the playoffs. I hope so." Sadly Koevermans presence in Toronto these days is limited to a photo of him applauding the fans. It is portrayed prominently on a wall in the foyer of the teams north Toronto training centre. "It was an amazing time," Koevermans said. "I miss Toronto every single day." A serious knee injury -- he tore his anterior cruciate ligament -- and a string of ensuing calf problems in the same left leg limited his MLS career. While he signed a 2 1/2-year deal, essentially his TFC playing time lasted one calendar year, from July 2011 to July 2012, with 17 goals in 21 starts and 26 appearances. The six-foot-three Koevermans, whose contract expired at the end of 2013, returned to the Netherlands with his family on Dec. 14. He wanted to try one last comeback back home and signed with Utrecht, with both sides knowing that he was one injury away from retiring. "I was hoping to give them some goals, but it never came to that point," said Koevermans, who saw just 29 minutes action in three appearances. His calf gave out less than a month after he arrived. He returned to training one more time only to pull his calf muscle two weeks later. "I said enough is enough, its over. Im going to quit," he said. The eventual decision to retire as a player was not difficult. "I saw it coming," he said. Utrecht asked him to stay with the team until the end of the season, which he agreed to. "Its a good group of guys and I feel comfortable over there," he said. "I feel appreciated." Then the team asked him to work with the strikers, which he has agreed to do through the end of the season. The Utrecht strike force includes Colombian Juan Agudelo, Zambian Jacob Mulenga and Belgian Steve De Ridder. "I like it," Koevermans said. "I never had the ambition to be a head coach but something like this would be perfect. Im hoping they will keep me next year." Utrecht is only an hours drive from his home in Helmond so the job is attractive from all fronts. Toronto FC introduced Koevermans and former German international midfielder Torsten Frings as designated players on June 29, 2011, with both making their MLS debut July 20. Frings may have had the name but Koevermans had the moves. He collected eight goals in 10 games in 2011, scoring from all angles and with every part of his body. While some strikers celebrate highlight-reel finishes, the no-nonsense Koevermans didnt care how his goals went in as long as the goalie had to pick the ball out of the net. He was a straight-shooter off the pitch as well, making headlines during the disastrous start to the 2102 season after Toronto slipped to 0-9-0. "Were setting a record for the worst team in the world, man, and its painful," Koevermans said at the time. "What can I say more? Its just the worst ever." The Dutchman took matters in his own hands when he came off the bench the next game. He beat Chris Konopka (now a Toronto FC player) to score in the 88th minute and end the record slump with a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union. Koevermans was troubled by minor injuries at the start of the 2012 campaign but, when he regained his health, he went on a roll and had nine of the teams 19 goals when he went down. According to Opta, which tracks statistics, Toronto scored every 65.9 minutes during the 2012 season with the big Dutchman on the field. Over the same stretch of the season when he hadnt played, they scored every 130.8 minutes. Koevermans says his career ended July 14, 2012, when he wrecked his knee on the artificial turf at New Englands Gillette Stadium. After surgery and 11 months of painstaking rehab, he returned in July 2013 but only saw 78 minutes of action spread over four games as his calf kept on giving out. As the 2013 season wore down, Koevermans was a forgotten man at Toronto FC. Pro soccer can be a cruel game -- out of sight, out of mind when it comes to injured players. He was distraught as his career in Toronto fizzled. His family liked the city and he had hoped to play one more season if healthy. It was not to be. But today he says he is OK with his fate. "I know I had a good career. Its unlucky that basically it ended on this July 14 (2012). ... The moment I tore my ACL, I never really got back to full fitness, full game fitness. Which is a shame. But I tried, I tried really hard." He never got a medical explanation why his surgically repaired knee resulted in so many calf issues. He puts it down to age and a lot of soccer miles under his belt. "Maybe at the end, when I look back at it, my body was kind of fit but not fit any more for the highest level. I couldnt train any more really really hard like you have to do." Nike Roshe Run Homme . The Royals dropped their 11th game in their last 14 on Wednesday in San Diego, when Anthony Rizzo had a two-run single and Tim Stauffer tossed seven innings of one-run ball to lift the Padres to a 4-1 win that completed a three-game sweep. Nike Roshe Run Hyperfuse . Shaun Miller headed a dramatic winner for the third-tier club just a minute before the end of extra time of a particularly dour contest in the rain at Craven Cottage. United, which claimed its second Premier League scalp of the campaign after knocking out Aston Villa in the third round, is second from bottom in League One.TORONTO - Jonathan Bernier came back to try and help end a losing streak. By the time the goaltender and the Toronto Maple Leafs left Air Canada Centre, they were out of a playoff spot. Bernier returned from a five-game absence and did his best to keep the Leafs in it against the St. Louis Blues. But a plethora of other mistakes against one of the NHLs top teams Tuesday night ultimately resulted in a 5-3 defeat, their sixth in a row. "Its a hard league," Blues goaltender Ryan Miller said of the Leafs struggles. "Youve got to keep it all together." Things have seemingly fallen apart in just under two weeks time. The loss, coupled with the Blue Jackets beating the Red Wings and the Capitals picking up a point against the Los Angeles Kings, dropped the Leafs out of a wild-card position. Though all four teams have 80 points, Columbus and Detroit held the wild-card spots at the end of the night, ahead of the Capitals and then the Leafs because of games played. Not long ago Toronto was second in the Atlantic Division, and now it looks like the season is slipping away. "Certainly were afraid of letting it slip away," said winger Joffrey Lupul, whose early goal was the first time Toronto opened the scoring in eight games. "The whole year weve thought we were a playoff team, and we still believe that now. ... Theres reason for concern, but its not completely time to panic. Were still right there." Winger James van Riemsdyk, whose goal at 15:54 of the third period cut the Leafs deficit to a goal, said that the team has "100 per cent" faith that things can turn around with just eight games remaining. "We have a lot of confidence in our abilities and a belief in ourselves and believe in the guys in the room," van Riemsdyk said. "This thing is obviously far from over." At some point the Leafs (36-30-8) must show that instead of just talking about it. They were unable to do that against the Blues, who passed the Boston Bruins for the top spot in the league thanks to a hat trick from David Backes and one goal apiece from T.J. Oshie and former Leafs forward Alex Steen. Though Bernier allowed four goals, his return from a groin injury was more memorable for some of the big saves he made among his 44. The 25-year-old No. 1 goalie gave his team a chance, but too much continued to go wrong in front of and around the net. Lupul said a good team is supposed to bail its goalie out and vice-versa. That didnt happen for James Reimer in the first five games of this slide, and that continued with Bernier. "When you get in a slide like this its easy to start pin-pointing individuals, which is fair, but as a group we look at it like, if theres a mistake made by someone, someone else steps up and makes a play for them," Lupul said. "And we just havent been doing quite enough of that right now." Captain Dion Phaneuf hesitated twice to clear the puck on a late-first-period penalty kill before the Blues forced a turnover and scored, then was beaten by Steen in front of the net on the fourth goal St. Louis scored. Phaneuf was not made available to speak to reporterss, leaving coach Randy Carlyle to answer for some of the defencemans poor play. Nike Roshe Run Slip On. "He and (Cody) Franson have been the top pairing on our blue line, as far as the offensive side of it, all year," Carlyle said. "In tonights situation, he had a rough night." Phaneuf could be blamed for at least two goals against, but he wasnt alone in having a rough night against the Blues (49-16-7), who showed early and often why theyre a Stanley Cup contender. "It was a 5-3 game where I think we couldve scored 10 goals tonight," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said in a nod to Bernier. "We had so many scoring opportunities, and I thought for the most part until we got careless and started to get fancy around the net instead of burying it that we were really playing one of our top games." During the first period, St. Louis hemmed the Leafs in their own end, putting 23 shots on net, a season high for Toronto. "I dont know," Lupul said. "We couldnt break their cycle, we couldnt get the puck." Had the Leafs managed to go into the first intermission tied 1-1, as Carlyle pointed out, they would have been fortunate. But Phaneufs mistake led to a power-play goal by Backes with 32.3 seconds left. Backes had to beat Bernier, too, but he did that twice and added an empty netter for his second career hat trick. "Theres something about this barn and this stage," Backes said. "Theres obviously a special thing about being in Toronto. The buzz in the air and everyones talking about the Leafs. Every establishments got a neon Leafs sign of some sort. This is kind of the Mecca for hockey here in Toronto." Hockey Mecca includes many more people panicking even after the Leafs lost to a much better team in the Blues. Van Riemsdyk repeatedly pointed out that the Blues are "a heck of a hockey team." Theres no disputing that, only that the Leafs couldnt find a way to end their skid. Bernier knows nothing should have to be said after this one. "If were missing motivation, at this time of the year everyone should have some," he said. "Obviously we knew it was not going to be easy. Thats a good team out there — theyre first and they showed it tonight." The Leafs showed something in trimming a three-goal deficit to one in the third period. And while thats the biggest thing theyll take from Tuesday night, its not nearly enough with the frustration building up. "Youve got to try and manage that," van Riemsdyk said. "If you play in a frustrated type of way youre no good out there. Weve got to continue to learn from things and look at the positives and kind of go from there." One positive Lupul sees is two games ahead at the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night and then back home against the Red Wings on Saturday night. "You win those two games, all of a sudden things look a lot different," he said. Until the Leafs manage to do that, things look bleak. NOTES: With Bernier back, the Leafs sent goaltender Drew MacIntyre back to the AHLs Toronto Marlies. ... Defenceman Paul Ranger was scratched for the third straight game with a neck injury. wholesale jerseys cheap jerseys cheap nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap soccer jerseys wholesale jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap nfl jerseys china ' ' '

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