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THE FORMATIONS Toronto FC lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, as it did last weekend in its 2-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders. There was one change to TFCs starting XI, as designated player, Gilberto, made his debut in a Toronto jersey, replacing Dwayne De Rosario up front. DC United named an unchanged lineup from their 3-0 loss to the Columbus Crew on the opening weekend of the season (DC had a bye last weekend). Head coach Ben Olsen again chose to line up his team in a 4-4-2 diamond formation. (Click for larger) THE GAME Toronto FCs home debut wasnt pretty. Not because the players on display were poor, but because the pitch simply wasnt ready for soccer. That is not the fault of the BMO Field grounds crew though, who did an admirable job getting the surface prepared for the game. But after the coldest winter in recent memory, it was always going to be an impossible task to turn the playing surface into the lush carpet that players come to expect. While DC United boss Ben Olsen said the pitch "was as bad as Ive ever seen in MLS", it didnt stop the players from trying to play. But the bobbly surface, which cut up as the game wore on, made it virtually impossible for the players to string long sequences of passes together. Despite the difficult conditions (it was also cold and windy down on the pitch), there were some glimpses of what lies ahead for the long-suffering fans of Toronto FC. The partnership between Jermain Defoe and Gilberto looks to be very promising. Defoes movement in the final third was exceptional, and he had a number of chances in the first half to break the deadlock. In Gilberto, Defoe has a partner who can serve as his perfect foil. The Brazilian was comfortable dropping deep to receive the ball, didnt shy away from the physical battle, and once he had the ball at his feet, was willing to drive at the back four or play the role of provider. Michael Bradley was again a dominant force in midfield, and his partnership with Jonathan Osorio is also reason for optimism. They can both get caught ahead of the ball at times (as they did in Seattle last week for the Sounders goal) but that is due more to their lack of familiarity than to any tactical negligence. The early signs are that these two players will be very influential for Toronto FC. At the back, TFC looked comfortable all game. Both Doneil Henry and Steven Caldwell had strong games, with Henry winning everything in the air. In Eddie Johnson and Fabian Espindola, DC United have two very experienced front men, but Henry and Caldwell thwarted everything that the pair could throw their way. THE TURNING POINT Only one goal separated the teams at the final whistle, and it came from great work from Torontos three designated players. Apparently, you do get what you pay for. On the hour mark, Bradley picked up a square ball from Osorio in midfield, took one touch and floated a perfectly weighted pass into the path of Gilberto, who had made a great run in behind DC Uniteds central defender, Jeff Parke. (Click for larger) Gilberto settled the ball with a perfect first touch, and as the covering defender, Bobby Boswell, was closing him down, fired a right-footed shot on target. Look at the positional awareness of Defoe when Gilberto is shooting; he put himself in the ideal position to pick up the rebound. He didnt charge in full-speed towards goal; instead, he held his run so that he could adjust his position, which gave him the best possible chance of recovering the ball. (Click for larger) DC United goalkeeper, Bill Hamid, did very well to parry the hard, low shot from Gilberto. Bobby Boswell tried to hack the ball clear, but Defoe, who had taken up the ideal position inside the penalty area, intercepted his clearance. (Click for larger) From there, Defoe did what he does best. He took one touch to set himself and one touch to fire the ball into the back of the net. THE POSITIVES In a scrappy game, it was encouraging to see the developing partnerships all over the pitch for Toronto FC. The strength of this team is its spine: Defoe-Gilberto / Bradley-Osorio / Caldwell-Henry / Julio Cesar is as good a spine as any team in MLS. If those players can stay healthy (and not miss too many games due to this summers World Cup), Toronto FC fans can look forward to playoff soccer for the first time in the clubs history. Defoe was a class apart against DC United. His movement to pull off the shoulders of the DC United defenders was something that all aspiring strikers should watch over and over again. But I thought that 20-year old Henry was immense for TFC. Ive said it before (and I promise you, Ill be saying it again) - Henry is going to be a real player. THE NEGATIVES Jackson had a game to forget, and I suspect that he could be getting a call from the Leagues Disciplinary Committee. In the 50th minute, Jackson was booked for an altercation with DC Uniteds Davy Arnaud. While the referee cautioned Jackson on the play, I think that video evidence will show that Jackson intentionally elbowed Arnaud off the ball – which could draw a suspension similar to the one received by Seattles Clint Dempsey for striking TFCs Mark Bloom last weekend. THE STAR MAN With three goals in his first two games in MLS, Defoe is off to a flying start for Toronto FC. Goals get the headlines – and rightly so – but it was Defoes overall play that was so impressive. His movement and finishing ability are superb, and if his teammates can continue to deliver him good service, it is quite possible that Defoe will sit atop the leagues scoring chart come the end of the season. Never before has Toronto FC started the season with two victories. But a major investment in better players is paying dividends early on for TFC as they sit joint top of the Eastern Conference standings with maximum points from their first two games. Cleveland Cavaliers Jerseys . Smith has spent the last three seasons with the Rockies, playing both left and right field, and has a .275 batting average with 51 homers and 181 RBIs in 487 major league games. Tyrone Hill Jersey .J. -- Rampage Jackson scowled, howled, then bellowed to the crowd: "Im back! Im back!" With rebuilt knees and a new promotion, Jackson might have one more act left in MMA. https://www.thecavalierslockerroom.com/R...Edition-Jersey/. Espanyol midfielder Sanchez intercepted Bilbao goalkeeper Gorka Iraizozs clearance and, having spotted a gap, risked using his less-favoured left foot to fire a beautifully precise long-range shot that bounced in from high up the near post in the 24th minute. Kyrie Irving Jersey . Espanyol midfielder Sanchez intercepted Bilbao goalkeeper Gorka Iraizozs clearance and, having spotted a gap, risked using his less-favoured left foot to fire a beautifully precise long-range shot that bounced in from high up the near post in the 24th minute. Larry Nance Jr. Cavaliers Jersey . For the Blue Jays the time was Wednesday and the ace was R.A. Dickey. He stepped up. "I feel some responsibility as a stopper from time to time," said Dickey. BALTIMORE -- Derek Jeter began the season on the disabled list, and thats how it will end. The New York Yankees shortstop will miss the rest of the year after being placed on the DL on Wednesday with an injured left ankle. Jeter missed the first part of the season after breaking his left ankle in the 2012 playoffs. He returned to the DL twice more and played only 17 games, batting .190 with one homer and seven RBIs. And now, hes been shelved for a fourth time. "This entire season has been a nightmare for me physically," Jeter said. "Its a fitting end." The captain fully intends to return next year, even though he turns 40 on June 26. "I truly believe with a full off-season, working out and getting my strength back that I can get back to doing what I always have," Jeter said. "I dont think you think about the end of anything. Our job is to get ready to play. I tried to come back this year as quickly as possible. Maybe that was not the best thing to do. My job now is to get ready for next year. And I have to do that." Jeter last played Saturday against Boston. He was removed for a pinch runner after hurting his left ankle, and although a CT scan was negative, general manager Brian Cashman said the injury will need significant time to heal. "You have to let the pain dissipate and then give it a chance to let the ankle strengthen back up," Cashman said. "Were just not going to have the time to do that in any capacity right now. It puts him in a vulnerable situation and risks re-injury or further injury. And thats not something we are willing to do." His departure comes with New York in the thick of the AL wild-card hunt. "Its very disappointing not to be able to play, especially at this time of year," Jeter said. "This is when I want to play the most." The Yankees will miss him, but theyre counting on having Jeter in 2014. "I have seen him do this over and over and overcome a lot of things people thought he would not overcome," manager Joe Girardi said. "That just who he is. When you talk about whats inside Derek, hes special. Thats what made him great for so long." The current ankle injury is seemingly related to the one that occurred lasst October in the AL championship series against Detroit.dddddddddddd "There is no new medical information other than the fact there were conversations that he has pain most likely stemming from weakness surrounding the bone, the muscles, tendons and ligaments, and it was not going to solve itself anytime soon," Cashman said. "And he would be vulnerable. Somethings going to give the more we run him out there. So we feel its best to shut him down. Let him prepare for next year. Thats the safest thing to do." Next year? Cashman is certain of it. "I have not thought I have watched his last game," Cashman said. "Not one time." New Yorks career leader with 3,316 hits, Jeter made his season debut on July 11 but hurt himself in that game and returned to the disabled list on July 19 (retroactive to July 12) with a right quad strain. After being activated on July 28, he was placed on the DL on Aug. 5 with a strained right calf. "It seemed like when he came back, he was fine and then he would play a couple of games and something would happen," Girardi said. "It seemed to be the repeated days seemed to get to him a little bit. That was frustrating for him. That was frustrating for all of us because we wanted him out there. I think thats why we decided to shut him down." Jeter was a regular in the lineup after his return on Aug. 26 before again running into problems with the ankle. Now hes done for good. "I think its just a matter of me not having any strength," Jeter said. "I have not been able to work out my legs or lift my legs since October of last year. I really think its from lack of strength. When I came back, I had two other leg issues because of weakness there. Ill have a whole off-season to get back to being able to work out. " Brendan Ryan, obtained in a trade with Seattle on Tuesday, was in the starting lineup at shortstop against the Orioles on Wednesday night. "I dont think its the most enviable position to step in after a legend," Ryan said. "Hes not going anywhere. I dont want it to sound like that. I dont even know what his status is really. If I play today, and not anymore after that, whatever it is I can do to help." ' ' '