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The Jermain Defoe transfer saga is finally over with Toronto FC selling the England star striker to Sunderland.A source confirmed the long-awaited deal, which ends Defoes roller-coaster year in Major League Soccer.Toronto had been looking to send the 32-year-old Defoe to Sunderland with 25-year-old U.S. international forward Jozy Altidore and cash coming back to TFC.That is expected to still happen. But Altidores journey to Toronto will have to go through the leagues allocation process which governs the return of players to MLS.Goals have been hard to come by for Altidore in England but he remains a key player in the U.S. national team setup.Cash from the Defoe sale is expected to trigger a series of moves as Toronto, a franchise yet to make the playoffs since entering the league in 2007, looks to fill key defensive and midfield holes on its roster.Toronto is looking to add another designated player in a creative attacking midfield role, with two targets currently playing in Europe. Neither will be available until July 1 and the MLS club may find itself with a logjam of DPs unless something gives.Star midfielder Michael Bradley isnt going anywhere. Toronto execs look to make the intense American the team leader on and off the field.Reports in Italy have also suggested an interest in 27-year-old Juventus forward Sebastian Giovinco. Toronto also has its sights set on Real Betis defender Damien Perquis, a 30-year-old French-born Poland international.Sunderland (3-7-11) currently stands 16th in the English Premier League, one point above the relegation zone. The move to the northeast of England reunites Defoe with Black Cats manager Gus Poyet, who was both a player and assistant manager at Tottenham.Sky Sports reported earlier Tuesday that up to 10 Premier League clubs had been in the hunt for Defoe. Toronto GM Tim Bezbatchenko said last week that most of the interest came from teams in the bottom half of the standings.The January transfer window is a sellers markets. Reliable strikers are hard to come by, even if they are on the wrong side of 30 and coming off a groin injury.The price of a player like Defoe may be high in January but it pales compared to the financial losses of falling out of the tony Premier League.Defoes future has been cloudy since Toronto turned down a franchise-record transfer fee from an English team at the end of the summer transfer window. That turned into a soap opera and Toronto execs were determined to resolve the matter in the January transfer window before Defoes return date of Jan. 17.Defoe seems to have landed on his feet, with Sunderland reportedly willing to take on wages of 80,000 pounds (C$145,000) a week. The MLS Players Union listed Defoes Toronto salary at US$6.18 million (which equals C$142,375 a week).Some will say Defoe was a disappointment in Toronto. But he was a striker, not a saviour.When healthy, Defoe was a force to be reckoned with in North America. Toronto did not lose (6-0-2) when he scored in league play.It speaks volumes about Torontos woeful offence in the past that Defoe, who ranked fifth on Tottenhams career scoring list with 142 goals in two spells, exits No. 5 on Torontos all-time scoring chart with 11 goals — a feat he achieved in 13 MLS games.He scored three goals in his first two games. But after potting a goal July 16 in a 1-1 tie with Vancouver, he did not score again, missing 12 of the next 18 games through suspension (one game) or injury (11). Defoe returned to England for injury rehab as rumours swirled about his future. And Toronto (11-15-8) failed to make the playoffs for the eighth straight year.Thats not on him. But Toronto oversold the quiet striker.Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment, brought David Beckham to the Los Angeles Galaxy and led the way in luring Defoe to town. Toronto pulled out all the stops, even enlisting Raptors global ambassador Drake to bend Defoes ear.Leiweke did not expect Defoe to be Beckham. But the English forward did not become the face of the franchise and was seemingly ill-prepared for what awaited him.When he was surrounded by cameras and reporters in the Toronto locker-room at the first home game, he looked aghast as he walked out of the showers. Defoe was polite with the media — the biggest complaint was the occasional mild beef over how long he took to moisturize before talking to assembled reporters — and his teammates said he had little ego in the dressing room. But when he left for treatment in England, the soap opera surrounding his future was a distraction.Defoe arrived to unprecedented fanfare last January along with Bradley before a balcony full of chanting, singing fans at the hangar-sized Real Sports Bar & Grill.To come here and to have a reception like that is unbelievable. Such a great feeling, I feel at home already, Defoe said at the time.A double-decker bus was parked outside the news conference where Leiweke touted the signing of what TFC billed as a global football superstar.At some US$10 million apiece, Defoe and Bradley each broke the MLS record for transfer fees. Toronto had started the spending spree in December by signing Brazilian forward Gilberto, another marquee designated player.The club trumpeted the signing of Defoe with a marketing campaign titled Its A Bloody Big Deal, a slogan it perhaps began to regret as the forwards future became murkier and the losses mounted as the season wore on.The slender five-foot-seven striker said at his unveiling that he was here to win trophies and do my best for the club and the team.But a season that started with goals ended painfully with the former West Ham, Portsmouth and Tottenham star on the sidelines. Missing out on the England World Cup squad also hurt, raising the suggestion that moving to a lesser league had not helped his cause.In the end, while he never said it, he seemed he just wanted to get healthy and go home.The two phones that sat in his locker — one presumably for North America and the other for Britain — seemed to tell a story.By the end, Defoe was clearly upset that some had questioned both his commitment to the club and the extent of his injuries.There are a few fans that have said certain things and Im like well thats a bit harsh, but obviously I would never retaliate, he told reporters in October. But at the same time, I think if you do want someone to stay at a football club, at least support them. At least show them that you want them to be here.Defoe said he had never publicly asked to leave Toronto but didnt know what the future held. Toronto, meanwhile, said while he remained their property the club would listen to offers.Still the assumption remained that Defoe wanted to move on and Toronto was willing to accommodate him, as long as it recouped its considerable investment.Defoe underwent surgery to correct his groin problem in the off-season and was given permission by Toronto to train for a week with Tottenham as part of his fitness regimen.Leiweke said TFC would lose money this season due to its investment in its designated players. On the plus side, the club set a franchise record for attendance in 2014.Toronto drew 375,463 fans to BMO Field, up 30,928 over the previous franchise record of 344,535 set in 2011. TFC attracted 15 straight sellouts of 22,591 before attendance at the two final home games dropped to 18,269 and 18,329, respectively.The club drew 308,233 fans in 2013.Toronto averaged 22,086 a game this season, second only to the Seattle Sounders (43,734) and well above the league average of 19,147.Toronto had 17,000 season-ticket holders in 2014 — its most ever — with a waiting list of 3,000.___Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter Jose De Jesus Corona Jersey .com) - Former foes from the Mountain West Conference battle in the 23rd annual Las Vegas Bowl, as the 23rd-ranked Utah Utes clash with the Colorado State Rams at Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday. Chicharito Jersey . Hamels threw seven sharp innings to earn his 100th career victory, Domonic Brown had a career-best five RBIs and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Cincinnati Reds 12-1 on Saturday night to end a four-game losing streak. http://www.soccermexicojerseysteamshop. ... co-jersey/. Zdeno Chara scored with 13 seconds left in regulation after David Krejci tied it late, lifting the Bruins to a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday night in a game that saw Orpik taken from the ice on a stretcher. Custom Mexico Jerseys . Ireland was the last unbeaten side in the championship after France fell to Wales on Friday, and was favoured to end a three-match losing run to England with a side with more than twice as many caps, rampant momentum, and added incentive to celebrate Brian ODriscolls world record-tying 139th test cap. Alfredo Talavera Jersey . As each game passes (each has played close with the exception of last night) it becomes clearer just how evenly matched these two teams are and how one mistake, or one bad inning, is likely to sway the result.LOS ANGELES - The Raptors will be at the edge of the NBA spotlight Sunday evening, whether they like it or not. Basketball fans around the globe will be watching as Kobe Bryant makes his season debut - 240 days after tearing his left Achilles - against Toronto, a team he has used as his own personal punching bag. Bryant announced his return in a video posted on his Facebook page Friday afternoon and the game, which airs at 9:30pm et on TSN2, will also be picked up by NBA TV in the US. All eyes will be locked on the Lakers future Hall-of-Famer, all except the Raptors coach, who would rather avoid becoming a sideshow in the Bryant circus that is sure to consume Staples Center on Sunday. "Everybodys going to be watching Kobe come back but Im totally concerned about the Toronto Raptors," said Dwane Casey, hoping to put an end to his teams five-game skid. "No disrespect to Kobe, hes one of our greats in the game, we need him in the game, but for us Im worried about the Toronto Raptors, our physical disposition, our approach, our toughness." Whether he cares to admit it, the Lakers did Casey and Torontos coaching staff a favour by making their announcement public Friday rather than keeping Bryants status under wraps until game day. As the home team - with an assist from the NBA - shamelessly builds the hype for Bryants return, the visitors are trying desperately to dodge it. "Weve got to go out there and play hard regardless, [even] if we werent on TV, if we were just playing in front of five people," said California-native DeMar DeRozan after practicing at the Clippers training center in LA Saturday afternoon. A match-up with the struggling Raptors is a fitting return for Bryant, who has torched Toronto throughout his 17-year career. Bryant is averaging 28.3 points in 29 games against the Raptors, his second highest average against any opponent, inflated by his infamous 81-point performance. Bryant has only lost to Toronto at Staples once, back in 2001, and the Raptors havent defeated the Lakers in LA since. Now the question is: How will the 35-year-old fare coming off major surgery, after an eight-month layoff? "Me, knowing him, he wouldnt come back if he didnt think he could play at a dominant level," DeRozan insisted. "I think its mixed emotion for everybody. Everybodys just eager to see how hell be. Everybody always tries to doubt him in some way and he always seems to prove people wrong.dddddddddddd So its just another test for him, well see how he bounces back." Bryant should see limited playing time in his first game back, roughly 20-30 minutes of action per Lakers coach Mike DAntoni. Although working one of the all-time greats back into your lineup isnt a bad problem to have, DAntoni hopes it wont disrupt the chemistry thats been built over the teams first 19 games. "Theyve been moving the basketball well, [doing] a lot of things [DAntoni was] doing in New York with the same sets, same things he was doing in Phoenix," Casey said of the 10-9 Lakers. "A lot of pick-and-rolls, the ball was humming, moving and I assume theyre going to do the same thing with [Bryant] coming back. We just have to be prepared." With Bryant hurt, Steve Nash out of the lineup - hes already been ruled out for Sundays game - and Dwight Howard in Houston, these Lakers have looked more like a vintage DAntoni team than last seasons incarnation ever did. This team has played at the NBAs third quickest pace, making more three-point shots per game than any other in the league. Now how do they integrate Bryant? The Raptors - in full out "we need to worry about ourselves"-mode Saturday - are navigating through an identity crisis of their own. Opponents have shot over 45 per cent in each game during their losing streak and have exceeded 100 points in four of the five contests. Their latest defeat, a 106-97 loss in Phoenix Friday, exposed a lack of toughness on both ends of the floor. "Weve gotten away from that for whatever reason," Casey said after his team was out-rebounded 53-36 by the Suns, including an 18-11 disparity on the offensive glass. "Were not the hit first team that we were." To make matters worse, Toronto may be without its most physical player on Sunday after Tyler Hansbrough sprained his left shoulder against the Suns. The Raptors forward underwent an MRI in LA Saturday morning and the team is awaiting the results before determining his status. Playing on the big stage, with the focus surrounding the other team and its best player, the Raptors have an opportunity to spoil the party and prove themselves in front of a large audience. "Weve got to get out of this slump," DeRozan said. "We understand it doesnt feel good, its a bad feeling and weve got to turn it around." Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '


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