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25.02.2019 06:33
VANCOUVER -- Despite having not scored in nearly seven hours of play, the Vancouver Whitecaps remain confident their sputtering Antworten

VANCOUVER -- Despite having not scored in nearly seven hours of play, the Vancouver Whitecaps remain confident their sputtering offence will eventually get back in gear. NBA Jerseys China . They really dont have any other choice. The Whitecaps head into Wednesdays home game against the San Jose Earthquakes without a goal in 411 minutes, a stretch of more than 4 1/2 games. Darren Mattocks was the last man to score for Vancouver, bagging the clubs second in the first half of a 2-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City on Aug. 10. Kekuta Manneh hasnt scored since May 3, while the once red-hot Erik Hurtado has failed to find the mark since June 7. Sebastian Fernandez -- who can play in midfield or as a striker -- started Saturdays 0-0 draw at B.C. Place Stadium against D.C. United alongside Mattocks, but was largely ineffective in his 68 minutes. In the midst of a 1-3-6 slide and with just two wins in a 14-game stretch that has seen Vancouver (7-6-13) tumble down Major League Soccers Western Conference standings, the Whitecaps know their youthful strikers need to start burying chances -- and fast. "They can score. I think theyve demonstrated this season of what they can do," said veteran defender Andy OBrien. "Its there. They can do it. Its just a matter of it coming, and hopefully it will come sooner rather than later. "Its important we stick together as a team. We can create chances, we can score goals. Weve demonstrated that this season and now is the crunch time where things need to come together." The Whitecaps were filling the net early in the season -- including a 3-2 victory over San Jose -- but have had to settle for a total of 13 ties, including five scoreless draws. "I think you have seen that (the strikers) are definitely good enough. I think the only thing we need to work on as a whole ... is just be more consistent," said defender Jordan Harvey. "Everybody has the talent -- youve seen it in years prior and this year, its just about somebody stepping up." Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson has remained steadfast in his support of the beleaguered forwards, at least in public, but added they might be trying too hard at times to break the goose egg. Case in point from Saturday was Mattocks missing two great chances to score in the first half against D.C. "Top strikers in this league know how to keep a calm head and a cool head in front of goal," said Robinson. "I think sometimes when you havent scored in four games, you snatch at things and maybe you balloon it over the bar or you drag it wide, and thats whats happening at the moment." The Welshman said the failure in the final third falls to everyone, not just the men up front, on a Whitecaps team that was booed off the field by some fans last time out. "Can they do better? Yes. Can I do better? Yes. Two wins in fourteen games for us is not good enough," said Robinson. "We all need to be better, me included. Im in charge of these players and if theyre not doing it then Ive got to take responsibility for it, and I will." The Whitecaps endured similar summer slumps in their first two MLS seasons, and goalkeeper David Ousted said that while no one has come out and vented to the media, that doesnt mean there isnt frustration in the locker-room. "I think everybodys disappointed. If theyre not disappointed I dont think they should be here," said Ousted. "I definitely think that you feel in the squad that were disappointed not getting the wins, but its also about putting things in perspective and having a positive mind." Vancouver currently sits one point back of the Portland Timbers for the fifth and final playoff spot in the West, while San Jose (6-10-9) is seven back of the Whitecaps heading into Wednesday. Vancouver has eight games remaining, while Portland has seven. OBrien said all of the players -- especially the young strikers -- are aware of whats at stake for a team that has been shut out in five of its last six games. "There has been a stage where lads have been coddled, and theres been a stage where lads have been told," he said. "In recent weeks, lads have been told what is expected of them. (But) its not being aired out in public, which I think is a good thing." Whitecaps midfielder Mauro Rosales, who has been one of the most energetic players on the pitch since arriving in a trade with Chivas USA last month, said the lack of goals is not due to a lack of effort. "This team has been working very hard to get the results, get the points and be the better team," he said. "Sometimes the things dont go in your favour and you have to accept it, but (also) keep working and keep moving forward. "We have to step up and finish the plays earlier. Not try to create the best goal -- just score." Robinson said tough times show the character of a club, and this period for the Whitecaps is no different. "You learn a lot more about your players now when youre getting thrown to the wolves maybe sometimes then you do when youre winning games of football," he said. "At the start of the year, I knew there was a lot of work that we needed to do and it wasnt going to happen over night for us, and it doesnt change now." San Jose comes into Wednesday having not won since Aug. 2 -- a stretch of 0-2-4 -- but tied Portland 3-3 on Sunday night in a game the Earthquakes led 2-0 and 3-2 thanks to a pair of goals from Chris Wondolowski, who now has 12 on the season. "Theyre definitely in the mix (for the playoffs)," said Robinson. "Anyones whos writing them off are pretty naive, to be honest. "Theres a number of points to play for and theyre a very good team." Notes: Mattocks was supposed to meet up with the Jamaican national team for Tuesdays friendly against Canada in Toronto, but he picked up an ankle injury on Saturday. Robinson said his status remains uncertain for Wednesday. ... Whitecaps defender Steven Beitashour missed out against D.C. because of a hip injury and its also unclear if he will play against San Jose. ... Vancouvers next game is away at FC Dallas on Saturday, before a key game at Portland on Sept. 20. Discount NBA Jerseys . The defending champions sent their preliminary list to FIFA on Tuesday, with coach Vicente del Bosque to announce the final 23-man squad on May 25. Costa is set to lead the attack in his native Brazil, with Atletico Madrid teammate David Villa and Chelseas Fernando Torres also included, while David de Gea replaces injured goalkeeper Victor Valdes. Wholesale Basketball Jerseys . Traditional contenders Brazil, Greece and Turkey drew the other three spots to complete the 24-team field for this summers tournament in Spain, basketball governing body FIBA announced Saturday at its meeting in Barcelona. .Kessy tried to show what he can do playing left wing for the Oilers in 5-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday in pre-season action.MONTREAL - The Raptors have made their eight-game exhibition slate look easy, for whatever thats worth. With Fridays 83-80 win over the Knicks in Montreal, Toronto closed out the pre-season with a record of 7-1, matching the franchise record for most exhibition victories and ensuring theyll finish camp with the leagues best record this fall. What does it all mean? Nothing, Dwane Casey said following his teams pre-season finale at the Bell Centre. Not one hill of beans. Exhibition, you can take this record and - I cant say what I want to say. But you can do whatever you want with the [stat sheet], because exhibition doesnt mean anything except for our conditioning and our timing and our rhythm that it gave us. Indeed, exhibition success is difficult to measure and theres no telling how it may translate to the real games. The last and only other time the Raptors have tallied seven pre-season wins was in 2006, just ahead of one of the franchises best campaigns which ultimately resulted in a division title. Last year they went 6-1 - their last game was canceled on account of a slippery court in Milwaukee - before starting the season 6-12. The lesson here: youre not likely to find much correlation between fall results and regular season success. Good teams, especially those with returning players, tend to excel year round, but there are always outliers at this point in the year. Going into Fridays action, the list of teams just below Toronto in exhibition standings included Cleveland, Golden State and Houston. No surprise there. It also included Detroit, New Orleans and Utah. So, who knows? We dont get a trophy for this? Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri joked. I think its the coaches time, its the players time, he continued. I think these guys have done a good job in preparing. I call it preparing. Its tough for us. I stay away, go to Europe to scout and get involved in other things just because you want to get down to it right away. Were here, a week out. And the reason why the Raptors feel good about where theyre at, just days before Wednesdays season opener, has almost nothing to do with wins and losses. Weve got a lot of guys from last year so we really dont have to figure out too many things, said DeMar DeRozan, who led Toronto with 15 points in Fridays exhibition finale. I think its mainly for the new guys to get implemented with our system on both ends. Its not too hard at all. As promised, Casey used Fridays contest to extend the minutes of his regulars, hoping to get them in rhythm and get comfortable in a more conventional rotation. One of his starters, Jonas Valanciunas, learned an early-season lesson courtesy of his defensive minded head coach. The third-year centre was beat on three box-outs in the opening five minutes, each resulting in an offensive rebound for Samuel Dalembert, before he was pulled and spent the rest of the half on the bench. Whatever message was sent at intermission, it was received in the third quarter when a noticeably more aggressive Valanciunas scored nine of his 13 points and added three boards. As a team, the Raptors held New York to 15 per cent shooting in the frame, besting them 14-7 on the glass and outscoring the visitors 25-11. As for those newcomers DeRozan referenced, they looked ready to start the new campaign on Friday. James Johnson was held without a point, on two shots, but earned praise from Casey after the game for his defence on Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. Casey called it his best game of the pre-season. Lou Williams did what he does best, knocking down a pair of big fourth-quarter shots and finishing with 12 points off the bench. Their first real test will come on Wednesday, following four days of practice and preparation, when they host the Hawks to open the franchises 20th season. Wholesale NBA Jerseys Free Shipping. . Like a second home Le Nord Cest Nous, read advertisements situated throughout the city of Montreal, a French translation of the Raptors popular marketing slogan We The North. That message has resonated here, like it has in Toronto, throughout Canada and within the teams locker room. Fridays sellout crowd at the Bell Centre, like the packed house in Vancouver earlier this fall, served as a reminder that the Raptors are well on their way to being adopted as the countrys team, if they havent already. Its been huge, Casey said of the support his team has received throughout the Great White North. The pride that I see around the country for basketball, for the Raptors has been unbelievable. Part of the NBA Canada Series, the Raptors played their third pre-season game in Montreal. Along with Halifax, it’s the only Canadian city outside of Toronto to host three exhibition contests. DeRozan has made all three trips, first as a sophomore in 2010 and then again a couple years later. Its great, the Raptors all-star guard said of the atmosphere. Just coming off the season that we had last year and the success, just to come back around and be in Montreal, just to get that support in a different part of Canada definitely means a lot. I think We The North gives the country some pride and a good feeling about the Raptors, Casey added. Now we have to do our part in continuing to compete at a high level and I think its the way we do compete. Winning is important but I think people appreciate how hard our guys play, how we play defence, how we share the basketball and play together. I think thats a great lesson for the future of basketball in Canada. Respect for Nash Canada basketball took a hit late Thursday evening when the Los Angeles Lakers announced that Victorias Steve Nash has been ruled out for this coming season with a back injury that likely spells the end to his brilliant 18-year career. That said, the news did give Canadians and folks around the basketball universe an opportunity to pause, look back and appreciate everything the future Hall-of-Famer did as a pioneer for the sport in this country and one of the premier point guards to ever play the game. Its sad, Casey said of the two-time MVPs likely retirement. But hes done so much good; its hard to get sad for Steve because hes meant so much to Canadian basketball, to the NBA period. Hes the prototypical point guard that you teach your point guards to be like. We shouldnt be sad. Casey remembers his days coaching in Seattle - an assistant with the SuperSonics - when Nash used to come down to workout with Gary Payton, an iconic point guard of the previous generation. Ive known him for a long time, said the Raptors coach. Nothing but love and respect for his game. Nashs resume is undeniable. An eight-time all-star, the 40-year-old is third on the NBAs all-time assists list and has appeared in more post-season games than any other player without a ring in history. Amazingly, he was at the helm of the leagues best offence for nine straight years, on two different teams. The way that Phoenix [team] played, Casey said, that style of play was unique because of him. I think a lot of people tried to emulate that style of freewheeling, up and down basketball but unless you have a Steve Nash its very difficult to play that style of basketball. Hes been an unbelievable player, Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry echoed. Hes done a great job for basketball in general. He kind of changed the way people look at smaller guards. ' ' '

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