While Kevin Payne and Tim Leiweke plot the big picture around Toronto FC, and while Ryan Nelsen arranges the temporary fixes at BMO Field through shorter-term reinforcements, a really wonderful development is playing out quietly for the club around Exhibition Place.
Danny Koevermans is getting healthy.
The DP Dutch striker appeared in a TFC reserve game late last night, following the club’s first-team match at BMO Field.
Koevermans, 32, last performed for Toronto in July of 2012, when he suffered a season-ending ACL tear, effectively wiping out any chance of a big, late-season run for Toronto.
Reports were quite positive on Koevermans’ appearance in a 3-1 reserve team win over the backups for Columbus. TFC assistant Fran O’Leary, who oversees the reserves, said Koevermans is quite fit at this point, all things considered, and that he expects integration back into the first team soon.
Danny has looked good in training and is, perhaps, still two to three weeks away. I think realistically we would like to get him in the next couple of weeks onto the bench and to put him on in late-game situations.”
That is absolutely fantastic news for fans around BMO. Koevermans’ strike rate during his relatively brief MLS window (back half of 2011 and front half of 2012) has been sensational: 17 goals in 26 matches.
A forward line of Koevermans and Welsh surprise Robert Earnshaw? Yeah, that looks pretty good.
Now, about that defense and midfield around BMO …
Heading into the their final UEFA Champions League Group B game, Manchester United hold their destiny in their own hands, but any slip-up could mean it’s Europa League on Thursday nights for Louis Van Gaal‘s men.
[ MORE: Champions League standings ]
The Red Devils would have advanced to the knockout stage with a victory over third-place PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, but slumped to an ugly 0-0 draw instead.
[ MORE: Three things we learned from Man United 0-0 PSV ]
So, here’s all of the scenarios for the final matchday of the group stage, away to Wolfsburg, in which United would advance to the round of 16 advance:
- A Man United win will see Man United finish top of Group B
- A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV draw or loss (vs. CSKA Moscow), will see Man United finish second in Group B
- A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV victory, will see Man United finish third in Group B
- A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV loss, will see Man United finish second in Group B
- A Man United loss by more than one goal, coupled with a PSV draw, would see Man United finish third in Group B
- A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV win, would see Man United finish third in Group B
[ MORE: Champions League schedule ]
There are your scenarios for Man United as it’s pretty simple to break it down: Win, and they go through. Fail to win, and their fate is completely in the hands of PSV.
The Foxes are top of the Premier League and are led by a surging Jamie Vardy but how long can they keep shocking the world?
With six tough games coming up between now and the start of 2016, Claudio Ranieri‘s men will be pushed to their limit but so far this season they’ve been sensational and Vardy has equaled Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistlerooy’s record of scoring in 10-straight PL games.
[ MORE: Full PST Extra archive ]
Can he make it 11 in a row on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra) when United visit the King Power Stadium? As for the Red Devils, they sit in second place and are just one point behind the flying Foxes’. Louis Van Gaal‘s men have certainly flown under the radar so far and our churning out wins at an impressive rate.
Jenna Corrado and I discuss that and more in the latest edition of PST Extra. Click play on the video above to see our chat in full.
Rog and Davo revel in another chapter of the Leicester City fairytale, break down Liverpool’s shock dismantling of Manchester City and discuss Arsenal’s slip against West Brom.
Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.
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Joe Hart was forced to leave Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Juventus in UEFA Champions League play on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, which he seemed to incur while making a spectacular one-on-one kick-save late in the second half.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]
Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed after the game that Hart’s injury is indeed a hamstring issue, and went on to say that he would need further tests once the team arrives back in Manchester to determine the severity and how long, if at all, City and England’s no. 1 would be out of action.
Man City, currently third in the Premier League on 26 points, will host eighth-place Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).