If Jermain Defoe is still en route to Toronto, when will the England international get here?

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The Toronto Sun continues to insist that England international Jermain Defoe is still in the mix to be Toronto FC’s big, Designated Player signing. (In terms of landing the seriously big fish, Defoe is a whopper compared to Gilberto Oliveira Souza Junior, the 24-year-old Brazilian forward announced late last week.)

The newspaper even goes so far as to say that signing the Spurs striker is “sure to be the biggest off-season move MLS-wide –both financially and tactically.”

Could well be, too.

But the impediment may be Defoe’s understandable desire to be in England’s squad for Brazil. That’s on every soccer player’s ultimate wish list, obviously.

And doesn’t that seem to put Toronto in a pickle?

Defoe does jeopardize his standing with England manager Roy Hodgson by moving out of London (and out of one of the world’s top leagues) for MLS. That is sure to give the man pause.

It’s easy to just say “Defoe would join Toronto after the World Cup” and move on. But give that a bit of thought – and then ask yourself if spending lavishly on a guy who can’t or won’t join MLS until August is really the best thing?

By early August, MLS will be about 22 rounds through a 34-round season. You know where Toronto was after 22 rounds last year?

A humbling 3-10-8 record, ninth out of 10 teams in the East, 13 points out of playoff positioning. Even if we think that a guy with good-not-great name recognition, and a man who hasn’t gotten regular starts at Tottenham for some time, is worth the talked-about $10 million transfer fee, he’s surely not worth all that for a third of the season.

And especially not if Toronto is too far out of the playoff race for his goals to even matter.

Defoe is a talent, and he could bring something to MLS.

But I’m still not convinced this is going to happen. Or if it should happen, even, given the tricky timing elements involved.

STREAM LIVE: West Brom-Palace, Liverpool-Leicester in PL Asia Trophy

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It’s a incredibly early kickoff for the third place game of the Premier League Asia Trophy tournament, at least here in the States, where West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace duke it out at 6 a.m. ET. in Hong Kong.

West Brom lost to Leicester City in its semifinal when youngster Sam Field missed the side’s seventh attempt in penalty kicks. Jay Rodriguez scored the Baggies goal in regulation of a 1-1 draw.

[ LIVE: Stream PL Asia Trophy here ]  

Palace fell 2-0 to Liverpool in its semifinal.

The final will be staged at 8:30 a.m. ET, when Liverpool will hope to build on a win paced by Divock Origi and Dominic Solanke goals.

2-year doping ban upheld for Finland, CSKA Moscow player

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld a two-year ban for CSKA Moscow midfielder Roman Eremenko for a positive test for cocaine.

[ MORE: Morata signs five-year contract at Chelsea ]

CAS says the ban imposed by UEFA was “appropriate” and dismissed the Finland international’s appeal.

[ MORE: Vertonghen says Spurs need to “level up” like rest of PL contenders ]

The ban will expire on Oct. 5, 2018, when Eremenko will be 31.

Eremenko tested positive after playing in a Champions League game for CSKA Moscow against Bayer Leverkusen last September. The 2-2 result was not affected despite Eremenko scoring CSKA’s second goal.

Born in Moscow, Eremenko grew up in Finland and has represented its national team 73 times.

Webb says De Jong would have been sent off with video review

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NEW YORK (AP) Howard Webb says he would have given Dutch midfielder Nigel De Jong a red card in the 2010 World Cup final if a video assistant referee had been in place.

The retired English referee showed De Jong a yellow card in the 28th minute for his karate kick into the chest of Spain’s Xabi Alonso. Hired in March to oversee video technology for professional soccer in the U.S. and Canada, Webb held a media seminar Friday ahead of its Aug. 5 launch in Major League Soccer.

Webb says: “Yes, it was a clear red card. It was a clear and obvious error on my part not to send the player off, and VAR would have been able to recommend a review to me, and I would have been able to make the right call.”

Now 46, Webb was a Premier League referee from 2003-14. He worked the Champions League and World Cup finals in 2010, became director of referees at the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, and started in March as manager of video assistant referee operations for the Professional Referee Organization.

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City 0-1 Atlanta United (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): Friday night’s effort at Orlando City Stadium wasn’t the prettiest for either side but Atlanta United will gladly take three points from the fixture as the Central Florida venue proved to be a fortress once more. The Lions were far superior in their attacking threats throughout the match, testing USMNT and Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan on multiple occasions. However, it was Hector Villalba that proved to be the difference when he blasted a long-distance effort to beat Joe Bendik in the 86th minute. Atlanta extends its unbeaten streak to four matches with Friday’s decision, keeping Tata Martino’s side in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, while Orlando City moves into fifth.

Three moments that mattered

36′ — Guzan stands tall, denies Rivas — Carlos Rivas thought he scorched this one (and he did…), but Brad Guzan acted like it was nothing as he held his ground to make the stop.

39′ — Spector gets ripped off by Guzan — The U.S. goalkeeper is at it again… What a save!

86′ — Villalba unleashes stunner to propel Atlanta — Sometimes it just takes one good hit as a striker.

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Man of the match: Brad Guzan

Goalscorers: Hector Villalba (86′)