Toronto FC Introduce Jermain Defoe

Injury means Jermain Defoe is done with Tottenham, but hamstring problem may also cost him season opener with Toronto

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Soon-to-be Toronto FC forward Jermain Defoe has seen his career with Tottenham Hotspur come to a premature end, with an injury causing the impound Designated Player to be ruled out of Thursday’s Europa League match against Ukraine’s Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. With the Reds’ season debut just over two weeks away, the concern now shifts to whether Defoe will be able to suit up for Ryan Nelsen’s side when they open the 2014 season in Seattle.

Thursday was supposed to be Defoe’s Spurs farewell, but according to Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood, a hamstring injury will prevent the 31-year-old striker from playing a final game at White Hart Lane. Instead, the England international who began his second spell with the club in 2009 will say goodbye to fans at halftime, leaving North London having scored 144 goals for his club.

MLS’s website reached out to Toronto to try to find out more about the injury, but right now, little is known about the extent of the problem. Given the age of the player, the miles on his legs, and the surface at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field (FieldTurf), how likely are we to see one of Toronto’s two big signings in its season opener?

Nobody knows. And nobody will know until Defoe’s in Toronto and can be checked out by the Reds’ trainers. But take a look at the calendar, factor in some travel and the time needed to get work with his new team, and Defoe’s going to be cutting it close. Unless his absence from Thursday’s Europa League game is purely precautionary, his availability for the Seattle game seems reasonably in doubt.

Michael Bradley will still be there, and the meeting between him and fellow United States international Clint Dempsey will still happen. But that expensive Toronto team we’re eager to see in action? It may be missing a piece come Mar. 15.

Newcastle’s Krul on crutches after injury in Dutch win

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03:  Tim Krul of Newcastle United looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Newcastle United at Etihad Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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Newcastle United’s horror start under Steve McClaren just got worse.

Magpies No. 1 goalkeeper Tim Krul is on duty with the Netherlands, and was forced from the Dutch’s 2-1 win at Kazakhstan in Euro qualifying action.

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Krul left the game after landing awkwardly on his knee, and left the stadium on crutches.

Newcastle’s back-up keepers are Karl Darlow, new from Nottingham Forest, and veteran Rob Elliot.

The Magpies are in 20th place, without a win through eight Premier League matches.

McClaren’s crew just finished a brutal run of matches that saw Newcastle face Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.

VIDEO: Marco Verratti plays a brilliant pass to Eder for Italy goal

PALERMO, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 06:  Marco Verratti of Italy in action during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Italy and Bulgaria on September 6, 2015 in Palermo, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
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Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.

The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.

The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.

Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.


Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.