Live from BMO Field: Cold not keeping TFC fans from buzzing ahead of home opener

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“I am excited, obviously, but given the club’s history I’m anxious too. It wouldn’t surprise me if Defoe blew his knee out today and never played again.”

That’s the statement from Michael, one of many Toronto FC (1-0-0) supporters buzzing about BMO Field for today’s home opener against DC United (0-1-0).

The longtime season ticker holder is far from a loner in his thoughts. For a club that’s only been playing since 2007, Reds supporters have done the dangerous dance with great expectations on plenty of occasions.

source:  But Amado Guevara and Torsten Frings are one thing; The bevy of choice offseason acquisitions by Tim Bezbatchenko are another. With Michael Bradley, Julio Cesar, Gilberto, Dwayne De Rosario and Jermain Defoe in the fold, fans are ready for the on-field roar to match the noise the Red Patch Boys have been making from the stands for years.

Defoe seems to carry a reverence already, with his two goals against Seattle to open the season only buoying the optimism regarding the diminutive forward. Over an hour from kickoff and the supporters have already placed a banner depicting a celebrating Defoe on the English flag, his surname broken up by his torso: “DE FOE.”

It’s a windy and cold day in Ontario, with the city skyline across from the press box and inviting fans indoors. But not today, not with so much excitement and so much promise on the pitch, still patchy and fighting the winter like its city. Folks have come from all directions for the match; even Buffalo, N.Y., had several dozen on a bus across the border to witness Bradley and Co.’s debut.

All three Toronto DPs are in the lineup for the Reds, while Eddie Johnson will up-top for DC United against his American teammate Bradley.



Toronto FC: Cesar; Caldwell (c), Henry, Morrow, Bloom; Bradley, Osorio, Goncalves, Rey; Gilberto, Defoe

Subs: Bendik; Orr, Morgan, Hagglund; Bekker, Wiedeman, De Rosario

DC United: Hamid; Parke, Fernandez, Franklin, Boswell (c); Arnaud, De Leon, Silva, Kitchen; Johnson, Espindola

Subs: Dykstra; Porter, Martin, Doyle, Jeffrey, Kemp, Attakora

And, oh yeah… nice scarves handed out for a cold day in Canada:


Cisse arrested in sex tape investigation

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Former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse is embroiled in a bizarre investigation into the extortion of a sex tape.

The 34-year-old French striker has been arrested by French police who have confirmed that are investigating attempts to bribe another international footballer.

[ MORE: Klinsmann sends Johnson home ]

Unconfirmed reports from France claim that the individual in question is France and Lyon midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, a former teammate of Cisse at both Marseille and with the French national team.

According to Reuters news agency, Cisse was questioned because he was familiar with the people involved and in total four individuals were arrested as it is alleged they plotted to ask for money from Valbuena for the sex tape to not be released. It is unclear if the tape is of Valbeuna and his partner Fanny Lafon, or if other individuals are involved.

[ MORE: Dust settles, questions remain for USMNT future ]

Cisse won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool and scored 24 goals in 79 games during his three-year stay at Anfield until 2007. He also had spells with Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League, while he is currently out of contract after being released by Ligue 1 side Bastia following nine goals in 41 appearances. Cisse is due to appear on the French version of “Dancing with the Stars” in the coming months.

Further reports from France say that Cisse is expected to be “exonerated” and that the existence of the video is “not proven” at this point.

Agent: “There’s no hatred” between Bale, Ronaldo

Gareth Bale & Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid CF
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Gareth Bale doesn’t at all dislike Cristiano Ronaldo — or vice versa — despite what may seem a lukewarm on-field relationship between the two Real Madrid superstars, insists Jonathan Barnett, agent of Bale.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Instead, Barnett insists that the two men with very different personalities have a healthy relationship, and competition, that pushes each Galactico to be the best player he can be.

Barnett, on Bale’s relationship with Ronaldo — quotes from the Guardian:

“They don’t go out eating every night together, but it’s fine. There’s no hatred there. Gareth is a quiet guy. They’re complete opposites. But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it. Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn’t want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world. I don’t think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That’s not him.”

That’s a hilarious closing quote from Barnett, but he knows exactly how some folks are going to interpret it: “Bale thinks Ronaldo loves himself too much.”

[ MORE: Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott ]

There’s nothing better for the ultimate success of a team than healthy, friendly competition between teammates who are spectacularly talented as Ronaldo and Bale. The former will only be around to perform at his current level for so much longer, but at what point does the latter officially take the torch and supplant Madrid’s biggest star, and how accepting will he be of passing that proverbial torch?