Sunday, December 31, 2017

Ndoro ends Saudi nightmare…joins Ajax Cape Town

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 4:16 AM
Sport – The Standard
Ndoro ends Saudi nightmare…joins Ajax Cape Town

ZIMBABWE international forward Tendai Ndoro ended a disastrous short spell in Saudi Arabia after completing a two-year deal with South Africa’s Absa Premiership side Ajax Cape Town for an undisclosed […]

The post Ndoro ends Saudi nightmare…joins Ajax Cape Town appeared first on The Standard.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Is it important for Chelsea to keep Eden Hazard happy?

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 4:06 AM
Sportsnet.ca
Is it important for Chelsea to keep Eden Hazard happy?
Is it important for Chelsea to keep Eden Hazard happy?
[brightcove videoID=5695981923001 playerID=2540680026001 height=360 width=640]

Friday, December 29, 2017

Transfer news live: Manchester United offer swap for Paulo Dybala, Arsenal want Riyad Mahrez, City eye defenders

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 4:12 AM
The Independent - Football
Transfer news live: Manchester United offer swap for Paulo Dybala, Arsenal want Riyad Mahrez, City eye defenders
Transfer news live: Manchester United offer swap for Paulo Dybala, Arsenal want Riyad Mahrez, City eye defenders
All the very latest news, rumours and done deals ahead of the January window

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Kane sets Premier League mark with 39 goals in calendar year

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 3:24 AM
Football – Inquirer Sports
Kane sets Premier League mark with 39 goals in calendar year
Kane sets Premier League mark with 39 goals in calendar year

LONDON — Harry Kane set the English Premier League record for goals in a calendar year, raising his total to 39 with a hat trick Tuesday (Wednesday Manila time) that led Tottenham over Southampton 5-2. Kane headed in Christian Eriksen’s free kick in the 22nd minute, breaking the Premier League’s previous record of 36 set […]

The post Kane sets Premier League mark with 39 goals in calendar year appeared first on Inquirer Sports.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tony Pulis named Middlesbrough manager to replace Garry Monk

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 4:18 AM
The Independent - Football
Tony Pulis named Middlesbrough manager to replace Garry Monk
Tony Pulis named Middlesbrough manager to replace Garry Monk
Pulis will watch Tuesday's clash with Bolton Wanderers from the stands before taking charge of the squad from Wednesday

Monday, December 25, 2017

5 Premier League storylines to watch out for on Boxing Day

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 4:06 AM
The Independent - Football
5 Premier League storylines to watch out for on Boxing Day
5 Premier League storylines to watch out for on Boxing Day
It's Boxing Day, which means that lots of teams play football on a day where there are minimal public transport provisions

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Jury still out for returning Sunday Chidzambwa

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 3:22 AM
Sport – The Standard
Jury still out for returning Sunday Chidzambwa

SUNDAY “Mhofu” Chidzambwa is by far Zimbabwe’s most successful coach, but the one-year performance-based contract he has been handed on his return to the Warriors hints at the persisting doubts […]

The post Jury still out for returning Sunday Chidzambwa appeared first on The Standard.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Nick Bidwell’s Notes from Germany: Revived Bayern look unstoppable as the Autumn Champions

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 3:15 AM
News – World Soccer
Nick Bidwell’s Notes from Germany: Revived Bayern look unstoppable as the Autumn Champions

The champions go into the winter break 11 points clear of the Bundesliga's chasing pack

Timo Baumgartl of Stuttgart and Corentin Tolisso of Bayern Muenchen battle for the ball during the Bundesliga match between VfB Stuttgart and FC Bayern Muenchen at Mercedes-Benz Arena on December 16, 2017 in Stuttgart, Germany. (Photo: TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)The champions go into the winter break 11 points clear of the Bundesliga's chasing pack

Friday, December 22, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: Zidane declares Ronaldo fit for Clasico

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 4:24 AM
Soccerway.com
BREAKING NEWS: Zidane declares Ronaldo fit for Clasico
Zinedine Zidane has allayed fears over Cristiano Ronaldo's fitness, and the Ballon d'Or winner will face Barcelona on Saturday.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Pep Guardiola and Claudio Bravo share incredibly awkward moment after penalty heroics

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 2:57 AM
Dream Team FC
Pep Guardiola and Claudio Bravo share incredibly awkward moment after penalty heroics

Claudio Bravo’s Manchester City career hasn’t quite worked out as he would have hoped.

The Chilean goalkeeper was signed from Barcelona with the intention of becoming Pep Guardiola’s ‘sweeper keeper’ for his revolution in England.

CLAIM YOUR FREE £20 BET Sun Bets are offering this great offer when you sign up and bet a fiver Claudio Bravo came to collect a corner but hurt himself while landingBravo made a number of errors last seasonGetty Images

But after a series of high profile gaffes last season he’s found himself warming the bench for much of this campaign.

Because, let’s be honest, Ederson might be the best thing since sliced bread.

But Bravo has still had his moments and was the penalty shootout hero for the second round in a row in the League Cup against Leicester on Tuesday night.

Reuters Bravo was the hero against Leicester[/caption]

The former Barca stopper denied Riyad Mahrez after the game had finished 1-1 after extra time, sending City through to the semi-finals and keeping alive their hopes of an unprecedented quadruple.

But fans were quick to spot an awkward moment between Bravo and Guardiola during the celebrations.

Bravo appears to be enjoying himself before his manager approaches him and gives him a bear hug, causing the goalkeeper’s emotions to shift rather suddenly:

A hint of a strained relationship? Maybe.

READ MORE

Manchester United eye £90m Eden Hazard deal as Jose Mourinho eyes reunion Mohamed Salah once saved Egypt’s entire economy from going tits up QUIZ: Can you guess these European stadiums from the sky? PLAY DREAM TEAM WEEKENDER Pick seven players to win 10k!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

4 tips for getting your fantasy team through the festive period from last year’s FPL champion

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 2:30 AM
Sport: : BreakingNews.ie
4 tips for getting your fantasy team through the festive period from last year’s FPL champion
Fixtures and form come thick and fast, so here are some pointers to help you maximise those points.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Zim set for 17 Test matches over five years

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 3:29 AM
Sport – The Standard
Zim set for 17 Test matches over five years

DUBAI — The Zimbabwe cricket team is in line to play 17 Test matches over five years under the new Future Tours Programmes (FTP), which is in the process of […]

The post Zim set for 17 Test matches over five years appeared first on The Standard.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Icardi to Real Madrid? Nara will not say yes or no

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 3:51 AM
Soccerway.com
Icardi to Real Madrid? Nara will not say yes or no
Wanda Nara says her partner Mauro Icardi wants to stay at Inter, but has not dismissed reports of interest from Real Madrid.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Transfer news live: Manchester United want Chelsea star, Liverpool and City in for Van Dijk, Thomas Lemar swap deal

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 4:27 AM
The Independent - Football
Transfer news live: Manchester United want Chelsea star, Liverpool and City in for Van Dijk, Thomas Lemar swap deal
Transfer news live: Manchester United want Chelsea star, Liverpool and City in for Van Dijk, Thomas Lemar swap deal
All the latest transfer news live plus gossip and rumours

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Canadian Jessie Fleming a finalist for Honda soccer award

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 2:48 AM
Sportsnet.ca
Canadian Jessie Fleming a finalist for Honda soccer award
Canadian Jessie Fleming a finalist for Honda soccer award
TORONTO -- Canadian international midfielder Jessie Fleming has been chosen as one of four nominees for the Honda Sport Award for Soccer.

The 19-year-old from London, Ont., a sophomore from UCLA, is up against senior forward/midfielder Imani Dorsey from Duke, senior forward Savannah McCaskill from South Carolina and senior midfielder Andi Sullivan from Stanford.

The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards for the past 42 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports.

The winner of each sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the Honda Cup, to be presented June 25 in Los Angeles. The soccer award winner will be announced next week after voting by administrators from more than 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.

Canadian Kadeisha Buchanan, a senior defender from West Virginia University, won the soccer award last year.

Fleming was named the Canadian under-20 women's player of the year this week for the third straight year.

She helped lead UCLA to the College Cup final and scored a goal in the NCAA championship match, en route to College Cup all-tournament honours. Fleming had six goals, including three game-winners, and eight assists this season.

The nominees were chosen by a panel of coaches representing the United Soccer Coaches.

[relatedlinks]

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Schedule for week 18 of LaLiga

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 3:00 AM
English // marca
Schedule for week 18 of LaLiga
Schedule for week 18 of LaLiga

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Ceres-Global duel set

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 2:51 AM
Football – Inquirer Sports
Ceres-Global duel set
Ceres-Global duel set

BACOLOD CITY—Linked to a move overseas at the end of the season, Iain Ramsay is surely making a lasting impression in his first year playing for Ceres Negros.

The post Ceres-Global duel set appeared first on Inquirer Sports.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Everyone made the same joke about Romelu Lukaku following his performance against Manchester City

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 2:27 AM
Sport: : BreakingNews.ie
Everyone made the same joke about Romelu Lukaku following his performance against Manchester City
His display in the Manchester derby has been described as the worst of his United career so far.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Brian Glanville: How can Southgate’s future be safe when his England have been so average?

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 3:37 AM
News – World Soccer
Brian Glanville: How can Southgate’s future be safe when his England have been so average?

Belgium have the talent to embarrass the English defence in Russia

Gareth Southgate EnglandContiniuity candidate....Gareth Southgate believes it was important he stepped up for the sake of stability.Belgium have the talent to embarrass the English defence in Russia

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Arsene Wenger admits to no new contract talks between Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere at Arsenal

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 2:33 AM
Dream Team FC
Arsene Wenger admits to no new contract talks between Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere at Arsenal

Arsene Wenger admits there has been no progress in contract talks with Mesut Ozil or Jack Wilshere.

The Arsenal boss wants their futures sorted out before the transfer window opens on New Year’s Day.

Arsene Wenger admits there has been no progress in contract talks for Jack Wilshere or Mesut OzilReuters

But he is still no closer to knowing whether his midfield stars will leave as free agents in the summer, despite having a small army of negotiators and heads of recruitment at the Emirates.

Wenger denied reports that the club have made a new, improved offer to top earner Ozil, 29, whose current contract expires at the end of the season, and admitted that there have still been no talks with 25-year-old Wilshere.

The Frenchman said: “We are in December today, so now it is time to talk to Jack. But it has not happened yet.”

But Wenger’s most immediate concern is getting Arsenal’s top-four challenge back on track following last week’s 3-1 home defeat by Manchester United.

Jack Wilshere could leave the Emirates as a free agent in the summerGetty - Contributor

And he claims his team are being unfairly handicapped by the Premier League’s schedulers.

The Gunners chief is seriously unimpressed that Arsenal travel to Southampton for a midday kick-off tomorrow after playing in the Europa League on Thursday night, while United, Liverpool and Manchester City all kick off later the same day.

He complained: “The Premier League must respect the fairness of the competition and I believe that many teams don’t fight on an equal front in terms of recovery.

Mesut Ozil’s current contract with the Gunners expires at the end of the seasonGetty - Contributor

“I understand that we have to play all the games — but what I’d like is that the teams who have tight schedules are all faced with the same problems. That was not the case last week and it won’t be the same next week, either.

“I don’t mind if we have to play every day, as long as our opponents play every day, too.

“There is a massive difference on the recovery side between three and four days.

“Against United last week, I felt it took my players time to get into the game because we had played on the Wednesday night against Huddersfield and United had played 24 hours earlier.

“It took us a while to adjust to the pace of the game and they surprised us with their pace and power up front.

Jack Wilshere scored to help Arsenal to a 6-0 win in their final Europa League group match on ThursdayGetty - Contributor

“After that first 15 minutes we played remarkably well. We had a very strong, creative performance with a high amount of expected goals. But we had a poor defensive performance.”

Wenger abandoned his customary defensive formation midway through that United defeat and he also switched to a back four for Thursday’s 6-0 Europa League thrashing of BATE Borisov.

He admitted: “The back four is my preferred system but I have to adjust to what suits the quality of the players I have available and the balance of the team.

“We analysed the United defeat with the players straightaway to allow us to get the disappointment out of our system and focus on what is in front of us.”

Both could be leaving this summerGetty - Contributor

Arsenal are now a massive 15 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.

But Wenger does not buy into the theory that Pep Guardiola has somehow reinvented the managerial wheel this season.

He said: “City won the title before Pep, so we will see what happens at the end of the season.

“At the moment it is not realistic for us to speak about the title because we are too far away. Let’s just fight to win our next game and see in the longer distance if we can come back.”

Friday, December 8, 2017

Ronan O’Gara to join TV3 panel for Six Nations 2018

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 4:09 AM
Sport: : BreakingNews.ie
Ronan O’Gara to join TV3 panel for Six Nations 2018
Ronan O’Gara to join TV3 panel for Six Nations 2018
TV3 today introduced the presentation team and panel for its exclusive coverage of the NatWest Six Nations 2018.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

PH Azkals suffer embarrassing loss to Timor Leste

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 2:47 AM
Football – Inquirer Sports
PH Azkals suffer embarrassing loss to Timor Leste
PH Azkals suffer embarrassing loss to Timor Leste

On the day Philippine football marked one of its biggest achievements, a hastily assembled national men’s squad also suffered one of its most embarrassing losses on Tuesday.

The post PH Azkals suffer embarrassing loss to Timor Leste appeared first on Inquirer Sports.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

FIFA 18: The ‘no loss’ glitch has returned – and it’s ruining peoples’ lives

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 3:48 AM
Dream Team FC
FIFA 18: The ‘no loss’ glitch has returned – and it’s ruining peoples’ lives

FIFA 18 fans are complaining the infamous ‘no loss’ glitch has returned to the game.

One user, i-zez7, claims even though a player ‘rage quit’ a match because they were losing, the game did not register or record the defeat.

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He wrote: “Today I faced someone with username P-R-O_100 and won win comfortably 2-0 before he rage quit in the 60th minute

“It is not possible he should had have 35 wins and 4 remaining…”

He continued: “Messaged him to tell him I am about to report him and he said he doesn’t know what happened.

“He thought I backed out… why would I ? I was winning 2-0.

“After some hours i saw on twitter a post from a pro player @nycom5 with the exact same story ,won him and he had 37 wins and 3 remaining.”

It’s not the only incident, either.

There is a clear winner shown when the match is terminated

Another gamer wrote: “I received a DNF (did not finish) yesterday for a game I was winning.

“My opponent paused the game twice in a row. I don’t know what he did but the game crashed right after that. I had to restart the game and when I got back to UT I received a DNF.”

Somebody else wrote: “Some one did it to me. In the 120th minute of a fut champs game as I won a penalty he quit and I didn’t get the win. I have recorded it as well. If anyone wants proof.”

FIFA 17 was known for having a no-loss glitch – albeit a slightly different one.

Despite losing the match, the defeat was not registered on the system

If a match was forfeited before kick off the game did not register this as a loss.

Given that a fourth patch has just been released, it may be some time before EA resolves the issue.

FIFA 18 hasn’t been without its fair share of bugs. Earlier in the year, a glitch caused Career Mode to crash.

Career mode has been overhauled this year to include real-time transfer negotations

Career mode has been overhauled this year to include real-time transfer negotiations

The bug, which was spotted by forum member Bokata, results in a crash when players try to start a match with newly transferred players in their squad.
Instead of loading the match, the game pinged the user an error message before quitting to the PS4 or Xbox One homescreen, or to the desktop for PC gamers.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Welcome Kazembe Kazembe

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 2:40 AM
Sport – The Standard
Welcome Kazembe Kazembe

For the past 37 years, the Sports ministry has changed ministers, but unfortunately, the industry has remained one of the most neglected by the government of Zimbabwe.

The post Welcome Kazembe Kazembe appeared first on The Standard.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Riyad Mahrez has dyed his hair blond and people have questions

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 2:33 AM
Sport: : BreakingNews.ie
Riyad Mahrez has dyed his hair blond and people have questions
“He’s gone for a Romania at France 98 look here.”

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Platinum on the double

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 3:03 AM
Sport – The Standard
Platinum on the double

With half the performances they put up in cup matches, relegated Chibuku Cup champions Harare City would have easily avoided the dreaded chop in the league.

The post Platinum on the double appeared first on The Standard.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Friday, December 1, 2017

Chilembe keen on CAPS return

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 2:39 AM
Sport – The Standard
Chilembe keen on CAPS return

FORMER CAPS United captain Laughter Chilembe has expressed his desire to have another dance with his former club and reunite with his former teammate and current head coach Lloyd Chitembwe.

The post Chilembe keen on CAPS return appeared first on The Standard.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Altidore’s performance draws Keyzer Soze comparison from Vanney

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 4:09 AM
Sportsnet.ca
Altidore’s performance draws Keyzer Soze comparison from Vanney
Altidore’s performance draws Keyzer Soze comparison from Vanney

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Some fans are outraged Jermain Defoe is missing from the Sports Personality of the Year shortlist

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 3:30 AM
Sport: : BreakingNews.ie
Some fans are outraged Jermain Defoe is missing from the Sports Personality of the Year shortlist
Defoe struck up a friendship with young cancer patient Bradley Lowery before his death this year, aged six.

Monday, November 27, 2017

DeMbare: So near, yet so far

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 4:15 AM
Sport – The Standard
DeMbare: So near, yet so far

When referee Brighton Chimene blew the whistle to signal the end of the match at the National Sports Stadium yesterday, Dynamos players hung their heads in disappointment.

The post DeMbare: So near, yet so far appeared first on The Standard.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Mourinho: We could have played better

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 4:06 AM
Sport: : BreakingNews.ie
Mourinho: We could have played better
Mourinho: We could have played better
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho says he is still tweaking the balance of his side this season - after they cut Manchester City’s lead at the top of the Premier League to five points.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Liverpool’s defence to be tested against Chelsea this weekend

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 3:39 AM
Sportsnet.ca
Liverpool’s defence to be tested against Chelsea this weekend
Liverpool’s defence to be tested against Chelsea this weekend

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Friday, November 24, 2017

Lou Bega loves Ebbsfleet’s own Mambo No5

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 2:45 AM
Sport: : BreakingNews.ie
Lou Bega loves Ebbsfleet’s own Mambo No5
Ladies and Gentleman, this is Mambo No 5… no it really is…

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Footy Accumulators asks the big question: what’s the biggest rivalry in British football?

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 3:42 AM
News – World Soccer
Footy Accumulators asks the big question: what’s the biggest rivalry in British football?

Online poll reveals the biggest divide in British football

Rangers and Celtic fans during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo: Steve Welsh/Getty Images)Online poll reveals the biggest divide in British football

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

This midfielder became one of the most skillful GOALKEEPERS in FIFA history

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 3:12 AM
Dream Team FC
This midfielder became one of the most skillful GOALKEEPERS in FIFA history

FIFA has some incredible stories – but this has to be one of the greatest.

Back in 2012, Turkish side Galatasaray were 1-0 up against Elazigspor.

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Victory seemed certain – but in the 89th minute, Galatasaray keeper Fernando Muslera was sent off and gave away a penalty.

His side desperately needed the win – which would keep them in striking distance of then Turkish Super Lig leaders Antalyaspor.

mel

Thankfully, midfielder Felipe Melo was on hand – and in an act of sheer brilliance, acrobatically saved Goksu Turkdogan’s spot kick.

“I looked into Goksu eyes,” the Brazilian told Lig TV after the game.

“He looked like he wasn’t sure to me. I didn’t jump too early and waited until the last second to move.

“I really want to thank the fans. I didn’t start the season well but this save is extra motivation for me.”

cards

But it gets better.

EA caught wind of Melo’s heroics and gave him his very own 64-rated Bronze GK Ultimate Team card in FIFA 13.

Great passing, reflexes – not to mention a decent turn of pace – catapulted Melo into the history books as one of series’ all-time most skillful keepers.

Sadly, it doesn’t look as though Melo is on FIFA 18 – so last year’s game may have been his final appearance.

Still, what an incredible story.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

When TFC captain Michael Bradley speaks, people listen

Posted By: Valentin Valica - 3:54 AM
Sportsnet.ca
When TFC captain Michael Bradley speaks, people listen
When TFC captain Michael Bradley speaks, people listen

COLUMBUS, Ohio – When Michael Bradley speaks, people listen.

Toronto FC’s captain is not the type to rant and rave, or make a spectacle of himself when he’s trying to make a point. Bradley’s approach is far more measured – even keeled and thoughtful, he speaks simply and plainly, and chooses his words carefully, always managing to get the point across in a forceful way without so much as raising his voice.

When Bradley has something to say, he makes himself heard. One such moment came when he penned an open letter to TFC fans in early October, explaining why winning the Supporters’ Shield, the trophy given to the team that finishes the MLS regular season with the most points, was so important. Winning the Shield, Bradley noted, was part of a larger philosophical shift within the entire organization after the Reds suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Seattle Sounders in last year’s MLS Cup final.

“When we sat down as a group early in pre-season this year, we talked about this idea of being different,” Toronto’s captain wrote.

“The loss in the final was still clearly on everyone’s mind, but we understood that the only way to ever give ourselves a chance at redemption was to play 90 minutes at a time, for 34 games. Go after every game with the same mentality that we played with during the second half of last season.”

The entire letter, and that passage in particular, struck a chord within TFC’s fan base, as supporters in the south end of BMO Field unfurled a massive banner honouring Bradley prior to kickoff of the next home game that read, “Redemption: 90 minutes at a time.”

https://twitter.com/JohnMolinaro/status/927266054656503808

Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco garner the majority of the headlines with their goal-scoring prowess, and newcomer Victor Vazquez’s playmaking ability has elevated TFC to another level. But make no mistake about it: Bradley sets the tone at the club. As he goes, so goes Toronto FC. Bradley’s words carry a lot of weight – not just with the fan base, but also with his teammates.

And they mean even more now with Toronto set to take on the Columbus Crew on Tuesday night in Ohio in the first leg of the Eastern Conference final.

“Michael is our emotional, our technical, tactical leader. He does a lot for the club on and off the field. Part of that is his voice. He commands a big presence on the field,” defender Justin Morrow told Sportsnet.

“He’s always talking to his teammates, whether that’s conversations before the games about things we need to take care of, conversation on the practice field of how we can do things better, conversations during the game about things we need to change on the fly. His voice is massive.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by Nick Hagglund, who calls Bradley “the heartbeat of our team.” The young defender explained that Bradley has garnered the respect of his teammates by holding them accountable and expecting the same commitment that he expects from himself at all times. Bradley has also earned the trust of the entire TFC locker-room.

“He’s our captain. We follow him wherever he wants to take us. We trust everything that he says. Everything that he says is huge,” Hagglund said.

“He knows what it takes to be a winner and I think everybody sees that and respects that. His determination, his heart and leadership are amazing. For us, whatever he says it’s something we have to follow.”

Getting a young player such as Hagglund to heed your words is one thing. It’s quite another for Bradley to convince a veteran such as Drew Moor to follow his lead. Moor has far more MLS experience than Bradley, having played in over 360 regular season games and has won an MLS Cup in his 13 years in the league.

But like his younger teammates, Moor has no qualms about taking directions from his captain.

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“Everybody knows Michael’s experience and knows what he’s been through, both internationally and domestically. When he talks in the locker-room, in video sessions, in the meal room, wherever we are, everybody listens,” Moor stated.

“His words to the fans are very similar to the kind of stuff that he motivates his teammates with as well. There’s been times since I’ve been here when there’s been an opportunity for him to make a speech or share some words, and anytime he does it, it means a lot to the players.”

Bradley’s influence at TFC goes well beyond the pre-game pep talk, or what he says on the training ground. His imprint is far greater than that, with his influence reaching the upper echelons of power at MLSE.

“When he came to Toronto, his message to this organization was that he wanted [TFC] to compete for championships year in and year out. And not just with his words, but also with his actions, and the ways he speaks with the front office, he’s a big part of what this club is where it as right now,” Moor said.

“He’s everything you want in a captain, and his words are huge.”

NOTES: Giovinco and Altidore are suspended for Tuesday’s first leg in Columbus. They are eligible to return for the second leg on Nov. 29 at BMO Field… Toronto topped the Eastern Conference and the overall MLS standings with a 20-5-9 record and a league-record 69 points. Columbus (16-12-6) finished fifth in the East, 15 points adrift of Toronto… The Crew did, however, hand TFC one of its five losses this season, earning a 2-1 home win on April 15. The Reds returned to Ohio the following month and beat the Crew 2-1, and then hammered Columbus 5-0 on May 26 in the final match of the campaign between the two sides… This Eastern Conference final marks the first playoff encounter between TFC and the Crew.

Toronto FC supporters get an inside look into their favourite club every Monday night at 11 p.m. ET on Sportsnet 590 The FAN. It’s an all-access pass with co-hosts Brendan Dunlop and Thomas Michalakos as they interview the biggest names around the team and preview and review of every TFC match.

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