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k Hinrich with 17 points apiece. A
By: geng
8/15/14 (59 months ago)
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TORONTO -- Former starting goalie Stefan Frei may finally get his chance to play next week for Toronto FC in place of the suspended Joe Bendik. Frei has not started an MLS game since Sept. 24, 2011, when Toronto was beaten 3-0 by Chivas USA. The 27-year-old Swiss-born keeper missed all of last season with an ankle and leg injury suffered in training. Then, having endured a long recuperation, he lost his job to Bendik after breaking his nose in the first game of the 2013 pre-season. Bendik, a fiery and dependable shot-stopper, has been one of the bright lights in Torontos 5-16-11 season. But he received a second yellow card at the end of Torontos 1-0 loss to Philadelphia last Saturday and will have to sit out a game in Chicago on Oct. 19. Toronto has a bye this weekend. Bendik was yellow-carded in the 86th minute for time-wasting as he prepared a goal kick. After the game ended, he got another yellow when he went to talk to the referee. Philadelphia scored on a 95th-minute free kick by Brazils Kleberson to win 1-0. "That was a weird one, I dont understand that," manager Ryan Nelsen said Tuesday of the ejection. "Mind-boggling how he got the first (card). And then I think the second (card) was more that he was asking about how it took them (Philadelphia) two minutes to celebrate the goal and then he (referee Armando Villarreal) called the game before the six minutes (stoppage time) was up. "So he was just asking why blow (the whistle) so quickly, which is a fair question. But generally when you ask those type of questions, you get those type of responses. Unfortunately we wont have Joe available." Villarreal handed out seven yellow cards and a straight red (to Phialdelphias Fabinho). Toronto has no shortage of goalies behind Bendik with Frei, Chris Konopka and Quillan Roberts. With 81 starts under his belt, the 28-year-old Frei has the most experience. But he is widely expected to be on his way out. His contract, worth a hefty US$200,000 this season, is expiring and the club is committed to Bendik, who more than likely will get a new deal to reward his No. 1 status. Bendik is making a bargain $46,500 this year. The team acquired Konopka in a deal with the Philadelphia Union last month. The six-foot-five keeper, who also makes $46,500, is expected to be Bendiks backup next season. In the case of fullback Richard Eckersley, another TFC player seen on his way out from the club due to a high salary cap hit, Nelsen has opted to see what else he has available in recent weeks. That has opened up a starting spot for Mark Bloom. Still his early take is that Frei will get the start. "Well have to see how we go for the next two weeks but Stefans been in that (backup) position all season so at the moment its his." Nelsens hand may be forced given that Konopka was recovering from an injury prior to joining Toronto. "Hes close but probably not close enough," said Nelsen. Many fans see Frei as a loyal servant of the club who has endured a dreadful spell of bad luck. Nelsen was asked at a recent breakfast with supporters whether he would consider giving Frei one final start in the season finale for "a proper sendoff." Nelsen was diplomatic at the time, without committing to anything. Its not the kind of gesture that appeals to the ultra-competitive Nelsen, however. The Toronto manager may well have opted for Kopoka had he been healthy. But Konopkas health also gives Nelsen a reason to win some points by starting Frei. At 19, Roberts is seen as one for the future and will likely be loaned out to a USL team next season to get seasoning. Bendiks suspension follows a high note, at least. He is up for save of the week for a stop on Philadelphias Michael Farfan. Kleberson, meanwhile is up for goal of the week. The bye week comes at a good time for Toronto given that midfielders Bobby Convey (ankle), Darel Russell and Alvaro Rey (both quads) both were injured in the Philadelphia game. "They should be all right by Chicago but well keep an eye on them," said Nelsen. Toronto wraps up its season Oct. 26 at home to the Montreal Impact. . -- Atlanta has lost linebacker Sean Weatherspoon for at least eight weeks and running back Steven Jackson will miss the Falcons next game -- and maybe more. Chargers Jason Verrett Jersey . -- Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run homer in the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday. . Heres how Id fix them. THE PROBLEM: In general, a player becomes eligible for the draft either four years after he begins his university career or the year after he turns 25, whichever comes first. Chargers Keenan Allen Blue Jersey . Morgan got hurt running down a fly ball in left field on Wednesday night. Morgan was only in the game because Michael Brantley had left with a stiff back. Chargers Philip Rivers White Jersey .com) - The Detroit Lions announced on Wednesday that they have placed wide receiver Ryan Broyles on season-ending injured reserve. ATLANTA -- The Chicago Bulls strengthened their hold on home-court advantage in the playoffs, and made it a little tougher for the Atlanta Hawks to extend their season. For that, the Bulls can thank D.J. Augustin. Again. Keeping up his inspired play, Augustin scored 23 points as Chicago held off slumping Atlanta for a 105-92 victory Wednesday night, bumping the Hawks out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with two weeks left in the season. Chicago stretched its lead to 2 1-2 games over Brooklyn for home court in the opening round of the playoffs. The Bulls may have lost Derrick Rose to major knee injuries two years in a row, but they are 35-20 since signing Augustin in mid-December. "Hes saved our season," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "D.J. can beat you a lot of different ways." The performance came three days after Augustin scored a career-high 33 points against Boston. "D-Rose is the face of this team," Augustin said. "Im just trying to come in, just trying to help us out, do whatever I can do to help us win and go forward in the playoffs." Chicago took control with a 16-3 run in the second quarter and led the rest of the way, fending off the last of Atlantas runs when Jimmy Butler swished a 3-pointer with just over a minute remaining. "We just want to finish the rest of the season strong," Augustin said. The Hawks are heading in the opposite direction, losing for the 21st time in 28 games. This one dropped them slightly behind New York for the eighth playoff seed. "We still control our own destiny," DeMarre Carroll said. "But now things got more interesting." The Knicks (33-43) routed Brooklyn 110-81 to climb percentage points ahead of Atlanta (32-42). Cleveland is also in the mix, two games out after beating Orlando. The Hawks host the Cavaliers on Friday night. Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Jeff Teague added 21 points. But Kyle Korver, with 12 points, was the only other Atlannta player in double figures.dddddddddddd Everyone else went 13 of 32 from the field. "Were a new team," Carroll said, referring to Atlantas massive turnover the last two summers. "This year is not going to make or break us. Just to be talking about making the playoffs is amazing." The Hawks were up 42-38 with 9 minutes left in the second quarter after Mike Muscala knocked down a couple of free throws. Chicago took control from there, clamping down defensively and scoring 16 of the next 19 points. The Hawks missed 12 of 13 shots, forced to settle mostly for outside jumpers and botching a couple of easy ones when they did get inside. Augustin capped the spurt with a brilliant hesitation move, freezing the Atlanta defenders before bursting through a gap for an easy layup. The Bulls led 57-49 at the half and never surrendered the advantage. Atlanta made several runs, only to have Chicago answer every one of them. With the Hawks down 93-87 and in possession, Taj Gibson swatted away Carrolls driving shot, the Bulls grabbed a loose ball and took off the other way, with Augustin sinking a 3-pointer that led to an Atlanta timeout. It was another trey by Butler that finished off the Hawks -- appropriate enough, since the Bulls went 12 of 25 beyond the arc. Augustin was 4 of 8 from long range, while Butler chipped in with three more. In contrast to the Hawks, six players were in double figures for the Bulls, including Butler and Kirk Hinrich with 17 points apiece. Atlanta has eight games left to pull out its seventh straight playoff appearance. "This team is competitive," Elton Brand said. "Theres no quit in us. Were going to play it out until the end." NOTES: Chicagos Joakim Noah had 10 points and 10 rebounds. ... The Bulls swept the season series 4-0 and now have won six straight against the Hawks since last season. ... Thibodeau shrugged off the 200th career victory. "Ive got a good team," he said after improving his record to 200-105 in four seasons. ' ' '