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    August 10, 2018 2:30 AM CDT

    TORONTO - Toronto FC went 1-2-2 during an injury-plagued Florida training camp, coming home to a frozen tundra. Star striker Jermain Defoe has yet to touch down and fellow marquee signings Michael Bradley and Gilberto have been hampered by injury. Goalie Julio Cesar is on international duty with Brazil in South Africa and backup forward Bright Dike is already probably out for the season after tendon surgery. Manager Ryan Nelsen has been down three fullbacks and three strikers. Minor niggles have turned into more bothersome setbacks. Its meant extra minutes for some players and new positions for others. For an MLS franchise that has gone all-in on the transfer market in a bid to finally make the playoffs after seven seasons of failure and a woeful 51-105-66 record, there is still much work to do. The good news is Toronto has a bye this weekend when 16 clubs kick off the 2014 season. Toronto opens March 15 in Seattle. "We planned that brilliantly," Nelsen said dryly after practice Tuesday under the bubble at the teams well-appointed north Toronto training ground. Nelsen, in his second year at the helm, has managed to find some positives in the rocky pre-season. "It did expose our weaknesses," he said. "You always get exposed at some part of the season, whether its injuries or suspensions or international call-ups or something like that." "We know what we have, we know what we need to be and where we need to get to," he added. "Its good to know now rather than a quarter or halfway through the season. "Well be a different animal come the 15th but in the back of my mind, its a nice thing to know moving forward." Depth is an issue. Toronto can field an impressive starting 11 but pre-season has already shown that the wrong combination of injuries at the wrong position can cause havoc. The team remains very much a work in progress. Even MLSsoccer.com, which ranked TFC 17th out of 19 teams in its weekly "power rankings," has Toronto 14th in its pre-season list. "Were not all aboard the bandwagon just yet," said the website. Nelsen, whose team went 6-17-11 last season, says he doesnt concern himself with "outside voices." But the former New Zealand international knows that whipping up a gourmet meal is more than just buying the right ingredients. "Just because you make some changes, its not like a light switch. It does take time," he said. "Thats the beauty of sport. "But in saying that we fully expect to get where we want to be. And if you think the expectations are high outside, theyre probably higher inside. But we know its hard and we know its a journey to get to." The pre-season injury list has included forwards Gilberto (quadricep) and Dike (tendon), midfielders Jonathan Osorio (flu) and Daniel Lovitz (knee) and fullbacks Mark Bloom (quadricep), Bradley Orr (calf) and Justin Morrow (hip). Bradley, who withdrew from the U.S squad to face Ukraine in Cyprus, is nursing a minor foot issue. More worrying for Nelsen is the fact that the injuries to Bloom and Orr started as minor issues but got worse. "Well definitely be addressing it," Nelsen said. "You always get niggles and you always get injuries but theyre re-injuries. When you re-do an injury, its major cause for concern." Nelsen expects everyone to be ready for the season. Defoe, the former Tottenham star, is expected to join the team after Wednesdays England friendly against Denmark. "As soon as he plays the game for England, hell be on a plane over," said Nelsen. Still, that means a longer road for team chemistry. Although, unlike past off-seasons, Torontos transaction list has been relatively short and very select. Bradley, Defoe, Gilberto, Cesar, Morrow, Jackson, Orr, and veteran midfielder Dwayne De Rosario are all targeted as starters. The injuries at fullback have meant rookie centre back Nick Hagglund has been shifted to an emergency right back. "Couldnt be more happy with Nick," said Nelsen. Bill Lee Jersey. Chris Heisey connected for his first grand slam and Devin Mesoraco homered and drove in a career high-tying four runs as Cincinnati took advantage of Tampa Bays depleted pitching staff for a 12-4 victory on Sunday. Nomar Garciaparra Jersey. She was 30. The former British No. 1 died peacefully surrounded by family and friends, the Womens Tennis Association said on its website. The Kyiv-born Baltacha, who represented Britain at the 2012 London Olympics, was diagnosed with the illness in January, two months after retiring from tennis and only weeks after she married her long-time coach Nino Severino. http://www.redsoxjerseyauthenticshop.com/authentic-chris-sale-red-sox-jersey/. With a win tonight, Buehrle will match Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka for the most wins in the majors with 11. Buehrle is 10-4 with a 2.32 earned run average, but has lost his last three starts, including a 7-3 setback at Yankee Stadium last Wednesday. Carl Yastrzemski Jersey. Ricciardo made it only halfway around the Jerez track before his RB10 rolled to a stop and began spouting smoke from the back. After team mechanics tended to the car, Ricciardo went back out for a mere two trips around the circuit before calling it quits. Joe Kelly Jersey.  TSN 1290s Jordan Cieciwa, Big Marv and Toby are here to give their predictions on who will leave with the belt and who will take some of the other key bouts on the card. Johny Hendricks vs.MIAMI -- Julio Teherans low ERA rose a smidgen, which was OK because his modest batting average rose a lot. Teheran pitched 7 1-3 innings and had two hits Friday night to help the Atlanta Braves move a game ahead of Miami atop the NL East by beating the Marlins 3-2. The right-hander doubled to lead off the seventh, and the Braves went on to score twice in the inning to take the lead. "I felt I had to start a rally, and just tried to put the ball in play," Teheran said. "I think that was the biggest play of the game." The Braves trailed 2-0 in the sixth inning but rallied to break a four-game losing streak. "I know weve been losing," Teheran (5-3) said. "Its nice to do my job and help the team." Teheran allowed five hits and two runs, which raised his ERA to 1.83. He came into the game 2 for 25 this season and hiked his batting average to .143. The right-hander improved to 4-0 in six career starts against the Marlins with an ERA of 2.50. "Hes a stud," teammate Chris Johnson said. "He earned this one. He had our backs, and we got him just enough." Three relievers combined to complete a five-hitter. Craig Kimbrel, who took the loss Thursday at Boston, pitched a perfect ninth for his 14th save in 16 chances. The Braves won for only the third time in their past 13 road games. They totalled just eight hits but had several lineouts. "We hit the ball harder than any other game this year," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We were hitting rockets right at people all night long. The score wasnt indicative of how well we swung the bat." Giancarlo Stanton hit his NL-leading 16th home run in the first inning to put the Marlins up 2-0, but Tom Koehler (4-5) couldnt hold the lead. He gave up three runs in seven innings and was annoyed to allow four walks. "Its tough to win ballgames wwhen youre giving a team extra opportunities," he said.dddddddddddd The Marlins lost for only the second time in their past 13 games against NL East teams. Freddie Freeman went hitless and struck out three times. He is 0 for 28 with 12 strikeouts against Miami this year and is batting .347 against the rest of the majors. With the Braves trailing 2-1 to start the seventh, Gonzalez said it was a no-brainer to let Teheran hit, in part because the teams bullpen was stretched thin. Teheran rewarded the decision with an opposite-field double. Jason Heyward followed with a run-scoring triple, and B.J. Uptons sacrifice fly drove in an unearned run to put the Braves ahead. Johnson singled home Atlantas first run in the sixth. While the Braves liked the way Teheran hit, they were more impressed with the 23-year-olds pitching. "The more he goes out there, the more impressed I get -- his demeanour and how he goes about his business," Gonzalez said. "You watch him grow up in front of your face." Teherans only glaring mistake was a hanging slider to Stanton, whose homer was a typical tape-measure job. It cleared the hedge beyond the 418-foot sign in centre field, ending a streak of 15 consecutive scoreless innings for Teheran. He started a new streak the next inning. "He was throwing four or five different pitches and commanding them all," Miamis Ed Lucas said. "He does a really good job changing speeds, especially for somebody who is as young as he is. Hes got a really good feel for pitching." The Marlins, who began the night with the best home record in baseball, fell to 20-9 at Marlins Park. NOTES: Miami C Jarrod Saltalamacchia went 0 for 3 and is in a 1-for-18 slump. ... RHP Ervin Santana (4-2, 4.06) is scheduled to start Saturday for the Braves against Miami RHP Jacob Turner (1-2, 5.35). Wholesale Jerseys ' ' '