Subiect: uld have included Francis
VANCOUVER -- The biggest knock against Gershon Koffie with the Vancouver Whitecaps has been his consistency. An imposing presence in midfield, the Ghanaian would be the best player on the pitch one game and virtually invisible the next. After starting the 2014 campaign on the bench, Koffie has finally begun to live up to expectations on a daily basis, and both he and the Whitecaps have one of the teams new acquisitions at least partly to thank. Toronto FC dealt Matias Laba to Vancouver right before the start of the season and the Argentine midfielder has slotted seamlessly into the centre of rookie head coach Carl Robinsons formation. The workhorse not only cleans up danger in front of the Whitecaps defence, he also allows Vancouvers attacking players to push forward -- with Koffie being one of the main beneficiaries thus far. The 22-year-old scored from 40 yards out after pouncing on a goalkeeping error in last weekends 2-2 draw with the Seattle Sounders, and had three other clear-cut chances, including a shot that rattled the crossbar in the games opening minutes. "Gersh has got incredible attributes. Hes got the physical strength. When he makes a tackle and he means it, no ones going to beat him. Hes really that powerful," Whitecaps assistant coach Martyn Pert said Thursday. "The consistency part of the game is still something that hes got to really work hard at, and hes getting there, thats four or five games on the spin now hes been very good. "Hes got to keep it going, keep the foot on the pedal and keep driving." Robinson favoured Nigel Reo-Coker in the centre of midfield at the start of the season, but after the Englishman was injured in an off-field incident the Whitecaps turned to Koffie. "I dont think I was disappointed to be on the bench, but that motivated me," said Koffie, whose goal against Seattle was his first of the season. "I have to embrace it because my fellow mates were doing well and it was a coachs decision." Koffie -- who has already played 93 games in his Major League Soccer career -- said Robinson has asked him to go forward more in his attack-minded system, and credits Laba with allowing him that freedom to roam. "Playing with Matias Laba gives me the license to go forward and get some chances," said Koffie. "I know hes there to work the defensive part and delay (opponents) before we can get back in (formation)." Labas tenacity has also rubbed off on his midfield counterpart, who tracked back on more than one occasion against Seattle to help out Vancouvers back line. "(Labas) a guy who sets the tone," said Koffie. "If you play next to him, he goes in for tackles (and) you have to do the same. If he goes in chasing the ball, you have to do the same, because you cant let him do the job (alone)." Also just 22, Laba was a casualty of Toronto FCs winter spending spree, with the club unable to retain the designated player it acquired last season. "I didnt expect it, but I think its for the best," Laba said through an interpreter. "Im very happy in Vancouver with a great coach and teammates." Although he often takes care of the less-glamorous tasks on the field, the Whitecaps have come to appreciate his tireless work. "Mati gives us a great dimension to build off of at the back," said Vancouver captain Jay DeMerit. "He lets the guys that are creative express themselves a little bit more, just by giving you a little bit more of a lockdown defensively." Added the selfless Laba: "Ive always played that way -- win balls, win tackles -- and quickly disperse (passes) so my teammates have more time on the ball." Pert has been in awe at how quickly Laba has adapted to his new surroundings. "Matis been incredible since hes come in and the fact he came in two weeks before the start of the season and every game he just never lets you down," said Pert. "Hes absolutely a top, top player. I couldnt speak highly enough of Mati. "He makes incredible tackles, he gets his foot on the ball, he plays it simple." Because of their youth, Laba and Koffie could be patrolling Vancouvers midfield for some time, and the pair are expected to start alongside each other once again when the Whitecaps (4-2-5) visit the Portland Timbers (3-3-7) on Sunday. "(Koffies) a great player and I think we work really well together," said Laba. "I can win balls and that opens space up for him to go forward and attack more. We compliment each other quite well." Maliek Collins Jersey . And rest hardly led to rust for the two-time defending NBA champions. Sean Lee Jersey . - Mark Sanchez found out the New York Jets had acquired Tim Tebow on a conference call with team management. http://www.cheapcowboysjerseysonline.co … ey-online. "It feels good, Ive never had one before, not even in College," Hagelin said after the Rangers outgunned the Jets 4-2, behind some solid goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist following a pretty wide open first period. DeMarcus Ware Jersey . -- The Denver Broncos retired John Elways No. Tyree Robinson Jersey . -- At the beginning of training camp, Andrew Bogut set a goal to play all 82 regular-season games and regain his place among the NBAs best centres.As a fun NHL Draft exercise, I decided to go through each NHL team and re-configure their rosters, only allowing teams to include players that were drafted by the team. In order to keep the roster numbers up, those that were undrafted free agents were included with the teams for which they played their first NHL games. Take it easy, agents. This isnt about removing trades or free agency -- those are some of my favourite parts of the game too -- but its about how teams identify and secure talent and which teams have done these things more effectively. As you can see, by looking through these hypoethetical depth charts, there are teams that have provided a disproportionate number of the players throughout the league. Certainly, some teams have had and used more draft picks than other teams, so thats part of the reason why they bring so much more talent into the league, but theres probably a lesson to be gleaned from that as well. Take the defence picks of the Montreal Canadiens and Nashville Predators, for example. The Canadiens could, theoretically, have a defence that includes Ryan McDonagh, Francois Beauchemin, Mark Streit, Stephane Robidas and Ron Hainsey in addition to the guys they kept -- P.K. Subban, Andrei Markov, Alexei Emelin (could have included Francis Bouillon and Mike Komisarek, too). Nashville has done very well on the blueline, drafting Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Dan Hamhuis, Roman Josi, Seth Jones, Cody Franson, Kevin Klein and Ryan Ellis (as well as Mattias Ekholm and signing Victor Bartley). On the other hand, there are teams that have had a hard time bringing in defencemen, like the Philadelphia Flyers, who have preferred (or been forced) to acquire their defencemen through other means. Dennis Seidenberg and Joni Pitkanen are the two best active NHL defencemen that the Flyers have drafted and Pitkanen missed all of last season due to injury while Seidenberg missed half the year. Of course, the Flyers have had brought in (and subsequently let go) some serious talent up front, including Patrick Sharp, Justin Williams, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, among others, but their hypoethetical forward depth chart is impressive. Sometimes, circumstances have made it that a team doesnt need to draft at a position. Think of the Boston Bruins goaltending situation recently, carried by Tuukka Rask (acquired in trade) and, before him, Tim Thomas (a Quebec Nordiques draft pick!), so -- at least prior to drafting Malcolm Subban in the first round -- the Bruins havent brought in a lot of blue-chippers in net. By contrast, the Toronto Maple Leafs have had Rask, James Reimer and Ben Scrivens, or the Washington Capitals, who have had Semyon Varlamov, Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth through their system. A few quick obserrvations: - Some lean resuls in Columbus, where they barely have an NHL centre aside from Ryan Johansen and Derick Brassard.dddddddddddd - Tons of depth with Detroit, particularly after making call-ups this year. Joakim Andersson and Luke Glendening, who played regularly for the Wings this year, didnt crack the five-deep depth chart. - Crazy depth in Ottawa too, where so many forwards -- Marian Hossa, Martin Havlat, Daniel Alfredsson, Antoine Vermette, Brooks Laich, Jakob Silfverberg -- have moved on to other teams. - A few other rules of this "what if?" game: I allowed players that were drafted twice to be used by both organizations, so look out for Jarret Stoll playing both sides in the Battle of Alberta! - The Edmonton Oilers come by their defensive woes honestly. Theyve drafted four active NHL defencemen, including Martin Marincin and Oskar Klefbom, rookies they called up last season. - Using the Atlanta Thrashers and Winnipeg Jets franchise doesnt yield much up front, especially with Ilya Kovalchuk gone to Russia. Bryan Little, Evander Kane, Mark Scheifele, then who was the fourth-best forward in 2013-2014 that was drafted by this franchise? Patrick Dwyer? Dany Heatley? The story is better on defence and in net. Using only players that played in the NHL in the 2013-2014 season, I came up with rosters (Maple Leafs example below) that you can see by clicking here. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS LW C RW Alexander Steen Nazem Kadri Brad Boyes Jiri Tlusty Tyler Bozak Nikolai Kulemin Viktor Stalberg Matt Stajan Jimmy Hayes Jerry DAmigo John Mitchell Matt Frattin Josh Leivo Spencer Abbott Shawn Thornton D D G Carl Gunnarsson Anton Stralman Tuukka Rask Morgan Rielly Luke Schenn James Reimer Carlo Colaiacovo Jay Harrison Ben Scrivens Jean-Philippe Cote Mike Kostka Jonas Gustavsson Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. Cheap Adidas Hockey Jerseys Wholesale College Jerseys Cheap Nike Basketball Jerseys Cheap Football Jerseys Free Shipping Cheap Baseball Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping Cheap Jerseys From China Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Nike NBA Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys Authentic Cheap MLB Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Soccer Jerseys China Cheap NCAA Jerseys China Stitched NFL Jerseys Cheap Custom Jerseys China Cheap Basketball Jerseys Authentic NFL Jerseys China Cheap College Jerseys Wholesale Football Jerseys ' ' '