#1 ally. De Santis hopes to convince Nesta to von corse178 01.03.2019 04:24

MONTREAL -- There was no blow-up this time from Joey Saputo. The owner and president of the Montreal Impact, who has been known to sound off after poor performances, had only praise and encouragement for his players and coaches at a news conference Wednesday, despite their feeble 4-0 loss in New York on the weekend. Saputo had met with the players a day earlier to hand them a passing grade on their performance so far this season. The Impact (9-5-4) are second in Major League Soccers Eastern Conference with two games in hand on first-place Kansas City. "Yeah, Ive blown my top a couple of times (in the past) but I didnt feel at this particular time that it was necessary for me to basically lose it with the players because we (were) in first place, were doing great," said Saputo. The Impact are going through their first rough patch of the season with two draws and two losses in their last four games, which dropped them out of first place. They hope to rebound on Saturday at home against struggling Dallas. "The message was positive," Saputo added. "Despite our recent setbacks, theres no reason to panic. "From the start of the year the goal was to make the playoffs (top five in the conference). Were in excellent position to get there. Every good team goes through difficult moments. I believe in the character and experience of this team to get out of it." He said there will not be major changes, but they will be seeking a player or two to add some depth heading into a busy second half of the MLS calendar. They will also play in the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League, which begins in August. To make room, the team has loaned little-used midfielders Calum Mallace and Sinisa Ubiparapovic to Minnesota United of the United Soccer Leagues. The Impact will likely seek help on attack and on defence, where the veteran centre back pairing of Alessandro Nesta and Matteo Ferrari has been under fire. The team has conceded 12 goals in its last four games. It hasnt helped that Nelson Rivas, a solid centre back when healthy, has been unable to play this season due to a bad knee. Sporting director Nick De Santis said he still hopes Rivas can recover. The Colombian was at practice Wednesday, but stayed on the sidelines. And he defended 37-year-old Nesta, who plans to retire at the end of the season. Some feel the Italy international has already checked out mentally. De Santis hopes to convince Nesta to stay on a little longer if Montreal gets through the Champions League group stage against the San Jose Earthquakes and CD Heredia of Guatemala. "He feels in his mind this will be his last year but you never know what the circumstances will be," said De Santis. "If were able to keep going, maybe well be able to convince him." Saputo jumped in with: "Ive heard comments that Alessandro has already retired in his mind and his heads not here. This is a player who has played at the top level and won everything and I think the last thing he wants to do is end his career on a down note. And if you ask anyone in the room which guy wants to win the most and bring this club to the next level, it is Alessandro Nesta." Saputo also backs coach Marco Schallibaum and said talks are in progress on a contract extension. The Swiss coach joined the second-year MLS club this season on a one-year deal. The Impact also plan to put a heating system under the pitch at Saputo Stadium to keep the grass snow-free and in shape for playoff games and Champions League matches in the fall. Saputo joked that it was being done so he would no longer have to shovel snow off the field, as he did before a game after a late snowfall in April. If the team goes beyond the CONCACAF group stage, playoff games in March will be indoors at Olympic Stadium. Saputo added that a goal for next season was to raise season ticket sales from 8,000 to more than 10,000. Ticket prices will not be raised next season. And he said season ticket holders will become club members, who will be invited to an annual general meeting and who will be polled regularly on matters affecting the club. The Impact have yet to sell out the stadium this season, but vice-president Richard Legendre said they are moving an average of about 5,000 more tickets per game than at the same stage last season. Their average of about 21,000 ranks third in MLS behind Seattle and Los Angeles. So far, the team has 12 players under contract for next season: goalies Troy Perkins and Evan Bush; defenders Ferrari, Hassoun Camara and Jeb Brovsky; midfielders Patrice Bernier, Felipe Martins, Justin Mapp, Sanna Nyassi and Blake Smith; and forward Andrew Wenger. Cheap Giants Jerseys . Fernandez, coached in Toronto by former two-time Olympic silver medallist Brian Orser, scored 267.11 points and is the first champion to successfully defend since Russias Evgeny Plushenko in 2005 and 2006. Madison Bumgarner Jersey . The Brazilian goalkeeper signed a loan deal with the Major League Soccer club on Friday as he looks to get playing time ahead of this summers World Cup in his home country. http://www.cheapsanfranciscogiantsjerseys.com/?tag=cheap-austin-jackson-jersey .C. at the helm of the top team in the Eastern Conference. His tenure as the GM in Vancouver was all too brief. Though he led the Canucks to what was then a franchise record-shattering campaign in just his second season, Nonis was gone and replaced one year later. Alen Hanson Jersey . PETERSBURG, Fla. Mel Ott Jersey . "It was nerve-wracking, but we pulled through," said Collaros, who threw four touchdown passes to lead the Toronto Argonauts (8-4) to a 33-27 win over the Calgary Stampeders (9-3) in front of 28,781 fans at McMahon Stadium. STANFORD, Calif. -- Even in November, Tara VanDerveer prepares her team for March by scheduling tough games and treating them like NCAA Tournament matchups.Crisp ball movement and balance carried Stanford.Brittany McPhee scored a career-high 28 points, Erica McCall added 17 points and six blocked shots, and No. 11 Stanford avenged a home loss against Texas from two years ago by beating the eighth-ranked Longhorns 71-59 on Monday night.McPhee shot 11 for 15 and had seven rebounds, while McCall had five boards and blocked five of her shots in the first half as Stanford (2-0) shot 54.9 percent to overcome 20 turnovers and spoil Texas season opener.Our team really focused. This was like an NCAA Tournament week. It was awesome, VanDerveer said. Im really proud of how people worked and Im really excited for the good things that we did and well go right back to work and get ready for Gonzaga and clean up some of those rebounds, some of those turnovers.VanDerveer, the Hall of Fame coach beginning her 31st season at the school and 38th as a college coach, moved 18 victories away from joining the late Pat Summitt as the only womens coaches to reach 1,000 career wins.After the Longhorns cut Stanfords lead to 52-47 on Joyner Holmes layin with 3:10 left in the third quarter, McCall quickly answered on the other end and Alanna Smith scored the next time down as the Cardinal capitalized on Atkins turnover.Smith, a sophomore from Australia, had her family in the stands visiting. Her father, Darren, was asked during one timeout what insight he had for the team -- and his response was a good one.Get Brittany McPhee the ball, he said, smiling.Brooke McCarty, the leading returning scorer for Texas after she averaged 11.8 points last season, had 20 points and Ariel Atkins had 14.It was an eye opener today, McCarty said. We kind of have to take that and roll with it. We just got outplayed and we got beat.A junior guard with 11 career starts over her first two college seasons, McPhee is taking on a bigger role for VanDerveers young team. And Texas, which beat Stanford the past two seasons, didnt have an answer for her accuracy.The Longhorns ended the Cardinals 28-game home winning streak with an 87-81 overtime win at Maples Pavilion on Nov.dddddddddddd 20, 2014, when Stanford was ranked sixth and Texas No. 10 -- the programs first win over a top-10 team in almost six years. It marked the first meeting when both teams were in the top-10.That year, Stanford couldnt make it two in a row after beating No. 1 Connecticut 88-86 in overtime three nights earlier to snap the Huskies 47-game winning streak.Then Texas won again last season in Austin, 77-69.Stanford was too much this time.When you get beat sometimes all you do is talk about what your team wasnt good at but I would say that midway through the second quarter they really broke our defense down, Texas coach Karen Aston said. Were young and a little bit immature and I thought that we started panicking a little bit. We missed some free throws and our confidence got rattled a little bit at the end of the first half and we werent able to recover from that.BIG PICTURETexas: The Longhorns held a 38-32 rebounding edge but were just 6 for 14 at the free throw line. They lost a season opener for the first time under fifth-year coach Aston (4-1). ... Aston coached her 300th career game. She is now 190-110 starting her 10th season as a college coach and 89-47 in her fifth season leading the Longhorns. ... Texas started the season on the road for only the second time in the past 13 years.Stanford: McCall was one off her career high in blocks. She had three blocks in a season-opening win against Cal Poly on Friday and now has nine through two games. I love blocked shots, she said. ... The Cardinal are 15-4 at home against top-10 teams over the last 10-plus seasons and 139-7 at Maples since 2007-08.UP NEXTTexas: The Longhorns host Houston Baptist on Wednesday morning in their home opener, an 11 a.m. local time tipoff for the programs annual 40 Acres Field Trip game for middle-school students from around Texas and a day that includes educational activities.Stanford: The Cardinal have another tough opponent Friday at home against West Coast Conference power Gonzaga, winner of 11 of the last 12 WCC regular-season titles and picked to do so again. ' ' '

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