Ninety minutes doesnt make a season. Jordan Weal Jersey . Just ask last seasons Supporters Shield winners, the New York Red Bulls, who were resoundingly defeated last weekend by a rampant Vancouver Whitecaps in a match which produced two contenders for MLS Goal of the Week from Sebastian Fernandez and Pedro Morales. Another of those contenders was a slice of set piece magic from FC Dallas playmaker, Mauro Diaz, which after the final whistle blew, ended up the difference-maker as the Montreal Impact kicked their season off on the wrong side of a five-goal thriller after taking a deserved lead at Toyota Stadium last Saturday night. This for a club which has built its foundation on taking the lead and parking the bus since the time Jose Mourinho was working as a translator for Sir Bobby Robson at Barcelona. Conceding goals in threes, though, was a recurring theme in the preseason for the Impact. For those who believe preseason matches dont really matter, lets not bother having them and, while were at it, please scrap all those preseason tournaments. There was no connection whatsoever with the Columbus Crew putting four past the 2013 MLS Cup champion Sporting KC in the final of the Disney Pro Soccer Classic and taking all that confidence and Orlando momentum into D.C. to start their season last Saturday with a 3-0 rout of United. Growing a cohesive defensive unit and mindset was a significant ingredient as the Impacts training camp progressed. With that in mind, it was rather baffling that in his first match as gaffer, Frank Klopas strayed from that blueprint and morphed into the Tinkerman. Pre-game, I dont suspect that anybody would have predicted that such an unacquainted defence would have taken the pitch in Dallas. Having not played a minute in preseason, it was hardly surprising that Jeb Brovsky didnt display his usual reliable, risk-averse self. And when will the Impact finally realize the liability that is Hassoun Camara in a central role? As its only in adversity or defeat that one learns, the Impact head across the state with plenty learned in Dallas to be applied when the Impact return to the scene of that playoff crime in Houston on Saturday night. As geography plays a significant part in growing rivalries across planet futbol, whod have thought MLSs 19th franchise would have developed a bitter rivalry with a club they dont even share the same time zone with? The origins for which we must thank Dominic Kinnear and Jesse Marsch. The Dynamos head coach for first leaving him unprotected in the Expansion Draft and the Impacts original head coach for having the fortitude to rise to the rostrum at the Impacts downtown offices back on November 23, 2011 and, with his first selection, utter those infamous words, "Brian Ching." Whether Quebec native and Canadian international defender Andre Hainault was the real target is still the stuff of debate, but what is certain is that these two clubs dont much care for each other with last years Halloween Eve playoff horrors merely the icing on the cake. After embarrassing the Dynamo in sticking five past them late last summer at Saputo Stadium, Houston avenged that by first beating the Impact in the return encounter in early October and twisted the knife during the first round of the playoffs. Houston boasts one of the best home records in all of Major League Soccer these recent seasons and it is going to take a supreme team effort for the Impact to get anything from the match. Having spent the entire week down in Texas will have allowed them for the perfect preparation. No club wants to start its season 0-2 and the Impact will not want any additional pressures heading into their Olympic Stadium home opener March 22 against the Seattle Sounders. Nor will Klopas want to be explaining himself as he makes his Montreal bow. Houston has not been kind to the ex-Fire head coach, where he sports a solitary win from seven matches. Klopas will want a repeat performance from Justin Mapp, who was scintillating in Dallas. New DP Hernan Bernadello will have to last the 90 minutes. Splendid early on orchestrating the attacks, the 27-year old Argentine physically and mentally tired as the game wore on. How refreshing it would have been for Impact management and faithful alike that Andrew Wenger finally displayed the type of football through the 90 minutes we all know he is capable of? A well taken goal, following expert delivery from Felipe on the flank, was thoroughly deserved. The 2012 SuperDraft first-overall pick will be brimming with confidence when he hits the pitch Saturday night. It is vital he utilizes that additional injection of adrenaline in a positive manner. Individually and as a team, the Impact cannot allow any tension get to them. Greater concentration and discipline were the key messages to emerge from the time training in Texas. The Impact didnt gain any points in Dallas, but after a thoroughly entertaining 90 minutes of football, they certainly gained many new admirers back in La Belle Province as they tuned into the action as an appetizer to the Habs late night west coast encounter. Sanna Nyassi, who was the Impacts best player to emerge from training camp and scored last weeks opener, will be missed. Klopas will tinker with his starting XI. You can reach and follow Noel Butler at:Noel.Butler@BellMedia.ca @TheSoccerNoel on Twitter Andrew MacDonald Jersey .Y. - The New York Yankees made it official Saturday, announcing the completion of a seven-year deal with free-agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and a one-year contract for returning starter Hiroki Kuroda. Dave Schultz Jersey . - Whether its because of her improved play or the reason for it, Michelle Wie appears as comfortable on and off the golf course as at any time in her career. http://www.officialflyersfanstore.com/authentic-nolan-patrick-flyers-jersey/ .Y. - For once, Clayton Kershaw was glad to see a long shutout streak end.OKLAHOMA CITY -- Serge Ibaka walked slowly and carefully, but without a limp, before facing reporters Saturday afternoon. Much has been made of the Oklahoma City defensive stars absence in the first two games of the Western Conference finals series against the San Antonio Spurs. The 6-foot-10 power forward strained his left calf in the previous playoff series, and the Thunder said they expected him to be out for the playoffs. The team changed course Friday and declared him day-to-day. He worked out Saturday, but he didnt practice before addressing the media for the first time since his outlook changed. With Ibaka, the leagues leading shot blocker, the Thunder were one of the best defensive teams the NBA. Without him, the Spurs shot at least 50 per cent in the first two games of the Western Conference Finals and won them by a combined 52 points. As he stood for the five-minute session wearing a black compression sock over the calf, he deflected claims that he could be a saviour heading into Game 3 on Sunday. "Ive been hearing a lot of people saying my team lost two games because I was out," he said. "Thats not true. I believe in my guys. I believe in my teammates. They can be better with me or without me. Its no excuse because Serge Ibaka was not there. Just San Antonio, the first two games, they played better basketball." Ibaka said he sometimes screamed at his television set when he watched scenarios in which he could have made plays during the losses. He is not sure if he will play in Game 3 -- he said it is up to doctors, and much will depend on how he feels in the morning. For now, he will depend largely on rest, ice and luck. His presence is needed, even if he is less than fully healthy. Kendrick Perkins, Nick Collison and Perry Jones have struggled against the Spurs big men. Kevin Durant, normally a small forward, has played some power forward in the series because of Ibakas absence, and his relative lack of physical strength and unfamiliarity with playing post defence has been exploited. The Spurs prepared all along as though he would return. "It gives them another hell of a player," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said, "but we are who we are and weve got to be who we are. We cant change what we do." Even if Ibaka returns, it will not fully solve Oklahoma Citys problems defending the perimeter. San Antonio has made 18 of 40 3-pointers in the series and guards Tony Parker annd Manu Ginobili are slashing into the paint with stunning frequency, often scoring or finding their teammates for open shots. Custom Philadelphia Flyers Jerseys. . The Thunder say it starts with basics. "Its just an individual effort," Perkins said. "Got to put it in your mind that you want to stop the guy in front of you, and thats it. Backside got to be ready. But the thing is when they penetrate, thats what opens those threes. Well do a better job of keeping the ball in front of us, but weve just got to be individual and youve got to want the match up." To be fair, San Antonio shares the ball like no one else. The Spurs led the league with 25.4 assists per game during the regular season. That average is up to 27.5 against Oklahoma City. Parker and Ginobili generate many of the assists, but many others come from simple ball movement. "We dont have a Durant," Ginobili said. "We dont have a Kobe (Bryant) or LeBron (James) that can go one against one and finish every single time. We need to pass the ball to find open teammates, and thats what we do, and thats what weve been doing. We all feel proud about it. We know when we have 25 assists or 30, we are much better and we try to do that every time." Because the Spurs generally have five capable scorers on the floor at a time, it forces opponents to have a greater attention to detail than usual. "Theyve got threats," Durant said. "Everybody on their team is a threat because of their offence. They move the ball. Theyve got 3-point shooters. You take away 3-point shooters, they get the role guys and they get the paint points. You take away that and they start hitting the threes. So we have to do both. We have to be able to close the paint up and get out to shooters. Easier said than done, but we can do it." The Spurs are off to a good start, but experience tells them they wont have as easy a time in Oklahoma City. And in 2012, Oklahoma City fell behind San Antonio 2-0 in the Western Conference finals before winning the series 4-2. "Weve got to know that in their arena its going to be different," Ginobili said. "Theyre going to be way more aggressive, theyre going to be pushed by their fans. We just won two games. They are going to make more shots, they are going to attack harder, they are going to go to the free-throw line more.So, there are a lot of things that they can do much better and were not going to make as many shots." cheap falcons jerseys cheap ravens jerseys cheap bills jerseys cheap bears jerseys cheap bengals jerseys cheap cowboys jerseys cheap lions jerseys cheap texans jerseys cheap colts jerseys cheap jaguars jerseys cheap chiefs jerseys cheap rams jerseys cheap dolphins jerseys cheap vikings jerseys cheap saints jerseys cheap giants jerseys cheap jets jerseys cheap eagles jerseys cheap steelers jerseys cheap 49ers jerseys ' ' '