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Toronto FC forced to take "hard lesson" from blowout defeat to Philadelphia Union

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Toronto FC haven’t had many nights in recent seasons like the one they had on Saturday, when the Reds were overrun and looked overmatched in an ugly 5-0 defeat to the Philadelphia Union.

Toronto were fielding a shorthanded lineup due to a rash of injuries, but even so, head coach Greg Vanney said his side should’ve fared more competitively against one of the teams they’ve been measuring themselves against for much of the season. For whatever reason, Vanney said the energy needed to match the intensity of Philadelphia just wasn’t there.

“It was wrong from start to finish,” Vanney said on his postgame video call. “We weren’t close to them the entire night, really. We weren’t in good spots for each other, we weren’t clear in terms of the stepping out in how we were going to defend, we couldn’t put passes together. And they were just at a different speed than we were on the night, that’s for sure.

“So part of it is just we need to put it behind us. But part of it is we also need to recognize it’s just a reminder of the time of year. You physically have got to be ready to compete and battle and fight for balls and win tackles and all of those things first and foremost, and then you can play. You’ve got to be strong when you’re holding up the ball, the ball has to move a lot quicker. A lot of that stuff has to happen, and tonight it didn’t. Yeah, we were missing some guys, but guys had the opportunity to step in and try to show that this time of year they might be able to help us, and we just from start to finish it was never right.”

Highlights: Philadelphia Union vs. Toronto FC

It’s an even more disappointing result considering the stakes of the matchup, with the Union snatching away first place in the Supporters’ Shield standings with the three points. Both sides currently have 41 points, but the Union are technically on top due to their superior goal differential.

Vanney said going forward the objective will have to be using the lopsided defeat as a reminder for what the games are going to be like come playoff time.

“Obviously credit goes to them because they played at a proper playoff-like intensity and today as a group we didn’t match that,” he said. “And also, in terms of the set-up of things, we needed to put a little bit more into being able to play out of their pressure, maybe play beyond their pressure. We didn’t get behind them enough in the game. There’s a lot of things that went on with that. Credit to them, but I think that’s what you expect this time of year, is teams to come out when you’re fighting for a Supporters’ Shield at the top of table, is you expect a team to come out fighting and you have to fight back and push back and set the intensity bar, but tonight it got set on us and we’ve got to take that as a hard lesson as we go through these last games.

“It’s not one that we needed to take, but we’re going to take it and we’re going to have to move forward.”

Source:Toronto FC forced 

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Report: Four more Baltimore Ravens test positive for COVID-19 – TSN

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Four more Baltimore Ravens’ players and one more staff member have tested positive for COVID-19, according to ESPN ‘s Adam Schefter.

The Ravens were set to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers Thursday night, but the game was switched to Sunday afternoon because of the coronavirus issues with Baltimore.

According to Schefter, Ravens players were told today by their head coach John Harbaugh that, for everyone’s safety, they will not be allowed back in the training facility until Monday at the earliest.

The Ravens placed defensive end Jihad Ward on the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday.

Ward, who has been inactive for the past four games, becomes the eighth player, and third defensive lineman, to go on the reserve list this week. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Ravens had seven players who tested positive for COVID-19 or were identified as close contacts.

Members of the Ravens’ coaching staff and support staff also have tested positive.

A source told ESPN that a strength and conditioning coach for the Ravens didn’t report symptoms and didn’t always wear a mask inside the facility. That coach was suspended by the team on Wednesday.

– With files from ESPN

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Infographic: The life of Diego Maradona – Al Jazeera English

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The life and career of Argentine football legend Diego Maradona, who has died at the age of 60.

Argentinian football icon Diego Maradona died on Wednesday from a heart attack at just 60 years old, following years of health problems.

Three days of national mourning were called for the player who led Argentina to a 1986 World Cup win and is revered with cult-like status.

He is regarded as one of the best footballers ever and was the joint winner of the FIFA’s Player of the Century award alongside Pele in the year 2000.

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In Pictures: Grief and shock over Maradona's death – Aljazeera.com

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Hundreds of people have begun filing in to see the coffin of Diego Maradona in Buenos Aires’s Casa Rosada after the football legend died at the age of 60.

At a slow pace, people on Thursday passed in front of the coffin that was draped with the Argentinian flag and his number 10 jersey.

Scuffles briefly broke out as crowds jostled as they queued to enter and police had to hold people back.

Maradona’s family and closest friends came at dawn before the start of the public wake.

Tens of thousands of people spent the night in a vigil in the Plaza de Mayo, singing songs in tribute to Maradona, who led Argentina to World Cup victory in 1986.

Stunned fans gathered outside the humble home where he was born and raised in the Villa Fiorito neighbourhood.

Fans also went to the stadium of Argentinos Juniors, where he started as a professional footballer in 1976. They stood at the historic La Bombonera stadium of his beloved Boca Juniors.

More were at the headquarters of Gimnasia La Plata, the team he was coaching.

“I am touched. I can’t understand it, I can’t see the reality. Diego will never die, today is the birth of the Maradona myth,” said Dante Lopez, a physician who went to the Argentinos Juniors stadium, which carries the beloved player’s name.

Fans put candles and flowers along the wall around the field.

“Diego was Argentina in the world. He gave us joy and we will never be able to repay him for so much joy,” said Argentine President Alberto Fernandez, who issued a decree for three days of national mourning and offered the presidential palace for the funeral.

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