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nished 26th at the Sochi Games last
yuguhun
#1 Posted : 06 April 2016 01:35:11(UTC)
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TORONTO -- Toronto FC will end its seven-year post-season drought and make the Major League Soccer playoffs next season, MLSE CEO Tim Leiweke promised Tuesday. Terrence Ross Raptors . The underachieving franchise finished 17th in the 19-team league with a 6-17-11 record this season. "Our soccer team is absolutely in complete disarray," said Leiweke, drawing laughs during an Empire Club luncheon speech about the future of MLSE teams and plans to improve them. But the Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment boss said change is coming. "The team we turn the quickest will be TFC and well turn them next year," he said. "Mark it down, write it down, film it .... Were going to turn TFC around and were going to make the playoffs next year. We know where were headed, we know how to get there. Weve been given the resources of this ownership group and we will get to the right place." Leiweke, who brought David Beckham to the Los Angeles Galaxy, says he knows how to work the designated player rules in the league. The soccer team has money to add designated players and still have about a third of its salary cap to sign two or three veteran MLS players. In detailing the MLSE clubs and their chances of success, he pointed to the hockey club first. "The Leafs are close," he said. Like the New York Yankees are to baseball and the Dallas Cowboys to football, the Leafs must become "the greatest hockey team in the history of the National Hockey League." "Toronto is the heart and soul of the great game of hockey," he said. Leiweke made headlines after taking over in July when he said he already had a championship parade route in his mind for the Leafs. He did not back down from that Tuesday. "I could not be more excited about the parade route and were going to throw you one, I promise," he said. Championships, he said are "not an unreasonable expectation," at MLSE. Leiweke ruffled feathers early in his tenure when he suggested some of the photos of past Leafs greats should be taken down at the Air Canada Centre. "No disrespect to the history and tradition of the 100 years of the Toronto Maple Leafs or any of the great players that have put on that jersey," he said Tuesday. "But these players know its now time to put their pictures up on the wall. Its time for us to hang Stanley Cup banners." As for the Raptors, he said it was tough to build an NBA team on the fly because of salary cap restrictions. Luck and skill are needed in drafting players, plus intelligence in signing other players. "To be honest with you, we havent done that here. And Im not blaming anybody. Now the blames on us." He dismissed the belief that NBA players dont want to come to Toronto. And he said the current roster is "ticked off" that some pundits are already writing them off. "Theyre out to prove something this year," he said of the Raptors, who open their season Wednesday. Build a winning culture and players will come to Toronto, he added. On other matters, Leiweke said: -- The chances of an NFL team coming to Toronto in the next decade are "pretty good." -- Given 17 of 19 Toronto FC games were played in rain at BMO Field this season, "weve got to put an end to that, its time to put a roof on BMO Field." -- At the requests of the city of Toronto, which owns BMO Field, MLSE is looking at whether the venue can be changed to accommodate the CFL. "The Argos are part of a conversation, not a decision thats been made." -- MLSE is looking at whether a larger block of tickets should be freed up to get some new Leafs fans in the ACC to make the venue livelier. -- The NHL needs to put hockey in the Seattle-Portland marketplace, as well as returning a team in Quebec. And that such expansion -- as well as possibly in Las Vegas and Kansas City -- is needed to grow the sport before talk of a second franchise in the Toronto area. Terrence Ross Raptors Jersey . The six-year-old Irish-bred took the lead coming off the final turn and never looked back, defending his title at the $1-million Pattison Canadian International on Sunday. Tracy Mcgrady Raptors Jersey . Ronaldo netted his 14th goal of the season in Europes top competition to give Madrid a clear advantage ahead of next weeks quarterfinal return leg in Germany. But it came at a price as the Portugal forward, who came into the first-leg nursing a sore left knee, came off in the 80th minute. AROSA, Switzerland -- Alex Fiva of Switzerland and Marte Hoeie Gjefsen of Norway won skicross events Friday while Dave Duncan moved back on top of the World Cup overall standings and fellow Canadian Marielle Thompson retained her lead on the womens side. The United States-born Fiva, who was eliminated in the first round at the Sochi Olympics, won the final ahead of Tomas Kraus of the Czech Republic, Didrik Bastian Juell of Norway and Christopher Del Bosco of Montreal. Duncan, from London, Ont., won the small final and is clinging to a tight lead in the standings as he aims to become the first Canadian to win a mens skicross Crystal Globe. He has 361 points, nine more than Austrias Andreas Matt with three races to go. "Its been a see-saw battle all year. Im happy to have the red bib back," Duncan said of the bib given to the World Cup leader. "Everything is so tight and there are 300 points up for grabs still." Duncan finished 26th at the Sochi Games last month. "It would be incredible to take home an overall title. It would make it a lot easier to forget the Olympics," he joked. Jonas Valanciunas Raptors Jersey. "Im happy with fifth but I felt I was capable of a bit more today." Calgarys Brady Leman was right behind Duncan in sixth and Louis-Pierre Helie of Berthierville, Que., was 11th. Mathieu Leduc of Comox, B.C., was 18th and Tristan Tafel of Canmore, Alta., was 24th. Gjefsen edged Swiss racer Fanny Smith, the 2013 world champion, with Ophelie David of France third and Anna Holmlund of Sweden fourth. Thompson, the reigning Olympic champion from Whistler, B.C., won the small final. She has a 75-point lead on Smith in the standings. "Now that the Olympics are over Im focusing on being consistent and hopefully I can end the season strong and get the (overall)," said Thompson, who went 1-2 in the Olympic final with her teammate Kelsey Serwa, who has taken the rest of the season off. "Winning the Crystal Globe would be a great topper to the season and a reward for my consistency and all the work I put in during the off-season." Danielle Sundquist of Calgary was 13th. 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