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Hope. Thats all Toronto FC supporters have asked for. Wins have been priority, too but its true, unmitigated hope of positive direction thats been desired. Progress. Commitment. Hope. Hope has been fleeting before. Julian de Guzman, the clubs first designated player brought hope as did the addition of hometown hero Dwayne De Rosario. Toronto FC turning orange, the Dutch total football revolution under Aron Winter brought hope as well. But thats about it. Spare me hype surrounding some unknown international prodigy that has come and gone, or the legendary Mista. Genuine belief has been temporary and few and far between. Unfulfilled promise. Pandering of false hope. Rinse, wash, repeat. Then Wednesday happened. True hope came calling. As often the case may be, good things came in three; each story bigger in importance, potential impact and surprise. De Rosarios return to Toronto was publicly confirmed with a Thursday press conference ahead. My colleague Luke Wileman reported coveted Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe will land in Toronto this weekend with an expected Monday introductory press conference to follow, unveiling the prized acquisition. The bells and whistles surrounding Defoes arrival are said to be impressive. Lastly, the most audacious, unexpected news of all; a deal all but done to bring 26-year-old US international midfielder Michael Bradley to TFC in the absolute prime of his career. Surprised? Yes we are. Three signings dont get much bigger than this in MLS. Make it four with last months arrival of Brazilian Gilberto. If no curveballs are thrown and once the ink is dry, just like that, the inferior, miserable, beaten down landscape of Toronto FC forever changed. Toronto FCs new promo campaign, Its A Bloody Big Deal! – 01.13.14 couldnt ring more true. The YouTube video shows a bald-headed man spit take in shock, presumably about Defoes arrival. Well add another spit take for Bradley; the kind of choke on your coffee and have it pour out your nose sort of disbelief. In North American soccer circles, this is the kind of impact and magnitude were talking about. Defoe entering the fray isnt much a secret. The 31-year-old English international had fallen out of favour at White Hart Lane. The crafty forward still has pace and ability and could have a similar impact in MLS to Robbie Keane. Toronto FC spared no expense to convince Defoe Toronto was right for him. Flights, houses, family considerations - Toronto bent over backwards, realizing treatment and paycheck would be sufficient to supplant a Premier League caliber talent and bring him to Canada. Many expect Defoe to score 30 goals in Major League Soccer. Along with on-field expectations, off-field ambassadorship is expected. Defoe instantly becomes one of MLS top players. Ditto for Bradley. A work engine in the central midfield, the current AS Roma player is a warrior. The ferocity of Bradley, with ability to move forward in attack, would make him a special breed in MLS, where most central midfielders are either preferred attacking options or stay at home, hold the shape kind of players. Bradley is an all-action type player, and all-important for the US Mens National team and a move to MLS comes at a peculiar time with World Cup preparations first and foremost. US Mens National team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann was critical of Clint Dempseys move to Seattle last fall. So a return to North America comes as a shock. The story behind the potential move has yet to be revealed, but considerable dollars are at play. A rumoured salary ballpark of $6.5 million per year would do the trick, roughly six times his current salary. Playing time is also an issue. The arrival of Kevin Strootman last summer, along with last weeks signing of Radja Nainggolan put the writing on the wall at Roma: Bradley must leave. Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star reports upwards of $100 million is being committed to Defoe and Bradley in transfer fees and salary. Its an incredible commitment for soccer in this city. These kinds of dollars cannot be justified by pure economics of the game alone. The MLS salary cap for 2013 before designated player commitments sat at just shy of $3 million. MLSE obviously has the funds but to make this kind of financial commitment to soccer and a team that had operating revenue in the ballpark of $4.5 million last season (according to Forbes) shows true ambition. This is what it takes to compete. For Bradley, whose father Bob is a former US National team coach, to choose a Canadian club no less over a US-based team speaks to the show me the money type mentality of the modern game. Credit Tim Leiweke. He said he would turn Toronto FC around, and quick. This is beyond the expected. Dion Phaneuf salaries to soccer players in Toronto will never make sense. But MLSE using its financial strength to turn an embarrassment into a pillar of the organization is money well spent. Many south of the border will question what a move like Bradleys says about the growth of MLS. Id argue it has less to do with MLS than it does Leiweke. With a network, resources and desire to win, hes what TFC desperately needed. MLS plays a big role in player acquisition and obviously contracts, which they control. Toronto FC failed to play nice in the sandbox regarding specific targets and team performance in recent years. Squabbling and the perennial disappointment of TFC, whose supporters are credited for league growth and expansion, was a black eye for MLS headquarters. Leiweke was an ideal buffer between club and league. Theres a history and understanding. It then made perfect sense to hire the young and bright Tim Bezbatchenko, an MLS staffer to take over as general manager - a calculated move, facilitating congruence with MLS to provide much needed stability. It has not been disclosed who is funding the transfers. MLSE stepping up assuming the cost would be seen as extending the olive branch. Leiwekes fingerprints are all over these transactions. They signal a donning of a new era for the organization. MLSE has a face. Its Leiweke, and all that comes with him. In a city with too few victories and forced tradition rather than substance, Leiweke is filling a void, one handshake and dollar at a time. These signings are an investment as will a stadium makeover in the coming years. Its part of a bigger plan, where reputation speaks for itself. For MLSE to gain credibility, they need to show they are serious about winning. No more talk; actions. No more wrangling with agents. No more disagreement with the league. No more ostracizing fans. Moves like these wins people over. This is how you win. This is how you sell hope. The cynic will remain. Signings alone dont equal results. Even more work is to be done to the roster. The heavy lifting is near complete. Toronto FC will be able to compete. True hope. Thats all it takes. Its a reasonable thought that the vibe, the fun, and actual winning football can all live simultaneously at BMO Field. We hope. @WheelerTSNgareth.wheeler@bellmedia.ca Mark Fayne Jersey .The 24-year-old quarterback spent four seasons at Northern Illinois and in 2013 was a finalist for the Heisman, which is awarded annually to the most outstanding player in U. Jesse Puljujarvi Jersey . Fifth-seeded Cilic gained his fourth title in Zagreb and became the third Croat overall to win at least 10 career titles. Cilic also lifted his career record in Zagreb to 22-4, winning 20 of his last 21 matches at the event. http://www.hockeyoilersonline.us/Wayne-Gretzky-Jersey/. -- Damian Lillard couldnt believe when he got a clear look at the rim. Connor McDavid Jersey . "If we only consider this season," Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini said, "there is just one club in Manchester -- and its ours. Adam Larsson Oilers Jersey . In this weeks Leaf Report podcast, James Mirtle and Jonas Siegel debate whether Toronto can continue their shootout dominance and discuss what Dave Nonis game plan should be heading into the trade deadline.TSN Hockey Insiders Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun have the latest on Brendan Shanahans new job in Toronto and its trickle-down effects, and the futures of Paul Maurice, George McPhee, and more. A day after Trevor Linden becomes president of hockey operation with the Canucks, Brendan Shanahan one-ups him and become president - period, it looks like - of the Maple Leafs. Why this title, and why this guy? Bob McKenzie: I think thats the critical thing. Brendan Shanahan was not prepared to leave the NHLs Player Safety department if he was just going to be the president of hockey operations for a club in the NHL. It was important for him to be the president of the whole organization - both the hockey side and the business side. Now, hes expected to officially resign his position with the NHL on Friday, and its expected that the Leafs will put out a simple press release announcing his appointment of the entire team. It wont be until the beginning of next week that Shanahan will be introduced to the media, once the regular season is over. What does this mean to GM Dave Nonis and head coach Randy Carlyle? Darren Dreger: Well its "to be determined", were not sure. Shanahan is going to require some time. Dave Nonis was hoping to have some time to review the organization, to speak with Randy Carlyle and ultimately assess what his role might be moving forward. Now, he has a new boss, so Brendan Shanahan is going to want to get to know Nonis a little bit better, find out what his thoughts are on whether or not a coaching change is required, but I dont expect that there will be anything will be done in the near future. How is player discipline going to be handled with Shanahan gone? Pierre LeBrun: Really, the guys that were working with him are going to continue to do just that. The War Room, the player safety group in New York, is a well-oiled machine. It starts with Damian Etchavaretta, Stephane Quintal, Patrick Burke, and Brian Leetch - those guys will continue to do their work. Bill Daly, the NHL deputy governor, I think will have a more involved role when it comes to the final word on possible suspensions over the next couple of months. I dont believe there will be a successor in place for Brendan Shanahan or even a search for his replacement until the off-season. Its business as usual and Daly will meet with the player safety group on Friday to talk about how theyre going to move forward. Is former NHL on TSN panelist Paul Maurice going back to Winnipeg, or is he goinng to rejoin us? Dreger: Well, the safe bet would be that Maurice stays with the Winnipeg Jets.dddddddddddd He likes Winnipeg, he loves the organization, and the team very much wants him back. There will be an negotiation that will take place at the conclusion of the regular season when he has a little bit more time to spend with his family who he has been away from for quite some time. There is also an assignment coming that Maurice is going to have to consider, and thats being an assistant coach or a coach with Team Canada at the World Championship. Its believed that Hockey Canada has reached out to Paul Maurice, you could see Pete DeBoer on that bench and Dave Tippett if the Phoenix Coyotes dont make the playoffs. There has been lots of speculation about the future of George McPhee in Washington. What happens there? LeBrun: We dont believe that the owner, Ted Leonsis, has actually tipped his hand at this point but we do know that McPhees deal is up at the end of the year. There have not been any talks about an extension. So the betting money, the whispers coming out of Washington, are that there is a better chance than not that there is a change at the GM position. But again, no final call there. Now what does that mean for Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin? He is a lightning rod for that team - 50-goal scorer but almost minus-50 as well. There have been some whispers out of the KHL in Russia that would they try...one of the clubs over there try to approach Ovechkin like they did with Ilya Kovalchuk a year ago, if not this summer then certainly over the next couple of years. Has the future of Carolinas management been decided? McKenzie: There have been several days of meetings with Peter Karmanos, the owner of the Hurricanes, and general manager Jim Rutherford, and the expectation is that in the not-too-distant future, maybe a week or two or three down the road after the season has ended, Rutherford will move upstairs to a position and Ron Francis will take over as general manager. And amid great expectation that Kirk Muller is a slam dunk to be fired, dont say that necessarily. There is still plenty of consideration going on to keeping Muller as the head coach. Dreger: And keep an eye on the Florida Panthers as well. Dale Tallon has to meet with ownership in early May to talk about the future, including Peter Horachek as head coach. It sounds like the Panthers might go to an experienced coach, and if Randy Carlyle were to get fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs, he would be high on the list. 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