- Israel Fehr at Eh Game14 hrs ago
Vancouver hosts a tough D.C. United team while Toronto FC makes a trip to Orlando to take on Kaka and the Lions. The Impact's scheduled Week 8 game against San Jose was moved to Sept. 16 to accomodate Montreal's participation in the CONCACAF Champions League final. The second leg of the final is Apr. 29 at Olympic Stadium and the Impact enter in a good spot after nabbing a surprise 1-1 draw against Mexico's Club America on Wednesday.
Here are three key storylines for Canada's MLS teams heading into Week 8 action.
Saturday, April 25:
D.C. United (3-1-2, 11 PTS) at Vancouver Whitecaps (5-2-1, 16 PTS), 10:30 p.m. ET
1. A tilt at the top
Coming into Saturday's contest the Whitecaps are first in the Western Conference with 16 points while D.C. United's 11 points are enough to put them in a tie for first in the East. It will be a good challenge for Vancouver as United is a particularly stingy defensive team. They gave up just 37 goals last season, tying them for the fewest goals allowed in MLS.
2. Health matters
- Special to Yahoo! Canada Sports at Eh Game22 hrs ago
By Cameron French
There was a small window in the early 1990s when Toronto wasn’t a regular on the “worst stadiums” list. Before that, we had the old Exhibition Stadium, which was so bad that some of the seats didn’t even face the field. In 1989 the SkyDome opened, and everyone liked it for a few years until the novelty of a moving roof wore off and everyone got a look at Baltimore’s Camden Yards and went: “Oh yeahhhh, we should have done that.”
The Dome (sorry . . . . Rogers Centre) isn’t going anywhere, and high-tech fake grass can only go so far in fooling us into thinking it’s a real ballpark. So, here are a few ideas to make the Lake Ontario Folly a bit less awful.
1. Lose the roof, or at least keep it open.
The roof was kind of a stunt in the first place, which I guess makes sense for a city used to stunts (hello, world’s largest free-standing restaurant). But it makes no sense for a summer sport in a city with normal precipitation. There’s nothing more depressing than a half-empty dome with the roof closed, echoing with the voice of the kid hawking beer three sections over. With it open, you can close your eyes and at least pretend you’re at a real ballpark.
- Ian Denomme at Eh Game1 day ago
The Toronto Blue Jays were waiting for a pitching performance like this. Plodding along at a respectable 8-7 heading into Thursday’s game with the Orioles, the talk in Toronto had become about how the Blue Jays’ offence was carrying the load for their under-performing pitching staff.
Drew Hutchison silenced those critics, for at least one night.
The 24-year-old was excellent in a 7-6 win over the Orioles, pitching eight innings, striking out seven and walking none in what was easily the best performance by a Blue Jays starting pitcher so far this season.
“We were looking for a seven-or-eight inning start,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “He gave us what we needed.”
Hutchison cruised through the first five innings, retiring all 15 batters on just 56 pitches. His perfect game was broken up on the first pitch of sixth inning on a no-doubt-about-it home run by Manny Machado.
“You’re just out there concentrating on one guy at a time. I wasn’t really thinking about [being perfect],” Hutchison said.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game2 days ago
Given her struggles in 2015, most people are surprised that Canadian Genie Bouchard remains the No. 7 player in the WTA Tour rankings.
As of next Monday, she will move up to No. 6 despite the fact that by the next time she plays a tournament, it will have been nearly two months since Bouchard won a tennis match.
In fact, three of the four times Bouchard has risen above No. 7 in the rankings so far in her career, she didn't have to do a thing (the exception was after she reached the final in Wuhan, China last September, when she became No. 6 for a week).
If you're ready for some technical talk and some math, read on.
The WTA Tour rankings are a rolling, 52-week calculation, meaning that what you did in during a specific week rolls off the computer, replaced by what you did the same week the following year. Because Bouchard nearly matched her 2014 semi-final effort at the Australian Open with her quarter-final finish this year, she didn't lose a lot of ground there. During the first part of the 2014 season, she really didn't do much until she won her first career tournament in Nürnberg, Germany, the week before the French Open in mid-May. So she has held steady.
- Justin Robertson at Eh Game2 days ago
It was an emotional day for Canada’s newest batch of elite sport heroes who were inducted into Canada’s Sport Hall of Fame. The long list of 12 athletes from an assortment of sports were read out, one by one, as they made their way onto the red carpet to standing ovations. Some of the 12 said the acknowledgement was a privilege and honour and looked as if they were still in shock. While others said they joined the sport just to play and little did they know they’d end up in the hall of fame.
- Andrew Bucholtz at Eh Game2 days ago
The Canadian Olympic Committee made history Wednesday with the release ofthe #NowOrNever campaign, the first time they've ever launched a big marketing project for the Pan American Games. This is a natural growth from some of their recent Olympic campaigns, though, such as #GiveYourEverything (London 2012) and #WeAreWinter (Sochi 2014); those campaigns have sought to spotlight Canada's athletes and their road to the Olympics, and the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto this summer is going to be a big part of the road to Rio 2016 for many athletes. That's not the only reason for this, though. I spoke to COC chief marketing officer Derek Kent Wednesday about why the COC's backing the Pan Ams so heavily, and he said a big part of this is because it's an event in Canada that should help energize fans to come out and support these athletes.
- Dustin Pollack at Eh Game3 days ago
TORONTO – DeMar DeRozan slammed his hand on the padding behind the Raptors net, walked back to the bench and looked up at the jumbotron.
A timeout with 2:59 remaining in the fourth quarter was only delaying the inevitable.
There was plenty of hope for the Raptors heading into Game 2 with the Washington Wizards. Hope that much like last year, the home team would bounce back after a shaky start to the series; hope that their back court, centered around DeRozan and Kyle Lowry would start playing like all stars again; and hope, looking at the bigger picture, that the second game at home would represent a jumping off point to giving themselves – and their fans – something more than a first-round series to get excited about.
Instead, by the time the final seconds had ticked away Tuesday, the sold out crowd that was still chanting ‘Let’s Go Raptors’ while their team was being blown out in the fourth quarter, had almost entirely cleared out the Air Canada Centre and Toronto was staring at a 2-0 series deficit after a 117-106 loss to the Wizards.
It certainly wasn’t the response Dwane Casey and the Raptors were hoping for or expecting.
- Stephanie Myles at Eh Game3 days ago
If Canada's Genie Bouchard enjoys a certain level of fame in Canada, it appears to be nothing near what top-10 rival Simona Halep experiences in her native Romania.
The fans and media greet her at the airport when she returns home from a tennis trip. And when she leaves, they're there to see her off. (Unfortunately for her, that means she can no longer really show up in a ballcap and pyjamas for an overnight flight, but that's the price of fame).
So after the Romanian Fed Cup team, which didn't include Halep this time, defeated Canada over the weekend and pushed the country into World Group I for the first time, the world No. 3 was asked about it – and about the Bouchard non-handshake.
Here's some video of that, in Romanian.
The poster of the video has a brief translation in the information box, and after checking with some native Romanian speakers, it seems clear that by "education", Halep doesn't mean formal schooling, rather upbringing (it means the same thing in French).
- Chris Zelkovich at Eh Game3 days ago
There's nothing like a big increase in hometown interest to make the television picture a lot brighter.
After a season of disappointing to disheartening ratings for its high-priced and much-hyped NHL package, Rogers is reaping the rewards of a huge increase in Canadian content in this year's Stanley Cup playoffs.
So far, with five Canadian teams in the fray, the numbers have been impressive. According to Rogers, the game average so far is 1.36 million viewers -- a 40 per cent increase over first-round games last season. The big contributor has been the series between the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators, which has averaged 3.22 million viewers a game through the first three contests. That's 58 per cent higher than the ratings the same two teams produced when they met two years ago.
The only bad news on this front for Rogers (and CBC) is that it doesn't look like it will last much longer. A seven-game series could produce monster ratings.
- Israel Fehr at Eh Game3 days ago
We're now two weeks into the 2015 regular season and so far it's been nothing more than the same old Blue Jays. Sure, there are a few new faces, pitchers and position players alike, but Toronto finds itself in an awfully familiar spot. The team is having little issue scoring runs and a few problems preventing them.
Runs scored per game
Runs against per game
Even with the changes in the lineup and on the mound, their start still lines up with their overall performances in each of the last three seasons.
Runs scored (ML rank)
Runs against (ML rank)
Run differential (ML rank)