TORONTO - Jermain Defoe has been where Gilberto is — under the microscope and unable to score goals. Defoe insists its only a matter of time before his Toronto FC strike partner starts finding the net. And hes told Gilberto the same thing several times. "Everyones trying to talk to him, not just me. The manager and everyone. . . all the boys are just trying to be positive," Defoe said. "Im sure hes experienced enough to know its just a matter of time. Hes been unlucky. "Hopefully when he gets the first one, hell score many more. Still got a long way to go, its a long season." Toronto FC (4-4-1) hosts the Columbus Crew (4-4-4) at BMO Field on Saturday, a game that coach Ryan Nelsen said, in the event of a victory, could "springboard us forward for the rest of the season" Gilberto was part of Torontos much-celebrated off-season makeover, acquired to boost the clubs underpowered offence. The 24-year-old Brazilian has come oh so close numerous times, banging shots off the post and sending balls just wide of the net. But he remains without a goal in eight Major League Soccer appearances. And with his near-misses comes increasing scrutiny, which Defoe said comes "part and parcel with playing football." "I suppose at any level really where youve got to perform, people will expect you to perform, and obviously if you dont people are going to ask questions," Defoe said after Fridays practice at the clubs sun-drenched training grounds just north of the city. "But on the flip side, when youre playing well and youre scoring goals, everyone loves it and you get all the praise. So if its not going well, I suppose you have to just take it on the chin, as they say in England." Nelsen joked that hes played through goal-scoring droughts that lasted years — he, of course, was a defender. But he believes the scrutiny is a bit unfair. "Strikers, they get referred to as goalscoring, with defenders its conceding, . . sometimes (playing) just feels wrong. And its not just in football, its in your job," Nelsen told reporters. "You have a couple of months where its just tough, things just dont seem to go your way. Its life. "The only trouble in our job is everybody is watching you when it happens. Everybody talks about it, everybody wants to know about it, everybodys picking your brain about it. You all go through it, sometimes its just more out front, its just right out there in the media." Gilberto scored 14 goals in 24 games for Portuguesa of Brazils top division last season. He signed with Toronto as a Designated Player in December, and is set to earn US$1.2 million this season — 12th highest in MLS. One TFC official mused before the season kicked off that the Brazilian may score even more goals than Defoe, but the former Tottenham Hotspur striker leads the way with four goals in six games. "I think every striker has been through spells where at some stage in the season you might go a few games without scoring," Defoe said. "But youve just got to keep working hard and getting into position where youre going to score. Youve got to remain positive and thats all you can do really. "Obviously its difficult because your confidence gets really low. But hes working hard. Im sure its just a matter of time before he scores." Defoe missed Torontos previous game against Columbus with a hamstring injury — a 2-0 road victory on April 5 that boosted the teams record to 3-1. Both Defoe and Nelsen said they like where the team is positioned right now. Theres a sense that its turned the corner after a disappointing stretch. "Were starting to strengthen ourselves and trust our squad and get a bit hardened," Nelsen said. "Going to have our ups and downs of course, but were starting to become an MLS squad which is literally competitive in every game. And considering what we inherited here, its a good little evolution. "I know everybody wants to just flip the switch and you go from nobodies to champions overnight and it doesnt happen like that. If you just step back, you can look where we were and look where we are, you kind of see an evolution or developments that other teams — probably because they werent as low as us — are not making. Thats what I like about our team, everybodys just getting a wee bit better, and the squads just getting a wee bit better every day." Nelsen was happy to have midfielders Jonathan Osorio (hamstring) and Jackson Goncalves (concussion) back practising Friday. The two will be available to play against the Crew. "Im anxious to come back. I hate missing games, obviously. I even hate missing practices," said the Toronto-born Osorio. "Im more excited that Im healthy, Im feeling good, so Im excited (Saturday) to just play without any worries, without any knocks on me, and to be 100 per cent." The club will be missing captain and defender Steven Caldwell, who will serve his suspension for a red-card he received in Torontos last league game — a 2-2 draw at Kansas City. Coincidentally, Toronto was also missing Caldwell in last months meeting. "Hopefully we can repeat that (win with him)," Nelsen said. "But I think youve seen in Bradley Orr, and Doneil Henry and Nick Hagglund weve got some pretty decent cover there, so hopefully whoever plays at centre back will be right up for it." Toronto will also be without recently-acquired midfielder Collen Warner. "His brother is getting married in Denver, and hes the best man," Nelsen said. "On several levels, us guys may have told him to tell his brother hes making a bad mistake," Nelsen added, laughing. "(Warner) says hes batting well above his average, so he should do it as soon as he can so. . . To tell you the truth, thats like me exactly." E.J. Gaines Jersey . Jeff Carter had two goals and an assist as the Kings stretched their streak to seven wins in a row with a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. Briean Boddy-Calhoun Jersey . Lost to Los Angeles in first round of playoffs. http://www.officialclevelandbrownsfootball.com/authentic-antonio-callaway-jersey-womens . Mike Babcock has turned to the Montreal Canadiens goalie over Roberto Luongo, who backed Canada to a gold medal in Vancouver in 2010, for Canadas final preliminary round game against the ailing Finns. Joel Bitonio Jersey . Sharper briefly appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court, where his arraignment was postponed until Feb. 20 at the request of his lawyers. They issued a statement saying he would be exonerated. Prosecutors then filed a motion to increase Sharpers bail to $10 million and outlined details of investigations involving him in Las Vegas, Tempe, Ariz. T. J. Carrie Jersey .200. His solution to his hitting woes was business in the front and a party in the back."That would be a mullet," Norris says.Every night of the Stanley Cup playoffs, TSN hockey analyst and former NHL goaltender Jamie McLennan breaks down each goalies performance. Jamies number grades given are out of five, with five being the best mark. Semyon Varlamov, Colorado (4) - Outstanding all game long, great on Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Ryan Suter, showing why he is in the Vezina race. His athleticism is really evident, especially on Parise save in the 2nd period. Ilya Bryzgalov, Minnesota (2) - Pulled after going 11 for 14, Not a ton of help on two of the goals, but Nathan Mackinnons goal was leaky, and Gabriel Landeskogs was short side. Wild head coach Mike Yeo pulls him for Darcy Kuemper to shake things up Darcy Kuemper, Minnesota (5) - He was perfect in relief, did what he had to do to stop the bleeding and try and change momentum, not overly worked. Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh (3) - Not much he couuld do on the trying and GWG, back door play and lost coverage.dddddddddddd Was steady all game long, very active stick on wraparounds. Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus (3) - He had a tough start but settled in quickly and really gave his team a chance at 3 to 1. Big saves on Chris Kunitz and Lee Stempniak preserved the win for Columbus Corey Crawford, Chicago (2) - Gave up a late goal through screen where he didnt have much chance, but the GWG in OT was through the body and stoppable. He made a huge save on Steve Ott shorthanded that I thought turned the tide for the Hawks early on but was unable to close the door when it was needed most. Ryan Miller (3) - Gave up all three goals to D men, where there was a screen and or tip involved. He was real good in tight in this game and managed his movement and crease well. Saves on Brandon Saad and Kris Versteeg were evidence of that. 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