At Tuesdays pre-match press conference, Toronto FC Head Coach Ryan Nelsen attempted to explain to the English media the difficulty of having to play a mid-season friendly against Tottenham Hotspur at this particular time of the year. “It would be like us playing a game in the Christmas period when youre third in the league and youve got Man City to play on Saturday,” he said. The timing couldnt be much worse. The Champions – Sporting Kansas City - are due in town on Saturday, as Nelsens team moves through its busiest month of the MLS season with seven league games during the month of July. Hes already without some of his key players through injury, including captain Steven Caldwell and starting right back Mark Bloom. But whatever problems are posed by playing the extra game, I agree with Michael Bradleys assessment of the situation. International friendlies are of benefit to Major League Soccer and the growth of the game in North America. While they are certainly far from ideal, they are here to stay, and they have an important role to play. For a start, Wednesdays game against Tottenham is about much more than welcoming international opposition. This match is part of a four-year marketing and commercial deal struck between the two clubs as part of Jermain Defoes transfer. For both Toronto FC and Spurs, its about the bigger picture. Soccer is a global game, and a big part of achieving success is about building and managing relationships, not just within your own league, but around the world. As Toronto FC – and MLS as a whole – aims to continue its rapid growth, international friendlies are an important piece of the puzzle as they provide an opportunity to get a wider circle of attention both in the local community, across North America, and in other countries as well. From a playing perspective it can also have a positive impact. Its a chance for some of the squad players to get a competitive game, and for some of the clubs youngsters to test themselves against a standard of opposition they wouldnt usually face. In 2010 when Toronto FC played Bolton Wanderers at BMO Field, the Man of the Match was a young teenager who hadnt even signed a professional contract at that stage. Doneil Henry has gone on to become a first team regular with the club who has aspirations of playing in Europe. That Bolton match was an early stepping stone for the Canadian international. As he sat alongside Spurs star Christian Eriksen and manager Mauricio Pochettino at BMO Field on Tuesday, Henry said: “This is where I want to be and where I want to play one day. I just want to learn and show what I can do.” So this match is another opportunity for him to prove himself. We likely wont see much of Torontos leading players against Spurs. Ryan Nelsen needs to be cautious, and rightly so. He will give some of his starters 45 minutes, and rest others completely. But for a number of men within his squad this game will provide a chance to shine and it will be interesting to see if they can take it. Tottenham arrived in Toronto on Monday direct from Seattle where they tied the Sounders 3-3 in an entertaining game in the first game of their three-match North American tour. They are without their World Cup players who have been given extra time to rest, and last years leading scorer Emmanuel Adebayor who is recovering in London following a mild bout of malaria. But young Danish star Christian Eriksen is expected to see his first action of preseason as Spurs continue to prepare for the Premier Leagues opening weekend in mid-August. Last year Spurs finished sixth in the English top flight, but are under new management with a new direction after Mauricio Pochettinos arrival from Southampton. Eriksen was pretty blunt when asked what Tottenham will need to improve upon this season, with consistency the theme. “We had some really good games and some really bad games,” he said. “For us its about being more stable and also getting points against the big teams.” Watch Toronto FC vs. Tottenham Hotspur live tonight on TSN at 7pm et/4pm pt. Jaron Brown Seahawks Jersey . Ricciardos exclusion from the results tarnished what had been a day of celebration for local fans, who were jubilant that the Red Bull driver had apparently become the first Australian to finish on the podium at his home race. However just before midnight, stewards ruled that Ricciardos car had "exceeded consistently the maximum allowed fuel flow" and that the team refused an instruction from the races technical delegate Charlie Whiting to change the fuel-flow sensor before the race and a further request during the race to reduce the fuel flow. Sebastian Janikowski Jersey . 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The deal, which includes $16 million guaranteed, rewards Grimes for his recovery from an Achilles tendon injury that forced him to miss almost all of the 2012 season.Amsterdam, Netherlands (SportsNetwork.com) - Ajax Amsterdam claimed its third consecutive victory across all competitions on Sunday after rolling to a 3-1 win over FC Utrecht at the Amsterdam Arena. Coming off wins over Willem II in league play and APOEL in the Champions League the past week in which the club outscored opposition by a combined score of 9-0. the defending Dutch champions opened the scoring in the 16th minute through Thulani Serero. Davy Klaassen doubled the advantage for Ajax four minutes later, but Utrecht pulled one back 10 minutes before the intermission thanks to a strike from U.S. international Rubio Rubin. But Ajax put the result away with 25 minutes remaiining as Anwar El-Ghazi fired home his fifth goal of the campaign as the defending champions claimed all three points.dddddddddddd Also in the Eredivisie on Sunday, league-leaders PSV Eindhoven remained one point clear of Ajax at the top of the table thanks to a 2-0 result over FC Twente. Luuk de Jong struck first for PSV after 21 minutes and Georginio Wijnaldum netted his fifth of the season on the stroke of halftime as PSV maintained its slim lead atop the league. Bertrand Traore and Tjaronn Chery traded goals as FC Groningen and Vitesse battled to a 1-1 draw, while Jordy Clasies 90th-minute goal rescued a point for Feyenoord in a 2-2 draw against AZ Alkmaar. Wholesale HoodiesNFL Shirts OutletJerseys NFL WholesaleCheap NFL Jerseys Free ShippingWholesale Jerseys CheapCheap NFL Jerseys ChinaWholesale JerseysWholesale NFL JerseysCheap NFL Jerseys ChinaCheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '