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." Wholesale Salomon Shoes . Jovanovski, the 2012 champ seeded fifth, will meet surprise Japanese qualifier Misa Eguchi on Friday. Eguchi, ranked 183rd, qualified for her first WTA main draw this week, then beat No. Cheap Salomon Shoes From China . -- The Chicago Bears say they have agreed to a one-year contract with centre Roberto Garza. http://www.salomoncheap.com/. - The Toronto Blue Jays have optioned pitchers Kyle Drabek, Chad Jenkins and Sean Nolin to triple-A Buffalo. Authentic Salomon Shoes Cheap . In the last race before the Sochi Olympics, Bjoergen followed up her win in the 10-kilometre classical race on Saturday by beating World Cup sprint leader Denise Herrmann of Germany by 0.43 seconds for her fifth victory of the season. Sale Salomon Shoes . Toronto announced the deal with the restricted free agent on Saturday. The terms were not disclosed.Jermain Defoe is expected to arrive in Canada this weekend to complete his transfer to Toronto FC from Tottenham Hotspur. The England international will put the finishing touches to his move to North America for an MLS record transfer fee, in excess of $10 million, and earn himself a bumper pay packet thought to be around $150,000 a week. Defoes signing will end a long courtship between the club and player which included London meetings with team management back in October, his mother being hosted by the club for a week in Toronto last fall, and phone calls from rapper Drake to help persuade Defoe to make the move. News of Toronto FCs interest in the striker was first revealed on MLS on TSN in October, and at the time, my colleague Kristian Jack asked TFC Head Coach Ryan Nelsen about his interest in signing his former Spurs teammate: "Jermain Defoe in this league? Look what Di Vaio has done! My goodness - incredible player," Nelsen raved. "One of the most natural goal scorers I have ever come across. Always out training, always trying to score, a great guy. To get a guy like Defoe for MLS, I cannot think of many that are more suited. It would be incredible," he said. While Defoe has been out of favour at Tottenham this season and has seen only limited playing time, he still has ambitions of making Englands squad for this years World Cup in Brazil. He has scored 19 goals in 55 appearances for his country and was involved throughout the recent World Cup Qualifying campaign. Once the deal is completed, it is likely he will head back to England on loan for a couple of months. He could be loaned back to Spurs, but there is also a possibility he will return to his former club Weest Ham United.dddddddddddd When he does pull on the Red jersey, he will join a squad that has been undergoing a significant and impressive remake under new General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. Defoes signing is not only a positive step because of the impact he can have on the pitch. It is a signal that finally the management of the team can deliver on promises. Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment President Tim Leiweke has been extremely vocal about his desire to sign a big name player for this club. Where others have failed in the past, Leiweke will have delivered. The man who signed David Beckham for LA Galaxy set his sights on making a splash at Toronto FC within days of joining the organization. "You cannot make a mistake on a DP," Leiweke said last summer. "You have to be right. Youve got to find a guy with character, a player thats able to understand the uniqueness of Major League Soccer and the style of play that we have here." Defoe will be the second Designated Player signing of the winter for Toronto, following on from 24-year-old Brazilian forward Gilberto. Those two players will join experienced MLS additions Dwayne De Rosario, Justin Morrow and Jackson in giving Toronto a new core of key players for 2014. Defoes arrival is a potential game-changer for this franchise. Through seven years of turmoil Toronto FC has gradually lost the fervent support it had when the club launched, while also seeing its credibility disappear within Major League Soccer after a series of failures. Now, for the first time, there is a realistic opportunity to turn things around. Toronto FC will open the clubs eighth MLS season on the road in Seattle on Saturday, March 15. ' ' '