Toronto FC Media Day has never been better. Seriously. Seven years of losing has brought many different faces, players and management, to the annual pre-season get-to-know-the-team round up. Unfortunately for those player-media relationships initiated and cultivated, most of the interviewees have been shipped out prematurely. Media Day became a meet-and-greet, followed by a see you later. Tuesdays team time out for Torontos media throng had a much different vibe at the Kia Training Grounds. A good mix of young up-and-comers with a core of veteran leadership has been assembled after an off-season of change, signings, spending and hype. First impressions are just that, but on initial glance, it all felt right. Nothing has been accomplished yet. But every ship needs a sail before heading out to sea. The good news is the mast is up and the TFC ship is heading in the right direction. Hopefully. Finally. Progress, alas. Stability and confidence go hand-in-hand. The revolving door of players and personnel has been TFCs worst enemy. General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko and Head Coach Ryan Nelsen have been busy in recent months filling the gaps and adding genuine quality. Bezbatchenko, hired in September, likes what he has in his group. "Im very comfortable with where we compare with other teams right now," said Bezbatchenko. The roster has coming a long way since end of season apologies and promises. On February 11th, comfortable will suffice. More is to be done, at least one more player is coming in, and more will go out. A work in progress. Here are eight notable notes from the eighth Media Day in franchise history. 1) Brazil Head Coach Felipe Scolari confirmed the seeming inevitable early Tuesday; that goalkeeper Julio Cesar, 34, has in fact joined Toronto FC on loan. The club refused to confirm anything, "I havent spoken to Julio for a couple days, but I think it would be really nice … I may have to give Scolari a call," said Nelsen. Give that man a phone! All sources indicate the deal for Cesar to join TFC on a short loan is done. Hes coming. The club will save that announcement for another day, with the five-time Serie A and UEFA Champions League winner in the flesh. Save that ink for another day. A lack of confirmation didnt stop anyone not named Bezbatchenko from heaping praise on the pending new arrival. Nelsen – "Hes a gentleman of a man, hes a quality guy, his character is flawless, and hes great around the locker-room. When you see him at work, theres a reason hes played nearly 80 times for Brazil and won everything in the game." Michael Bradley -"Its amazing, speaks volumes for the direction that this club is going. A week ago, if anybody had told us that now another guy like Julio Cesar would come in, I dont think anyone would believe them." Dwayne De Rosario – "Hes a winner. To have him here is a great opportunity to learn from him." The excitement is palpable. Although goalkeepers are often times interchangeable in MLS, the Cesar move to Toronto not only adds quality but also further shows the symbolic shift in approach and ambition of the franchise. 2) Last seasons number one goalkeeper Joe Bendik is the potential short-term loser with Cesars arrival. Key word: potential. It all depends on how Bendik takes the setback. Although Bendik wont play much, if at all in the opening months, its his job for the taking long-term. How he handles the situation will reveal whether his mind is on self or team. Cesars arrival is an opportunity not wasted rather than a shot at Bendik. The 24-year-old signed a new contract in December and has to understand this. Regardless, Bendik was noticeably uneasy about taking a back seat to Cesar. "It motivates me. Obviously its a little shot and a bomb to swallow … but it cant go badly because I can learn a lot from him and compete with him every day to play. Its a win-win." Bendik has to keep the long-view in mind. He need understand Bendik will be relied upon post World Cup as the team marches towards a potential playoff spot; the time with least room for error. 3) Big money signing Bradley didnt back away from my question regarding the sentiment amongst many MLS analysts saying Toronto FC overpaid for the midfielder. "I think its great, were now to the point with the growth of soccer in North America, a decision like mine to come to Toronto and back to MLS can illicit such a wide variety of responses and opinions … it doesnt bother me." Bradley remained poised throughout his time with the media. His teammates glowed when speaking about The Generals presence already in camp. De Rosario even spoke about meeting with Bradley and captain Steven Caldwell about direction and leadership. Bradley ticks all the boxes in terms of leadership and on-field qualities of a winner. Money necessarily spent. 4) Many players believe TFC have become the hunted after years of being the hunter. Caldwell is one of them. "We are probably the team to beat in MLS and its going to be difficult wherever we go." Teams will have undoubtedly taken notice the moves Toronto has made. And its unlikely the Reds will be MLS doormat of previous years. But it takes more than a team on paper to be the class of the league. Caldwell acknowledges as much, that the work is still to be done. Still, the acceptance of expectation is a healthy mindset and speaks to the newfound confidence in the group. 5) The third, often times forgotten designated player, Brazilian Gilberto has set lofty goals for himself for his inaugural MLS season. Through a translator, the striker stated his aim to score 25 goals. Seriously. No hesitation. Camilo Sanvezzo won MLS Golden Boot last season with 22 goals. Perhaps the proclamation was somewhat lost in translation, as the Brazilian says his biggest challenge right now is learning the language. After I wished him luck at learning English, he wished me luck learning Portuguese. Gilberto is a really friendly guy. He will be easy to cheer for, especially if he scores 25. 6) I couldnt resist asking Nelsen what he learned about MLS officiating last season. Nelsen, like many others, grew frustrated by the inconsistency and downright inferior refereeing performances on a regular basis. "They are really good guys, but for me, (they) just need experience at the very top level. In my humble opinion, theyve come to the top rather quickly without the pressure soaked experience. Its tough for them." It will be tougher for Nelsen to bite his lip when officiating goes against them this year. The stakes have been raised. How Nelsen grows from year one to year two in composure and approach will be a test. The manager sets the tone. Consistency will be key and a massive challenge for a manager with questions to be answered. 7) An ongoing worry among the media and diehards is the salary cap situation. Its a rather nerdy habit to worry about a GMs bookkeeping. Bezbatchenko tried to alleviate worries on potential limited financial flexibility. "You can always make room on your team for new players. We do have some space left. We always have space." This is a much different tactic than previous regimes, which overspent on players and used the cap ceiling as an excuse for lackluster play and lack of positive player movement. Bezbatchenkos experience with MLS puts him and the team in good stead in cap management. So dont lose sleep, moves can be made. 8) The clock is ticking on Toronto FCs efforts to resolve Matias Labas future. A loan move within or outside MLS is the most logical step. Laba is in Toronto and the club continues to consult with the player on whats best for the Argentines future. Bezbatchenko is clearly aware of the messy, borderline deceitful break-ups between club and player that have contributed to a negative perception of TFC among agents and power brokers. "Were trying to treat our players a little differently than in the past," said Bezbatchenko. This isnt a shot at past management. Its the truth. Good on him and the front office to right this long-standing wrong. The Laba situation will continue to be handled with kid gloves. Reputations and the future of a good young player caught in the middle of a rebuild are on the line. Clearance NHL Jerseys . In mens doubles, Vancouvers Vasek Pospisil and American Jack Sock reached the quarter-finals with a 7-6 (3), 7-6 (3), 6-4 win over Croatian Mate Pavic and Andre Sa of Brazil. Wholesale NHL Jerseys China . - After spending the morning in the hospital, Logan Couture gave the San Jose Sharks the spark they needed. https://www.chinanhljerseys.us/ . The Brazilian-born strikers brace drew him level with Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo as the leagues leading scorers with 17 goals apiece through 16 rounds. "The important thing is to help the team win, not the goals," Diego Costa said. After a first half dominated by defence, Atletico pressed Valencia into its area and Diego Costa did the rest. Custom NHL Jerseys . Maria Silvia Bastos Marques, president of the EOM (Municipal Olympic Company), will be leaving her post but will remain as an advisor, a city hall statement said Tuesday. NHL Jerseys China . The former Edmonton Oilers defenceman was with the St. Louis Blues in training camp on a professional tryout. Whitney, 30, had four goals and 13 points in 34 games with the Oilers last season. ARLINGTON, Texas -- Nelson Cruz took a slow trot around the bases after hitting a towering three-run homer in his return to Texas. The Baltimore Orioles slugger wasnt really savoring the moment. He was cramping so bad that he almost didnt even take that final at-bat in the eighth inning. Cruz hit the first pitch thrown by Shawn Tolleson, the fourth Rangers reliever, an estimated 404 feet deep into the left field seats to cap a tiebreaking six-run outburst as the Orioles won 8-3 on Tuesday night. "We were debating, he and I were," manager Buck Showalter said. "He go about halfway down the first, and that was a cramp trot." Likening his first game against the Rangers to one of his first days in the big leagues, when everything went so fast, Cruz said he just tried to stay in the moment and stay focused. "Kind of weird. Going from the other side of the plate is totally different than coming around like I used to," Cruz said. "It was overall a good day." Cruz was the 2011 AL championship series MVP on the way to the Rangers second consecutive World Series. When introduced before drawing a walk in the first, Texas fans responded with an extended ovation. While there were some boos, those seemed to be outnumbered by fans who called "Cruuuuuzz!" like they used to do when the left fielder was on their side the previous eight seasons. Heading into free agency last year, Cruz missed the final 50 regular-season games for the Rangers for violating baseballs drug agreement. Cruz turned down a $14.1 million qualifying offer in November from the Rangers, who likely would have used him primarily as a designated hitter if he had accepted. He went through the entire off-season before signing an $8 million, one-year deal with the Orioles early in spring training. "I havent seen him in a while and I got to see him and talk to him, playing around a little bit. It was a great feeling. I didnt like anytime he poopped one," Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said.dddddddddddd "Ive seen too many when he was on this side, but hes a talented guy. Whenever hes on, he can carry a team." Through 55 games with the Orioles, Cruz is hitting .313 and leads the majors with 21 homers and 55 RBIs. Adam Jones matched a career high with four hits, including a homer off the right-field pole leading off the Baltimore fourth. Rookie catcher Caleb Johnson had a tiebreaking RBI double in the eighth. Brian Matusz (2-1) went 1 2-3 innings in relief of Ubaldo Jimenez, who held Texas to one run and four hits while striking out five over 5 2-3 innings. Alexi Ogando (2-3), the second Texas reliever, got a popup to start the eighth before allowing three straight Orioles to reach. He was gone after the double by Joseph, whose two hits matched his total in his first 11 games. The Rangers, coming off a 7-4 record in their longest road trip this season, got two inning-starting homers: Adrian Beltre in the fourth, and Robinson Chrinos in the seventh. Joe Saunders, the winning pitcher for Baltimore in the 2012 AL wild card game at Texas, allowed two runs and 10 hits over six-plus innings in his first home start for the Rangers. The left-hander was signed during spring training and he made the season-opening rotation before missing more than seven weeks with a stress fracture in his left ankle after being struck by a liner in his first start. Notes: Three-time AL All-Star first baseman Jim Gentile, who played in the majors from 1957-66, attended the game on his 80th birthday. With Baltimore in 1961, he finished third in the AL MVP voting behind Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. ... Orioles closer Tommy Hunter, on the DL since May 22 with a left groin strain, was encouraged with how he felt after a bullpen session before the game. He will do some fielding drills Wednesday, and could go out on a rehab assignment as early as Thursday. ' ' '