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VANCOUVER -- The biggest knock against Gershon Koffie with the Vancouver Whitecaps has been his consistency. An imposing presence in midfield, the Ghanaian would be the best player on the pitch one game and virtually invisible the next. After starting the 2014 campaign on the bench, Koffie has finally begun to live up to expectations on a daily basis, and both he and the Whitecaps have one of the teams new acquisitions at least partly to thank. Toronto FC dealt Matias Laba to Vancouver right before the start of the season and the Argentine midfielder has slotted seamlessly into the centre of rookie head coach Carl Robinsons formation. The workhorse not only cleans up danger in front of the Whitecaps defence, he also allows Vancouvers attacking players to push forward -- with Koffie being one of the main beneficiaries thus far. The 22-year-old scored from 40 yards out after pouncing on a goalkeeping error in last weekends 2-2 draw with the Seattle Sounders, and had three other clear-cut chances, including a shot that rattled the crossbar in the games opening minutes. "Gersh has got incredible attributes. Hes got the physical strength. When he makes a tackle and he means it, no ones going to beat him. Hes really that powerful," Whitecaps assistant coach Martyn Pert said Thursday. "The consistency part of the game is still something that hes got to really work hard at, and hes getting there, thats four or five games on the spin now hes been very good. "Hes got to keep it going, keep the foot on the pedal and keep driving." Robinson favoured Nigel Reo-Coker in the centre of midfield at the start of the season, but after the Englishman was injured in an off-field incident the Whitecaps turned to Koffie. "I dont think I was disappointed to be on the bench, but that motivated me," said Koffie, whose goal against Seattle was his first of the season. "I have to embrace it because my fellow mates were doing well and it was a coachs decision." Koffie -- who has already played 93 games in his Major League Soccer career -- said Robinson has asked him to go forward more in his attack-minded system, and credits Laba with allowing him that freedom to roam. "Playing with Matias Laba gives me the license to go forward and get some chances," said Koffie. "I know hes there to work the defensive part and delay (opponents) before we can get back in (formation)." Labas tenacity has also rubbed off on his midfield counterpart, who tracked back on more than one occasion against Seattle to help out Vancouvers back line. "(Labas) a guy who sets the tone," said Koffie. "If you play next to him, he goes in for tackles (and) you have to do the same. If he goes in chasing the ball, you have to do the same, because you cant let him do the job (alone)." Also just 22, Laba was a casualty of Toronto FCs winter spending spree, with the club unable to retain the designated player it acquired last season. "I didnt expect it, but I think its for the best," Laba said through an interpreter. "Im very happy in Vancouver with a great coach and teammates." Although he often takes care of the less-glamorous tasks on the field, the Whitecaps have come to appreciate his tireless work. "Mati gives us a great dimension to build off of at the back," said Vancouver captain Jay DeMerit. "He lets the guys that are creative express themselves a little bit more, just by giving you a little bit more of a lockdown defensively." Added the selfless Laba: "Ive always played that way -- win balls, win tackles -- and quickly disperse (passes) so my teammates have more time on the ball." Pert has been in awe at how quickly Laba has adapted to his new surroundings. "Matis been incredible since hes come in and the fact he came in two weeks before the start of the season and every game he just never lets you down," said Pert. "Hes absolutely a top, top player. I couldnt speak highly enough of Mati. "He makes incredible tackles, he gets his foot on the ball, he plays it simple." Because of their youth, Laba and Koffie could be patrolling Vancouvers midfield for some time, and the pair are expected to start alongside each other once again when the Whitecaps (4-2-5) visit the Portland Timbers (3-3-7) on Sunday. "(Koffies) a great player and I think we work really well together," said Laba. "I can win balls and that opens space up for him to go forward and attack more. We compliment each other quite well." New England Patriots Jerseys Outlet . - Connor Brown and Dane Fox both scored in regulation and in the shootout, as the Erie Otters extended their win streak to 10 games by defeating the London Knights 4-3 on Saturday in Ontario Hockey League action. Authentic New England Patriots Jerseys . LOUIS -- The St. http://www.cheappatriots.com/. With nothing tangible at stake, the Raptors turned in their most impressive outing of the fall in their seventh and second to last exhibition tilt against their stiffest competition yet, but they lost a couple starters in the process. Wholesale New England Patriots Jerseys .J. Hardy to avoid a three-game sweep after blowing a big early lead. Odour had a leadoff single in the seventh and scored the tiebreaking run with the help of two errors by Hardy as the Rangers went on to beat the Orioles 8-6 on Thursday night. New England Patriots Jerseys China . Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas appeared to be on track to gain election from the Baseball Writers Association of America on Wednesday, and Craig Biggio could join them.With a 2-0 series deficit and no Carey Price, Michel Therrien expects nothing less than a positive response when his club takes on the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final. While the team lost 3-1 on Monday night - a relative improvement from their 7-2 drubbing in Game 1 - the Montreal Canadiens head coach was impressed with the effort his players gave against a tough Rangers squad. "I want to give credit to the Rangers for what they did well," he told reporters in a conference call on Tuesday. "The Rangers defence did a good job of boxing players out, blocking shots and preventing second chances. We just need to keep working the way we did yesterday. Things can change very fast if we keep creating chances. The most important thing is that players follow the game plan and stay alert. If we keep doing that, things will turn around." The Canadiens - trailing by two games for the first time in these playoffs - have held the lead for just 17 seconds over the first 120 minutes played. Henrik Lundqvist made 41 saves in Game 2, including 19 in the third period. "I liked the engagement level of our team in Game 22," Therrien added.dddddddddddd "The first game was emotionally and physically tough for us, but we regrouped really well. On Monday, we played with energy and we pushed the pace. Im anxious to see the guys tomorrow and I feel optimistic for the rest of the series because of the way we competed." The Canadiens will now try to become the 20th team in Stanley Cup playoff history to win a series when losing the first two games at home. Fittingly, the Habs and Rangers have been a part of last three instances its happened - Montreal lost 4-2 to Carolina in 2006 after winning the first two games in Raleigh, the Washington Capitals beat the Rangers 4-3 after New York took the first two games at the Verizon Center in 2009 and Montreal won the first two games at Bostons TD Garden before losing 4-3 in their 2011 series with the Bruins. Still, Therrien is a full believer that his team can win once theyre reset in a couple of days. "Its a challenge to play in New York, but weve won many games throughout the years at Madison Square Garden," he explained. Therrien did not say which goaltender - Dustin Tokarski or Peter Budaj - would start in Game 3. 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