VANCOUVER -- The biggest knock against Gershon Koffie with the Vancouver Whitecaps has been his consistency. Wholesale Puma Shoes . 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." Puma Shoes Sale Uk . Betancourt was 2-5 with a 4.08 ERA and 16 saves for the Rockies last season before tearing a ligament in his pitching elbow. He considered undergoing platelet-rich plasma therapy to fix his arm, but announced in August his decision to have Tommy John surgery. Cheap Puma Shoes Uk .com) - James Harden had 32 points, including a tying layup late in regulation, and the Houston Rockets scored eight of their 13 points in overtime at the foul line to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 117-111 on Friday night. http://www.discountpumauk.com/ . After missing 20 games as a rookie a year ago, Valanciunas - like the Raptors as a whole - has been fortunate to be in good health this season. As he spoke about it, the Raptors sophomore centre scanned the room for wood to knock on. "It is disappointing because we lost today so thats the worst part of the day," said Valanciunas, who left Tuesdays game with a lower-back sprain in the third quarter, missing the rest of Torontos 118-113 overtime defeat at the hands of the Hawks.DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Roger Federer won a record sixth Dubai Championships -- and 78th career title -- by beating Tomas Berdych 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the final on Saturday. Federer, who maintains a home in Dubai, delighted a packed stadium of fans who seemed biased for the Swiss in back-to-back wins over Novak Djokovic in the semifinals and Berdych. "Things definitely went my way out here tonight," Federer said. "Ive had a lot of tough matches in the last year and a half so it was nice to get a lucky break again." The victory was hard fought as Federer lost the first serve and his serve in the second to trail 3-2. Federers win, his sixth here in the last 12 years, extends his record of winning at least one title a year to 14 consecutive years. This is Federers first tournament victory since winning in Halle, his only title of 2013, last spring. Federer improved his record over Berdych to 12-6 with the win. The last time they played, however, Berdych beat Federer in the Dubai semifinals last year. "Hes the greatest player of all time and hell never give up and give you anything for free," Berdych said. "I knew that and thought I was ready for it, but my execution wasnt good enough to hold it to the end." The loss ended Berdychs longest winning streak of his career at 11 matches. In the firstt set, the fourth-seeded Federers forehand looked shaky and he appeared a step slow. Wholesale Puma Shoes Free Shipping. After exchanging early service breaks, the third-seeded Berdych snared the go-ahead break in the sixth game. On a second break point at 30-40, Federer netted a backhand to lose serve. In the second set, there was another early exchange of breaks. From 4-4, Federer won the final eight points of the set to even the set score. "Everything happens very, very quickly and I was looking for better serving because thats what let me down the most in the beginning, getting broken three times in five, six service games," Federer said. Both players had break opportunities in the first two games of the third set -- Berdych three and Federer one -- but each held. Federer secured his way to victory when he broke Berdych on a second break point in the fourth game. The Swiss faced two break points on his serve in the seventh game but held on for 5-2. Berdych was able to save two Federer match points on his own serve in the eighth game. But the Czech couldnt stop Federer from serving out. On Federers third match point at 40-15 in the ninth game, Berdych netted a backhand return. "The match started pretty well and I had many chances," Berdych said. "Its very disappointing for me the way I handled that situation." ' ' '