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Around The Forest: Injuries abound in Houston

Checkout how Thorns players are doing abroad, Viera praises the Crew, Chelsea fans attacked, and more!

Portland

Portland's Caleb Porter encouraged by Timbers' depth after rash of injuries | MLSsoccer.com
Add another name to the long list of soccer players who’ve missed games owing to unusual injuries. Portland Timbers winger Sebastian Blanco was absent from Monday’s Western Conference Semifinal first leg at BBVA Compass Stadium because he suffered second-degree burns over much of his right foot when he spilt boiling water in a cooking accident.

Thorns FC Abroad | Portland players begin on W-League action in Australia | Portland Timbers
In the W-League’s 2017 opener, Thorns FC's Hayley Raso, Celeste Boureille and Brisbane Roar FC rose to defeat Emily Sonnett and Sydney FC by a final score of 3-1. Raso and Boureille each made starts for the Roar with Raso going the distance and Boureille taking a pair of shots in her 90 minutes of play, before coming off as a second-half stoppage-time substitution. Sonnett came on at half for the Sky Blues and scored her side’s lone goal on a PK conversion in the 80th minute.

MLS Playoffs

Despite attacking no-show, 'Caps comfortable heading into Leg 2 at Seattle | MLSsoccer.com
The second leg should prove a far different match from Sunday's clash, which featured a solitary shot on goal. That came from the Sounders, as Vancouver "huffed and puffed" without really threatening, happy to sit back and ensure they didn't give up a crucial away goal.

NYCFC's Patrick Vieira praises red-hot Crew SC ahead of playoff matchup | MLSsoccer.com
NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira isn’t at all surprised by Columbus’ run of success. Vieira has admired the way Crew SC play since he took the NYCFC job ahead of the 2016 season, and got a firsthand glimpse of their impressive form in NYCFC’s 2-2 draw with Columbus at Citi Field on Decision Day.

Jozy Altidore on chants at RBA: "There's no loyalty anymore" | MLSsoccer.com
First, the fans in South Ward shouted their feelings about Toronto FC – and US men's national team – players Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley. Then eventually, Altidore made his sentiments clear as well. As Altidore, also a former New York Red Bulls forward, was subbed out in the 86th minute Monday, he paused to roll down his socks. Then he clapped toward his away support to the north, before turning with an even more animated, mocking applause to the home fans to the south.

Video Review reversal did not change game according to Elis, Cabrera | MLSsoccer.com
In the 30th minute, Dynamo forward Mauro Manotas slipped a pass to Alberth Elis in the box. Elis ran onto the ball and started his shooting motion before Timbers defender Larrys Mabiala tackled the ball away, bringing the Honduran international down as well.

Boehm: The boos are only fueling Altidore and Bradley in their Cup quest | MLSsoccer.com
Our sport can be a heartless, vicious place. Many in it see victory as its only objective value, and believe all is fair in its pursuit. Yet in the grand scheme, fans’ constant cascades of boos and pointed, profane cursing of players on the visiting team doesn't meet the measure of a felony offense.

NYCFC's Vieira promises "positive" tactics as he aims to avoid 2016 mistake | MLSsoccer.com
New York City FC coach Patrick Vieira is determined not to repeat the mistake he made a year ago when his team was bounced by Toronto FC in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. In the first leg of that series, played at BMO Field, NYCFC adjusted their style from the attacking orientation showcased through the regular season.

United States

Deconstructing the American game and the problems so many thought never existed
FOR THE AMERICAN GAME AT-LARGE – from every conceivable angle – nothing is what it seems. A diverse country with vast amounts of resources and a well-established sporting infrastructure has ensured these necessary elements – diversity and resource allocation – aren’t utilised to maximise the American game. From the outside, American football looks like a buzzing and thriving sport.

World

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud - Scorpion kick goal inspired by dance classes - ESPN FC
Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud has revealed his award-winning "scorpion kick" goal was inspired by dance classes he took while a student. Giroud last week won FIFA's Puskas Award for his incredible backheel volley against Crystal Palace on New Year's Day.

Liverpool defender Lovren reveals how fan sent him family death threat | Goal.com
Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has revealed that a supporter has targeted his family in a death threat message sent on social media. The Croatian centre-back has attracted criticism in recent weeks for his performances for the Anfield club, with his showing against Tottenham at Wembley seeing him withdrawn after just 31 minutes.

Chelsea new: Roma fans arrested after Colosseum pub attack on Blues supporters | Goal.com
Two Roma fans were arrested on Monday night accused of assaulting Chelsea supporters near the Colosseum, according to reports in Italy. Local news agency Ansa claim that police were called to a pub in Rome ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League tie at Stadio Olimpico.