Musket Rounds: Timbers, Olympics, Muamba, Creavalle And More

PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 12: Kris Boyd #9 of the Portland Timbers celebrates with Kalif Alhassan #11 of the Portland Timbers after scoring a goal during the second half of the game against the Philadelphia Union at JELD-WEN Field on March 12, 2012 in Portland, Oregon. The Timbers won the game 3-1. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

We're just one day away from the New England Revolution home opener against the Portland Timbers, and there's a palpable buzz in the air if you're a soccer fan around the Hub. Meanwhile, there's been quite a bit going on in soccer while we prepare for this momentous event, including the kickoff of the USA's Olympic Qualifying campaign. In today's Musket Rounds, we'll try to fill you in on everything, while keeping you primed for tomorrow's afternoon clash with the logheads from the Northwest.

Revolution Links

Revs wary of Timbers target man Boyd | New England Revolution
I'm linking this because it's hilarious. Kris Boyd is a lot of things: the SPL all-time leading goalscorer, a former Rangers player, Scottish. What he is NOT is a target man. When Boyd touches a ball toward goal, it goes in; otherwise, he essentially can't play soccer. He's not a good passer, not an accurate header, and not a good dribbler. EVERYONE KNOWS THIS. Why don't Jay Heaps and Chris Tierney?

Q&A with Revolution coach Jay Heaps - Corner Kicks -
New England Revolution coach Jay Heaps hosted a chat session Thursday to discuss his team and its home opener on Saturday at Gillette Stadium vs. the Portland Timbers. The Bent Musket gets a shout-out at the 3:54-3:55 mark in the chat window...Jay says we aren't always flattering, but admits that they haven't won yet, so....

Heaps juggling options to fill injury-plagued backline |
Kyle McCarthy took a minute to talk to Jay Heaps about the selection crisis in the back line this weekend. If Lechner isn't game-ready by Saturday, we may see Shalrie or Clyde moving into the back.

Other Soccer Links

Dynamo player's interfering with public servant case is dismissed - Houston Chronicle
Dynamo player Warren Creavalle, along with Tyler Deric, Alex Dixon, and Will Bruin, were involved in an altercation with a cop at a bar a while back. Deric and Creavalle were arrested, I believe. Creavalle's criminal case has been dismissed (rightfully, by the sound of things), but he still has to deal with a civil suit from the cop.

Meet the U.S. U-23s' group opponents - Soccer By Ives
Avi Creditor takes a look at the USA's group opponents for CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying. The young Nats will face Cuba, Canada, and El Salvador.

Fabrice Muamba and how athletes fall - Grantland
Brian Phillips, patriarch of the illustrious Run of Play, contributed this heartfelt piece about Fabrice Muamba's fall at White Hart Lane. Yet again, Phillips does a fantastic job of encapsulating how many - if not all - of us felt as this was unfolding.

Olympic Qualifying: Corona, US rout 10-man Cuba 6-0 |
The US U-23s got off to a great start in Olympic qualifying, crushing Cuba 6-0. Joe Corona hit a hat-trick, while Juan Agudelo and Freddy Adu added goals of their own.

USA U-23s vs. Cuba Highlights " Over There
Highlights from Olympic Qualifying. The Yanks looked good, but man, Cuba looked (predictably) BAD.

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