The tumultuous first calendar year of Eleven Devils' existence reached a quiet conclusion, as my nearest and dearest celebrated the traditional Hanging of the Dark Foreign Overlord. It's these kind of olde-time rituals that bind civilization together. I say it every year: it's going to be a Nicolae Ceauşescu Christmas!
The two Premiership teams who enjoy the coveted XID stamp of approval, Liverpool and Reading, marked the New Year with a combined nine unanswered goals. That is surely an omen: we will see a reinvigorated US national team; a surprise Liverpool domestic double; a gripping Liverpool/Barcelona Champions League tie that will go down in history; an unbeaten run for my Albina Going Unicorns in Portland Futsal Division Three; a US Open Cup for the Portland Timbers; a Scudetto for Palermo; peace on earth; goodwill towards men.
Meanwhile, all is more or less silent in Portland soccerland. Timbers signings are beginning to dribble in as our beloved local club begins its annual process of cobbling together a squad. Somehow they haven't announced any blockbusters, but I'm sure they just didn't want the news to get lost in the Hanging of the Dark Foreign Overlord shuffle. The Unicorns, fresh from a winless relegation from the Second Division, are geared up to win Portland Futsal's third tier. Yes! A pre-season friendly against Urban Honking Athletic is in the works, which makes us feel very professional.
Finally, a Guardian writer had the good sense to celebrate the Maxi Rodriguez wondergol, which was indeed one of the finest footballing moments of 2006. Dig: