Twas the night before Christmas,
And all over the pitch,
Merritt Paulson’s winter plans,
Had hit a big hitch.
Better fullbacks he needed,
His defense to fix,
And a new young playmaker,
Though clearly not Mix.
But as Christmas drew closer,
Lil’ Merritt did see,
There were still too few pieces,
There was no one on the right,
Save ole’ Captain Jack,
And the brand new creator,
Right out he had backed.
He has still much work to do,
With camp in four weeks,
Many deals to seal,
To dry up the leaks.
But The Morrison Report,
Has presents to share,
For many Portland Timbers,
Naughty, nice, and fair.
Bright Dike: Airplane Neck Pillow and Noise Cancelling Headphones – Maybe nobody is more firmly entrenched on the “nice” list than Bright. After his second call up to the Nigerian National Team camp, it looks like Dike is going to be logging some frequent flyer miles in 2013. These should help keep him rested.
Kris Boyd: A Cardboard Cutout of John Spencer – The season started fine for Kris, but he completely derailed after Spencer was sacked, as both he and his waistline fell out of favor with nearly everybody in Portland. If he returns to the Rose City in 2013, maybe a cutout of Spencer – and a kale-heavy diet – can bring Boyd back to form.
Eric Alexander: Playing Time – One would expect the team’s leader in assists to make more than 24 appearances and 14 starts, yet there was Eric in 2012. Of players that made more than 15 appearances in 2012, Eric was 12th in the league in assists per 90 minutes. The guy right above him? Brad Davis. Right below him? David Beckham.
Jack Jewsbury: Smoking Jacket and Pipe – With the Timbers bursting at the seams with midfielders – and potentially adding another – Captain Jack’s run of consistent starts is in danger. Accordingly, he’s quickly approaching the stage of his career where his biggest contributions to his team will be made off the field. The team’s elder statesman will look even wiser with his new smoking jacket and pipe.
Kalif Alhassan: Blinders – The oft-injured and oft-distracted Alhassan is approaching the biggest season of his life. Between work ethic and health deficiencies, he has lost much of the last two seasons. If he loses a third, it’s a safe bet that Kalif will never fulfill his immense potential. The blinders should help him keep his mind – and, by extension, body – on the field.
Diego Chara: Cutoff Jeans Jacket with Punk Rock Patches – A perennial juggernaut in the yellow card race, you would think Diego would be cultivating a bad boy image by now. But then you realize he’s 5’5” with the biggest smile in the league. A punk rock jacket should start Diego down the path of being feared.
Sal Zizzo: Cannoli – The day I found out his food cart stopped serving it was one of the tougher days of 2012.
Darlington Nagbe: A Bust of Himself – Darlington might be the only person in Portland unconvinced of his own awesomeness. When Darlington commands the ball he looks like one of the best attackers in MLS. And then he disappears for weeks at a time. Nothing says “I think I’m awesome” like having a bust of yourself.
Danny Mwanga: Dance Dance Revolution – He has the arm movement down, but Danny could really improve on his footwork on goal celebrations. A copy of DDR should do the trick.
David Horst: Power Tools – Or maybe something else really manly.
Gavin Wilkinson: Gift Card – Because he’ll just return anything I get him and call it an upgrade.
For the supporters who sing,
Whose scarves read No Pity,
I have but one last message,
Onward, Rose City!