Well, internet, you've made it. Today is the last day of 2013, and the theme tying our links together this morning is predictability. Which probably means that 2014 is going to be a wild ride. At least, I hope so. Let's jump in.
MLS Whitewash of the Year | Hot Time In Old Town
The league website's Controversy of the Year list has a pretty glaring omission - that whole "Chivas USA is discriminating against anybody who isn't Mexican" thing - and our friend Sean Spence up in Chicago takes them to task for trying to sweep it under the rug.
Another day, another foreign player linked with an unnamed MLS team | MLSsoccer.com
This time it's French midfielder Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi. I know nothing about the guy other than he has the same hyphenated first name as my French ancestor who emigrated to the U.S., and that if you click through, you get to see a pretty unflattering but entertaining photo of Pierazzi and Charlie Davies battling for a header.
You want a year-end review? Steve Davis has your year-end review | ProSoccerTalk
By his seasoned reckoning, 2013 was the most eventful, newsiest year in the history of American soccer. There were a lot of Very Big Things happening this year, and I can't really argue against his premise. But I do wonder how much of this is down to the increased media coverage of the sport over the last year - and whether that in itself is a story worth celebrating.
Whose stock is rising and falling with the USMNT? | ESPN FC
Featured on Doug McIntyre's final list of the year: Jozy Altidore, Duane Holmes, Eric Lichaj and Geoff Cameron. You probably can already guess who is rising and who is falling.
Ori Rosell represents his not-a-country | ProSoccerTalk
Catalonia is not a member of FIFA, but it does have its own national team, which plays the odd friendly (generally to promote Catalonian independence) and is usually staffed with various current and former FC Barcelona players. Sporting Kansas City midfielder Ori Rosell is a la Masia product who spent some time with Barca B, and he ended 2013 sporting Catalonian colors as they beat the Cape Verde Islands. I say good for him.
Spurs coming Stateside again in 2014 | Goal.com
If you're a fan of big Euro clubs coming to the US to play meaningless friendlies in the middle of the MLS season, you're in luck! It's gonna keep on happening, including up in Seattle, where the "Trophies not Friendlies" contingent is sure to be thrilled about getting the opposite, again.
Let us know what you think of these mostly predictable happenings down in the links, and feel free to share any stories from around the web that catch your eye today.
Oh, and Happy New Year, Districtistas!