Thoroughout the brief and stormy existence of my futsal side, Albina Going FC (aka “The Unicorns”), we’ve been shadowed by a dark presence: an outfit called UrbanHonking Athletic Club (apparently also known as “Pegasus”). In two seasons of futsal, the two sides have never mixed it up. Because, frankly, we’ve been playing in a higher division than them. But many were the challenges exchanged, the gauntlets chucked, etc. Now, after a Second Division existence well-stocked with moral victories, Albina Going joins UHAC in Portland Futsal’s Third Division…but even more importantly, we join them in the Rivals Cup.
This Sunday night at 7 pm, these two already-storied sides meet at Portland Futsal in a much-anticipated non-league fixture: the Rivals Cup Inaugural Match. The winner of this one-off game will be first to hold the coveted trophy. Thereafter, league points in matches between The Going, Athletic and an unknown club called Dudes FC will determine who takes possession of this unprepossessing but prestigious piece of hardware.
This format promises to provide many a thrill for football fans as it parallels the official table of the Third Division’s new “Conference Argentina.” But should the Rivals Cup be contested for 100 years, no match will equal the drama, intensity and special-occasion zing of this first encounter. Sunday’s match will even feature a celebrity referee, in the person of Portland Futsal owner Paul Lomanto. There are also rumors that a uniformed medic will be present…JUST IN CASE.
Can the Unicorns dust off their winning magic after eight consecutive league losses and relegation? Can Team Pegasus rise to the occasion against an opponent accustomed to facing the big boys? Will this be the most exciting Portland soccer event since Pele and the Cosmos won the Soccer Bowl at Civic Stadium? Or just since the last time the Minnesota Thunder played here? Would you like to join the Unicorn Army? FIND OUT SUNDAY!