Two weeks ago, the Timbers drew Chicago 2-2. For the first time in several games, there was a glimmer of optimism, despite adding to a 5-game unbeaten run. The Timbers largely controlled the run of play in both halves, and got a result against the hottest team in the league, as Chicago was on a 10-game unbeaten run, despite being at least as short-handed as the other side. PTFC took the lead in the 24th minute via an Adi PK earned by a handball. Chicago responded 10 minutes later, getting a goal with their first shot on goal of the game. Chicago would then get the go-ahead goal 15 minutes after halftime. But this game, the Timbers refused to wilt, and responded in the 70th minute via a beautiful team goal finished by Sebastian Blanco.
I just got back from travels, so I haven’t had time to look at the handful of predictions that made the match thread, or catch up scores from the previous game, so no picks of the week just yet. Or standings.
Standings to come...
In their return from the Gold Cup break, the Timbers will face a Salt Lake City side that is suddenly riding high. Despite being 9th place in the West, they’re coming off a 6-2 pounding of the LA Galaxy. PTFC, on the other hand, is looking to turn some moral victories into actual victories and three points. Unfortunately, the Timbers are still short-handed due to injuries and callups. Nagbe has joined the USMNT for knockout rounds. Guzman is still with Costa Rica. Mattocks and Powell are with Jamaica. Vytas, new signing Mabiala and Chara may or may not be ready to go, and Marco Farfan hurt is ankle on Monday, though hopefully it’s nothing serious. Thus, the makeshift defense will probably continue. However, with Blanco, Adi, Valeri, and Asprilla all healthy, the attack, at least looks potent, though the bench is still short. Can the Timbers put together a game with few enough defensive miscues that they get the win?
Over/under: 4.5 total cards
The Scoring Format:
- Correct score: 5 points
- Correct result (draw/win/loss): 3 points
- Each clean sheet: 2 points
- Each goal-scorer: 1 point
- Each FK/PK/assist/lack of assist: 1 point
- Goal/assist bonus: 1 point
- Player with the first yellow card of the match: 1 point
- Each player with a red card: 1 point (Cannot earn points for predicting 0 red cards)
- Over/under on total cards: 1 point
- Most recommended/most outrageously accurate prediction: 2 points
Some ground rules and explanations/clarifications (the fine print):
You may amend your prediction at any point up to kick off to account for game day 18 announcements. Though I recommend at least getting an initial prediction sooner, just in case you forget to come back in that hour or two before the game.
Keep your scoreline predictions realistic. Basically, if you’re predicting lots of goals all the time to just earn points on goals and assists and ignoring the score, I feel that goes against the spirit of this thread. This hasn’t been at all a problem in the last two years, so let’s keep it that way!
The goal/assist bonus is an additional point if you correctly get the correct scorer and assistant on the same goal. (e.g., if Nagbe scores, assisted by Valeri, and you predicted that exact combination you get a total of three points - 1 goal, 1 assist, 1 bonus. However, if you predicted Nagbe scores assisted by Adi and Adi scores assisted by Valeri, you would get two points from the Nagbe/Valeri prediction - 1 goal, 1 assist)
Please be clear whether you think a goal will be unassisted, assisted, or from a PK/FK. Unassisted = no assist, run of play; Assisted = player who got the assist; PK/FK = directly from a free kick. For the purposes of this thread, a PK counts as a FK, and a FK as a PK. If you just leave the assist section blank, I will assume you’re declining to make an assist prediction.
Even though a player can be awarded a secondary assist by OPTA, I will award a maximum of one assist point per goal. But that point can come from either the primary or secondary assist in the box score. However, please keep your predictions to one assist per goal.
For the over/under on cards, a second yellow leading to a red counts as two cards, not three.
You may predict more than one red card if you’re expecting a chippy match, but only up to three total.
Most weeks, I will reward the most recommended prediction with the 2 points. However, if someone predicts that Caleb will bring a towel to dry off Seattle’s field, and he does, they’ll probably get those two points, regardless of whether they got the recs. We’ll also be testing this out, because I want to be careful that this doesn’t end up favoring the first few people to post their prediction. As I see it, the goal here is to add even more fun without going too over-the-top ridiculous.
If you’re looking for where I set the over/under on total cards, check the end of the preview paragraph after the standings.
In the comment title, post your predicted score with the winners, eg: 4-2 Timbers
In the body of your comment, start with the goals and assists, like so:
Valeri (Free kick)
Beckham (Free kick)
Next, choose your first yellow card, and that means picking only one person.
First yellow to Nigel De Jong
Then reds, if any. (NOTE: no points awarded for correctly calling a red-card-free match, so take a guess.)
Nigel De Jong gets a red card for stomping Blanco.
Clearly note whether you’re predicting over or under on total cards. Don’t leave me to try and figure it out!
And lastly, make your fun prediction.
Nigel de Jong tries to stomp Nagbe’s ankle again, but this time, Nagbe avoids the tackle. Being angry Nagbe for the first time in three years, he kicks the ball straight into NDJ’s groin. Camera pans to a trademark Chara smile.
As always, any questions about anything?