Welcome to the last five games of the regular season, everyone! Last week, the Timbers got an impressive 1-0 road win against NYCFC. First, getting a shutout against even a Villa-less NYC is an accomplishment for the Timbers this year, and secondly, any win in the eastern time zone is quite a rare occurrence. Jeff Attinella had a couple good saves to preserve the scoreline, but Sean Johnson for NYC also had quite some saves to keep PTFC from scoring more. However, he could not stop one Diego Valeri from getting his seventh goal in seven games when Darren Mattocks set him up in the 44th minute.
Unfortunately, I’m quite busy this week, so standings will make a return before the Orlando game.
On Saturday, the Timbers head to Utah looking to get revenge on Real Salt Lake. As you may recall, RSL gave the Timbers what was probably their worst loss of 2017: a 4-1 stomping at Providence Park that saw two Portland Timbers players given straight reds, and the team just generally falling apart. Since that game, the Timbers have lost only once, on the road at Toronto. However, playing at altitude is always a challenge, and in their last home game, RSL beat San Jose 4-0. In addition, the Timbers will be without Diego Chara due to yellow card accumulation. Despite the relative positions in the standings, this will be a tough match for the Timbers. Can they continue their unbeaten run and come away from Utah with a result?
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. 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?