Welcome back to another Forecast!
Last Saturday, the Portland Timbers hosted FC Dallas in what ended up being a rather dull affair, with both teams combining for just over one expected goal split between them. But no one could finish any of the half-chances they had, and so the game ended in a scoreless draw. Unfortunately it wasn’t completely uneventful, as both Alvas Powell and Jeff Attinella left the game with injuries. In addition, Liam Ridgewell received a straight red card in stoppage time when he kicked out at a Dallas player while going up for a header. To cap off the night, Diego Chara received a yellow card in the last minute of the match.
STYLES34 takes both the prediction of the match and the bonus prediction points. They correctly predicted part of the shut-out, the first yellow going to Carlos Gruezo, and over on total cards for four points (a handful of you called the draw for three points). Then for the bonus points, they thought Reto Ziegler would get his fourth red of the season, being the first player in MLS to get sent off so many times. Finally, they predicted Diego Chara would give Ziegler an ear-to-ear grin and a high five for such an accomplishment. It didn’t happen, but there was a send-off, and I wish I could have seen Chara congratulating an opposing player for seeing a red card.
A perfect prediction would have earned 15 points:
First yellow to Carlos Gruezo
Red card to Liam Ridgewell
Over on total cards.
The standings are updated for both the Dallas and Minnesota matches, and we continue to have a tight race for the top spot.
Standings Match 31
This weekend the Timbers go back on the road in a match against Real Salt Lake. Getting a result out of Utah will be quite the accomplishment for Portland, if they manage it, since RSL has the best home record in the Western Conference. They’ve lost at Rio Tinto stadium just once all year, and have managed ten wins. The Timbers haven’t been great on the road, although with three wins and five draws, they haven’t been as terrible as Portland teams of just a few years ago. However, of all currently playoff-bound teams, they’re one of the worst on the road. If they are going to manage a result, they will have to do it without Liam Ridgewell, and possibly without Jeff Attinella or Alvas Powell. Can PTFC at least earn a draw to keep RSL from leaping them in the playoff hunt?
Total Cards O/U: 4.5
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, but you may predict up to 3 players with a red.)
- Over/under on total cards: 1 point
- Most outrageous(ly accurate) prediction: 2 points
Some ground rules and explanations/clarifications (the fine print):
You may amend your prediction at any point up to kickoff 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. (For example, 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 an FK, and an 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.
For the most outrageous(ly accurate) prediction, I will be trying to toe a line between completely absurd and mundane in my choices. As I see it, the goal here is to add even more fun without going too over-the-top ridiculous. So, in my mind, the best predictions will be something that could conceivably happen, but don’t happen often, like amusing coaching spats or goals that bounce off the crossbar, then off the keeper’s back, and then in. Things like that.
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; for example, 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, kicks the ball straight into NDJ’s groin. Camera pans to a trademark Chara smile.