I’m not sure I can say welcome back to the forecast after last week’s display, but here we are. The good news is your Portland Timbers are finally playing their home opener of 2018. The five game road trip is now a thing of the past. Alas, a quick summary of the final game, that painful 3-2 loss, comes next.
PTFC jumped out to an early lead over Orlando City SC after a certain Baldomero Toledo made up a call out of thin air to give Sebastian Blanco a second yellow for a dive in the box, but then reversed his decision after VAR told him just how misguided he was. Maestro Diego Valeri buried the resulting penalty. The Timbers took a 1-0 lead into half time, and then got another goal early in the second half off the head of Bill Tuiloma on a free kick earned by - who else - Seba Blanco. Portland then carried that 2-0 lead into the 80th minute, looking for all the world like they would get their first win of 2018. Then it all fell apart. Orlando scored three goals in eight minutes, with one coming on a fantasy-PK awarded to a diving Dom Dwyer. The other two? Well, it was mostly down to Portland’s defense being Portland’s defense. And that was the final score. 3-2. Orlando.
‘jackwiddy’ can (maybe?) take some comfort from the Timbers loss, as it allowed him to take pick of the week for correctly calling the 3-2 scoreline against the Timbers and two of the goal scorers for 10 points. ‘straight red’ also had the 3-2 scoreline correct. Also a special shoutout to the few of you who correctly called a Bill Tuiloma goal assisted by Valeri. It’s not always you can correctly predict when a player will get his debut MLS goal. Last, but not least, the bonus points go to ‘RCTID26’ for the prediction’s irony. That prediction had the Timbers scoring three goals in the last ten minutes for a comeback win. I’ll let you all decide if that jinxed the game.
Perfect prediction for 25 points:
Chris Mueller (Yoshimar Yotun); Sacha Kljestan (PK); Dom Dwyer (RJ Allen)
Diego Valeri (PK); Bill Tuiloma (Diego Valeri)
First yellow: Sebastian Blanco
Under on cards.
Standings Match Five
Again, FINALLY(!!!) the Timbers have finished their road trip and will be coming home to Portland for the first time this season; and, like last year, the home opener will be against Minnesota United. However, we should perhaps be careful of projecting last year’s result (a glorious 5-1 demolition) forward to this year. For one thing, Minnesota was record-breakingly poor last year, and that was their first game as an MLS club. For another, this could be their first game with their first Designated Player, Darwin Quintero. Lastly, they’ve already won twice this year. If you’re keeping track, that’s two more wins than the Timbers have. Portland’s attack has come alive in the past couple games, but the defense continues to be questionable at best. Will home cooking be enough to break that trend and get the Timbers their first three-point result?
Total Cards O/U: 3.5
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 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.
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, 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?