Welcome to the ninth prediction thread of the year! We return with the Portland Timbers ready to face their rival Seattle Sounders for the first Cascadia match-up of 2018. And, since PTFC got its first away win last weekend, they’re riding a three game winning streak into this match!
There’s not much to talk about regarding the Timbers’ 1-0 away win against the San Jose Earthquakes, except that it was, in their sixth road match, a win. The game wasn’t terribly pretty, with no goals for the first 87 minutes and seven yellow cards distributed. But after a largely lackluster showing, Diego Valeri stepped up and buried a direct free kick in minute 88 to give the Timbers a late win. It was the first time since 2016 that PTFC flipped points in their favor after the 75th minute. Progress.
Pick of the week goes to lefthanded49 for calling the shut-out, the win, and Valeri’s free kick goal. The wild pick of the week was actually accurate: MofoOG correctly predicted that the Timbers would flip the result to a win after the 75th minute. Since it’s the first time in around two years of soccer that the Timbers have managed it, that’s quality predicting!
A perfect prediction would have earned 15 points:
First yellow to Paredes
Over on cards
Standings Match Eight
As mentioned earlier - as if you don’t know already - this week features the Timbers’ first rivalry match of 2018 as they host the Seattle Sounders. The Timbers are riding a three-game win streak in which they knocked off (at the time) league-leaders New York City FC, got their first road win of the season, and their first two clean sheets. After the season-opening road trip, it looks like they’re finding their stride. Seattle, meanwhile, was worst in the league until Wednesday when they traveled to Toronto and got their first win of 2018, a surprise result. But that means they’re coming into Portland after a midweek match that was an emotional MLS Cup rematch with transcontinental travel. Can the Timbers maintain their momentum and get the win against an injured and (hopefully) tired Seattle side?
Total Cards O/U: 6.5
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?