Welcome to the 10th iteration of the 2018 prediction thread! We return after an always-enjoyable win over those foes just to the north, the Seattle Sounders. If you don’t remember, Seattle did a magnificently ugly job of parking a bus in front of their goal for about 85 minutes and held the Portland Timbers to only one or two quality chances, which the boys in green couldn’t quite finish. But, thankfully for Portland, soccer games are 90+ minutes long, and in the 86th minute, Samuel Armenteros threaded a beauty of a through ball to Sebastian Blanco, who finished with a sweet chip over a sliding Stefen Frei. 1-0 Timbers, and that was the final score as PTFC held on through 10(!) minutes of stoppage time. Yes, the 100th meeting between professional Portland and Seattle soccer teams heard the final whistle at 100:00. Also, ‘held on’ may be inaccurate phrasing, as the Sounders, in typical Seattle style, finished with a measly 0.25 expected goals. The Timbers, despite an ugly green bus parked between them and goal, finished with about 1.5. Let’s just say it wasn’t luck that decided this rivalry match.
Pick of the week goes to landoid for correctly calling the Timbers’ shutout, the win, and most impressively, the Armenteros to Blanco goal. hoser!hoser! earned the wild and ridiculous points of the week for suggesting that Stumptown Footy’s own Chris Rifer would present the Sounders with their most unexpected enemy as he returned to the stands. This would have been especially wild, since Chris was still covering this match. It’s next one he’ll make his return to the stands!
A perfect prediction for 15 points:
First yellow to Jordy Delem
Under on cards
Standings Match Nine
This week’s match is the first between the Portland Timbers and new expansion team LAFC. If you haven’t been following buzz around the league, Bob Bradley’s side has some quality players who’ve led the team to the best expansion team start in MLS league history. Despite playing six away games (the same as the Timbers, if you’re counting), LAFC sits on 20 points at 2.0 ppg. Their only losses came in Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s debut for their rivals LA Galaxy and against current supporter’s shield leaders Atlanta United. In not so many words, they look like a good team. Our Timbers, of course, are sitting on a four-match winning streak, which is the longest current streak in MLS. Three of those have been at home, and two of those have been shutouts. And after downing New York City FC 3-0 just a few weeks ago, they’re perfectly capable of knocking out good teams. Can PTFC hold on to that momentum and take three more points at home? Or will road warriors LAFC ruin the streak?
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?