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Rose City Forecast 14: Atlanta United vs. Portland Timbers

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MLS: Atlanta United FC at Portland Timbers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Well, after a break for some Open Cup action (or maybe for some other cup that’s a big deal apparently?), your Portland Timbers return to MLS play this weekend. And that means it’s time for the 14th Stumptown Footy Prediction thread. Welcome back to the Forecast!

If you don’t recall, almost two weeks ago, PTFC played Sporting Kansas City at Providence Park. And in something of a pattern, Kansas City held the boys in green scoreless. They’ve been the only team able to keep the Timbers from scoring in Portland in years. In fact, the last time there was a 0-0 draw at Providence Park was in 2015, also against SKC. Both teams had a few half chances, and Jeff Attinella came up big in the dying minutes to preserve his shut out, but other than that it was a game without much excitement, unless you really like defensive battles.

Much like the match itself, the predictions this week were generally low-scoring, with one notable exception. Congratulations to BarmyTarmy for earning the pick of the week by calling the 0-0 draw as well as the under on cards for 13 points - just one short of a perfect prediction. Timbers Pride takes the fun prediction of the week for suggesting that Attinella would play big to conserve a clean sheet, which would inspire the title of his next children’s book The Little Keeper That Could. Since Jeff had a couple big saves in the dying minutes, maybe we’ll see that book soon!

A perfect prediction would have been worth 14 points:

0-0

Ike Opara with the first yellow card.

Under on total cards, with only one per team.

Standings Match 13

Participant Total Points Weekly
Participant Total Points Weekly
Timbers Pride 64 6
UNOprivateer 61 4
MindfulCyclist 60 2
MofoOG 53 3
lefthanded49 52 0
RCTID26 48 2
BarmyTarmy 47 13
MacVanek 46 3
hoser!hoser! 45 0
4-5-2 44 2
landoid 41 2
STYLES34 41 1
jocked07 40 2
MrMoody 39 0
shrekpdx 39 1
GeorgeCorps17 36 4
Richard Hamje 35 0
LampzTheLegend 33 1
straight red 31 3
oregonvania 28 0
jackwiddy 27 0
CubanDaywalker 24 0
Timber DT 21 0
Z_thrilla 15 0
aljames 13 1
webfootking 12 3
Withdrawn Striker 11 0
OwenGail 9 0
TimberTyler 9 0
Matthew Hoffman 8 0
Schmadam08 6 0
ScottyRiley 6 0
rip_jjg 4 0
Crafty_PDX 3 0
jumpers4goalposts 3 0
living 3 0
James Bondo 2 0
Hendrik Johannes 1 0
jwr12 1 0
Kazper 1 0
picknroll222 1 0
TheChooChooChin 1 0

On Sunday, the Portland Timbers travel to Atlanta for the first time since Atlanta United joined Major League Soccer last year. It will also be the first match between PTFC and Atlanta since the blockbuster trade that sent Darlington Nagbe south. While road games are always difficult in MLS, this one could be the most difficult of the year for the Timbers, as Atlanta is the league’s top team with 33 points so far, and the league’s best attack. In the Timbers’ favor, Atlanta has actually been (ever so slightly) worse at home in 2018 than on the road, and Diego Chara will return to the team after serving a one match ban for yellow card accumulation. In addition, Josef Martinez, owner of 14 goals so far, is listed as questionable on the injury report. It will surely better Portland’s chances if he has to sit. So, with all that in mind, what is this match going to look like? Can the Timbers maintain their eight game league unbeaten run, or will Atlanta end it?

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.

Format:

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:

Nagbe (Valeri)

Valeri (Free kick)

Adi (PK)

Blanco (Unassisted)

Beckham (Free kick)

Donovan (Beckham)

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?