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Rose City Forecast 16: Portland Timbers vs San Jose Earthquakes

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MLS: Portland Timbers at San Jose Earthquakes Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to another week at the Stumptown Footy prediction thread!

As you might be aware, last weekend the Portland Timbers traveled up Interstate 5 to face the spiraling Seattle Sounders and came away with their first regular season win at Century Link. Neither side broke through in the first half, but when the teams came back to the field after the break, goals started to flow. The Timbers broke through first, thanks to Larrys Mabiala’s header from a Diego Valeri corner kick. Alas, Seattle would equalize two short minutes later. Another six minutes passed, and the Timbers got to score again, thanks to Samuel Armenteros and a great pass by Diego Valeri. Eleven more minutes, and another goal as Seattle equalized for a second time. Thankfully, the Timbers came away with the third and final goal when Mabiala got his second of the match from another Valeri corner, giving the maestro his third assist of the game. This time, the Timbers refused to let Seattle equalize, and they walked away with a deserved 3-2 win.

Sorry, again no standings. Traveling this week and weekend!

This weekend the Timbers return to Providence Park to welcome the San Jose Earthquakes in a match that has ‘trap game’ written all over it. How so? Well, San Jose is the second worst team league-wide (Sorry D.C.), the Timbers are at home, and they’re on a ten game unbeaten run. PTFC sits on 1.73 points per game while the Earthquakes have less than half that at 0.71. By almost every reasonable measure, this is a game the Timbers should win comfortably. But in San Jose’s favor, they can score goals. They have 28 of them, four more than the Timbers. It’s just their defense that’s letting them down. So if the Timbers get the scoring yips, or San Jose figures out how to play defense, the game could turn ugly. Again, it shouldn’t. However, this is MLS, where anything can happen in any week. Can the Timbers get the expected three points, or will they overlook San Jose to their woe?

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 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?