It's time for another Portland Timbers prediction thread!
You may remember last weekend as one of the most unconvincing 3-0 wins the Timbers have ever managed — but it’s still a 3-0 win. Despite the scoreline, however, you could say that the offense sputtered a bit and, without the help of two silly penalty kicks conceded by the Philadelphia Union, the score could have looked very different. However, Philly did give up those PKs, and the defense kept a mostly deserved clean sheet ... and so the Timbers got all three points.
The best pick of the week goes to jocked07, who took 15 of 21 available points with the correct scoreline (and, therefore, the clean sheet), the Valeri PK, another goal, and that the first yellow would go to Alejandro Bedoya. The bonus points for an interesting prediction go to UNOprivateer for suggesting that Liam Ridgewell would make an appearance, and Ridgy-roll right onto the pitch to earn an immediate yellow for time wasting. This is one of the only wild predictions to go green this year! Congratulations! (Even if Ridgy didn’t actually feature.)
A perfect prediction for 21 points:
Diego Valeri (PK); Dairon Asprilla (PK); David Guzman (Valeri)
First yellow to Bedoya
Under on cards (Only one!)
And now the standings:
Standings Match 20
This weekend, the Timbers have a Cascadia Cup match to look forward to as they play the Vancouver Whitecaps for the first time in 2018. The Whitecaps sit seven points back from the Timbers in the table, just below the playoff line for the Western Conference. In addition, they have one of the worst defenses in the league in terms of goals conceded. The Timbers ... do not. On the other hand, the Timbers and the Whitecaps play similarly, generally not wanting a ton of the ball and looking to hit on the counter. If both teams try to do that, it could make for quite the boring draw. That said, to spice things up, Portland ended the transfer window by bringing back two players from the 2015 side that won MLS Cup: Jorge Villafana and Lucas Melano. In addition, Sebastian Blanco returns from yellow card suspension. Villanfana won’t be in Portland in time for this match, but Melano has already arrived. Will he or Tomas Conechny (the new arrival of the transfer window) see the pitch and perhaps provide an attacking spark?
Total Cards O/U: 5.5
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. (For example, 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 an FK, and an 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; for example, 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, kicks the ball straight into NDJ’s groin. Camera pans to a trademark Chara smile.