Yep, it’s already time for another prediction thread! Alas, I suspect there’s not much enthusiasm after a disappointing week.
After ending the unbeaten run last Saturday, the Portland Timbers kept stumbling as they fell 4-1 to D.C. United and a Wayne Rooney brace. The game started out brightly, as the Timbers got on the board first with their first run-of-play goal in three games, and it looked like the guys were ready to make up for the home loss to Vancouver. Unfortunately, they couldn’t maintain that level of play, and minutes later, D.C. equalized. At the break, it was knotted 1-1. Then just three minutes into the second half, D.C. got their second, and twenty minutes later their third. Portland had nothing. And, if all that wasn’t enough, former Timber Darren Mattocks finished off the boys in green with a stoppage time goal to get the final score. Ouch.
Catching up from last weekend, no real prediction of the week, as everyone thought the Timbers would win, and they didn’t. This meant no one scored more than four points, except for landoid who gets the bonus for predicting that the Double Post would have Molson on tap, but only as a secret menu accessed by naming two Canadian Prime Ministers.
From Wednesday, MofoOG had the pick of the week for correctly calling the loss, Samuel Arementeros’s goal, Rooney’s goal assisted by Yamil Asad, and over on total cards. Richard Hamje gets pick of the week for suggesting that those of us watching on TV would miss a goal on a quick restart because the cameras were too focused on politicians in the audience. Given TV’s trouble with zoom-ins in soccer (WHY?!) and the fact that at least one politician showed up (Jeff Merkley is RCTID), I’m calling it close enough!
A perfect prediction for 25 points:
Armenteros (Blanco OR Polo)
Rooney (Asad); Fisher (Acosta); Rooney (free kick); Mattocks (Segura)
First yellow card to Paul Arriola
Over on total cards
Standings Match 22
For their third game in eight days (and second on the road), the Timbers will face Sporting Kansas City at Sporting Park. After a bit of a slump through July, SKC seem to have found their footing again, winning their last two. The Timbers, as we know, seem to be starting a slump. And coming off a midweek game featuring trans-continental travel, it’s a little hard to see the Timbers leaving Kansas City with a result, especially since coach Gio Savarese didn’t seem much inclined to rotate his players. If they lose, however, it will be the first time the Timbers lose three in a row in 2018, so question Savarese at your peril. What do you think? Will tired legs lead to sorrow or will guys find a way to get stuck in and escape with some points?
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. (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.