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Rose City Forecast 25: Portland Timbers vs Toronto FC

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MLS: Portland Timbers at Toronto FC Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to a quick midweek forecast!

After falling at home to the surging Seattle Sounders, the Portland Timbers are now on a four game losing streak - their longest since 2012. As if that wasn’t enough, the team also dropped below the playoff line on total points for the first time since April and no longer controls its own destiny in the Cascadia Cup. The final score was 1-0, thanks to a Julio Cascante own goal and a mostly toothless offense.

Since it’s midweek, no standings.

Wednesday night, the teams that finished top of their respective conferences in 2017 face off in decidedly different circumstances. Last year, Toronto FC had one of the best teams ever seen in MLS and was running away with the Supporter’s Shield. They ended up winning the Cup and the Canadian Championship for a treble. This year, injuries and CONCACAF Champions League hangover have left the Reds with only 27 points and chasing the playoffs from the outside. The Timbers, of course, are continuing the losing streak they began after posting MLS’s best unbeaten run of 2018. During that run, it looked like the Timbers would challenge for top of the West. After four losses in a row, it now looks like they’ll be lucky to earn a first-round bye. So, with both teams needing a win, who will come out on top in Portland tonight?

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.

Format:

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:

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, kicks the ball straight into NDJ’s groin. Camera pans to a trademark Chara smile.