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Rose City Forecast 29: Portland Timbers vs Columbus Crew

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MLS: Portland Timbers at Columbus Crew SC Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the quick midweek prediction thread!

On Saturday, the Portland Timbers served the match on a platter to the Houston Dynamo, and the team in orange obliged, soundly beating the Timbers 4-1. However, the game didn’t start badly, as the Timbers got on the board first thanks to an Alvas Powell cross-turned-own-goal. But after 20-30 minutes, PTFC seemingly fell apart - the defense apparently remembered it can’t be organized when Liam Ridgewell isn’t playing - and they went into the half down 2-1. Nothing improved in the second half, and Houston put two more past Steve Clark for the final score. Ouch.

Since it’s a midweek thread, no standings update!

On Wednesday, the Timbers will look to rebound when they face the Columbus Crew in the friendly confines of Providence Park. Alas, they may have some tired legs, since both Diego Valeri and Sebastian Blanco went the full 90 minutes on Saturday. Assuming he’s not nursing an injury, Samuel Armenteros should be fresh and ready to go, at least. In the Columbus Crew, PTFC is against a team with an identical record: 12-8-8. But the Crew are on a better run of form, with only one loss in their last six, and over the weekend they did better than the Timbers in Texas, having played FC Dallas to a nil-nil draw. Working in the Timbers’ favor, hardly anyone besides Gyasi Zardes has found the net for Columbus. If Portland can shut down Zardes and Federico Higuain, they should have a good chance at keeping all three points in the Rose City.

Total Cards O/U: 2.5

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.