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Rose City Forecast 3: FC Cincinnati vs Portland Timbers

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MLS: FC Cincinnati at Seattle Sounders FC Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to the Forecast! Sorry about the late post and any confusion last week. Sometimes life happens.

As far as the game last weekend, ouch. Not much else to say, except it looked like it was going okay until suddenly it wasn’t. A couple minutes before halftime, it was 1-1. By the 70th minute, it was 4-1 and Diego Chara had been sent off with a second yellow for the first time in his MLS career. Game over.

No standings yet.

For the third game of the season, the Timbers are headed to Ohio, but instead of playing the familiar Columbus Crew, it’s new side FC Cincinnati they’ll be facing on the pitch. New team or not, Portland will find many familiar faces. There are four former Timbers on the roster; in addition to recent departures Fanendo Adi and Alvas Powell, FC Cincinnati features Darren Mattocks and Eric Alexander. Cincinnati also has two familiar faces in Kendall Waston and Kekuta Manneh, both of whom spent several years with Cascadian rivals the Vancouver Whitecaps. Fans and analysts alike have pegged this as one of the matches where the Timbers might earn 3 points during this 12-game road trip, but it’s still not going to be easy. It’s FC Cincinnati’s first home game, and expansion sides often punch above their weight in such a match. In addition, they’ll likely be riding high after stealing a point in Atlanta last weekend. Meanwhile, the Timbers have been rather leaky in defense, and with Diego Chara out due to his red card, that seems unlikely to improve without completely hamstringing the offense. What do you think? Can the Timbers get their first win without Diego Chara in recent memory?

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

Some ground rules and explanations/clarifications (the fine print):

You may amend your prediction at any point up to kickoff 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 few 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 Blanco scores, assisted by Valeri, and you predicted that exact combination, you get a total of three points: 1 goal, 1 assist, 1 bonus.)

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. Just like predicting a player assist, you earn an assist point if you correctly predict an unassisted or free kick goal. 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.

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:

Blanco (Valeri)

Valeri (Free kick)

Ebo (PK)

Blanco (Unassisted)

Graham Zusi (Free kick)

Krisztian Nemeth (Johnny Russel)

Next, choose your first yellow card, and that means picking only one person:

First yellow to Matt Besler

Then reds, if any. (NOTE: No points awarded for correctly calling a red-card-free match, so take a guess.):

Roger Espinoza 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!