Well we’re here! I admit the season kind of snuck up on me, which is why I’m writing this at 10 p.m. on a Friday night. I still expect a preseason tournament in Portland or something, I suppose. I also realize I never did a 2018 season wrap, so my apologies. I’ll see if I can correct that and let y’all know the winner!
Anyhow, welcome to the first Timbers Prediction Thread of 2019! Come one, come all, and see if you can figure out the match result before it’s played! The rules are almost the same as last year, except that there will be no bonus points awarded for crazy predictions. I still encourage you all to make those predictions, but I was just having too hard a time choosing the winner most weeks. Regardless, I recommend you take a few minutes to review the rules and points system even if you’ve been a regular prognosticator the past few years.
For their first match of 2019, the Timbers travel into the snow and mountains to face the Colorado Rapids. While the Rapids are still the Rapids, they do look to have improved over the offseason with the additions of Kei Kamara, Benny Feilheiber, Diego Rubio, and Keegan Rosenberry. And they still have Kellyn Acosta from his midseason transfer last year. That’s a Rapids team that looks a lot better than it did a year ago, and it could be a mistake to underestimate them. That said, if the Timbers play like they did against Real Salt Lake in the final preseason match, they shouldn’t have much of an issue starting the season right.
Total Cards O/U: 4.5
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.
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)
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!