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Rose City Forecast 7: Columbus Crew vs Portland Timbers

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MLS: Portland Timbers at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Well that was frustrating! The Portland Timbers have lost five in a row, but last week, they stayed in the match for all 90+ minutes. And if not for three different penalty shouts that all went against PTFC, they might have left Dallas with a point, or even three. That said, the defense still looked questionable, so it’s not all on the ref. But he definitely didn’t help when he swallowed his whistle near the end of the match which then finished 2-1 in favor of FC Dallas. In another bright spot, Cristhian Paredes got his first goal of the season with a late run out of midfield. That was nice to see!

I know I said I’d have standings this week, but my spreadsheet and I are not getting along, so points are only partially calculated. That said, I’m a lot closer to getting them up then I was last week. So just like the team, I improved, but still ultimately fell short.

This weekend, the Timbers are headed to Ohio to face the Columbus Crew and former coach Caleb Porter, who took over the Crew after Gregg Berhalter left for the United States Men’s National Team. Columbus may have a different coach, but their style of play has mostly remained the same and they have continued to do it well. They currently sit on 13 points from seven games and are third in the East. If the Timbers manage a result, it would certainly be considered an upset, but if they build on the improvements from last week, they’ll have a chance. Can they pull it off?

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!