Welcome back to the Forecast! And it really is an excited welcome! The Timbers won!
If you thought it was a dream, like I did, rest assured: it was not. Your Portland Timbers really did travel to Ohio, face off against their former coach, and walk away with three goals and three points! Early on, the Timbers just managed to avoid conceding first after a bad Jeff Attinella clearance gifted Federico Higuain with a chance at a near-open net. But Higuain rushed the shot and it went wide, keeping the Columbus Crew scoreless. Not long after, Larrys Mabiala opened the scoring from a Diego Valeri free kick. Just minutes later, PTFC scored again when Jeremy Ebobisse finished a Sebastian Blanco assist. After halftime, Attinella gifted Columbus another chance, and this time Pedro Santos found the net. Other than that, the Timbers managed to keep Columbus fairly quiet for the rest of the half, and then put the game to bed with a rocket from Jorge Moreira at the beginning of stoppage time. The Timbers no longer have the worst point total in the league!
A big shout-out to MindfulCyclist, jocked07, and Timbers Pride, who all predicted a Timbers win in what I considered a near-hopeless matchup. But prediction of the week goes to landoid, who not only predicted a PTFC win, but also called the scoreline. Excellent work! And since the Timbers earned three points for the first time all season, I figured I should let you all know how many points you’ve earned. The standings have arrived!
Standings Match Seven
This Saturday, the Timbers will face their toughest test since LAFC. They travel to Canada to face Toronto FC, who currently sit on 2.17 points per game. They’ve had five matches at BMO Stadium, and haven’t lost one; they’re averaging three goals per game; and they have a goal differential of +7, second only to LAFC’s absurd +18. On the plus side, their leading scorer, Jozy Altidore, is out with (guess what!) a hamstring injury. On the downside, Alejandro Pozuelo is expected to play, and he’s been ridiculous in the four games he’s seen, earning four goals and five assists! And Jordan Hamilton, Altidore’s projected replacement, had a brace in last weekend’s match, so Toronto still has a lot of firepower to go against the Timbers’ questionable defense. To have a chance, PTFC will have to play at least as well as last week in addition to eliminating Attinella’s giveaways. But for the first time all year, Portland has some momentum, building off an improved performance in Dallas to get the win last weekend. Can they maintain their upward trend and at least earn a point?
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!