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Rose City Forecast 11: Houston Dynamo vs Portland Timbers

MLS: Portland Timbers at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to a short mid-week forecast!

Last Friday, the Portland Timbers went to British Columbia to visit the Vancouver Whitecaps. The match didn’t go according to plan, as Fredy Montero got on the score sheet in the 9th minute and then Vancouver held out for a 1-0 win. The Timbers had a couple chances go wanting, with Lucas Melano once more being under the microscope for his inability to get on the end of a cross and put it into the net. Despite not getting a result, the Timbers generally had some solid play, but couldn’t quite put everything together in the box, and now they sit at an even one point per game.

No standings update for the midweek thread. Expect them back for the next match!

This evening, the Timbers find themselves in Texas for the second time on the road trip. This time, however, their opponent is the Houston Dynamo. The Dynamo have been off to an excellent start this season, with 19 points from 9 games. They’re fourth in the western conference standings, but only because they’ve played two or three fewer matches than each of the teams ahead of them. Perhaps most impressive is that they are one of only two teams to currently have more than two points per game. Even with a full squad, PTFC would have their work cut out for them against such an in-form adversary. Unfortunately, the boys in green will be missing Diego Chara, who is out due to yellow card accumulation. On the bright side, there’s a chance we’ll see new signing Brian Fernandez, as he was expected to be eligible. We’ll have to see if he makes the 18. If he does, will he be enough to overcome Chara’s absence? Otherwise, can the team gut out a result?

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.


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!