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Rose City Forecast 9: Real Salt Lake vs. Portland Timbers

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MLS: Real Salt Lake at Portland Timbers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Another happy week in Portland! Welcome back to the Forecast!

Your Portland Timbers got their second road win in as many weeks and are suddenly sitting on seven points from eight road games. Not great, but not bad, if you live by the mantra “win at home, draw on the road.” They’re almost averaging a point per game. Last weekend, they toppled a Toronto FC side that was missing Jozy Altidore. Toronto scored first, but the Timbers answered moments later, when Bill Tuiloma volleyed Diego Valeri’s corner kick into the net. PTFC would go on to get the winner in the 70th minute when Jeremey Ebobisse scored a diving header courtesy of a Sebastian Blanco cross. And the defense held firm the rest of the game for a final score of Portland 2, Toronto 1.

The pick of the week goes to lefhanded49, who called the correct scoreline as well as an Ebobisse goal and Valeri assist and that there wouldn’t be many cards. Shout out to jocked07, who also called the correct scoreline, the Ebobisse goal, and the Valeri assist; and also Timbers Pride, who also correctly predicted that the Timbers would take all three points. That’s more confidence in the boys in green than I had!

Standings Match Eight

Participant Total Points TFC
Participant Total Points TFC
UNOprivateer 36 0
Timbers Pride 35 8
MindfulCyclist 27 2
MrMoody 27 4
jocked07 24 10
lefthanded49 24 11
landoid 23 0
dkob29 22 0
LampzTheLegend 22 1
MacVanek 22 1
tpet1433 19 0
BarmyTarmy 18 0
MofoOG 16 0
STYLES34 15 1
straight red 13 0
TimberTim 2 0

This Saturday, the Timbers travel to Utah for their ninth road game in a row. Real Salt Lake have a better record than PTFC, but not by much; they’ve played one more game and have one more win. That’s the only difference. In addition, both teams have scored 11 goals, while Portland has conceded 19 and Salt Lake City has conceded 16. You may also remember last October when PTFC beat RSL in back-to-back matches to climb the standings heading into the playoffs. Real Salt Lake will almost certainly be looking to avenge that humbling experience. The Timbers, of course, have momentum on their side, as they’ve continued to improve across the last three matches. Can they continue that improvement, or will RSL be able to use their home field to their advantage and hold off the Timbers?

Total Cards O/U: 5.5

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!