Welcome to an early Forecast this week, since the Portland Timbers play Friday evening!
It was the third good weekend in a row for the Timbers, as they traveled to Utah and downed Real Salt Lake by a score of 2-1. Sebastian Blanco and Diego Valeri both got goals off rebounds, while Sam Johnson answered for RSL with a nice back-heel assist from Corey Baird. Before either team scored, however, Steve Clark got the chance to be a hero when Salt Lake earned a penalty on Zarek Valentin’s handball. Albert Rusnak took the penalty, and Steve got down and saved it. And for the first time in Timbers MLS history, the opposing team didn’t score from a PK.
STYLES34 had the best prediction of the week, calling a Timbers win, all three scorers plus Baird’s assist on the RSL goal, and that the ref wouldn’t show too many cards. UNOPrivateer followed just behind, only calling two of the three goals, but earning eight points to stay atop the standings.
Standings Match Nine
This Friday night, the Timbers will have their tenth game of the season and their tenth on the road, but the match isn’t too far from home. For the first time in 2019, the Timbers are playing another Cascadia team, the Vancouver Whitecaps. After the last three weeks, the Cascadian Canadians are one of a handful of teams that sit below the Timbers on the table. They’ve played ten games - five home, five away - and have won only two of them. The Timbers have a more talented side, and with their improved organization, might be favored to win. That said, this is MLS and four wins in a row, all on the road, would be an impressive feat indeed. Can PTFC pull it off? If they do, it’ll have been without the help of Brian Fernandez, as the latest reporting indicates that his ITC won’t arrive until next week.
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!