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The Thorns Prediction Game: Reading the PTFC Leaves

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Week eight — and yet another road match

NWSL Championship - Portland Thorns FC v Western New York Flash Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Thorns, backed by a Midge Purce brace, got a 3-0 home opening win. It was a warm day, the Thorns got a better-than-warm reception from the footy-thirsty Riveters, and the Red Stars got toasted.

We had two perfect predictions this week: Congrats to Danxp2017 and One.Goal.Beyond! The honors fall to One.Goal.Beyond for adding a perfect goal/assist guess. The wild prediction “rec-battle” was a tie between Constant Weeder’s naked bike riders and OGB’s Parsons Jr.’s motivation of Purce. I give the nod to OGB since the prediction specifically mentioned a Purce brace, which happened.

Incidentally — for those on the fence — notice that One.Goal.Beyond has assumed the season lead because of 26 points from only two matches. You can do the same ... or better! There is PLENTY of time left for anyone to win this thing. As coaches like to say: It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Also, props to Danxp2017 for an honest post-match appraisal of our player’s dilemma: Why do we value the correct prediction more than the added goal difference of a more-convincing win? Maybe you feel a little dirty for being happy that there was no fourth goal, but you got the payoff. But think of this: Had Everett scored, we’d have been singing “4 Goals Beyond” for the first time ever and toasting our first double-brace match ever. So what if you lost 5 points in an online contest with virtual frenemies?

The next match is one of our few remaining road games, as the Thorns visit Cary, NC, to face the Courage at 4:45 Portland time Saturday. So far, the champs have not prospered from the loss of their stars, although they did pick up a win against Orlando for what that’s worth.

ROSTER REPORT: The Courage are likely to be full strength. The Thorns are probably missing Angela Salem, but otherwise healthy. [UPDATE] Emily Menges is out — boo!

How this works:

Add a comment to this post. In the comment title put your predicted result, for example 3-1 Thorns.

In the body of your comment, start with the goals and assists, like so:

Lussi (Klingenberg)

AMC (Free kick)

Purce (Unassisted)

Hamilton (PK)

Next, name the first yellow card recipient: First yellow to Celeste Boureille

Then reds, if any. (NOTE: no points awarded for correctly calling a red-card-free match, so take a guess.) O’Sullivan gets sent off slide-tackling the nearside AR after a close offside flag.

Make your fun prediction:

A vendor in the parking lot is selling dirt clods formed to resemble Mark Parsons. Nadine Angerer buys up her stock and hands them out to the team for post-match shenanigans.

Lastly, please recommend one of the other players’ fun prediction.

Scoring:

· 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)

· Most recommended/most outrageously accurate prediction: 2 points

Some ground rules and explanations/clarifications (the fine print):

Comments must be posted before kickoff, but you can edit or amend an earlier prediction right up to the starting whistle.

Keep your scoreline predictions realistic. No crazy scores just to pad out your odds of getting goals and assists.

The goal/assist bonus is an additional point if you predict the correct scorer and assistant on the same goal; for example, you say Reynolds scores from a Boureille assist and that is exactly what happens. [ps: If you say exactly that and it happens, I will hunt you down and buy you a beer!]

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 = not in run of play. For the purposes of this thread, Penalty Kick and Free Kick are the same thing. No entry means unassisted.

Have fun, tell your friends, let me know if you have any questions or if I screw up your score.