Welcome back to the forecast!
Last weekend, the Portland Timbers played host to the Colorado Rapids in perhaps the most bizarre game since... the last time the Timbers played the Rapids. It featured missed calls galore, a deserved but frustrating red card, a heck of an own goal, a PK, and a fair few Timbers playing out of position. The final score was 2-2, but Colorado scored three of the four goals. An injury to Marco Farfan forced the Timbers to use their first sub and alter their game plan in only the tenth minute. Fifteen minutes later, Colorado opened the scoring when Tommy Smith got his head to a Timbers corner kick but sent the ball straight into his own net. Hardly a minute later, however, the Rapids nullified their own goal when Jonathan Lewis put the ball in the back of the correct net. The teams went into halftime at that 1-1 scoreline, but ten minutes after the break the game changed again; Kevin Stott missed a clear foul on Sebastian Blanco and then Julio Cascante retaliated with a dangerous tackle at midfield to earn himself a red card. Despite being down a man, the Timbers got another go ahead goal when Colorado handled the ball in their penalty area and Diego Valeri buried the spot kick. But as the end of the game approached, the Timbers couldn’t keep Colorado from getting another goal and they drew even with the game’s final goal in the 76th minute.
Working on standings, and hope to have them up a couple hours before kick, but wanted to make sure the thread got posted before the last minute, unlike the past couple matches!
The Timbers now have their fourth game in twelve days as they host Orlando City on Thursday night. Orlando played an eastern conference game last weekend and have another one on Sunday, so they have a nice long trip to visit Portland and then just two days to get back home and play another match. Meanwhile, the Timbers have to travel to Seattle on Sunday. Between the condensed schedule the Timbers have played through recently, that upcoming rivalry match, and Orlando’s transcontinental travel, it seems likely that Thursday night’s game will feature two reserve teams while the regular starters are rested for more important minutes. Just how much will the teams rotate, and which side will feature the better reserve players? How much will the travel affect Orlando? Who’s going to manage the multi-game week the best?
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.
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!