Welcome back to the forecast! It seems like we were just here, doesn’t it?
Less than three days ago, the Portland Timbers played to a disappointing draw with Orlando City. The Timbers were hosting and played a mostly first-choice lineup, but that wasn’t enough to keep Orlando from scoring first. Right before halftime, Jorge Moreira tried to clear a cross, but ended up setting the ball on a platter for Santiago Patino, who finished cleanly. For the rest of the game, PTFC dominated the stat sheet, but they couldn’t find an equalizer until Jeremy Ebobisse finally scored in the 82nd minute, thanks to a solid cross from Moreira and an excellent flick from Brian Fernandez. Portland continued to push for the go ahead goal, but never found it; the game finished 1-1, a result the Timbers surely aren’t happy with.
Unfortunately, you all expected the Timbers to take care of business at home against an eastern conference opponent. The Timbers fell short, so no real predictions to highlight. And going back to last weekend, basically the same thing from the Colorado game. PTFC has some work to do to start living up to expectations!
However, I actually have standings for y’all!
Standings Match 19
This Sunday evening, the Timbers travel to the fishing village to the north. Unfortunately, they make the trip with less than 72 hours since their last match - hardly a great set-up for the best rivalry in North American soccer. However, rest or no rest, expect the Timbers and Seattle Sounders to come out fighting for all three points because a rivalry match is a rivalry match. To add to the drama, the Timbers are in the semi-finals of the US Open Cup partially because on their last trip to Washington, they eliminated the Sounders from said competition. Seattle will almost certainly be looking to prove that loss was a fluke, an unhappy accident of single-elimination competition. The Timbers would like to show that it’s not. After getting their first regular season MLS win in Seattle last season, they’d surely like to turn those away results into a pattern.
Unfortunately, the Timbers have some injuries to complicate the short rest; their two natural left backs are injured or questionable; Jeff Attinella is questionable; and Andy Polo, just returned from duty with Peru, is questionable. On the bright side, it looks like Bill Tuiloma could make his return from injury, Steve Clark has grabbed onto the starting keeper role, and Zarek Valentin makes an acceptable left back. The Sounders will also be missing two key pieces as Will Bruin suffered an ACL injury earlier in the year, and Victor Rodriguez has a strained hamstring. So, do the Timbers overcome short rest to take points off their northern rivals, or do Raul Ruidiaz, Nicolas Lodeiro, and the rest of the Sounders ride fresh legs to a home win?
Total Cards O/U: 6.5
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!