Welcome back to the Forecast! The Timbers actually had almost an entire week to rest between games!
There’s a chance you remember their last game, of course, but I think it was pretty under the radar to be quite honest. So here’s the summary for all of you who undoubtedly missed what happened between the Portland Timbers and some small fishing club up north: Thanks to Brian Fernandez’s finishing skills (and Raul Ruidiaz’s lack thereof), PTFC walked off CenturyLink Field with three very solid points. And, for the third time (twice in MLS play) in a month, they did it by going on the road and defeating a team that hadn’t lost at home all season. Portland opened the scoring in the 20th minute when Jorge Moreira hammered a shot off the crossbar and Fernandez buried the rebound. Shortly after halftime, the Seattle Sounders equalized when Ruidiaz was able to dribble around Steve Clark. Hardly a minute later, Fernandez put the Timbers ahead for the final score off a beautiful assist from Sebastian Blanco. Both teams had chances go wanting (Jeremy Ebobisse missed a close-in chance, and Ruidiaz somehow put a three-yard-open-goal shot over the crossbar), but PTFC did better at taking the chances they had. Goodness gracious but did it upset the Sounders players, who decided a post-game brawl sounded like a good idea — and worked to instigate one.
Kudos to lefthanded49 and Timbers Pride, both of whom correctly predicted the final 2-1 scoreline in favor of the Timbers; Timbers Pride, however, edged out lefthanded49 for the prediction of the week by guessing that Ruidiaz would score and that Valeri would have an assist on a Fernandez goal. Special shout to dkob29 for their premonition about the questionable quality of Seattle’s tifo. Tifo trash talk is always good — and even better when it’s right.
Standings Match 20
It’s the end of July, and this Saturday the Timbers get their sixth home match of the season! So far, however, the Timbers are averaging just 1.6 points per game at Providence Park, only a little over their respectable 1.33 road points per game.
That said, some of the games the Timbers have had at home have been a bit odd — either on short rest after cross-country travel, or against the best team in the league, or 72 hours before a huge rivalry game — so it’s a little hard to draw too many conclusions. Nonetheless, the Timbers need to starting being more consistent at home and taking all three points more than 40 percent of the time — and there’s no better time to start than this weekend against Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s LA Galaxy.
While the team is coached by Guillermo Barros Schellatto, it’s clear that the results follow Zlatan: He has 16 goals on the season — more than half the Galaxy’s goals for, and more than Portland leaders Fernandez and Ebobisse combined — while the Galaxy’s second-leading scorer, Daniel Steres, has just three. If the Timbers can keep Ibrahimovic off the scoresheet and dare someone else to beat them, they should have every opportunity to take all three points.
Unfortunately, however, PTFC will have to play the game missing Diego Chara, who is out with yellow card accumulation; as we all know, his absence often puts a damper on Portland’s ability to earn points. That said, the Timbers got their 1-0 win in New York City with Chara starting on the bench and playing less than fifteen minutes in the second half. If there was ever a time to show they can get wins when he’s out, it’s now. Can the boys in green make it happen?
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 (You 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!