Welcome back to this mid-season Forecast! After today’s game, the Portland Timbers’ season will be half over.
Last weekend, coach Gio Savarese’s rotation paid off as PTFC was able to beat fellow Western Conference side FC Dallas by a score of 1-0 on Brian Fernandez’s sixth goal of the season. With that goal, he also set the record for most consecutive games scored in by someone to start their MLS career. To some extent, the Timbers were fortunate to come away with the win, as Dallas had some chances to get a goal or two in the second half, but between some iffy finishing and some emergency defending, the Timbers kept the clean sheet and three points.
I’m doing this post way too late to update standings and have it posted a reasonable amount of time before kickoff, so they’ll return next week!
Today, the Timbers make their last transcontinental trip of the MLS regular season to play New York City FC. Between the compacted schedule in the upcoming week-plus and NYCFC’s form (they’re unbeaten in 12 games, with four wins in the last six), Portland has their work cut out for them. However, the Timbers should be capable of earning at least a point, as New York’s unbeaten run is mostly draws. But that depends on the lineup Savarese elects to play and how he balances the compacted schedule. Bill Tuiloma is still out injured for the Timbers while Sebastian Blanco and Zarek Valentin are questionable. Andy Polo is also gone as his Peru side is playing in the Copa America final. Meanwhile, NYCFC is missing their starting goalkeeper and four defenders due to injury or international call-ups. Will the Timbers play a strong enough lineup to get a result, or will the back-ups play and improve on their showing in Montreal?
Total Cards O/U: 3.5
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!