It’s that time again! Welcome to the 23rd 2019 edition of the Forecast!
Last Sunday, the Portland Timbers traveled to Minnesota to take on the suddenly-surging Minnesota United and almost earned another road point. Almost. For the first 75 minutes, there wasn’t a whole lot to the match except heat and humidity. Then, Brian Fernandez pinged the post, and a few minutes later Mason Toye missed a sliding shot from close range. Then, on a corner kick a couple minutes later, Larrys Mabiala flailed his arms a bit in the box, the ball may or may not have hit one, and the referee went to video review. Apparently the referee saw something ‘clear and obvious’ enough to overturn his original no-call, and in the 93rd minute, Minnesota buried the penalty to get the 1-0 win. Yay PRO?
Not a whole lot of points earned this week. No one was pessimistic enough to predict the Timbers loss, nor did anyone predict an Ethan Finlay goal. In fact, no one earned more than a single point from the Minnesota match. Here are standings updated for last week as well as this week.
Standings Match 22
Today, the Timbers return to Providence Park for their third game in seven days, just 72 hours removed from a frustrating US Open Cup loss in Minnesota. They’ll be facing a Vancouver Whitecaps team that is last in the West on points per game, and second-to-last on points. The Whitecaps have managed just five wins in twenty-five matches played this season, and their overall points per game is worse than the Timbers away points per game.
That said, Vancouver will be facing a Timbers team features tired legs or lots of rotation. Sebastian Blanco, Brian Fernandez, Diego Chara, and Larrys Mabiala all started both games in Minnesota, though at least Diego Valeri and Jeremy Ebobisse got some rest mid-week. Despite the potential for rotation or exhaustion, the Timbers still should expect a win. They’re playing at home, Vancouver is bad no matter who they play against, and PTFC will want revenge for their 1-0 loss back in May. Plus, these points matter for the Cascadia Cup. There’s only one more match in the regional rivalry this season, and with a win, Portland would lead the standings by two points heading into that match against Seattle at the end of the month. Can they get the necessary points?
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!