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Rose City Forecast 24: Portland Timbers vs Chicago Fire

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Will the Timbers start a winning streak?

MLS: Chicago Fire at Portland Timbers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the second of ten games at home in a row. Welcome to a midweek Forecast!

Over the weekend, the Portland Timbers hosted the Vancouver Whitecaps — and sent them back north with zero points. Sebastian Blanco opened the scoring with a beauty from distance in the 28th minute, but Vancouver homegrown Theo Bair surpassed Blanco’s effort ten minutes later with a smashing volley that will be a Goal of the Year contender. The two teams then went into half time with a goal apiece. Ten minutes into the second half, Marvin Loria got his own stunner in: He beat a defender off the dribble and buried a 25-yard banger. The Timbers extended their lead in the 90th minute when Jeremy Ebobisse got on the end of a wonderful counter-attack and finished around Maxime Crepeau. With the 3-1 win, the Timbers now have control over the Cascadia Cup with a home match against Seattle in a week and a half set to be the decider.

As is typical with mid-week matches, I don’t have a standings update for you, although there were certainly more points earned than in the previous week!

For this Wednesday’s match, PTFC hosts a Chicago Fire side that has struggled to get results this season, especially on the road. Out of 12 away attempts, the Fire have lost eight, drawn three, and won just once. That said, the team has been playing decently, except that they usually seem to forget their finishing boots. If they find those, their results could turn around in a hurry. Let’s hope that this isn’t the game they remember how to put the ball in the net. The Timbers, meanwhile, have taken a respectable 14 home points from 21 on offer. No doubt they’d like to improve that and secure a home playoff game in the first round — and a game against the Fire seems like an ideal time to start increasing that points per game average. That said, the match is part of a congested schedule, and in previous home matches in game-heavy stretches, the Timbers have found themselves dropping points to the likes of Orlando and Colorado, so three points aren’t guaranteed. Will the Timbers rotate and see if the reserves can take all three points, or will they risk tired legs in search of that win?

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 (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.

Format:

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:

Blanco (Valeri)

Valeri (Free kick)

Ebo (PK)

Blanco (Unassisted)

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 to figure it out!