Well, that was a disappointing Sunday, but the big games keep on coming. Welcome to the Forecast.
The unpleasantness Sunday came via Atlanta United, who held the Portland Timbers scoreless at home for the first time all season. Meanwhile, Atlanta got two goals of their own to take three points back to Georgia. That said, Portland wasn’t exactly outplayed. They had five shots on target, just like Atlanta; they won fewer duels than Atlanta, but had more tackles; and possession was 49.9% to 50.1%. The difference, perhaps, is that Atlanta has Miles Robinson at center back while the Timbers have Julio Cascante. And of course, as good as Brian Fernandez has been, Josef Martinez could very well be the best striker this league has seen.
Not one of you predicted a loss, so not a whole lot of points to go around, but a shout-out to Timbers Pride and MacVanek who both predicted a Josef Martinez goal assisted by Julian Gressel, and therefore lead the week with four points each!
Standings Match 25
This Friday, it’s prime time rivalry night! The Portland Timbers host the Seattle Sounders with the Cascadia Cup on the line. And if that wasn’t enough, a win would see PTFC catch Seattle on points, and pass them on tiebreakers. On top of that, the team that loses could very well find themselves below the playoff line by the end of the weekend. In other words, this game’s got stakes. Based on form, the Timbers have the advantage. They’ve won four of six, while the Sounders’ last six features three losses and just one win. And, of course, the Timbers are also at home, where they have almost two points per game. But as the saying goes, it’s a rivalry match, and anything can happen. Coming in, the Timbers look like the better team, but that’s hardly going to matter once the ball is kicked; they’ll also be missing Larrys Mabiala to ongoing injury and Jorge Moreira to yellow card suspension. Will the Timbers win with a rotated defense and climb above the Sounders in the table, or at least draw to take home the Cascadia Cup? Get your thoughts in!
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 (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 to figure it out!