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Rose City Forecast 29: Portland Timbers vs D.C. United

Can the Timbers keep building momentum?

MLS: Portland Timbers at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome, welcome to the 29th Rose City Forecast of 2019!

Last match was an exciting one, wasn’t it? Maybe not exactly what we all wanted for the first 90+ minutes, but then boom, Brian Fernandez, and the Portland Timbers beat Sporting Kansas City 2-1! In setting up the dramatic winner, Portland conceded first. In the 65th minute, Benny Feilheiber mishit a cross, but it ended in a better spot than a teammate’s head or foot: the top corner of the net, out of Steve Clark’s reach.

It took almost twenty minutes for the Timbers to equalize, but in the 83rd minute Diego Chara sent a cross towards Jeremy Ebobisse, who put the ball past Tim Melia, despite a deflection on the initial cross. Then, eleven minutes later, Diego Valeri left the SKC defense scrambling on the way to serving the ball towards the back post for Fernandez’s winner. Minutes later, PTFC had just their second win of the year when conceding first.

Unfortunately, no standings this week, as I’m in a bit of a scramble with a change in day jobs.

On Sunday, the Timbers will host a transcontinental match in which D.C. United flies to Portland. D.C. haven’t played a league match in over two weeks, not since they put three goals past the Montreal Impact on the way to a shutout win. And it was a win the black and red needed, ending a three-game losing run. That’s been the story for DCU this season, though: up and down, more or less stumbling their way into fifth place in the East. That varying form makes it hard to guess which team will arrive in Portland this weekend. Will it be the one that wins games 3-0, or the one that got hammered 5-1 by the Philadelphia Union earlier in August?

While the Timbers might hope that the same D.C. team that played against Philly arrives at Providence Park, they should expect the winning one. Regardless of who’s on the other side of the pitch, they need all the points they can get from this home stretch if they want any chance of a higher seed in the playoffs. And that means being ready to deal with whatever opponent they’re playing against. However, the fact that PTFC is entering a compacted schedule — five games remaining this month! — adds an extra wrinkle. Can they get this stretch started off on the front foot?

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:

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!