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Rose City Forecast 30: Portland Timbers vs New York Red Bulls

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MLS: Portland Timbers at New York Red Bulls Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Well it's already time for another Forecast, so welcome back!

Not going to spend much time on that last match, except to say D.C. United got the first goal thanks to a Bill Tuiloma block gone awry, and this time, the Portland Timbers couldn't find a way back. In fact, they probably gave up a second, if MLS had goal line technology. But it doesn't, so the match ended 1-0, to the club from the capital.

Standings aren't yet updated, as is the norm for midweek matches.

Today is the second match for the Timbers this week, and once more it’s against a team traveling across the continent. The New York Red Bulls, like Portland, are in a bit of a push to make the playoffs; with 41 points, they sit sixth in the east, one point ahead of the New England Revolution and four points clear of the line. Keeping NYRB from a home playoff match are the facts that their press hasn’t been the dominant machine of years past, and Bradley Wright-Phillips is starting to show his age. But while they’re not as intimidating as they have been at times, they still present a solid opponent, one that’s almost as desperate for points as the Timbers. And as recent history can attest, if you can convince PTFC that they should cross the ball a bunch, you have a chance to steal at least a point. On the bright side for the Timbers, they can expect to see Brian Fernandez on the field again, and they might be able to fill the bench. Will it be enough?

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.

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!