First, apologies for no weekend prediction thread. I just moved and only got my internet connection set up yesterday! Second, welcome to another midweek prediction thread!
On Sunday, in their third game in eight days, the Portland Timbers were shut out for the third time in eight days. And all three matches were in Portland. Minnesota United goalkeeper Vito Mannone made twelve saves on the way to keeping the Timbers off the board, so at least the Timbers had some chances. Also on the bright side, PTFC at least held this opponent scoreless as well; unlike the previous two matches, they came away with a point. That said, that’s a total of one point from three home matches in a row, while in the middle of the stretch run.
I’ll be looking to get standings updated before kickoff, but I didn’t want to delay the thread any longer, so they’re not here yet.
Today, the Timbers wrap up their ten match home stand. Of the previous nine, they’ve won four, drawn once, and lost four. So despite quite a bit of malaise, they have a chance to finish this two month stretch in Portland with a winning record — if they can get the win tonight. Unfortunately, that’s a bigger ‘if’ than any of us would like. The team hasn’t scored a goal in 270 minutes, and if they can’t put the ball in the net, it sure makes it hard to win. In addition, the New England Revolution are a tough team to beat, at least since Bruce Arena took charge. They’ve lost just twice since he was announced as coach in May, and those losses were to the top two teams in the Supporters Shield standings. Hardly encouraging for Portland. But this is MLS and nothing is guaranteed, so will this be the match that the Timbers figure out how to break down a good defense? Or will the lack of production continue, and keep the Timbers from taking all three points?
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.
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!