Buiding off of the column written by one of our previous regulars, Spencer, I have decided to continue with a match thread for guessing the Starting XI and Final Score for each Vancouver Whitecaps match. However, the one change I will make is that we will keep track of scores throughout the season with an overall winner, and bragging rights, at the end.
Now for some details on how this will run.
- Contest article will be posted 2-3 days prior to game day
- We will keep track of overall, first/second half, and monthly winners so that late joiners will have something to play for
- As the MLS season is 34 matches, the overall standings will be based on each participant’s top 30 match guesses. This will allow everyone a few misses or bad guesses throughout the season.
- Predictions will be 'valid' if posted at least 2 hours before kickoff.
- You receive 1 point for every player you correctly guess to be in the Starting XI.
- You get 5 points for correctly guessing Win/Lose/Draw.
- And, as a bonus, you receive 3 points if you correctly guess the final score. While this is the most challenging, I also think that it is the most 'luck based', so I did not want to make it worth too many points.
- I will have a separate ‘contest’ for Voyageurs and Champions League.
At the end of each week, I will tally the scores and update the standings, to be posted with the next week's match thread.
I am posting TWO different sets of standings. The first is the second half standings. The second is removing each participants four worst weeks
SECOND HALF STANDINGS (MATCHES 18 TO 34)
|Current Rank||User||Change in||Overall||Match 33 Points|
OVERALL STANDINGS (AKA, BEST 29 MATCHES)
Match in Review (San Jose Earthquake) and Preview (Portland Timbers)
Well, that was a bad week. I partly blame myself. Sorry everyone for getting the post up for the SJ match so late. Whether it was because people were rushed in making their decisions or the unexpected lineup from Robbo (or both), the scores were not positive this week. That was beneficial to Edmondk, who didn't get in a pick, but really only lost around 6 points in the 2nd Half competition (had a freebie still left in the Overall competition). It did close the gap though between Edmondk and Soocer Mum for 3rd in 2nd Half competition.
It is the final game of the 2016 season and like the Whitecaps season, the winner is already known. However, that doesn't mean there is nothing left to play for. As I stated in my last post, my goal is to get as high of a score (and predictions) correct, to challenge myself for next season with a high score to beat. I also encourage EVERYONE who has predicted a match this season to get in on the final match. It would be great to have a new high for number of participants in one match.
The lineup could be difficult to predict given what we saw in San Jose, however, I do not expect a similar lineup juggling from Robbo. The San Jose game was nothing. Both teams were out of the playoffs, the conditions were poor, and it was an away match. This Sunday will be completely different. For one thing, it is the final (home) match for the Whitecaps and they will want to put on a good show. For another, win by a few goals (a tall feat these days) and they would claim a modest victory this season by securing the Cascadia Cup; a nice way to go out. Finally, Portland Timbers are in a fight for the playoffs. Beat Portland and the Whitecaps could prevent the defending champions from making the playoffs. Again, a modest yet pleasurable victory to end the season.
Despite my belief that the Whitecaps will field a strong lineup, it is unclear what a strong lineup means. Morales was against San Jose, thanks to a red card. Does he play his final match for the Whitecaps on Sunday or has that match already passed? Does Smith start at RB or does Aird get in there again? If Davies and Bolanos are healthy do we see either or both starting? Certainly those two have to be in the plans for next season. If healthy I feel Robbo will want to start Davies, but only if 100%. There is no point in getting him injured heading into the off-season.
Christian Dean made his first bench appearance this season on Sunday, after being sidelined with two terrible injuries. Do we see a young Parker/Dean combo or one of them with Waston or Edgar, or does Robbo go back to his veteran two? I suspect the latter, but you never know. It was surprising that Ousted did not start on SJ. I don't think anyone saw that coming. I would be SHOCKED if it happened two games in a row. Does Hurtado close out the season? Who plays in the midfield? Especially if Bolanos and/or Davies are not in there. Mezquida DID NOT look good on Sunday. Barnes maybe?
You have some tough decisions to make. I will try to keep you updated as I know more throughout the week.