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Guess the Starting XI and Final Score (MLS Match 18: LAG)

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Starting Off the Second Half with a Match in LA

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Chicago Fire Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back for another season of our contest "Guess the Starting XI and Final Score". As always, thanks to former regular Spencer for starting this several years ago. Like last season, we will keep the non-MLS and MLS standings separate. We will also do a first half, second half, and overall standings. Finally, I will have various monthly contests where we add in an ‘extra’ thing to predict, like goal scorers, cards, suspensions, etc. With the basics out of the way, let’s get to the scoring.

MLS Scoring Details

  • 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
  • I will have a separate ‘contest’ for Voyageurs and Champions League.
  • 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 prior to the lineup being officially announced (1 hour before kickoff)

How Scoring is Determined

  • You receive 1 point for every player you correctly guess to be in the Starting XI. Receive 1 bonus point for correctly predicting 10 starters. Receive 3 bonus points for correctly predicting 11 starters.
  • You get 5 points for correctly guessing Win/Lose/Draw.
  • You receive 1 point for correctly guessing each team’s final score. Receive 1 bonus point for correctly guessing both teams final score (for a total of 3).
  • That means, if you correctly predict the Starting XI, Final Score, and Winner, you can earn 22 points!

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.

STANDINGS

Welcome to the second half of the Vancouver Whitecaps MLS season. Thanks to everyone who participated in the first half of our contest. I wrote up a piece on the final standings, which includes lots of fun stats, so make sure to check that out.

We will be, basically, starting over for the second half of the season. In August, I will put together another fun scoring category, but for the rest of July we will keep it simple.

Match in Review (New York City FC) and Preview (LA Galaxy)

The Whitecaps start the second half of the season with a trip down the West Coast to face the LA Galaxy. I am not sure what to make of this match as there will be a lot of unknowns.

What is known though is that Matias Laba will be back with the club, after serving his one match suspension, and probably back in front of the defense. Carl Robinson asked that Christian Bolanos be allowed to stay back with the Caps, to rehab his injured shoulder. Does that mean that he will or will not play in LA? While Bolanos will remain with the club, Kendall Waston has been called in for the knockout round of the Gold Cup, so he will join Sam, Russell, de Jong, and Davies as international absentees.

Luckily for the Whitecaps, their match against NYCFC saw the return of many of their injured players. One surprise inclusion was Nicolas Mezquida. With a high ankle sprain, he was not expected back until mid to late August. Curious if his injury was not that bad or if he was rushed back. If rushed back, he could reinjure it. Of course, NYCFC match also saw Fredy Montero get back on the scoresheet and Jordy Reyna score his first.

Despite this being an away match, Vancouver has a great opportunity to pick up points. Like the Caps, LA has several players away on international duty, and have had their own injury issues. In addition, the Galaxy have been TERRIBLE at home, with a record of 1-5-3. Yes, you read that correct. They have ONE home victory this season. They are on a three match losing streak, including a 6-2 home loss to the woeful Real Salt Lake. This will either be a team that is wounded which the Caps can take advantage of, or a team that is angry and could come out firing. Tough call for the first match of the second half.

Thanks to everyone for participating in this contest. It has been fun putting it together. Let’s start this next phase strong!

KNOWN OUT (Will be updated as information becomes available)

Injury: Brett Levis, David Edgar,

International Duty: Sam Adekugbe, Russell Teibert, Marcel de Jong, Alphonso Davies, Kendall Waston