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Guess the Starting XI and Final Score (First Half Recap)

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The Vancouver Whitecaps are halfway through their 2017 MLS season and that means it is time to announce a winner for the first half of our Guess the Starting XI and Final Score contest.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Whitecaps are halfway through their 2017 MLS season and that means it is time to announce a winner for the first half of our Guess the Starting XI and Final Score contest. This is the second year that we have been running this contest and it has been fantastic. We had a record number (27) of people participate in the first match of the season. The numbers dipped off after that, but in total, 34 people made predictions in the first half, with a consistent 15 each week.

To spice things up this season, we changed the scoring slightly, and it has made an interesting difference. In general, I think it has improved the contest. We have also had a few fun monthly contests that have included special categories. April saw a top three of Arjon, AtlantisB, and WestCoastCule. May was an attempt to include goal scorers into predictions. It didn't go the best. However, newcomer Jacinto edged out Arjon for first, while Jph003, Edmondk. and The Squirrel all tied for third. June saw the new category of 'predict the post-game quotes'. It was fun. Thanks to a last match quote prediction, coupled with one additionally correct Starting XI prediction, AtlantisB overtook Edmondk and Olikchivas for the June winner. I have some ideas for additional categories in the second half of the season, but always encourage you to suggest your own; that is how quotes came to be. However, we now turn our attention to the overall standings.

FIRST HALF FINAL STANDINGS (BEST 15 MATCH SCORES)

Previous Rank Current Ranking Change in User Overall
Ranking Score
1 1 0 Arjon 221
2 2 0 Jph003 217
3 3 0 AtlantisB 216
3 4 -1 olikchivas 214
5 4 1 rtomsheck 214
6 6 0 edmondk 209
7 7 0 The Squirrel 206
8 8 0 MarcoD77 204
11 8 3 justcaps 204
10 10 0 chuckbiscuits 203
12 11 1 forbrydelsen 195
8 12 -4 BlackPanther99 194
13 13 0 DougCuth 189
14 14 0 GreyHouseEffect 187
16 15 1 jacinto 182
15 16 -1 Westsider13 181
17 17 0 Soccer Mum 164
18 18 0 WestCoastCule 156
19 19 0 MarcusEarth 139
20 20 0 mattock 98
21 21 0 Tanzaniamagic 52
22 22 0 jamesmarkgraham 50
23 23 0 Wardy1700 41
24 24 0 Norwegian Would 38
27 24 3 tecate 38
25 26 -1 GTCrane 33
26 27 -1 soccerdad66 32
28 28 0 Zee Samnani 22
29 29 0 smatthew 20
30 30 0 Acumen 9
30 30 0 CalgaryRik 9
30 30 0 RedArmyNic 9
30 30 0 WRCAPS 9
34 34 0 ArrSea 8

Congrats go out to Arjon who defended his first half title from last season. While participants such as Jph003, who finished 2nd and AtlantisB, who finished 3rd, tried to keep the pressure on Arjon, I believe they were in and around the lead the entire half. In fact, Jph003 made such good predictions all season that they used their second 'throw-away' in the final match of the first half. Yes, their score of '10' was their second lowest of the half. Impressive. Eleven participants made predictions each week, while three others missed only once. Below, we break down some of the numbers further for those stats nerds like myself!

ALL THE NUMBERS

Previous Rank Current Ranking Change in User Overall OVERALL
Ranking Score Lineup Perfect Lineups Winner Score Bonus
1 1 0 Arjon 239 9.53 4 9 0.82 18
2 2 0 Jph003 236 9.59 6 9 0.35 22
3 3 0 AtlantisB 232 9.47 3 8 0.82 17
5 4 1 rtomsheck 225 9.47 4 7 0.59 19
4 5 -1 olikchivas 224 9.29 5 6 0.94 20
6 6 0 edmondk 220 9.53 6 5 0.53 24
7 7 0 MarcoD77 217 9.41 3 6 0.88 17
7 7 0 The Squirrel 217 9.53 6 4 0.65 24
9 7 2 chuckbiscuits 217 9.47 4 6 0.41 19
10 10 0 justcaps 216 9.35 2 6 0.75 15
13 11 2 forbrydelsen 203 9.38 2 6 0.50 15
12 12 0 DougCuth 201 9.18 3 4 0.65 14
11 13 -2 BlackPanther99 194 9.71 6 5 0.79 22
14 14 0 GreyHouseEffect 193 9.31 3 4 0.56 15
15 15 0 Westsider13 188 8.88 2 6 0.31 11
16 16 0 jacinto 181 10.08 4 7 0.58 18
17 17 0 Soccer Mum 164 9.31 4 4 0.46 17
18 18 0 WestCoastCule 156 9.00 1 6 0.83 8
19 19 0 MarcusEarth 139 9.70 3 4 0.90 13
20 20 0 mattock 98 8.75 1 3 1.00 5
21 21 0 Tanzaniamagic 52 8.33 0 0 0.00 2
22 22 0 jamesmarkgraham 50 8.17 0 0 0.00 1
23 23 0 Wardy1700 41 7.80 0 0 0.40 0
24 24 0 Norwegian Would 38 7.25 0 1 0.75 1
25 25 0 GTCrane 33 8.67 0 1 0.33 1
26 26 0 soccerdad66 32 6.67 0 2 0.67 0
27 27 0 Zee Samnani 22 8.50 0 1 0.00 0
28 28 0 smatthew 20 6.33 0 0 0.33 0
29 29 0 tecate 14 9.33 1 1 0.33 4
30 30 0 CalgaryRik 9 9.00 0 0 0.00 0
30 30 0 WRCAPS 9 8.00 0 0 1.00 0
30 30 0 Acumen 9 9.00 0 0 0.00 0
30 30 0 RedArmyNic 9 9.00 0 0 0.00 0
34 34 0 ArrSea 8 8.00 0 0 0.00 0

This table includes every match prediction for the first half. We have each participants average correct lineup, how many perfect lineup predictions each made, how many correctly predicted winners, average total in 'score' category, and how many lineup bonus points were received.

It is no surprise that those at the top of the standings had the most correctly predicted winners. Jph003 may have been able to get the overall title had they been better at predicting the scoreline. Although they entered the contest late, Jacinto is someone to watch out for in the second half. If you look at their statistics, they are in-line with the top finishers. I could go on and on about the standings, but I will leave the rest to all of you. What stands out for you? What are your thoughts for the second half? Any predictions you are willing to make?

Thanks everyone for a fantastic first half. Let's make the second half even better!