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Guess the Starting XI and Final Score (MLS Match #3 – Atlanta United FC)

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MLS: Atlanta United FC at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to another season of our Vancouver Whitecaps contest “Guess the Starting XI and Final Score”. As is tradition, thanks to former regular Spencer for starting this several years ago. It has grown into a great contest and I am appreciative of him for the original idea. Like last season, we will break the contest up into the three ‘seasons’: first half, second half, and non-MLS. We will continue to have fun monthly ‘bonus’ prediction categories, with some being based on whatever it topical at the time. Last season we had things like “Robbo post-match quotes”, “yellow cards”, “first goal scorer”, and several others. However, to start the season, we will keep March simple. With that out of the way, let’s remind you all how the scoring is done.

P.S. I would love if someone would create a great little graphic that we could use for these articles!

Contest Details

  • Contest article will be posted 2-3 days prior to game day.
  • We will keep track of first half, 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, each half of the season will be based on 17 matches, with your worst two match predictions being dropped. This will allow everyone a few misses or bad guesses throughout the season.
  • Predictions will be ‘valid’ if posted HERE 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!

After each match, I will tally the scores and update the standings, which will be posted with the following match’s prediction article. I will post three sets of standings. First, the results from the previous match. Second, the monthly standings. Third, the first/second half standings (with your worst two match predictions removed).

MLS Match #2 -Houston Dynamo

Current Ranking User Overall Score Lineup Bonus Winner Score
Current Ranking User Overall Score Lineup Bonus Winner Score
1 rtomsheck 19 10 1 5 3
1 progers50 19 10 1 5 3
3 chuckbiscuits 17 9 0 5 3
3 hbamarai 17 9 0 5 3
3 dfree646 17 9 0 5 3
3 Marcus Earth 17 9 0 5 3
3 Jstebeck 17 10 1 5 1
8 BlackPanther99 16 10 1 5 0
8 jacinto 16 10 1 5 0
10 lrfanD 15 11 3 0 1
11 GreyHouseEffect 12 10 1 0 1
11 ZTJ99901 12 10 1 0 1
11 robbosg1 12 10 1 0 1
11 Island Life 12 10 1 0 1
11 olikchivas 12 10 1 0 1
11 The Squirrel 12 10 1 0 1
11 Jph003 12 10 1 0 1
11 Cashen 12 10 1 0 1
11 Jitsuo 12 10 1 0 1
20 CascadiaCrunchFC 11 10 1 0 0
20 AtlantisB 11 10 1 0 0
20 AdamP 17 11 10 1 0 0
20 AmandaC 11 10 1 0 0
20 tecate 11 10 1 0 0
20 TrevFresh 11 10 1 0 0
26 edmondk 10 9 0 0 1
27 Arjon 9 9 0 0 0
27 CWilkins 9 9 0 0 0
29 Westsider13 8 8 0 0 0

Final April Standings

Previous Rank Current Ranking Change in User Overall Score vs RSL at SKC vs LAFC at RSL
Previous Rank Current Ranking Change in User Overall Score vs RSL at SKC vs LAFC at RSL
3 1 2 Arjon 55 13 14 11 17
5 1 4 Jitsuo 55 14 11 13 17
1 3 -2 GreyHouseEffect 54 8 14 16 16
3 3 0 AmandaC 54 12 15 11 16
6 5 1 tecate 53 15 11 8 19
7 6 1 edmondk 50 13 14 14 9
9 7 2 Cashen 49 13 14 13 9
2 8 -6 Westsider13 48 4 15 14 15
10 8 2 Island Life 48 13 14 10 11
11 8 3 AtlantisB 48 14 14 10 10
11 11 0 robbosg1 46 12 15 9 10
15 12 3 hbamaral 45 13 16 8 8
15 12 3 olikchivas 45 13 14 8 10
7 14 -7 CascadiaCrunchFC 44 7 17 9 11
18 15 3 progers50 43 13 14 7 9
20 16 4 rtomsheck 42 13 11 9 9
13 17 -4 AdamP 17 41 8 17 7 9
13 17 -4 chuckbiscuits 41 8 16 9 8
20 17 3 BlackPanther99 41 12 11 9 9
22 17 5 IrfanD 41 13 8 12 8
23 17 6 Adamhutchison31 41 14 9 8 10
26 17 9 Jph003 41 15 9 8 9
15 23 -8 The Squirrel 40 8 13 8 11
26 24 2 JStebeck 39 13 8 9 9
18 25 -7 CWilkins 35 5 13 9 8
23 26 -3 ZTJ9901 33 6 9 9 9
29 27 2 Caps72 28 7 12 9 0
23 28 -5 dfree646 27 0 13 8 6
28 29 -1 Slowkid 25 0 17 0 8
30 30 0 MarcoD77 22 12 0 0 10
- 31 NA MacMhuirrich 8 8 0 0 0
31 32 -1 Alan Osborne 7 0 0 0 7
32 33 -1 MarcusEarth 1 0 0 1 0

Match in Review (Houston Dynamo) and Preview (Atlanta United)

It wasn’t pretty, but the Vancouver Whitecaps got their first win at BBVA Compass Stadium, in Houston. Carl Robinson said that he would rotate his lineup more this season, which led many of us to believe he may make several changes for this match. However, that was not the case, and we saw only one change from the season opener. It was potentially a surprising change. Many saw Yordy Reyna possibly coming out, in exchange for Felipe Martins, however, it ended up being Cristian Techera that saw himself on the bench. As a result, only one participant, IrfanD, had a perfect lineup. Congrats! We also had nine participants who were optimistic and predicted a Whitecaps win, with six (rtomsheck, progers50, chuckbiscuit, hbamarai, dfree646, and Marcus Earth) correctly predicting a 2-1 score. This meant rtomsheck was at the top of the match standings, sharing the title with newcomer progers50. The back-to-back 19 point weeks put rtomsheck at the top of the March standings, moving up 15 spots! dfree646 also saw a big jump, moving up 12. IrfanD’s perfect lineup helped them move up 10 spots to a tie for sixth.

On to Atlanta! One of the biggest developments from the Houston match was Marcel de Jong going down with a chest injury. We do not know if he will be back for the Atlanta match, but I would not be surprised if he sits it out. That means that we will have a change at LB. While Alphonso Davies filled in last Saturday, he is probably not Robbo’s first choice. We could see Sean Franklin suit up out-of-position, or we might see the return of Brett Levis or the debut of Justin Fiddes. Both picked up knocks in the preseason but seem to be back practicing; at least Levis.

Reyna has had poor starts in both matches this season; however, he is a difference maker. It is possible that Robbo gives him a rest, to give Mezquida an opportunity, as CWilkins suggests. Does Cristian Techera get back into the lineup? What about the defensive three of Efrain Juarez, Felipe Martins, and Russell Teibert? Do we see all three or does one of them sit. If so, whom? Don’t forget about Jordon Mutch!

Finally, Atlanta was destroyed by Houston, in Houston, but came back strong last weekend to finally defeat DC United, who they could not beat in three opportunities last season. Atlanta is certainly a strong team, especially at home, but maybe Houston provided some effective strategies for slowing down their vaunted attack. The Caps certainly have the club to play a ‘clogged’ match, the question becomes whether the Whitecaps have the ability to attack the poor defense?

We will find out on Saturday.

Known Out (Updated as information becomes known)

Injury: Marcel de Jong (chest), Aly Ghazal, Justin Fiddes

Suspension: None