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.
- 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 1.5 hours prior to kickoff (or half an hour prior to the lineup being officially announced).
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).
Portland Timbers Match Standings
Second Half Standings
Who thought the Vancouver Whitecaps were going to pull out a win at Portland? I will tell you who, tecate, JStebeck, BlackPanther99, dfree646, and rtomsheck. However, out of all of those that correctly predicted the win -tecate, JStebeck, and BlackPanther99 also predicted the correct score-, tecate was best on the lineup, scoring 9/11. So, you were correct tecate. You were the high score this week. Congrats!
The lineup rotation coupled with an unexpected Caps victory means several participants used this week for their ‘throw away’ match. The Second Half Standings remains tight, with Arjon holding a three point lead over chuckbiscuits, Isabelt, and The Squirrel.
On Saturday, the Whitecaps will face New York Red Bulls at home. While the Caps have been a bit better this season at home, Red Bulls have been good home and away. New York is one of the top teams in MLS right now. With the Caps failing miserably in the Voyageurs Cup on Wednesday, it is anyone’s guess whether they will come out fired up against NYRB or see the season as essentially over. Maybe they will be fired up because they have nothing else to show for the season. Maybe they will get their first clean sheet in over three months.
On Vancouver’s side, it is unclear who will start. Felipe should get the nod, as he was out on Wednesday. Otherwise, we do not know how many players were dealing with injuries on Wednesday, who will sit Saturday. Additionally, a bunch of reserves (lookin’ at you Hurtado) have shown they deserve some playing time, and performed well in Portland. Could we see some heavy rotation?
Time to make your predictions.