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).
Match #22 (Minnesota United) Standings
Match Review (Minnesota United) and Preview (New York City FC)
Well, that was an exciting end to July! Some interesting predictions. No Felipe or Kamara threw off some participants. However, it seems that the latter participants saw the Kamara/Blondell switch coming, as they were more likely to include Blondell into their Starting XI. This meant that three participants (Island Life, rtomsheck, and CascadiaCrunchFC) correctly predicted 10/11 starters.
It was nice to see in our final match predicting the first scoring interval that five participants had correct predictions and received the three bonus points. Jph003 used that, along with correctly predicting a Whitecaps victory, and 9/11 starters to have the top score this match with 17 points. Behind them was a four-way tie for second, one point behind.
Because most had a good final match of July, Arjon retained his lead and ended up the month’s victor. Congrats Arjon. Westsider13 tried to make a late charge by taking a chance on Minnesota winning against Vancouver, but the gamble did not pay off.
Starting next match, I will begin posting the Second Half Standings. The post on the First Half Final Standings will come this weekend. PROMISE!
On to this weekend’s match. Caps travel to NYC. NYCFC will be without Villa, who will be unable to participate in the match due to missing the all-star game. Even without Villa though, NYCFC should be formidable in the cozy confines of Yankee Stadium (yup, they still play there). The smaller field means Davies won’t be able to show off his speed, but he can still dribble around defenders.
After a strong performance against Minnesota, it will be interesting to see how many, if any, changes Robbo makes. Juarez is still suspended, while Waston is out due to yellow card accumulation. Meanwhile, Felipe has not played much of late. Does Kamara get back into the starting lineup? Probably. How long does Davies go, after his whirlwind two weeks? Nevertheless, Davies is still the X-factor in this one.
With a new month (August) comes a new contest. I was trying to figure out what we would like to predict this month. I was going to go with the classic first scorer, but let’s have a bit of fun and go with first yellow card. You predict the first Whitecaps player to receive a yellow card in this match. Get it correct and you get three (3) bonus points towards the August standings. We will say that predicting ZERO yellow cards is an acceptable prediction too.
Known Players Out
Suspension: Efrain Juarez (Red Card); Kendall Waston (Yellow Card Accumulation)
Injured: Doneil Henry (Out); Jake Nerwinski (Out); Jordon Mutch (Likely Out)